Claiming Compensation for Motor Accident Injuries in New South Wales

What does compensation for a motor accident injury entail?

In New South Wales, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident on or after 1 December 2017 as a driver, biker, cyclist, passenger, or pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme. The scope of the compensation you may be entitled to will vary depending on the circumstances of the accident including the severity of your injuries and whether you are the driver most at fault .

What compensation am I entitled to?

For accidents occurring on or after 1 December 2017, you are entitled to claim statutory benefits which include  weekly benefits  during periods of incapacity and treatment and care expenses for the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident. If you are the driver most at fault and/or your injuries are determined to be a minor injury (please see below for more info about minor injuries), your rights will come to an end 26 weeks after the date of the motor vehicle accident.

If you engaged in a serious driving offense in the accident or were an at-fault driver of an uninsured vehicle, you will be precluded from receiving type of compensation under the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017.

You can make a compensation claim for funeral expenses if you are the legal personal representative of a person who died in a motor accident. You can also do so if you paid for a deceased person’s funeral who did not have a legal representative. If you are the financial or service dependent of the deceased person, you can also make a compensation claim.

If you were not the driver most at fault and your injuries are not minor, you will also be entitled to make a claim for modified common law damages which deal with any economic loss, both past and future including superannuation, that you suffered as a result of the injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident. You may also be able to claim lump sum compensation for pain and suffering and the like if your injuries are assessed as being greater than 10% whole person impairment.

What are the steps to follow when claiming compensation?

For motor vehicle accidents occurring on or after 1 December 2017, you should :

1

Report the accident to the police within 28 days.

2

Make a claim within 3 months by completing an Application for Personal Injury Benefits and getting your doctor to complete a Medical Certificate . You should then submit both documents to the CTP insurer. This should ideally be done within 28 days so that you can receive statutory benefits from the date of the accident .

3

If you are not the driver most at fault and your injuries are not minor injuries, you may be entitled to make a claim for modified common law damages which include   damages for economic loss and lump sum compensation for pain and suffering and the like (if your whole person impairment is assessed as being greater than 10%). You can contact our experienced lawyers to obtain advice on whether you are entitled to make a claim for modified common law damages.  If you are eligible to make a claim for modified common law damages, you should make the claim within 3 years from the date of the motor vehicle accident.

Frequently asked questions

1Am I entitled to make a claim for modified common law damages?

You can make a claim for modified common law damages, if you are not the  you are not the driver most at fault in the accident and your injury is not a minor (soft-tissue or minor psychological) injury .  You will not receive compensation for pain and suffering and the like unless your whole person impairment is assessed as being greater than 10%.

You can contact our expert compensation lawyers who can provide you with tailored advice on 

your eligibility for making a claim for modified common law damages.

2What is the most I can receive for pain and suffering and like?

The maximum amount awardable as compensation for pain and suffering and the like in 2017 was $521,000.

3What is a minor (soft tissue or minor psychiatric) injury?

Soft tissue injuries are typically those in muscles, tendons, and ligaments but do not include injury to nerves or a complete or partial rupture of tendons, ligaments, menisci or cartilage. Whiplash injury is the most common type to be classified as soft tissue injury and therefore minor injury in the context of claims for motor vehicle accident compensation. Minor psychiatric or psychological injuries, on the other hand, include adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder.

People diagnosed with minor injury as a result of a motor accident are entitled to weekly income support, medical expenses, and domestic and personal care services for a period of 26 weeks after the date of the accident.

If you disagree with the insurer on whether your injuries are minor, contact our team of experienced lawyers who can help you initiate the review process.

4How long after the accident should I make a claim?

To be eligible for weekly benefits for periods of incapacity and medical and treatment expenses from the date of the accident, you should lodge the Application for Personal Injury Benefits to the CTP insurer within 28 days from the date of the accident. You can still lodge this form within 3 months from the date of the accident. In most cases, this will mean you will receive statutory benefits in the form of weekly benefits and treatment and care expenses from the date you lodged the application as opposed to from the date of the accident had you lodged the application within 28 days of the motor vehicle accident.

5How long do I have to make a claim for modified common law damages?

If you are eligible to make a claim for modified common law damages, you have 3 years from the accident date to make a claim.