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Things you should know about CTP claims

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Please note that this post was written for Queensland audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

Accidents on the road are an unfortunate part of life in our modern world. And if you’re not the one who caused it, it feels unfair to be left out of pocket.

Thankfully, most road accidents in Queensland are minor. Some of these result in no damage at all, while others may simply require minor repairs. But sometimes more serious accidents happen that leave you with injuries that impact on your ability to work or enjoy life with your family.

If this happens to you, you may be eligible to make a claim against the Compulsory Third Party insurer of the vehicle at fault to compensate you.

Here are some things you should know about CTP insurance claims if injured in a car or road accident in Queensland.

1.    CTP is an “at fault” scheme in Queensland

In Queensland, the CTP Insurance scheme is a common law fault-based system. It protects the owner or driver of a vehicle that caused injury to other road users in a car or road accident by paying out the compensation and related costs.

To be eligible to make a CTP claim, it requires proof of liability – meaning the injured person must be able to establish negligence against an owner or driver of the vehicle (that is, prove that someone was at fault). If no one was at fault, you are unlikely to be able to claim on CTP insurance.

Note: The level of cover is not the same Australia-wide, however. For example, the Victorian equivalent of CTP (known as TAC), is a “no-fault” scheme, which means it doesn’t matter who, if anyone, was at fault for the accident, everyone involved can claim compensation.

2.    CTP insurance doesn’t cover property damage

CTP is a compulsory insurance attached to your vehicle registration that you need to drive legally. Some assume it covers basic damage to everything, but this is not the case.

While it does offer financial protection for damage to people, like personal injury, it doesn’t cover costs of damage to vehicles or property – including your own.

It also doesn’t protect you against fire, theft or vandalism. You’ll have to turn to comprehensive car insurance for this. (The voluntary insurance that covers damage to your own insured car, or others).

3.    You can’t claim compensation if you’re at fault

Anyone involved in a car or road accident can claim for injuries sustained (whether a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, driver, or even a passenger).

However, unfortunately it doesn’t count for the driver who was at fault. If you’re solely responsible for the accident, and were injured, you can’t claim for compensation on a CTP policy.

But it doesn’t mean you’re left in the dark totally. You may be able to turn to other accident or injury insurance policies through your superannuation like TPD insurance or income protection.

Note: CTP insurance also helps those who’ve lost a loved one due to a car or road accident.

4.    You may still claim if the at-fault vehicle is unregistered or did a hit and run

If the at-fault vehicle is unregistered, or can’t be identified, you may still be able to claim on a CTP policy – just not theirs.

There is another safety net called the Nominal Defendant. The statutory body under Queensland CTP scheme is designed to step in as the at-fault party so you don’t get punished for something you didn’t do.

It’s important to note, however, that in some cases where the at-fault driver can be identified, they may be personally financially liable for all costs related to the compensation claim.

5.    There are strict time limits to lodge a CTP claim

Otherwise known as statute of limitations, personal injury claims have strict timeframes in which a compensation claim must be lodged.

Car and road accident injury claims must be made within nine months of the accident (or as soon as the first symptom of injury); or within one month of consulting a solicitor if you go down the legal path.

You can still lodge a claim up to three years after the accident, however, but you’ll need to provide a reasonable excuse for the delay.

Note: if lodging against the Nominal Defendant, then you only have three months.

6.    You can claim for more than the cost of injuries

While you won’t get paid weekly benefits like with workers’ compensation, if you’re injured in a car or road accident in Queensland, you are entitled to claim compensation for:

  • Loss of past and future income
  • Medical and treatment expenses
  • Personal car and support services
  • Pain and suffering

If your injury is so severe and you’re deemed to need lifetime help, you may also be able to claim on a separate insurance scheme called the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS).