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Public Transport Accident Claims Guide NSW.

Hundreds of thousands of Aussies use public transport every single day, and in any system that large, sometimes things go wrong. If you’re injured in a public transport accident involving a bus, train, tram, ferry, light rail, or other form of public transit, then you may be entitled to compensation. Making a public transport compensation claim can remove the financial burden of recovery from your shoulders. You could be eligible to claim for medical expenses, treatment costs, and even a potential lump sum payment.

There are two main types of compensation for public transport accidents: compulsory third party (CTP) insurance claims for incidents specifically related to vehicles and how they’re operated, and public liability claims for incidents that occur on public transport property like train stations or ferry wharfs, for example. Most public transport accident claims fall under the CTP scheme, and this article will explain everything you need to know about making a public transport accident claim.

The road across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is a train on the left, cars in the middle lanes, and a bus on the right

What is a public transport accident claim?

Public transport accidents can lead to injuries, which you can be compensated for. Making a claim for a public transport injury isn’t just limited to passengers, you can be impacted as a pedestrian, cyclist, or from inside another vehicle. Injuries aren’t limited to physical impacts either. If you witness something traumatic that causes you to suffer PTSD, anxiety, depression, or any other related psychological injury, you may also be eligible to make a public transport claim.

Injuries in this area are varied, from being struck by a public transport vehicle like a tram or bus, to being flung forwards by a sudden unexpected stop. It can even include dangerous conditions like an open worksite on a train station platform that causes a tripping hazard, or if your car is hit by a public transport vehicle. If an accident does occur and you’re injured, there are safety nets in place to help you recover and minimise the negative impact on your life. Most significant is financial compensation, which can be substantial if your injuries are classified as above threshold. Continue reading to find out more about your rights, and the definition of threshold injuries.

I’ve been injured in NSW, what are my public transport accident compensation rights?

If you’re travelling on public transport like a bus, train, tram, ferry, tourist coach, or similar, and you get injured, you’re likely eligible to make a public transport accident compensation claim. The NSW CTP Scheme protects you if you’re injured in a public transport accident with a range of compensation options. Public liability legislation protects your if you’re injured on Transport NSW property, like a train station platform. With CTP claims, if you’re not at-fault and have suffered above threshold injuries, you’ll likely be able to access compensation for longer than the initial 12-month period.

Potential compensation you may be eligible for:

This table gives you an overview of potential payments you may be able to claim, and where they come from for a CTP claim.

ClaimCar Accident Compensation Payout Process
Medical and treatment expenses
  • Your GP will provide the insurer with a treatment referral
  • CTP insurer will generally approve a number of sessions with your GP and other treatment providers
  • CTP insurer will generally write directly to your provider and notify them of the approval
  • CTP insurer will pay the GP or treatment provider directly – these expenses won’t form part of your regular payments
  • Benefits are capped depending on the severity of your injuries
  • You should receive whatever treatment is necessary to make sure you recover from your injuries
Care expenses
  • Generally treated in the same way as medical and treatment expenses
Income support payments
  • Weeks 1-13: 95% of pre-accident earnings
  • Weeks 14 – 26: 80-85% of pre-accident earnings. If the CTP insurer cuts off your benefits it will need to give you four weeks’ written notice.
  • Beyond week 52 you can only receive benefits if you weren’t the driver mostly at fault and your injuries have been assessed as above threshold

If you’re making a public liability claim for a public transport accident you may be eligible for a potentially substantial lump sum payment for:

Here are some examples of the applications you may be able to make:

Application Type Entitlements Covered
Application for personal injury benefits·        Lost income through time off work
·        Treatment expenses
·        Care expenses
Common law damages claim·        Lump sum for future lost wages
·        Lump sum for pain and suffering

For a public liability claim caused by a public transport location, like a train station, we’ll need to prove that your accident could’ve been avoided if someone had taken action to prevent it, and that the injury you’ve suffered is causing you losses in some capacity. If the site manager knew about the issue, like a dangerous wire or uneven pavers, and didn’t do anything about it then they can be held liable.

Lump sum payments, or common law damages, can be substantial, so if you’re applying for this kind of claim you’ll have a much better chance of success with a lawyer on your side. Call or chat with us today for free, personalised advice about your situation, and we’ll help you access everything you might be entitled to.

