Vehicle registration is an important aspect of owning a car. Each year when we pay our vehicle registration a portion of the payment goes towards compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, with the remaining part going to the Queensland Government.
What is CTP insurance and why is it important?
CTP insurance is a statutory requirement in Queensland and many of us don’t realise we are paying it, as it is ‘built-in’ to the cost of vehicle registration.
In this article we look at CTP insurance, how this relates to CTP claims and your options and rights regarding CTP claims.
CTP insurance indemnifies vehicle owners and drivers who are legally liable to another party – including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists – for personal injury caused by, through or in connection with the use of the insured motor vehicle in accidents to which the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 applies.
Put simply CTP insurance covers a driver for the personal injury they cause to others, as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
A claim for compensation by an injured party is therefore brought against the CTP insurer of the “at fault” driver as opposed to bringing the claim against the driver themselves. CTP insurance allows for an injured person to be monetarily compensated for their losses flowing from the accident and this is often money that a negligent driver may not have.
Who can bring a CTP claim for personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident in Queensland?
Any person injured by the negligent driving of another is able to bring a claim for compensation against the CTP insurer for the vehicle that caused the accident. Such persons can include:
- Pedestrians hit by a car;
- Cyclists hit by a car;
- Passengers on a bus;
- Passengers in a car;
- A passenger on a motorcycle;
- A motorcyclist involved in an accident not deemed to be at fault;
- The driver of vehicle involved in an accident not deemed to be at fault.
To commence a claim for personal injury in Queensland an injured party must complete a Notice of Accident Claim Form and provide this to the CTP Insurer of the vehicle deemed to be at fault. The CTP insurer will then provide a response to this and commence an investigation into liability.
As Queensland operates a common law “fault based” CTP scheme, proof of liability is required, meaning an injured party has to be able to establish negligence against the owner/driver of the other motor vehicle. This is often established with the assistance of the police investigation into the accident.
If the police did not attend the scene the accident must be reported to the police station closest to where the accident occurred. Once the CTP Insurer is satisfied that the driver of their vehicle caused the accident the focus will then turn to how much compensation is owed to the injured party, in a CTP claim.
What do CTP claims include?
An injured party is able to make a claim for damages for their losses that have flowed from the accident. Such losses are grouped under heads of damage and can include:
- Pain and suffering and loss of amenity;
- Loss of income and superannuation up to the date of settlement;
- Reimbursement for monies already paid out for things such as medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, pharmaceuticals, travelling expenses etc.;
- Past gratuitous care;
- Loss of income and superannuation, likely to be suffered in the future once the claim has settled;
- The cost of medical treatment, continued rehabilitation, pharmaceuticals, travelling, commercial assistance etc. likely to be suffered in the future once the claim has settled;
- Interest on past losses.
It is best to have a lawyer handling the CTP claim on your behalf as they are experts in the law governing motor vehicle accidents and take care of the following:
- Preparing and submitting correct claim forms;
- Ensuring the insurer complies with their obligation to fund rehabilitation services for the injured party;
- Ensuring the insurer complies with their obligation to reimburse the injured party for rehabilitation services already paid by the injured party;
- Preparing and briefing medical experts to provide reports in the way required by law;
- Calculating heads of damage in the way required by law;
- Preparing offers of settlement and providing these to the insurer;
- Attending settlement negotiations with the insurer;
- Negotiating the best possible outcome with the insurer;
- Ensuring all required statutory bodies are refunded at the successful conclusion of the claim;
- Ensuring all time limits are complied with;
- Preparing Court documents and attending Court (if necessary).