If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident (‘MVA’), you may be entitled to claim personal injury compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (‘CTP’) scheme. The team at Brazel Moore Lawyers, has compiled this guide to help alleviate the stress in what can be a difficult time. This guide applies to accidents that occurred on or after 1 December 2017.
I Have Just Had the Accident – What Do I Do?
Step One – Obtain Relevant Details of the Other Driver/s
First and foremost, it is important to ensure you obtain the relevant details of any and all drivers and vehicles involved. This includes:
- Contact details of all drivers (including name, address, phone number, licence number and CTP insurer details);
- Details of all vehicles involved (including make, model, and colour of the vehicle as well as the registration number);
- Details of any witnesses (including name, address, and phone number); and
- Any photos of damage to other cars and/or property. Photos may also include the environment surrounding the accident such as skid marks etc.
Step Two – Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Your doctor (GP) will be able to assess your injuries, support you with any treatment needs which may include referral to a specialist or allied health provider such as physiotherapist.
If you want to make a claim, discussed below, you should ask your GP to complete a Certificate of Fitness, which is the form prescribed by the State Insurance Regulation Authority (SIRA).
Make sure you keep any medical receipts including medication expenses and allied health treatment (such as physiotherapy).
Step Three – Report the Accident to Police
It is also important that the accident is reported to the police regardless of your involvement (i.e. driver, passenger etc.) as soon as possible. This step is crucial, even if you believe your injuries are only minor. If you have not reported the incident to the police within 28 days and later claim personal injury benefits, you may have to provide reasons to justify why you delayed the report.
If the police did not attend the scene of the accident, you should call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 to report the accident and to receive an event number. If the police do not give you an event number, take down the name of the police officer you spoke to and the date of the conversation. You should also obtain the following information:
Step Four – Notify the Relevant CTP Insurer
A CTP claim must be made against the green slip (CTP) insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident (the at-fault vehicle).
To get the name of the relevant CTP insurer, you need the at-fault vehicle’s licence plate. You can then enter your details, the other car’s details and what you know about the accident into SIRA’s (State Insurance Regulatory Authority) CTP Connect form, or contact CTP Assist on 1300 656 919 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
You should be aware that there are strict time limits for making a motor accident personal injury claimso it is important to make your claim as soon as possible. You must lodge your claim within three months after the date of the accident, or within 28 days if you want to claim ‘back pay’ for loss of earnings from the date of the accident.
What compensation and benefits are available?
There are two types of claims that can be made:
- Claims for benefits set out in the legislation, also known as statutory benefits. This includes weekly income support benefits while you are unfit or partially fit for work and benefits for treatment and care you need for your accident-related injuries; and
- Claims for lump sum damages. This includes damages for non-economic loss (pain and suffering) and certain limited economic losses.
Almost anyone who is injured in a motor accident in NSW can claim benefits. This includes whether you were at fault in causing the accident, or if no one was at fault in causing the accident.
If your only injuries are minor injuries or your accident was caused wholly or mostly due to your own fault, benefits will be available for only 26 weeks (roughly six months) after the accident. If you have non-minor injuries and you were not wholly or mostly at fault, you can receive treatment and care benefits for life and weekly income support payments for up to five years.
We hope that you are able to follow our tips to understand what to do if you have been in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else. If you require advice about your own matter, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Compensation Team of Brazel Moore Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699.