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Personal Injury Claims - Your Guide

If you’re thinking about making a personal injury claim in NSW, you might be a bit overwhelmed by ads offering free consultations, no win no fee terms and maximum compensation. But before you proceed with a personal injury claim it’s important to understand your entitlements and the claims process. This article provides a complete guide to personal injury claims in NSW.

What is a personal injury claim?

Personal injury refers to physical or psychological injuries that you suffer in an accident, often as a result of someone else being negligent. For many people, a personal injury causes financial hardship through time off work and the cost of medical treatment. When you make a personal injury claim, you’re claiming compensation, usually from an insurer, to cover the losses you’ve suffered as a result of your personal injury.


Personal Injury Claims

How much can I get from a personal injury claim?

Personal injury claims payout amounts range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. Your payout amount will depend on:

For minor injuries that only require a short time off work and a relatively short recovery time, the personal injury claim payout is likely to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. For more serious injuries that require surgery, a long period of time off work, or that prevent you from returning to work full time, compensation can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

In the 12 months to May 2021, there were 11,016 motor accident injury claims submitted in NSW and $466M was paid out in benefits and lump sums.*

*Based on SIRA Open Data, May 2021.

It’s important to understand that your personal injury claim payout amount will depend on the extent of your injuries. To get the maximum payout you’ll need to make sure all of your injuries are included in your injury claim. The best personal injury lawyers won’t rush your claim – they’ll allow time for your injuries to stabilise and work with medical experts to understand the full impact of your accident on your life. It’s only through asking the right questions and claiming for all of your injuries that your personal injury lawyer will get the best outcome for you.


Do I qualify for a personal injury claim?

Ask yourself these three questions:

If you answered yes to question 1 and either question 2 or 3, then it’s likely you can make a personal injury claim.


What types of personal injury claims qualify for compensation?

Personal injury claims in NSW that qualify for compensation generally fall into one of these four categories:

Claim TypeDescription
Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Including injuries to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. This also includes passengers on public transport. In NSW, personal injury compensation is paid through the CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance scheme. You can read more about this in our CTP Claims Guide.

Work Injures

Workers compensation is available to employees and sub-contractors who’ve been in an accident or sustained an injury at work, whether they’re at fault or not. Read our Workers Compensation Payout Guide for more information.

Injuries in Public Places and Buildings

For example: slips, trips and falls, injuries from falling objects, food poisoning and injuries from faulty equipment. For more information, see our Public Liability Claims Guide.

Medical Negligence

Including surgical mistakes, doctor and hospital negligence, birth injuries and defects, defective implants, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. For more information, read our Guide to Medical Negligence Compensation.

Both physical and psychological injuries can qualify for a personal injury compensation claim.

Personal injury claims in NSW – what can I claim for?

When you make a personal injury claim in NSW, you might be eligible to claim for:

*Pain and suffering refers to money that’s paid to you to cover the harmful impact the injury has had on your life, physically and mentally. It’s also referred to as general damages or non-economic loss.

Find out how much you can claim.

Talk to one of our friendly lawyers. We’ll listen to you, review your situation, and tell you how much you can claim.

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The Personal Injury Claims Process

How do personal injury claims work?

Most people who make a personal injury claim use a specialist personal injury lawyer to make sure their case is thoroughly prepared and give themselves the best chance of success. It’s important to understand that when you make a personal injury claim it’s likely your compensation will be paid by an insurer, and the insurer will be looking for ways to minimise your payment. So having the best personal injury lawyers on your side puts you on a much more level playing field and is very likely to result in a much higher injury claim payout to you.

Once you’ve chosen a personal injury lawyer, there are essentially four parts to the claim process:


How long do I have to submit my personal injury claim in NSW?

Here are the time limits for personal injury claims in NSW:

Claim TypeTime Limit for Personal Injury Claims
Workers Compensation
  • Claims should generally be submitted within 6 months
  • This can be extended to 3 years in certain circumstances
  • This can be more than 3 years if it relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment
  • If a period greater than 3 years has passed since the accident then a claim may still be made with SIRA approval
Car Accident Injury
  • You have 28 days to get back-payment for any lost wages
  • The final deadline for lodging your claim is 3 months
  • There are some exceptions in certain circumstances
Public Injury
  • Generally, 3 years from the date of the injury
  • In some cases it’s possible to claim up to 3 years from becoming aware of your injury
Medical Negligence
  • 3 years from the date of injury or diagnosis
  • Exceptions can be given to children and people with disabilities

How long does it take to settle personal injury claims in NSW?

Most personal injury claims settle within 9 to 18 months; however, some can take longer.

The amount of time it takes to settle your claim is determined by:


Personal Injury Claim Payouts

How are personal injury payouts calculated?

As a general guide, personal injury settlements can include:

Of course, the calculation varies depending on how your injuries occurred and the extent of your injuries, but the general idea is that a personal injury settlement compensates you for your losses.

How much do you get for pain and suffering?

The majority of pain and suffering compensation payouts fall into the 0-$120,000 range, but some can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Pain and suffering is a payment for the harmful impact the injury has had on your life, physically and mentally. It’s also referred to as general damages or non-economic loss

Personal injury claims NSW – show me a personal injury lawyer near me.

Are personal injury claim payouts taxable?

No, any lump sum payouts you receive are not taxable and don’t need to be declared as taxable income. However, if you invest your lump sum then the gains you make on your investment could be taxable. If you’ve received a lump sum personal injury claim payout, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice on the best way to invest your money and any tax implications.

Will my personal injury claim affect my Centrelink entitlements?

Yes, it’s possible that your personal injury claim payout will affect the amount of Centrelink payment you or your partner receives. If you receive a compensation payment, Centrelink may have to adjust their payments to you. This is to prevent people from being doubly compensated – (ie) receiving an income supplement from Centrelink and then receiving income reimbursement as part of a personal injury claim.


Making a Successful Personal Injury Claim

How do you win a personal injury claim?

Here are 5 steps to a successful personal injury claim:

What do I do if my personal injury claim is denied?

If your personal injury claim is denied, don’t assume that’s the end of the matter – there are a number of ways you can appeal an insurer’s decision.

The first step is generally to ask the insurer to do an internal review of their decision. When they deny a claim, insurers are required to provide a written explanation of their decision. If you believe their decision is wrong, then you should make a written submission explaining why it’s wrong and request a review. Where disputes can’t be resolved, you can get advice from the government body that regulates the relevant insurance scheme – for example, SIRA (the State Insurance Regulatory Authority) regulates motor accident CTP insurance and Workers Compensation insurance in NSW.

Before you make any decisions about disputing an insurer’s decision, it’s highly recommended that you speak to a specialist personal injury lawyer to find out more about your options. Law Partners is Australia’s largest specialist personal injury firm, and there’s no cost to speak to one of our Sydney/ NSW personal injury lawyers and get some advice.



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