A Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claim is a type of insurance claim designed to compensate you if you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident. Whether you were injured as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, you could be entitled to claim for economic loss and pain and suffering compensation. That’s why all vehicles in NSW need to have CTP insurance — it can help you get the compensation you deserve. In NSW, you can even get compensated if you were the at-fault driver.
What does CTP insurance cover for you?
CTP insurance protects you from both economic and non-economic loss caused by vehicle-related injuries and deaths. This means that you can be compensated for legal and medical expenses and loss of income as well as psychological damages like pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. It doesn’t cover property damage, such as damage to your car, but it can protect you whether you’re a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, so long as your injuries were caused by a vehicle accident.
Am I entitled to make a CTP claim?
You’re entitled to make a CTP insurance claim if you’ve been injured in an accident that has involved a vehicle, be that a car, truck or motorcycle. You don’t only need to be a driver to be eligible. Passengers, pedestrians, motorcycle riders and cyclists are also entitled to make a claim.
What if I’m the at-fault driver?
You’re still entitled to make a CTP insurance claim if you were the driver at fault, though you won’t be entitled to the same level of compensation. According to the NSW government, at-fault or partially at-fault drivers might be eligible for:
- Accident notification. By lodging an Accident Notification Form (ANF), you might be able to claim an early payment of $5,000 to cover medical treatment and loss of income.
- Lifetime care and support. Medical treatment, rehabilitation and other care services are available if you have been very seriously injured, regardless of who caused the accident.
- Special children’s benefits. If you were under 16 when the accident happened and are a NSW resident, you can apply for this benefit and be compensated, even if you were the cause of the accident.
- Blameless accidents. If there was nobody to blame for the accident you were involved in — for example, if you suffered a sudden medical issue — you can apply for compensation.
To be eligible for these benefits, make sure you get the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident, report the accident to the police and get the event number of the accident from the police.
What compensation can I claim on CTP Insurance?
With a CTP insurance claim, you can be compensated for the following:
- Income support payments
- For the first 13 weeks: 95% of your income
- After 14 weeks: a maximum of 85% of your income (depending on the severity of your injuries)
- Income support stops at 6 months if your injuries were minor or you were the driver mostly at fault
- Income support generally stops after two years — to receive money beyond that, you’ll need to submit a separate application for lump sum compensation (common law damages)
- Past and future hospital, medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Attendant care and home modification expenses
- Non-economic loss (e.g. pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life). You can only receive non-economic loss compensation if you have a permanent physical or psychological impairment of more than 10% as a result of your accident
What is the average CTP payout in NSW?
In 2020, the average CTP payout in NSW was approximately $37,000*, a significant sum considering that you generally won’t be taxed for the money you receive.
Keep in mind though that this is just an average. Payouts can range from hundreds to millions of dollars — it all depends on how bad your injuries are, the medical treatment you require and the time you need to take off work. For a clearer idea of how much you might be entitled to, use What’s My Claim Worth’s compensation calculator.
*Based on SIRA Open Data, taken January 2021. There were 10,554 claims in 2020 and $393.69 million worth of payments.
CTP compensation payouts NSW – what can I claim?
There are two types of compensation you might be entitled to depending on your injuries: personal injury benefits and lump sum compensation (common law damages).
Personal injury benefits
If your injuries were only minor, you won’t be entitled to lump sum CTP compensation. However, you can still claim personal injury benefits for injuries such as:
- Soft-tissue injuries and muscle injuries like a sore back, neck pain or whiplash
- Some psychological injuries like adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder
- Weekly income benefits if you’ve been unable to work
Lump sum compensation (common law damages)
In NSW, if your injuries were serious and you were not at fault, you might be entitled to a lump sum CTP payout. A common law damages claim can include both economic and non-economic loss, so they often pay out significantly more than personal injury benefits. For example, in the last 12 months, non-economic loss payments accounted for $102 million of the total $416.9 million in CTP payouts*. Some examples of serious physical and psychological injuries that you can claim for include:
- fractures, nerve injuries, tendon cartilage, meniscus or ligament damage and some types of spinal damage
- Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological illnesses, except adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder
*SIRA Open Data, taken January 2021.
