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Car accident injury? Learn how to claim a lump sum.

Man Injured In A Motor Vehicle Accident Potentially Eligible For CTP Compensation.

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW, you can claim personal injury benefits to cover your losses including lost wages, treatment, and care expenses. But if your injuries have been assessed as ‘non-minor’ and you weren’t at fault, then you’re also entitled to claim a lump sum payment. This is the only way to get financial support beyond 24 months after your accident.  

These lump sums can be substantial, so it’s important to take some time to understand how the claims process works and give your application the best possible chance of success. Then, when you’re ready, follow the step-by-step guide in this article to lodge your lump sum claim. Time limits apply, so get started early to make sure you don’t miss out.  

Car accident injury lump sums.

There are two types of lump sum payments for car accident injuries: future income loss, and pain and suffering.  

Lump sum paymentDescription
Future income lossCovers your loss of earnings or reduced ability to earn income due to your injuries right up until the date of retirement. For example: if you can only work 20 hours a week in lost earnings for the rest of your working life.
Pain and sufferingCovers your reduced quality of life. Only a person with a whole person impairment of more than 10% can claim for pain and suffering as well as income loss.

Future income loss

A future income loss claim considers the impact your injury has had on your ability to earn in the future. Here’s an example of how a future income loss lump sum claim could run.  

Firstly, the twelve weeks Joe had off for medical treatment and rehabilitation will be paid to Joe as part of his personal injury benefits at 95% of his pre-accident earnings. So his past lost earnings are:

12 weeks off work @ $1500 per week @ 95% = $17,100. 

But Joe will be able to claim a further lump sum to cover the reduction in his future earnings capacity. Based on a retirement age of 68, Joe’s future lost earnings are: 
1 day a week x 18 years = $280,800  

Please note that this is a basic formula and the final calculation is more complicated, indexing Joe’s earnings for inflation and also taking into account the severity of the injury. But we have used this as an example to illustrate the basis of how lost earnings are calculated.  

Pain and suffering

A pain and suffering payout is available if you’re over the 10% threshold for whole person impairment (WPI), and it’s calculated based on a fixed table that’s indexed every year.  

The actual percentage your injuries are assessed at is subjective, which is why many people get help from a car accident lawyer to give themselves the best chance of success. A good lawyer will get to know you personally and make a strong case on your behalf about how much you’ve been impacted by your injuries.  

The biggest mistake you can make is submitting your own lump sum claim and simply accepting the insurer’s decision – if you do, it’s likely you’ll be a worse off than if you have a lawyer arguing your case.  

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Step-by-step guide to lodging your lump sum claim  

If you’ve looked at the SIRA website or any of the CTP insurers’ websites, you may have noticed that there’s very little information on how to actually lodge a claim for a lump sum, and no information on how to increase your chances of success. We’ve taken the best tips from our car accident lawyers and summarised them into this step-by-step guide 

  1. Check your eligibility  

SIRA has a limited list of doctors who can do a WPI assessment. However, it’s well known within the industry that some doctors are more likely to provide a lower WPI assessment than others, favouring the insurer.  

An specialist car accident lawyer can help you make sure your WPI assessment is done fairly, so that you don’t miss out on compensation you’re entitled to. Chat with us online or give us a call today to find out more about this.  

  1. When to claim  

Many people never make lump sum claims as they will have returned to work in some capacity and be earning an income, so they may not feel it’s worth pursuing. But these claims can be substantial, so it’s in your best interest to find out how much you can claim.  

^This is to allow your injuries to stabilise as much as possible 

  1. How to lodge your claim  

LINK – CLICK HERE (insert) to download the application form to submit your own claim for a lump sum.  

You’ll see that the claim form doesn’t specify whether you’re claiming for income loss or pain and suffering – it’s simply one form that’s assessed by the insurer to determine whether you’re entitled to income loss only, or to a pain and suffering lump sum as well.  

  1. Getting help  

Lump sum claims are complex, and payout amounts can be substantial. If you’ve had your lump sum claim rejected, don’t assume that’s the end of the matter – talk to a car accident lawyer and find out what your options are. Better still, call before you lodge your claim, and one of our specialist lawyers will give you advice over the phone. This is a free service. 

Call 13 15 15 or chat to us now for free advice

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Find out how much you can claim.

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Rejected claims and disputes  

There are four reasons why your claim may be rejected:  

  1. You were at fault in the accident  

If you were at fault, you’re not entitled to claim a lump sum claim. However, in some accidents there’s not necessarily just one driver at fault – it may be determined that each driver was partially at fault. In that case, you may still be entitled to claim a lump sum, although the payment may be reduced to allow for your “contributory negligence”.  

  1. The insurer deemed your injuries to be minor  

If your injuries are assessed as minor, then the insurer will reject your lump sum claim. However, you may be eligible to have your injuries reassessed, and if that assessment shows that you have a non-minor injury, then you may be eligible to claim a lump sum.  

This would apply if you have:  

  1. You missed the deadline for claiming  
  1. You claimed pain and suffering, but were assessed as having <10% WPI 

To be eligible to claim pain and suffering, your injuries need to have been assessed as greater than 10% WPI. So, if your assessment shows less than 10% WPI, then the only way to claim pain and suffering is to have your assessment changed. An experienced CTP solicitor can advise you on whether your injuries have been assessed correctly, and whether there’s a possibility of presenting new evidence that might change your assessment.  

If your claim is rejected, it doesn’t have to be the end of the road. For more information about checking and disputing your entitlement to a lump sum, see our guide on (LINK) checking and disputes, or keep reading to find out when to get help from a lawyer.  

When to get help from a lawyer  

While you can technically lodge your own lump sum claim, it’s important to keep in mind that the insurers have lawyers, medico-legal experts, and other specialists on their side, and even the smallest error in your application can jeopardise your claim. Your best chance of success is having a specialist car accident lawyer on your side who can make sure you receive everything you’re entitled to.  

At Law Partners we win over 99% of our cases. We’ll get to know you personally so we can make the strongest case on your behalf and get you the best possible outcome. If you’re not sure what lump sum payments you’re entitled to or would like to know more about how to claim your lump sum, get in touch with us today for free legal advice.  

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