How to get car accident compensation in NSW?

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The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 governs car accident compensation in NSW.
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Do you want to know how to get car accident compensation in New South Wales, Australia? Here's an article for you. Car accidents in NSW have been prevalent in the year 2023. The Guardian Australia reports that 2023 is the "deadliest year" on Australia's roads based on statistics.

According to the country's leading driving association, Australian Automobile Association (AAA), this year was the deadliest on Australian roads in five and a half years, with 1,253 road deaths, the highest since 1,270 people were killed in the year ending in March 2018.

Road deaths in New South Wales rose from 286 to 354—an almost 25% rise. Ten people died in a bus tragedy in June while traveling home from a wedding in the Hunter Valley, shocking the entire nation.

These car accidents in NSW can be life-altering events, causing immense emotional and financial strain for those involved. Medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and ongoing costs are some of the financial stresses that victims experience. Moreover, car accidents can also cause psychological injuries like PTSD and depression.

However, NSW has a program for car accident compensation. This is properly called "personal injury benefits (motor vehicle accident)." Read on to know more.

NSW Car Accident Compensation

In New South Wales, you can file a mandatory third party (CTP) insurance claim if you were hurt in a car accident. This allows you to get benefits like income support payments, medical costs, and/or vocational rehabilitation services.

Note that there must be evidence that the accident occurred in order for your claim to be approved. A police event number is the most basic type of proof. You should report the collision as soon as possible by calling the Police Assistance Line at 131 444 if the police did not arrive at the scene.

Furthermore, the insurance must receive the car accident claim within 28 days of the accident in order to reimburse you for lost wages. Although you have three months after the accident to file a claim, it is advisable to do so as soon as you can.

Car Accident Compensation Laws in NSW

There are two main laws concerning car accident compensation in NSW: the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 and the Motor Accident Injuries Regulation 2017.

The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 governs car accident compensation. It establishes the framework for:

  • Personal Injury Benefits. This refers to financial support provided to those injured in car accidents, including covering medical expenses, lost income, and attendant care (assistance with daily activities).
  • Claim Process. The Act establishes the process for making car accident claims for benefits and outlines who is eligible for compensation.
  • Dispute Resolution. It sets procedures for resolving disputes between claimants and insurers.

However, the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Act 2022 introduced amendments to this law. The motivation for this change was the inadequacy of financial support and medical treatment that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents receive.

Some of these changes are:

  • Claimants will receive statutory payments for up to 52 weeks instead of 26 weeks, regardless of blame or threshold injury. This modification will only be applicable to accidents involving motor vehicles starting on April 1, 2023.
  • The three-year window for submitting a claim to the Personal Injury Commission for evaluation has been eliminated. Because of this, section 6.32 of the Act continues to apply, and claimants must still file a lawsuit within three years of the accident.
  • If the assessor is not someone authorised by Motor Accident Guidelines, the claimant is not obligated to attend a medical evaluation that the insurer arranges in order to evaluate attendant care services or occupational capacity.

The Motor Accident Injuries Regulation 2017, on the other hand, operates alongside the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (MAIA 2017) to provide a more comprehensive framework for car accident compensation.

The coverage of this regulation includes the maximum costs for legal services, exception to cost limits, and cost agreements. It also covers matters relating to dispute resolution and medical assessments.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in NSW

Keep these in mind so you'll know what to do in case of car accidents:

  • Ensure the safety of yourself and others involved.
  • Call emergency services if needed.
  • Gather information from the other driver(s) (names, insurance details, license plate numbers).
  • Take photos of the where the accident happened and car accident injuries (if possible).
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Report the accident to your car insurance company.
  • Keep detailed records of all medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses.

Car Accident Compensation Process NSW

What does the process of claiming car accident compensation look like? Here's a step-by-step process:

  1. Ensure that you are eligible to claim for car accident compensation. Anyone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW can apply. This can be drivers, passengers, riders and pillion passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  2. Create your MyServiceNSW Account if you haven't.
  3. Indicate your bank account details if you choose to receive payment by direct debit.
  4. Prepare your police event number or other proof of the accident such as news reports, photos of the accident scene, and witness statements.
  5. State accident details including date, time, place, and what happened.
  6. Recall the details of all vehicles involved in the accident.
  7. Indicate the address of the hospital where you received treatment.

If you have this information, you may now apply online and log in to your MyService NSW account and follow the prompts therein. Note that you cannot make a car accident compensation claim if:

  • You have a pending charge or conviction of a serious driving offence in connection with the accident, or
  • You were the at-fault driver of an uninsured vehicle and with knowledge that the vehicle was uninsured.

Remember, this is a general overview of car accident compensation NSW. Specific details and eligibility criteria can vary. Hence, it's highly important to consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and options for obtaining full compensation after a car accident in NSW.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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