Claims - General Information
There are procedures and forms that must be used to make a claim. Please see How to Make a Claim for information.
IMPORTANT: The information below is general and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as a basis for action or decisions about making a claim or associated issues. You should seek your own legal advice.
Who can claim?
A joint Motor Accident Notification Form / Motor Accident Medical Report (MANF / MAMR) for the early payment of medical expenses may be lodged by any person who has sustained personal injury as a result of a motor accident and who has not been charged with a serious driving offence.
A CTP notice of claim (NOC) form may be lodged by:
- a person who has sustained personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident in the ACT for which they were not at fault. This may include a driver, motorcyclist (or cyclist), passenger or pedestrian, but not the driver of the vehicle at fault; or
- the estate of someone fatally injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident in the ACT for which the deceased person was not at fault.
The fault of another person must be established for a notice of claim to succeed. If you are partly at fault you can still claim but your entitlement will be reduced by the extent of your contribution to the accident.
What am I entitled to claim?
The early payment of up to $5,000 for medical expenses is paid by the CTP insurer (including Nominal Defendant) and is designed to provide speedy access to treatment and rehabilitation to support a better health outcome.
Through the NOC process, you are entitled to make a claim for:
- Economic loss – this includes compensation for past and future loss of earning capacity and for past and future medical, treatment and care expenses.
- Non-economic loss (general damages) – this includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and any loss of expectation of life experienced by you as a result of the injuries.
When to apply
There are limits on the amount of time you have to make a claim.
For a claim for early payment of medical expenses (the MANF / MAMR form) there is 30 working days (essentially six weeks) to make an application.
For a claim for compensation (NOC), there are different time limits depending on whether the at-fault vehicle is covered by a CTP insurer or the Nominal Defendant.
For the Nominal Defendant, a notice of claim must be given within 3 months from the day after the motor vehicle accident. If there is a delay in submitting the NOC, you can provide the Nominal Defendant with a statement explaining the reason for the delay.
For a CTP insurer, you have 9 months from the day after the motor vehicle accident or symptoms of the injury appear, having not been immediately apparent. This period is affected if you engage a lawyer, in which case there is 1 month for the lawyer to submit the claim. If there is a delay in submitting the NOC, you can provide the insurer with a statement explaining the reason for the delay.
If you think you have a claim but may not have met the time frames, you should seek advice from an insurer or a lawyer about the steps you can take to make a claim.
What happens if a lawyer lodges a claim for me?
A lawyer can give you independent advice about whether you have a claim and about the amount of compensation you are likely to receive. The Law Society of the ACT can let you know their member firms and their areas of specialisation.
A lawyer can:
- assist you in seeking an early payment or reimbursement of the first $5,000 of your medical expenses;
- undertake communications with the insurer with a view to settling your claim; and
- bring court proceedings on your behalf should this be necessary, assisting with obtaining medical and other reports; collating details of your claim; negotiating with the insurer on your behalf; and advising you about the settlement/finalisation.
What processes can occur with progressing the claim?
The CTP insurer will evaluate your claim, including investigating the crash, to make an assessment of liability. The insurer may also require you to be examined by a doctor of their choice.
There is an obligation on all parties to share documents and information relevant to liability and the amount of damages, for example, copies of any reports about the accident, your medical condition and prospects for rehabilitation.
If liability is accepted, the insurer may undertake an estimate of the damages and make an offer.
There may be a conference and offers made by each party to settle the claim. You will be advised of the relevant step by the insurer and / or your legal adviser.