Compulsory Third Party Claims (CTP Claims) – Summary

Compulsory Third Party, or CTP insurance is insurance cover that comes with the registration of any Queensland vehicle – all vehicles have this. It is not the same as what some people know as ‘third party insurance’ which is usually actually a private ‘third party fire and theft’ policy – this type of insurance policy covers the cost of property damage that you/your vehicle may cause to other people’s property.

The Motor Accident Insurance Act applies to making a CTP claim in Queensland.

To make a CTP claim, you must be able to prove 3 main things:

  1. because of a motor vehicle accident;
  2. you have suffered an injury; and
  3. you were not at fault.

1. Motor Vehicle Accident Types in Queensland

A motor vehicle accident in Queensland can include, for example:

  • a motor vehicle colliding with another vehicle;
  • a motor vehicle colliding with a bicycle; or
  • a motor vehicle colliding with a pedestrian.

A CTP claim can be made against any motor vehicle that is required to be registered in Queensland, whether the vehicle is in fact registered or not. This includes: cars, trucks, scooters, motorbikes, mobility scooters, etc. The collision does not need to take place on the road – it can occur anywhere, including on private property.

2. Injuries From Motor Vehicle Accidents

Injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident could include, for example:

  • whiplash (neck/cervical spine strain);
  • broken or fractured bones;
  • chronic pain;
  • lacerations and scarring;
  • psychological consequences such as depression, anxiety or PTSD (whether it was due to being involved in the accident itself, or simply being a witness to a significant and traumatic motor vehicle accident);
  • loss of eye sight;
  • paralysis of arms or legs;
  • death.

The more severe your injury, the higher your compensation amount will be.

3. Determining Who Was At Fault For A Motor Vehicle Accident In Queensland

If a motor vehicle accident occurred and you make a CTP claim for your injuries, an investigation will be conducted to determine who was at fault. This is known a liability determination.

If the police attended the scene of the accident, or the accident is report to them, they will have completed a Traffic Crash Accident Report which will list the at-fault driver. The police do not always get it correct and sometimes list the wrong driver at-fault in their reports. This problem is easily overcome by a good personal injury lawyer.

You will almost always be determined to be not at fault if you were:

  • a passenger
  • a pedestrian
  • rear-ended

You will also likely be not at fault where is clear that the other vehicle failed to give way and caused a T-bone style collision. When it is not exactly clear who caused the accident, expert crash investigators may be hired to assist in the determination. It is possible that parties could be equally at-fault, or at-fault to different proportions (such as 30/70 for example).

If you are unsure whether you would be considered not at-fault for a motor vehicle accident, contact us at Roche Legal for free advice.

If you cannot identify the at-fault driver or the driver is uninsured/unregistered

If you cannot identify the at-fault driver due to a hit and run style incident, you can still make a CTP claim in Queensland however very strict time limitations apply. CTP claims are made to Queensland’s Nominal Defendant.

Compensation Amounts From CTP Claims in Queensland

Damages can be substantial when claiming from the at-fault driver’s CTP policy. The courts only allow modest damages for pain and suffering but large awards can be made for the loss of future earnings. Because of this, the CTP insurers always defend claims strenuously.

It is critical to not attempt to negotiate a settlement yourself to avoid being taken advantage of – especially if you are unable to return to work because of your injuries. See our article on the importance of not self-representing.

Publicly available statistics from the Motor Accident Insurance Commission prove that using a lawyer for your CTP claim results in more than 10 times the compensation amount to the injured victim.

Additional Claims To Consider

If your injuries are serious and permanent, you may have an additional claim to make through your superannuation policy, if the policy includes TPD insurance.

If you have lost a loved one due to a car accident caused by someone else, Roche Legal can also assist you with making a claim for dependency to cover funeral expenses and loss of future expected income. We can also help you get compensation for the damage to your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions – CTP Claim FAQ

Will you run my CTP claim No Win No Fee?

Yes. Roche Legal offers No Win No Fee representation to everyone with a qualifying claim. Contact us for a free initial consultation. We have offices in Brisbane, Springwood, and the Sunshine Coast.

Do I have a claim for compensation?
Persons injured while riding a car, truck, motorbike, quad bike, or other motor vehicles are entitled to make compensation claims under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld). This Act requires all vehicles to hold compulsory third-party motor vehicle insurance (CTP insurance). You can make a claim if you were injured due to no fault of your own. For example, as a pedestrian or passenger (under any circumstance), or as a driver where another vehicle caused the collision or accident.

If you have been injured in an accident involving a motor vehicle you can make a claim for compensation– provided the other driver was at fault.

Who can I bring the CTP claim against?

Under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994, the claim will be against the compulsory third party (i.e. CTP) insurer of the vehicle at fault. The CTP insurer is also obliged to meet your medical needs during your motor accident compensation claim. If you cannot identify the offending vehicle or their CTP insurer, you may be able to bring your claim against the Nominal Defendant.

If your injuries are serious, an additional claim may also be made on your superannuation policy under the Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) scheme.

If you were travelling for work purposes at the time, it is possible that a concurrent Workers Compensation Claim can also be made. When you have a concurrent workers compensation claim, the workers comp insurer (usually Workcover Queensland) will usually fund your rehabilitation expenses instead of the CTP insurer.

What can I claim compensation for?

Compensation is usually provided for:

  • The pain and suffering you have incurred.
  • Any past and future loss of earnings you have suffered.
  • Any loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Gratuitous (unpaid) or paid assistance from others as a result of your injuries.
Who pays for the damage to my vehicle?

Property Damage

CTP insurance does not typically allow for the recovery of the damage done to your vehicle, which is known as ‘property damage’.

