Being in a motor vehicle accident can cause trauma, shock and stress and for most people, the last thing they want to do is deal with an insurance company at such a tense time.
Lodging a CTP claim doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following this step-by-step process, you can make your claim without taking time away from your healing.
Completing the claim
It is important to note first and foremost that strict timelines can apply to making CTP claims, so do not delay in commencing the process.
The very first thing to do after you have an accident, if you have not already done so, is to report it to the police. Ideally you would have done this at or around the time of the accident, but the sooner you report it the easier the claims process will be. You will be required to fill out some forms relating to the crash, so ensure you have as much detail about the parties and vehicles involved as possible.
If you have the registration of the vehicle that was at fault, and they are registered in Queensland, you can easily search their CTP insurer online.
There are two different types of CTP claims you can make; fatal (on behalf of someone else) and non-fatal, which can be made for yourself or on behalf of someone else such as your spouse or child. Be sure to fill out the correct form in the most accurate and honest way possible, paying attention to the impact the injury has had on your wellbeing and livelihood. Providing as much information as possible will help to avoid delays.
You will be required to include proof of your injury, including a medical certificate from a licenced medical practitioner, as well as a Claimant Certificate that certifies the claimant knows the claim was made in their name and that they were not coerced to do so. This is especially important if you are not filing your own claim.
A certified copy of the claimant’s driver licence or passport will need to accompany the claim, as will a Law Practice Certificate if you are engaging a lawyer to assist you with your claim.
Confirmation of lodgement
It usually takes around 14 days from the time the insurer receives your claim to hear back from them. The insurer will confirm whether your claim was completed and lodged correctly.
Assessment of liability
Unless the facts of the case are straightforward, it can take up to six months after receiving your claim for the insurer to make a decision about liability.
Compensation is determined
If the insurer decides to award you compensation for your injuries they will usually require further information and medical records to determine the amount of compensation that will be awarded.
Typically, the type of information they need is records from your medical practitioners, any hospital files and documents from your employer if your work has been affected by the injuries.
Settlement and finalisation of claim
Once the insurer has determined the amount of compensation they believe they should award, you are able to enter into negotiations over the figure if you feel it does not properly compensate you or the claimant for your/their losses. This step is easier if you have engaged the services of a lawyer who specialises in CTP claims as they will have experience with what is a fair settlement figure and how to handle the negotiation process if the sum is too low.
You are not required to negotiate the figure if you feel it is fair.
Once you have agreed on a fair amount of compensation, the funds will be awarded to you in final settlement of your claim.
I’ve lodged a CTP claim. Should I continue with medical treatment for my injuries?
Unless you have been advised to do so by the professionals involved with your rehabilitation, you should not stop treatment while you await the outcome of your claim. It can take months to finalise a claim and, depending on your injuries, ceasing treatment could be detrimental to your healing.
If you require assistance with a CTP claim, our experienced personal injury lawyers in Cairns can assist you.