How do I make a CTP claim?
To make a successful personal injury benefits claim in NSW, you should:
- Find the insurer. The first thing that you need to do is find out who the insurer of the at-fault vehicle is. If they haven’t told you themselves, you can use the NSW government CTP connect form.
- Gather evidence. Get proof of your injuries from your doctor. Evidence can include photos, police or ambulance reports, receipts, a Certificate of Fitness and invoices to show your income has been affected.
- Lodge the claim. Submit the personal injury benefits claim with the insurer of the vehicle at fault. Make sure you do this within 28 days of the accident to receive back pay. The final deadline is three months from the incident.
The personal injury claims process doesn’t include any lump sum payments that you might be entitled to; that requires a separate application. However, the claims process itself for common law damages is similar to the one outlined above.
If you don’t feel comfortable making a CTP claim yourself, you might want to use a lawyer. What’s My Claim Worth can put you in touch with legal professionals that work on a no win, no fee basis. It’s worth considering if you aren’t confident submitting a claim yourself, your injuries are serious or you simply want peace of mind with an experienced professional working on your behalf.
How long does the CTP claim process take in NSW?
Once you’ve submitted your CTP claim, your insurer should let you know that your claim has been received. They will also provide you with a claim number. The insurer needs to tell you whether they will accept liability within three months of receiving your CTP claim, though some can take up to 18 months to be resolved. The process can be significantly longer if your injuries are severe or the insurer refuses to accept your claim.
If you’re not happy with the CTP insurer’s decision, you can ask for an internal review. If they still don’t accept your claim, you can take your complaint to the NSW Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).
Who pays my CTP claim benefits?
The CTP insurer of the at-fault driver will pay you. If there is more than one person at fault, then the insurer of the person whose vehicle is most at fault will pay your CTP claim benefits. If you were the at-fault driver, then your CTP insurance will have to pick up the bill.
Bottom line, someone’s CTP insurer will pay for the damages which is why it’s compulsory across Australia. It ensures that anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident is adequately compensated for their injuries. If by a bad stroke of luck the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, you might need a lawyer to try and recover the costs for you. Your own CTP insurer may also be able to help out.
In NSW, there are currently seven companies that provide CTP insurance. These are AAMI, Allianz, CIC-Allianz. GIO, NRMA Insurance, QBE and YOUI.
How long will I receive CTP benefits for?
This depends on the severity and seriousness of your injuries. Here’s a break down of how long you might be entitled to receive CTP benefits for:
|Minor injuries||Major injuries|
|Income support||Six months||Two years (unless you also submit a claim for common law damages)|
|Medical and treatment expenses||Six months or for as long as necessary||For as long as necessary|
|Attendant care||Six months or for as long as necessary||For as long as necessary|
|Non-economic loss (e.g pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment)||In most cases, you won’t be eligible if your injuries are only minor||If the degree of permanent injury caused by the accident is more than 10%|
If you’re not sure how to determine if you have been permanently impaired by more than 10%, that’s ok — it’s something that a legal professional can help you work out.
Why are CTP claim benefits cut off?
Your CTP benefits might stop for the following reasons:
- Your CTP insurer doesn’t have enough evidence to prove that you can’t return to work or still need medical treatment or attendant care.
- You have reached either the six month or two year benefit limit
If your compensation ends before you feel you’re capable of returning to work, you have the right to disagree with the CTP insurer. Consider speaking to a no win, no fee lawyer about the next steps to take.
How to get free legal help with CTP claims
If you’re unsure about the CTP claims process or you simply want to get the maximum compensation you deserve, it’s worth seeking legal advice. It’s particularly worthwhile if you want to dispute your claim with an insurer or if your injuries are serious as you might be entitled to damages.
To avoid expensive legal fees, it’s worth speaking to a no win, no fee lawyer. They can help you to understand the value of your claim and whether you have a good chance of success. What’s My Claim Worth can put you in touch with a legal professional that specialises in CTP insurance claims.