If you have been injured as the result of a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation if the other party was partially or completely at fault. The amount and type of compensation may vary but generally speaking, any road user can put forward a claim for compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme.
Who can make a claim?
- Car drivers
- Car passengers
- Bus passengers
- Taxi passengers
- Cyclists (bicycle or motorcycle)
- Pillock passengers
It is important to note that even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may still make a claim, although you will receive less compensation as a result. You may be considered partially responsible if you were:
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Driving under the influence
- Driving at unsafe speeds
- Not wearing a helmet (for cyclists)
Regardless of who was at fault, there are also special provisions for children under the age of 16. If you (or your child) was injured when you were a resident of NSW and under the age of 16, you may submit a claim for “The Children’s Special Benefit” which covers expenses such as:
- Respite care
- Attendant care
What happens if no one was at fault?
There might be an occasion in which you were involved in an accident where no one was at fault - these are called “blameless accidents”. Examples of this might include:
- The other driver experienced a heart attack at the wheel
- The other driver experiencing mechanical failure with his car
- Unavoidable collisions with an animal on the road
In a blameless accident, you can still make a claim for personal injury compensation.
How do I make a claim?
The process of making a claim will vary depending on how much compensation you wish to claim.
If you are claiming $5,000 or less, you may be able to immediately claim this without lodging a formal complaint. In order to do this, you must complete an Accident Notification Form (ANF) and:
- Get the registration number of the vehicle causing the accident
- Report the incident to the police
After submitting your report to the insurer, you will be notified within 10 working days of whether you will receive compensation.
On the other hand, if you are looking for compensation over $5,000 you will need to make a formal claim. In order to do this, you will need to:
- Report the matter to the police within 28 days
- Find the CTP insurer of the other vehicle (the Claims Advisory Service can help you with this if you have the registration number)
- Complete a submit a personal injury claim form to the CTP insurer within six months of the accident
What happens after I submit my claim?
After submitting your claim, the CTP insurer will conduct an investigation, during which you may be required to supply photos, medical documents or police records to help with the investigation. They must, within three months, let you know whether or not they have accepted liability (fault for the accident). There are three possible outcomes to your claim:
- Liability has been accepted and the insurer will pay reasonable compensation.
- Liability has been accepted with contributory negligence. This means that insurer believes you are partially at fault for the accident and the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced.
- Liability has been denied and the insurer will not pay any compensation.
If you are unhappy with the decision of the insurer (whether it’s for liability acceptance or the amount of compensation issued), you may need to renegotiate with them. If a resolution still cannot be reached, you may need an external body to resolve the dispute or (as a last resort) take the matter to court.
Being involved in a car accident is an incredibly traumatising and painful event. Let the team here at LHD Lawyers handle your claim so you can focus on recovering. Get in touch with us today to arrange a free initial consultation.