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:
- because of a motor vehicle accident;
- you have suffered an injury; and
- 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;
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
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.