Claiming Compensation After a Motor Vehicle Accident30-11-2021 | Resource
As we approach the holiday season, it is particularly important that we remain safe on our roads. With so much uncertainty over the past 18 months regarding border restrictions and interstate travel, many people will be choosing to take road trips instead of flying. The roads will undoubtedly be busy, and all road users will be faced with a higher risk of being injured in an accident.
So, what do I do if I or someone in my family is injured in a motor vehicle accident?
In 2017 the Government changed the law relating to claiming compensation if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales. As a result of those changes, anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident (regardless of fault) is entitled to receive benefits including lost wages and payment of treatment expenses for at least six months. These benefits are known as Statutory Benefits and can be extended beyond six months if the injured person was not at fault and the injuries suffered were not classified as ‘minor’.
In some instances, an injured person may also be eligible to claim additional compensation, known as "damages".
An Overview of Statutory Benefits
For the first six months after a motor vehicle accident MOST injured motorists (with some very limited exceptions) are entitled to receive statutory benefits, regardless of fault. The no-fault scheme allows injured motorists to claim loss of wages, treatment expenses, commercial care, and funeral expenses (in the event of a death).
In order to receive these benefits, the following conditions must be met:
- Any person injured in a motor vehicle accident must report the accident to the police within twenty-eight (28) days to obtain an ‘event number’. The injured person must also obtain and submit a Claim Form and Medical Certificate to the CTP (green slip) Insurer of the vehicle at fault. If the Claim is not made within twenty-eight days, weekly benefits are not payable for the period prior to the claim being made.
- The statutory benefits claim must be made within 3-months of the motor vehicle accident. If a claim is lodged beyond that period, the Claimant must give the insurer a full and satisfactory explanation for the delay.
- After six months of no-fault statutory benefits, the insurer can terminate the payments on one of the following bases:
- The claimant was mostly at fault in the motor vehicle accident; or
- That the claimant suffered a ‘minor injury’. A ‘minor injury’ is defined as a soft tissue injury and a minor psychological/psychiatric injury.
Making a Claim for Common Law Damages
After submitting the initial claim for Statutory Benefits, an injured person may also be entitled to make a claim for damages which involves additional compensation for loss of wages and, in some cases, pain and suffering.
It is important to note that making a claim for damages can be complicated and there are strict time limits surrounding such claims. A claim for Statutory Benefits must always be made in the first instance, and then, if the injured person is eligible, the damages claim should be made after 20 months from the date of the accident.
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and you, or anyone in your family, suffers an injury, contact the experienced Personal Injury team at Lamrocks on ph: 02 4731 5688 for advice. There is no charge for the initial consultation and no charge relating to Statutory benefits claims. One of our experienced solicitors will be able to advise you of your entitlements and, if you are eligible, assist you in making your claim.
Enjoy the festive season and drive safely over this holiday season!