Queensland has operated a fault-based common law Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Scheme since 1936. Despite insurers calling for reforms to the scheme, the QLD’s CTP scheme for insurance remains the best in Australia. You can make a claim for CTP insurance independently and communicate with the insurer directly; however, placing a claim can be a very complex process. You could save yourself, a lot of time, effort and stress by obtaining the help of a legal professional to act on your behalf. The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) states that “you may choose to obtain legal advice at any stage of the claims process” and suggests that you discuss legal fees ‘before’ engaging a solicitor.
What is CTP Insurance?
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance covers the owner or driver of a vehicle against compensation claims in the event that they injure or kill someone in a road traffic accident. As per MAIC, individuals who can prove they were not at fault when injured during a motor vehicle accident are eligible to claim compensation. However, if those individuals can prove that they were partially responsible for the accident, they may still be entitled to a reduced claim. Even if the vehicle that caused the accident was uninsured or unregistered, a person might still be able to claim, but it is recommended that they seek professional legal advice.
Timeframe to Make a Claim
CTP legislation in Queensland adheres to strict guidelines regarding timeframes for lodgement of notice of claim.
Notice of claim must be made:
- Within twelve weeks of the accident occurring, if the claim is given to the ‘Nominal Defendant’ due to the motor vehicle not being identified.
- Within nine months of the accident if the symptoms of injury are not immediately apparent;
- Within one month of engaging a lawyer to manage the claim.
*Claims are generally rejected if lodged outside the timeframes. Timely lodgement of a claim will ensure rapid access to treatment for injuries sustained and rehabilitation if required.
What Can I Claim?
Claims are assessed on individual merit, but generally speaking, depends on the type and severity of the injury sustained, as well as personal circumstances. Compensation claims for motor vehicle accidents could include:
- The cost of medical treatment.
- Long-term care and ongoing support services.
- General damages for severe injuries also cover pain and suffering.
*Additional claims may be applicable, but depend on personal circumstances, the percentage of impairment, and impact on the level of independence.
Relatives and dependents of the person who sustained fatal injury may also be eligible to make a claim for compensation covering:
- Funeral costs.
- Financial loss due to the death of an income provider. This may be claimed by a spouse or de-facto partner, dependent children and other dependents.
*If a CTP compensation claim is successful, and over $5000, the insurer may be required to repay any benefits or payments that the injured party received through Medicare, Centrelink or WorkCover.
How Can I Make a Claim for CTP Insurance?
Making a CTP insurance claim is complicated and can be a cause of significant stress for the injured person and family members who may be responsible for making a claim at a very traumatic time. As per the ‘Eight Step CTP Claim Process’ below, there is a strict timeframe that applies to all claims and the process requires a multi-disciplinary approach to achieve a satisfactory outcome. It may seem relatively easy for the injured person or family members to lodge a claim, but in reality, the additional time and effort it takes to make the claim can add a lot of pressure to an already difficult situation.
The Eight Step CTP Claim Process– QLD
A good lawyer will provide professional legal advice about your rights and will navigate the complexities of making a claim on your behalf. Your lawyer will understand the impact that a multi-trauma accident or, death due to a vehicle accident, can have on a family. Ultimately, a successful CTP claim will provide financial security for the injured party, peace of mind for family members and assurance that future financial and everyday needs are met.