Five things to know about making a compensation claim after a car accident in NSW

by Pania Watt

If you have been injured in a car accident after 1 December 2017, read on for five things to know about making a compensation claim in NSW.

 

1. The NSW system is a no fault system

The system in NSW is now, as of 1 December 2017, a no fault system. This means that if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether you are a:

– Driver or a passenger in a vehicle;

– Rider or a pillion passenger;

– Pedestrian; or

– Cyclist,

you will be entitled to make a claim, regardless of who caused the accident.

However, you will not be entitled to claim if you have been charged with, or convicted or a serious driving offence in connection with the accident, or, you caused the accident and were driving an uninsured car (which you knew was uninsured).

2. Time limits apply.

It’s important to act early in order to ensure that your rights and entitlements are protected, and that you minimise any out of pocket costs for your treatment by ensuring that the CTP insurer will cover them.

You must lodge a claim form (called an “Application for personal injury benefits” within 3 months of the date of the accident.

If you want to receive early income payments (if you need time off work due to injuries sustained in the accident, as is commonly the case), you need to lodge a claim form within 28 days of the accident. You will also need to provide proof of your earnings, such as payslips, or a statement from your employer.

3. Injuries can be physical or psychological

An injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident can be physical or psychological.

A person injured in a motor vehicle accident can sustain physical injuries ranging from whiplash, to very serious injuries, including orthopaedic or neurological injuries.

A person involved in a motor vehicle accident may also suffer mental trauma, resulting in a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Such injuries are serious, and require specialist care and attention.   

4. There are certain types of benefits payable in relation to a claim

For up to six (6) months, you can claim:

– Reasonable and necessary medical and treatment expenses relating to your injury.

These expenses could commonly include examinations by your General Practitioner or treating specialist doctor, physiotherapy or radiological investigations, or psychological counselling.

– Weekly income payments, if you should need time off work (even if you are self-employed).

Even minor car accidents can cause whiplash type injuries which cause pain and stop you from being able to carry out your usual work duties. This can be even more likely if you work in a physically demanding job – for example, if you are a tradesperson, or a labourer. Weekly income payments are even more important if you don’t have leave entitlements with your employment – for example, if you are a casual worker, or if you have just started a new job.

– Domestic and personal care services, if you need help around the home as a consequence of your injuries.

Your injury may cause you to have difficulty performing heavier household chores, such as vacuuming or mowing the lawn. If you have had a very serious injury, you may need a nurse, or specialised carers, to attend you at home.

5. If you have been injured in a motor accident, your treatment in a public hospital is not covered by Medicare

Medicare does not cover people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents in NSW.

If you need an ambulance, the cost of that, and most of your hospital costs will be covered by the Fund levy.

The Fund levy will also pay for the majority of your expenses whilst you are in a public hospital, but there may be some doctors bills which are not covered by the Fund levy.

These doctors will send you a bill for their services, which you will have to pay yourself if you do not make a CTP claim.

 

The information in this blog is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be taken as such.

If you have had a motor vehicle accident, and you wish to make a claim for compensation, contact us now on 1300 15 15 45 to discuss your specific circumstances. All initial consults with our firm are free of charge and all of our services are No Win, No Pay, with the exception of NSW workers compensation claims, which are funded by WIRO and therefore free to all non-exempt workers covered by the NSW workers compensation scheme.

Want to know more information, please feel free to contact us here.