Dealing with insurance claims can be confusing and stressful at the best of times – let alone when you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident – but when it comes to CTP claims you can follow just a few simple steps to be on your way to a settlement. Here’s how:
Complete the claim before the deadline
Strict timelines usually apply to CTP claims, so it is crucial that you commence the claims process as soon as you are able.
First and foremost, if you have not already done so, you should report the accident to the police. The sooner you report the accident the easier the claims process will be and ideally, the report will be made directly after the accident takes place or as close to the time of the accident as possible. Be sure to provide as much detail about the parties and vehicles involved in the accident as you can remember. You will be able to search for the CTP insurer of the vehicle that was at fault if you have the registration details and it is registered in Queensland.
Two types of CTP claims exist, depending on the type of accident:
- fatal, which is made on behalf of the deceased; and
- non-fatal, which can be made for yourself or on behalf of someone else, including your spouse or child.
It is important that you fill out the correct form and provide as much accurate detail as you can, including how the injury or death has impacted your ability to work and your quality of life. This will help avoid delaying your claim’s process time.
Don’t forget to include proof of your injury, including a medical certificate and a Claimant Certificate (if you are not completing your own claim) which certifies the claimant consents to the claim being made in their name.
In addition to the claim, you will also need to provide a certified copy of the claimant’s driver’s licence or passport and the Law Practice Certificate of the lawyer assisting you with your claim.
Await lodgement confirmation
After lodgement, it will usually be about 14 days between the time the insurer receives your claim to the day you hear from them. At this stage, the insurer will confirm whether your claim was completed and lodged correctly.
Await the assessment of liability
It can take up to six months from the date of lodgement for the insurer to make a decision about liability. In straightforward cases, the wait may be shorter.
Find out if compensation will be awarded and provide further information
If it is decided that you will be compensated for the injuries you have incurred, you will typically be required to provide further information and medical records (such as records from your treating doctor, hospital files and documents outlining how your ability to work has been impacted) so the insurer can determine the amount of compensation that will be awarded.
Prepare for settlement and the finalisation of your claim
The insurer will make a determination as to the amount of compensation they believe you should be awarded. If you are unhappy with the settlement offer, you can commence negotiations until you are satisfied that the amount adequately compensates you for your losses.
Negotiation is something of an art and it is usually best handled by a lawyer who has experience in this area of the law. They will also be able to advise you on what is a fair amount for the losses and pain you have suffered.
Alternatively, if you feel the settlement amount offered is fair then you are under no obligation to negotiate and you may accept the offer.
When the terms of the settlement have been agreed upon (including how much you are to receive) the funds will be awarded to you in the final settlement of your claim.
Should I keep receiving medical treatment after lodging my CTP claim?
You should not stop treatment while you await the outcome of your claim unless you have received express instructions from the medical professionals treating your injuries.
The process for making a CTP claim in Queensland can be simplified with the assistance of an experienced solicitor. If you require help completing and lodging your claim and throughout the negotiation process we can assist you.