Am I entitled to make a claim?
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales on or after 1 December 2017, you are likely entitled to make a claim pursuant to the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW). If your accident happened before 1 December 2017, scroll down to see your options under the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 (NSW).
Am I entitled to make a claim if I was at fault in the accident?
Any person who has suffered an injury will be entitled to claim compensation, regardless of whether they were at fault in the accident (although some exceptions do apply).
What compensation am I entitled to claim?
Your entitlement will depend on the circumstances of the accident, the extent of the injury you have suffered, and your personal circumstances.
Most people who suffer injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident are entitled to statutory benefits from the date of the accident, for a period of six months.
Statutory benefits can include:
- Weekly payments (compensation for loss of income); and
- Medical expenses (including treatment, rehabilitation and commercial care expenses).
Statutory benefits may continue after six months if the injured person:
- Was not at fault; and
- Has suffered more than a “minor injury”.
You may be entitled to claim damages (or “lump sum compensation”) if the following applies:
- You were not at fault, and
- You have suffered more than a “minor injury”.
Damages can include:
1. Economic loss (past or future loss of earnings or reduced ability to earn); and/or
2. Non economic loss (compensation for pain and suffering).
Are there time limits?
Yes, some important time limits apply.
- The accident must be reported to Police within 28 days after the accident. You must obtain an accident event number from Police.
- A claim for statutory benefits must be made within 3 months of the date of the accident.
- To receive weekly payments from the date of the accident, a claim for statutory benefits must be made within 28 days from the date of the accident.
- A claim for damages cannot be made until after 20 months (unless whole person impairment is greater than 10%) and must be made within 3 years after the accident.
How does the claims process work?
The first step in the process is to complete and lodge an Application for Personal Injury Benefits form.
To receive weekly income payments you must lodge a Certificate of Fitness form completed by your General Practitioner.
If you require advice or assistance throughout the process, you can contact the CTP Assist advisory line or if you require advice or representation in relation to a dispute, contact one of our experienced solicitors.
We recommend that you contact one of our experienced solicitors to seek legal advice regarding your entitlement to claim damages and the claims process.
How much will it cost?
If you instruct Marsdens to advise and represent you in relation to a statutory benefits dispute, your legal costs will be paid on your behalf.
If you instruct Marsdens to advise and represent you in relation to a claim for damages, we will act for you on a “no win no fee” basis in relation to our professional fees (for work performed).
Estimates in relation to legal costs and expenses will be provided to you.
How much will I receive?
Your compensation will be determined with respect to your entitlements to Statutory Benefits and/or common law damages.
Your benefits and damages will depend on your personal circumstances and the way in which your injury has affected your life.
What if I am entitled to receive other payments or entitlements?
What if I am entitled to receive workers’ compensation entitlements?
If your accident occurred in the course of your employment, you may be required to make a claim for workers’ compensation entitlements.
You may also be entitled to compensation under the Motor Accidents scheme. We recommend that you seek advice from one of our experienced solicitors to discuss your compensation entitlements.
Will my claim affect my Centrelink benefits?
Injured persons are not entitled to “double dip” by receiving (and keeping) payments for compensation in addition to Centrelink benefits which relate to the same period of time. On receipt of a lump sum payment, Centrelink may seek to recover a portion of your benefits from the lump sum.
Will I be required to go to Court?
You will not be required to go to court in relation to a claim for statutory benefits or any dispute arising in relation to that type of claim. There is a statutory authority Personal Injury Commission (PIC) is responsible for the resolution of disputes relating to those types of claims.
In relation to a claim for damages, the PIC can determine disputes and assess damages, except in rare circumstances which are exempt from the assessment process. In those circumstances, it may be necessary to commence court proceedings, and you may need to give evidence in those proceedings.
Will the insurer actively follow me or invade my privacy?
When you make a claim for statutory benefits or damages, the insurer is entitled to gather information about you to enable an assessment of your claim. This may include information which you may not expect to be relevant, including information from your medical practitioners or employer, or from government agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office or Centrelink.
In rare cases, an insurer may arrange surveillance of a claimant, to gather additional evidence about the injury and the claim.
Who do I lodge my claim with?
A claim for statutory benefits and/or damages will be made with the green slip insurer of the vehicle at fault. That may be your vehicle, a vehicle belonging to a friend or family member, or another vehicle.
The relevant insurer can be identified on the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) website, if you know the registration number (licence plate) of the vehicle.
What if the vehicle at fault was not registered or can’t be identified?
In these circumstances, your claim can be lodged with the Nominal Defendant, which is a statutory body. Your claim will then be allocated to an insurer, which will be responsible for the claim.
If you have been unable to identify the registration details of the vehicle at fault, you may be required to prove that you have taken reasonable steps to identify it.
Can I sue the driver personally?
The NSW Motor Accident Compensation Scheme has been designed to avoid the need to lodge a claim or commence legal action against the individual who was responsible for your injury.
An “at fault” driver would not necessarily have the financial capacity to fund an injured person's benefits or damages, therefore the scheme is beneficial to both the injured person and the “at fault” driver, as an insurer is responsible for the claim.
Do I need a solicitor?
Marsdens will liaise with the insurer on your behalf and ensure that all appropriate investigations and preparations are completed in order to maximise your compensation entitlements. Marsdens have the legal knowledge to deal with your matter and have a team of accredited specialists in personal injury who deal with matters of this nature every day. Our experience and expertise will ensure that your matter is conducted efficiently and effectively, to maximise your entitlements, with a minimum of stress to you.
How can I help my solicitor?
If you instruct Marsdens to represent you in your claim, you can assist us by keeping a diary of your injuries, symptoms and related effects. It is also important that you attend to any tasks requested of you and keep us advised about any significant changes in your situation (e.g. new employment or change of address).
If I already have a solicitor, can I instruct Marsdens?
If you are unhappy with your current solicitors, we would be happy to discuss the possibility of taking over the conduct of your claim.
What if my accident occurred prior to 1 December 2017?
If your accident occurred prior to 1 December 2017, your entitlement to compensation will be governed by the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 (NSW).
You may be entitled to compensation for treatment expenses, loss of income, domestic assistance and/or pain and suffering.
The time limits which apply to lodging a claim differ from those which apply under the current scheme. The claims process is also different in many ways.
We recommend that you contact one of our experienced solicitors without delay, to obtain legal advice which is specific to your circumstances.
What do I need to do if a family member has died in an accident?
If a family member has died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, you or other family members may be able to claim compensation.
It is possible to recover the reasonable funeral expenses of any person who has died as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
There may be additional claims that can be made by you and/or your family members. We recommend that you seek legal advice regarding your circumstances.
There are time limits which apply to any of these types of claims. We recommend that you contact one of our experienced solicitors without delay, to obtain advice which is specific to your circumstances.