So, you’ve been involved in a car accident in NSW in 2019. You’ve heard that the Police don’t always come to the scene of the accident anymore and that the CTP laws have recently changed.
But what does that all mean right now, in the heat of the moment?
Here’s the nuts and bolts of what you need to know and do…
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ACCIDENT
- Turn off the ignition, place your hazard lights on and check to ensure that all of your passengers are ok.
- If possible, take photos of the accident scene, including road signs, all cars involved and any damage.
- If your car is driveable, move it to the side of the road to prevent any further accidents.
- If people are significantly injured or cars badly damaged call emergency services. If injuries or damage to the cars are minor, attend your GP as soon as possible and make sure you report the accident the Police within 28 days.
- When speaking with the Police, obtain an event number. You’ll need this to lodge an insurance claim.
- Exchange details with the driver of the other car. You’ll need the car registration plate, the driver’s name, address and phone number as well as their insurance details (both property damage and CTP). If the person doesn’t own the car, get the owner’s details also.
- If your car is not driveable, call a tow truck (but be aware that not all forms of property damage insurance cover tow trucks).
SOON AFTER THE ACCIDENT
After the accident, you’ll need to get your car fixed and possibly seek medical and legal assistance.
- Lodge a claim on the property damage insurer for the car who caused the accident. If the accident was your fault, hopefully you took out comprehensive car insurance, otherwise may be out of pocket to get your car repaired.
- If you’ve been injured, go and see your GP. Listen to what they have to say and follow their treatment recommendations. You’d be surprised how fast you can recover if you follow the treatment plan your GP sets for you after an accident.
- While you are with your GP, ask them to provide you with a medical certificate for the time you were absent from work and for a certificate of capacity/fitness so you can lodge a CTP claim.
- Read up on your injuries. The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has a number of very helpful guides on its website which will help you understand your injuries and how long it takes to recover. If you would like to try a type of treatment mentioned in one of the guides, mention it to your GP next time you see them.
- Lodge a CTP claim with the insurer of the driver who was most at-fault for the accident. The good news is that even if you caused the accident, the NSW CTP scheme also provides up to six months’ worth of income loss, treatment and care to injured people (accidents on or after 1 December 2017).
- Remember, you need to lodge a CTP claim within 28 days of the accident or the insurer will not be required to back pay you to the accident date. You can find a copy of the CTP claim form on the SIRA website at www.sira.nsw.gov.au.
- If this process is too difficult or you just need a hand understanding the forms, get advice from a lawyer who specialises in motor accident claims, like the team at Advantage Legal. We’re here to help whenever you need us, we offer no-win-no-fee billing and explain everything in plain language.
Advantage Legal Pty Ltd is a technologically adaptive law firm practicing personal injury compensation law in NSW Australia. You can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram. This article is for education purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers should be aware that NSW motor accident compensation law changes regularly and that the accuracy of information contained within this article is current as of June 2020. Any person relying on the information contained in this article does so at their own risk. It is important to note that a number of time limits apply to motor accident injury claims in NSW in addition than those mentioned in this article. Depending on your personal circumstances, additional benefits may be obtainable such as those available under the Lifetime Care and Support scheme.