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The CTP claims process – what you need to know

6 minute read

Motor vehicle accident

Being involved in a car accident is always a stressful experience. And when it does happen, many people are unsure of what action to take. You might even think that you should do nothing, particularly if you feel fine after an accident.  

But in many cases, injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents can emerge or even worsen over time. That's why you need to understand how to make a compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance claim following any motor vehicle accident. Here we explain what CTP is, what it covers and how the process works.  

What is a CTP claim? 

Compulsory third party (‘CTP’) claims are designed to protect those who are injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the partial or total fault of another vehicle. They are particularly important if any of your injuries affect your daily life or ability to work as they’ll give you financial support while you recover. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of CTP claims is that they enable you to pay for reasonable rehab and medical expenses throughout the life of the claim, so you can get the treatments you need. 

Essentially CTP claims are made against the CTP insurer of the vehicle responsible for the crash. You can still make a CTP claim if you were partially responsible for the accident, but the amount of compensation you could potentially receive may be reduced.  

What does CTP cover? 

CTP insurance (also referred to as ‘CTP personal injury insurance’) covers your liability for injuries to others in the event of a motor vehicle accident where you’re at fault. So, CTP claims compensate those who sustained an injury due to the fault of another driver (which is why they’re sometimes referred to as a CTP injury claim).  

This could include the driver and passengers in the other vehicle, of course. But, it can also include your own passengers as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists or cyclists, for example. 

The point of CTP insurance is to help prevent you from being liable for huge amounts of compensation in situations and to help cover the medical bills of those potentially injured. 

If no one else was at fault, you likely won’t be able to claim compensation at all. There are exceptions, however, including if: 

  • The accident resulted in serious injury or death

  • The driver who caused your injury was uninsured; or 

  • You were unable to identify the driver. 

Does CTP cover car damage? 

Unfortunately, no. CTP does not cover car damage. It is limited to covering liability for injury or death only.  

Can I make a CTP claim?  

You may make a CTP claim if you or your family are injured in a motor vehicle accident where the other driver was at least partially at fault. It doesn’t matter whether you were driving a car, a truck, a motorbike or even a pushbike. In that situation, you can make a claim against the CTP insurer of the other vehicle.  

What is the CTP claims process? 

The CTP claims process varies depending on where you live, and each process will have time limitations as well. However, in general, to lodge a successful CTP claim you will need to take certain steps. These include: 

  • Gathering information. It’s always in your best interest to gather as much information as you can immediately after the accident. You’ll want to get the other driver’s personal and insurance details (where possible), the names and contact details of any witnesses, and photos of the damage and any injuries sustained. 

  • Reporting your accident to the police. Unless police were present, you should contact them as soon as possible following the accident. Not only are you legally required to report any crash resulting in injury, you also need to have a police report to make a CTP claim. You can complete a Traffic Incident Report online or visit your nearest police station to make your report. 

  • Seeing a doctor. It’s a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think your injuries are that bad. Keep all medical reports or certificates, as well as the receipts from any treatment or medication you require. 

  • Completing a claim form. In order for your CTP claim to be accepted, the other party’s insurer must receive a Notice of Accident Claim Form (or a Fatal Injury Form) following the accident. If you are unable to identify the other vehicle or driver involved, this form must be lodged with the nominal defendant (a ‘nominal defendant’ is a statutory body created in each jurisdiction to act as the defendant when there is no CTP insurance).     In order to complete this form, you will need the registration number of the vehicle at fault, the police accident report reference number, and any medical information related to your injuries. 

How long does a CTP claim take? 

The CTP insurer has six months to accept or reject liability for your injuries, although this is usually decided earlier in straightforward cases. While each claim is different, CTP claims generally take between 12 to 18 months to be resolved. However, the entire CTP claims process can be significantly longer if the insurer denies liability, or your injuries are particularly severe. 

Should I contact a CTP injury claim lawyer? 

There are two main reasons for seeking legal help if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident. The first is that a lawyer can help you prove liability. The second is that they can ensure you are adequately compensated for your injuries.  

It’s always best to seek legal advice as soon as possible after any motor vehicle accident as strict time limits can apply to lodge a claim. 

It is also important to remember that CTP insurers have their own legal representation working to limit their liability. They’ll do this either by denying fault entirely or by minimising the amount of compensation they are willing to pay. This means you might not get the full amount you’re entitled to!  

Shine Lawyers – we're here to help

If you think you may be entitled to compensation for an injury sustained while out on the roads, our CTP claim experts may be able to assist. Our team can guide you through the legal process and help you protect what matters. 

Contact us today for an obligation-free consultation.

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