If you haven’t been involved in a motor vehicle accident, consider yourself lucky. In 2017, 12,055 serious injuries occurred as a result of motor vehicle accidents in NSW leading to hospitalisation. There were also 367 fatalities in 2017, a figure which sadly was overtaken by October 2018. Whilst the statistics alone are frightening, the point we’re trying to make is that whether you are a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you have a reasonably high chance of being involved on a car accident at some point in your life.
When you do, chances are that you’ll need to lodge a CTP compensation claim for treatment, income loss, home care and possibly even for pain and suffering.
The process of lodging a CTP compensation claim may appear simple, however when you are injured, hospitalised and stressed we assure you it can become quite overwhelming. In an attempt to make the process easier for motorists injured in NSW, we have prepared a quick overview of the claim process for accidents that have occurred on or after 1 December 2017.
WHAT CAN YOU CLAIM?
The NSW Motor Accident Injury Scheme (also known as the CTP scheme) has a specific focus on providing ongoing support to injured people whilst providing adequate means to assist them to rehabilitate and recover from injuries and return to work. As a consequence, the CTP scheme makes a clear distinction between:
- People who have sustained minor injuries and are at-fault; and
- People who have sustained non-minor injuries and are not-at fault
Personal Injury Benefits Claim
All people injured in an accident in NSW have an entitlement to personal injury benefits for income loss, treatment expenses and home care for a period of up to six months. After this time, only people who have sustained non-minor injuries and who are not mostly at-fault for the accident are eligible for ongoing benefits.
Only people who are not at-fault and who have sustained non-minor injuries are able to pursue a claim for damages. A damages claim results in a lump sum compensation payout of past and future economic loss (income loss) and in limited circumstances compensation for pain and suffering (non-economic loss). This article does not focus on damages claim lodgement process.
BEFORE YOU LODGE A CLAIM
There are a number of steps you need to undertake before lodging a CTP claim in NSW. These include activities such as obtaining the other drivers details and reporting the incident to the Police. You can read more about the pre-claim requirements in our article titled “What to do after a car accident in NSW”.
HOW AND WHEN TO LODGE A CTP CLAIM
You can lodge a claim online, by post or by email. Some CTP insurers will also accept a claim over the phone under certain circumstances. It is critical to remember that a claim must be lodged with the applicable CTP insurer within 28 days of the accident if you want to receive back pay. An insurer is obliged to accept a claim up to three months post accident, however if received more than 28 days after the accident there is no requirement to make a back payment of benefits. If you submit a claim beyond three months, the insurer will ask you for a full and satisfactory explanation to justify the delay in lodging the claim.
The fastest way to submit your application is by using the online claim portal with the State Insurance and Regulatory Authority (SIRA). In order to do so, you will have to undertake the following:
- Register an account with Service NSW and link it to SIRA.
- Complete the Application for Personal Injury Benefits form.
- Attach any supporting documents to assist the insurer understand your claim including a valid certificate of fitness, details of your income and income loss and receipts for your medical expenses.
- Submit the documentation through the online claim portal.
Email or Post
- Most CTP insurers have an email or postal address that you can send documents to directly. These details are usually available on their website.
- If you don’t have the details of the CTP insurer of the car that caused your accident, you can contact SIRA on 1300 656 919 or email@example.com and they will assist you with identifying the relevant insurer.
- Once the insurer has been identified, complete the Application for Personal Injury Benefits form and attach any supporting documents (as mentioned above).
- Finally, send all of the documents to the insurer either by email or post.
You would be surprised how often things go wrong when they are time critical. Make sure you keep a copy of all of your claim documents in case the file becomes corrupted when transmitted over the internet or gets lost in the post.
LAWYERS CAN HELP
We hear quite often that the claim lodgement process is burdensome and confusing, which is totally understandable if you have just been involved in a motor vehicle accident. If you need help, get in contact with the Advantage Legal team. We’d be happy to help and are expert compensation lawyers who explain everything in plain language.