However, if you have a CTP claim there is a good chance that you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party directly, or through their private insurance (such as a ‘third party fire and theft’ or ‘comprehensive’ insurance policy). Our lawyers assist with making the appropriate demands and claims for your damaged vehicle if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident.

What has to be proven for my CTP claim to be successful?

You must be able to show that:

  1. the accident was someone else’s fault;
  2. they owed a responsibility to you that they did not meet; and
  3. you suffered injuries as a result of their actions or inactions.

Anyone who is a passenger in a vehicle is easily able to show that someone else was at fault – even if that person was the driver in their own vehicle.

It is important to remember that in Queensland, when you make a CTP claim against the at-fault party, the CTP insurer is the one who pays the compensation. For example, Roche Legal has proven success in cases where an injured person has made a claim against their family member’s CTP insurer in a single vehicle accident.

Are there any important time limits to bring a CTP claim?

Yes – strict time limits apply to making a CTP claim in Queensland.

Time limit where the offending motor vehicle can be identified

A complying notice of claim must be lodged against the at-fault party’s CTP insurer within either:

  • 9 months after the accident; or
  • 1 month after your first consultation with your solicitor

– whichever is earlier.

If you are outside of the above time limits, you may still serve your CTP claim however a reasonable excuse for the delay must be provided.

Regardless of whether you have served your claim on the CTP insurer within the time limits, you must also file court proceedings within 3 years or you will lose your right to make a claim. If you are under 18 at the time of the accident, the 3 year time limit begins from the date you turn 18 years old.

Time limit where the offending motor vehicle cannot be identified

A complying notice of claim must be lodged against Queensland’s Nominal Defendant within 3 months. If more than 3 months has passed, you must provide a reasonable excuse for the delay. However, you must serve your claim within 9 months from the date of the accident or else you are barred from making a claim against the Nominal Defendant.

It is very important to contact us quickly if you have been in an accident so that we can protect your right to make a claim.

Who pays me the compensation?

The offending driver’s CTP insurance company will pay you compensation for your injuries.

If the vehicle is uninsured or unregistered or is unknown, then the ‘Nominal Defendant’ will pay the compensation.

If you are seriously injured, and you have total and permanent disability insurance through your superannuation fund, you may also make a TPD claim in addition to any claim against the CTP insurer.

How much compensation can I claim from a motor vehicle accident?

The amount of compensation you can claim in Queensland will depend on:

  • How bad your injuries are
  • Your age
  • How much you have lost and will lose in wages
  • How much care you need
  • How much money you have paid and will have to pay out of your own pocket

Once your injuries have been identified, you’ll need to see a doctor to understand the impact these will have on your future work and enjoyment of life. This will usually involve visiting one or more medical specialists and them writing a report to support your claim.

How long does a CTP Claim for compensation take?
In all instances, we strive to enter into an informal negotiation with the CTP insurer within 6 months from when you’ve reached a plateau in your rehabilitation. For minor injuries from motor vehicle accidents such as whiplash, your claim can usually be negotiated within 9-12 months from the date of the accident.

CTP claims can take longer when:

  • the motor vehicle accident was serious and caused severe injuries that require multiple surgeries and significant amount of rehabilitation; or
  • the informal negotiation does not result in a settlement and you must then file court proceedings to continue your claim.

Note: Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland must first enter an informal negotiation before they are entitled to file formal court proceedings.

Can I make a CTP claim on behalf of someone who has passed away?

In the event that someone died as a result of the motor vehicle accident, their living dependants (usually the spouse and children) may also be able to claim for funeral expenses and loss of financial support as a minimum.

When death occurs from a motor vehicle accident, there are usually other claims to consider such as a death benefit claim through their superannuation fund.

Can I make a CTP claim if I was intoxicated at the time of the motor vehicle accident?

Yes. Just because you were intoxicated doesn’t mean that you are not able to make a claim. However, it must be clear that regardless of your level of intoxication, someone else caused the accident.

It will be argued by the defendant CTP insurer that your intoxication contributed to the accident and therefore you are partly responsible for your injuries, however this argument will not always succeed.

Contact Roche Legal for a free confidential discussion if you are unsure whether you may make a claim from an accident where you were intoxicated.

Can I make a CTP claim if I was driving unlicensed when the motor vehicle accident occurred?

Yes. Just because you were driving unlicensed (or with a suspended licence) doesn’t mean that you are not able to make a claim. However, it must be clear that regardless of your level of intoxication, someone else caused the accident.

It will be argued by the defendant CTP insurer that your lack of licence or questionable driving history contributed to the accident and therefore you are partly responsible for your injuries, however this argument will not always succeed.

Contact Roche Legal for a free confidential discussion if you are unsure whether you may make a claim from an accident where you were driving unlicensed.

Can I make a CTP claim if my vehicle was unregistered?

Yes. Just because you were driving a vehicle that was not registered doesn’t mean that you are not able to make a claim. That is because CTP insurance forms part of the registration of the at-fault vehicle, not your vehicle.

Can I make a CTP claim if the at-fault vehicle was unregistered or uninsured?

Yes. If you the at-fault vehicle was not registered, there will not be a CTP insurer. However, thankfully in these circumstances you can bring your CTP claim against The State of Queensland’s Nominal Defendant. This is a statutory body that steps in to act as a CTP insurer so that injured victims are still entitled to make a claim. The Nominal Defendant will meet your medical needs during your motor accident compensation claim and eventually defend your claim like any insurer with a view to reaching a reasonable settlement.

Recent Posts From The Roche Legal Blog

At-fault driver say “sorry”? They still cannot be sued

If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you are considering making a compulsory third party (CTP) claim...

Read More

3 Common Causes of Vehicle Accidents in Queensland

Every year, thousands of Australians experience road accidents, either due to a driving error on their part or being caught i...

Read More

Read all articles related to Personal Injury Law.