If you have been injured in a car accident you may be entitled to compensation, even if you were partially responsible for the accident.

How do I bring a claim?

A claim is started by lodging a Personal Injury Claim Form and Medical Certificate with the CTP (Green slip) insurer of the car that caused the accident. The Claim Form and Medical Certificate can be obtained here. The Medical Certificate has to be completed by your doctor.

If you know the registration number (licence plate) of the car that caused the accident – the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) CTP Assist will be able to give you the details for the CTP insurer. CTP Assist can be contacted on 1300 656 919 or by emailing ctpassist@sira.nsw.gov.au.

The claim form and medical certificate must be lodged with the CTP insurer within 6 months of the date of the accident.

If the police did not come to the accident scene, you will need to report the accident to the police in order to bring a claim. This should be done as soon as possible and no later than 28 days of the accident. You can either report the accident at your local police station or by calling the Police Assistance Line 13 44 44.

What if it is over 6 months since the accident and I have not lodged a claim?

If you are outside the 6-month period, you may still be entitled to bring a claim. The claim form and medical certificate should be lodged immediately. The CTP insurer may reject the claim and seek an explanation as to why the claim was lodged outside the 6-month time frame. So long as a full and satisfactory explanation can be given for the failure to lodge the claim in time, you will be entitled to proceed with the claim.

What if I don’t know the registration number of the car or the car is uninsured?

If you don’t know the registration number, you need to take all reasonable steps to find the registration number including calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

If you still can’t find the registration number – you can still make a claim. The claim is lodged with the Nominal Defendant. Call CTP Assist 1300 656 919 for assistance with finding the registration number and lodging the claim with the Nominal Defendant if the registration number cannot be found.

If the car is uninsured the claim form is also lodged with the Nominal Defendant.

What compensation can I claim?

The compensation you are entitled to receive will depend on your individual circumstances, including the extent of your injury, whether you lost wages due to your injury, whether you needed and will need on going assistance because of your injury and the extend of medical treatment required due to your injury.

Because each case is different, we take a detailed history from you at the beginning of your case so we understand how the injury has affected your life and thus what compensation you are entitled to claim. We get intermittent updates from you about your situation during the life of your claim.

With your permission we also obtain details from family, friends and work colleagues as to how the accident has affected you. Such evidence is very persuasive and helpful in getting the best outcome for your case.

How long will it take?

This will depend on your recovery. As you can only make one claim for a particular accident, it is important to fully understand the fully extend of your injury and its effect on your future life before the claim is finalised. Thus it is recommended that your case is not finalised until your injury has stabilized. Each case is different but as a general rule, most injuries are considered stabilised at about 12 months post injury. Once your injury is stabilised we arrange for you to be seen by a doctor to give an opinion on your injury. The doctor we sent you to will depend on your injury. Sometimes we will arrange for you to been seen by more than one doctor and other health professionals. Whilst waiting for your injury to stabilise we gather the evidence needed to prove your loss and the compensation you are entitled to, such as tax returns, evidence from your employer, educational records etc.

As a general rule most cases finish 15 to 24 months post injury. About 80% to 90% of cases are settled by way of negotiation with the insurer. The remaining cases proceed to be decided by either an independent Assessor (Member) of the Personal Injury Commission or by a Judge of the Court.

What legal costs do I have to pay?

The legal costs consist of two components:

  • The Professional Costs for the work we do in running your case. The insurer has to pay a proportion of those costs. You do not have to pay our professional costs until you receive compensation from your case. If you don’t receive compensation, we don’t seek the payment of our legal costs – this is referred to as a conditional cost agreement or a no win no fee agreement.
  • In the event your case goes to court and you lose the case, the court would order you to pay a proportion of the insurer’s legal costs. We provide advice to you in relation to whether you should take your case to court.
  • Disbursements. This refers to money spent on obtaining the evidence, for example medical records and reports, engineer’s reports, accountant’s reports and also expenses incurred in photocopying/printing/phone. If you can pay the disbursements as they are incurred, particularly for medical reports you will avoid incurring overdraft interest. If you win your case the insurer will have to reimburse you for a percentage of the disbursements incurred. Unless you elect to pay the disbursements as they are incurred, the disbursements also do not become payable until you receive compensation.

What if I am the driver at fault – Do I have a claim?

If you were at fault for the accident that occurred prior to 1 December 2017, you have limited rights to claim. You should lodge the claim with the CTP Insurer of the car you were driving at the time of the accident. The claim has to be lodged within 28 days of the accident. You may be able to claim treatment costs and loss of income for a period of 6 months.

Do I Need to Engage a Lawyer to Claim Compensation?

Being injured is stressful. Understanding the law, the procedures that must be followed to bring a claim and what you are entitled to claim can be difficult, time consuming and downright frustrating and confusing.

For most of our cases we accept instructions on a conditional cost agreement – that means if you don’t win your case, we don’t charge you.

Thus, give us a call on (02) 9252 8824 if you are not sure if you:

  • Need to engage a lawyer. If we think you don’t need a lawyer, we will let you know, or
  • If you want advice in relation to your potential rights to claim for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

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