We have extensive experience navigating CTP and public liability claims, and we win over 99% of our cases. If you’d like to know more or want to speak to one of our specialist lawyers, contact us today for a free, personal appraisal of your situation.

Injuries classification – what’s a threshold injury?

A ‘threshold’ (minor) injury is defined as soft tissue damage and/or minor psychological or psychiatric injuries. This might include whiplash, or minor mental injuries like feelings of sadness, guilt, or stress. If you’ve suffered any fracture, break, or tear then it’s likely to be classified as above threshold. The insurer will make the final assessment about whether your injury is above or below threshold, though having a CTP lawyer on your side will give you the best chance of a successful claim. A good CTP lawyer will help you with thinks like finding a doctor who can correctly classify your injuries so that you don’t miss out on anything you may be entitled to.

Who can make a public transport accident claim?

The guidelines about who can make a public transport accident claim are broad to protect anyone who might be involved. If you’re significantly injured, then you may be eligible to make a claim. This includes pedestrians and bystanders, as well as passengers, riders, or those in other vehicles.

How do I make a public transport accident claim?

To make a claim you’ll need a police report made at the scene of the accident, or directly afterwards. For a CTP claim to receive personal injury benefits like wages for your time off work, or immediate medical costs, it’s best to lodge within 28 days of the incident. The police will create a report which you’ll need for your claim. The report should include the date, time, and location of the accident.

If you’re making a public liability claim, then you have three years to lodge. As with all claims, you’re likely to have a smoother process if you lodge a claim as soon as possible, though there are often exceptions to the timeframe. If you’re unsure, get in touch with us today and we can give you advice about how best to approach your claim.

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How will my public transport compensation payout be determined?

Your public transport compensation payout will be determined based on several factors specific to your accident and the types of injuries you’ve suffered. This will include things like your degree of whole person impairment (WPI), the impact of the injury on your ability to earn an income (lost wages) and may even factor in how the injury has affected your day-to-day life (pain and suffering). You’ll need to be assessed as having at least 10% WPI to be eligible for a pain and suffering claim.

You can access our CTP calculator here which will give you an understanding of what you may be able to claim based on your situation for a CTP public transport claim. If you’d like a more personal approach to your claim, you can contact us today to speak with a solicitor who specialises in your claim type and can give you an overview of what you may be entitled to, completely free of charge.

Who pays my medical costs if I’m injured in a public transport accident?

With CTP and public liability compensation claims the insurer of the at fault party will be the one who covers your fees. Making a claim is the best way to make sure you can access compensation to pay for your medical costs.

How do you get a public transport accident lawyer to help you for free?

If your claim has been denied or you’re not sure how to get to the next step in a claims process, having a lawyer onside will give you the best chance of successfully progressing. Many law firms advertise no win, no fee policies. But what does this actually mean? No win, no fee means that if they take on your case, you only have to pay for their services if your claim is successful. Unfortunately, there are often hidden costs, like having to pay back disbursements. For example, if they pay for a doctor on your behalf and then your case is unsuccessful, and you then have to pay them back. Any good personal injury firm will be up front from the start about any potential payments you may be required to make in the future.

In many CTP claims, lawyers aren’t permitted to charge their client any fees at all, and instead recover their costs from the Personal Injury Commission, or from the insurer of the at fault party. For claims where they are allowed to charge fees, there are caps on how much they can charge.

Finding a lawyer can be a daunting process, which is why at Law Partners we do everything in our power to put you at ease. You can contact us by making a call, sending us a message, or requesting a callback, to speak to someone who has expertise with cases just like yours. We operate on a no win, no fee, no disbursements basis and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know, completely free of charge, so you can consider all your options. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with us today.  

If you’re injured on public transport there are options for you to access support, and you may be eligible to make a CTP or a public liability claim. Public transport accident compensation claims can protect you financially and help you access treatment costs, medical bills, and lost wages, and you may even be able to access a lump sum payment.

Because there are multiple types of claim you may be eligible for if you’ve been impacted by a public transport injury, your best bet is to get in touch with a lawyer to discuss your options and make sure you don’t miss out on anything that you may be entitled to. Tell us a bit about your case below and we’ll get back to you, or give us a call today on 13 15 15.

Tanja Maksimovic

Managing Solicitor

An accredited specialist in personal injury law, backed by over 10 years’ experience in assisting injured Australians receive everything they’re entitled to with their motor accident claim.

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