Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Claims
When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the fault or negligence of another person you are entitled to claim compensation from the CTP insurer of the vehicle/s at fault. In some states and circumstances, even an at fault driver can claim.
All registered vehicles must hold a CTP policy of insurance. This insurance covers personal injury caused by, through or in connection with the vehicle. This insurance does not cover property damage to a vehicle (ie smash repairs). It only covers personal injury and related losses such as loss of earnings and medical expenses, etc.
A motor vehicle accident in which you sustain an injury must be reported to the Police. A claim cannot be commenced until the motor vehicle accident has been reported. The police officer should give you a Traffic Incident Number (TIN). There are strict time limits in which the claim must be reported to the Police and we would recommend you report the matter as soon as possible.
If a vehicle at fault was unregistered, CTP insurance cover does not apply unless the accident happened on a road or in a public place. The Nominal Defendant may handle the claim. Public places include locations like some beaches on which vehicles are commonly driven.
Sometimes “fault” (or negligence) is attributed to more than one persons ie. between two drivers or a driver and a pedestrian. If fault is attributed in some way to the person injured, this is referred to as “contributory negligence”.
Please note that in some jurisdictions there is a non-fault scheme in operation and therefore it is important that you get advice in relation to your particular matter. Seek legal advice or complete the case review on this page and a compensation consultant will contact you in 24 hours.
A claim must be lodged with the negligent party’s CTP insurer as soon as possible. This is usually done by completing and submitting a Notice of Accident claim form. Part of this form includes a Medical Certificate for your Doctor to complete. Different time limits apply in different States and Territories so you should act immediately.
You may be entitled to make a claim even if you are unable to identify a vehicle which caused the accident or it was an unregistered vehicle. The claim is made against a government body called the Nominal Defendant who acts as CTP insurer.
You must take steps to try to identify the vehicle. This includes reporting motor accidents to the Police and seeking witnesses to the accident by, for example, placing an advertisement in a local newspaper and interviewing residents nearby to the accident scene.
Different time limits apply for a Notice of Claim involving an unidentified vehicle. These time limits are also strict meaning that they cannot be extended, even with a reasonable excuse for the delay.
You cannot file proceedings in Court until certain pre-court procedures have been undertaken. Not all matters need to go to court.
If court action is necessary, a claim takes anywhere between 6 months and 2 years plus to conclude after the action is filed in court, depending upon different factors. The difference in timeframes can depend on which court you file proceedings in, delays in obtaining medical reports and delays in obtaining a trial date.
If you have a matter going to either mediation or court we would strongly recommend you have legal representation to ensure the best outcome.
Seek legal advice today as time limits apply and speak to a specialist lawyer, it won’t cost you anything!