Home » Our Legal Services » No Win No Fee » Compensation Claims » Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Injury Lawyers Brisbane

Motor vehicle accidents are an everyday occurrence but sometimes even a minor incident can cause a serious personal injury that totally changes your lifestyle.

Claims for personal injuries resulting from a road accident in Queensland are known as CTP Claims as they must be brought against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurer of the at-fault vehicle. If you were injured as a passenger, sometimes the at-fault driver can even be someone you know – your spouse, a friend, or another family member. However, because a compensation claim for personal injuries is made against the CTP insurer, there is no personal liability for the driver that caused the accident.

Provided you can prove the other driver was at fault, you are entitled to compensation from the CTP insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident.

If you’ve been injured in motor vehicle accident and are thinking about making a compensation claim, the CTP lawyers at Roche Legal are ready to give you free initial advice over the phone. We will instantly let you know if we think that you will win your personal injury claim. If we believe you have strong prospects to win your claim, our law firm will offer you legal representation on a No Win No Fee basis.

Strict time limits apply to making CTP claims, so do not delay in seeking legal advice from one of Roche Legal’s motor vehicle accident lawyers.

Start your claim today

Requirements to Make a Compulsory Third Party Claim (CTP Claim) in Queensland

Compulsory Third Party, or “CTP” insurance is insurance cover that comes with the registration of any Queensland vehicle. 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. CTP insurance covers loss and damage relating to personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

The Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld) applies to making a CTP claim in Queensland.

There are three main elements to winning a CTP claim in Queensland. You must prove that:

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

Element 1: Motor Vehicle Accident Types in Queensland

A motor vehicle accident in Queensland isn’t always simply a car crash. It can include, for example:

  • a car colliding with another vehicle such as a truck;
  • a car colliding with a bicycle or electric mobility scooter; or
  • a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian (even if it was intentional); or
  • a forklift or tractor colliding with a pedestrian or another vehicle on the road.

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 necessarily need to have occurred on the road – it can occur anywhere, including on private property. However, for some non-standard motor vehicles (such as forklifts and tractors), the Motor Accident Insurance Act requires the accident to have occurred on the road for CTP insurance to apply.

Element 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.

Element 3. Determining Who Was At Fault

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 reported to them (as required by law for all personal injury claims arising out of traffic accidents), the police will have completed a Traffic Crash Accident Report. This report includes an initial determination of who the at-fault driver was. 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 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).

It’s rare, but possible, that another driver can cause a traffic accident without being negligent. Whoever is at-fault for the collision must also be considered to have breached their duty of care to other road users. A breach of duty is an essential element to establish negligence.

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 the above three elements are satisfied, you are entitled to be paid damages from the insurer.

Roche Legal have assisted victims make successful CTP claims in the following scenarios:

  • Typical rear end collisions at a red light or construction zone
  • T-bone collisions from vehicles failing to stop or give way at a stop sign
  • Mobility scooter accidents – where a disabled person failed to control their mobility scooter and ran into a pedestrian
  • Hit and run accidents
  • Accidents involving stolen, uninsured, or unregistered vehicles with false plates
  • Cars hitting pedestrians crossing the street
  • Cars hitting first responders or good Samaritans tending to an injured person or animal on the road
  • Taxi or Uber drivers accidentally running over the passenger who just exited the vehicle
  • Runaway cars – a driver parked on a hill and failed to apply the handbrake, allowing the car to roll away and run over a pedestrian
  • Psychological injury claims (PTSD/nervous shock) from witnessing a vehicle drive towards them in a ‘near miss’ incident
  • Attempted murder using a motor vehicle – following a domestic violence event, the boyfriend used a car to intentionally run down his partner

There are endless scenarios where the insurance provided by the Motor Accident Insurance Act might apply.

The amount of damages payable to each injured victim varies greatly depends on a number of circumstances. Read our FAQ below, or our article on average payouts for CTP claims.

Time Limits to Making a CTP Claim in Queensland

Strict time limits apply to making a CTP claim in Queensland. The specific time limit depends on whether the at-fault vehicle can be identified or not.

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

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 against the statutory body known as the Nominal Defendant. However very strict time limitations apply if you cannot identify the vehicle (such as in the circumstances of a hit and run).

You must serve your notice of claim within 3 months of the accident happening or if you have a reasonable excuse for taking longer than 3 months, you must serve your claim with your excuse no later than 9 months from the accident occurring. It is not possible to extend this time limit against the Nominal Defendant if you are unable to identify the at-fault vehicle.

In addition, to bring a claim against the Nominal Defendant, you must be able to prove that you’ve made reasonable attempts to identify the registration details of the at-fault vehicle (such as contacting witnesses, obtaining CCTV or dash cam footage, etc).

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.

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. Publicly available statistics prove that using a lawyer for your CTP claim results in more than 10 times the compensation amount.

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.

The more serious the injury, the larger the damages payable for pain and suffering. If the injury sustained impact’s the person’s ability to work and earn income, then the damages payable for economic loss may be substantial.

For a free initial assessment of the possible damages, you may be awarded as a result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, contact one of Roche Legal’s friendly compensation lawyers today.

Warning: Don’t Make Your CTP Claim Directly With The Insurer

Damages for personal injuries can be substantial when making a claim on 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.

Related: See our article on the importance of not self-representing.

We have received many phone calls from people injured in a motor vehicle accident who submitted their own CTP claim. Sadly, many times the injured person had already accepted the insurer’s early offer of compensation which turned out to be inadequate.

If an insurer is aware that you are not legally represented, any offer of compensation they make to you will almost certainly be one that is taking advantage of you. We have seen people who’ve sustained serious injuries in car accidents accept direct offers of $20,000 so that they could afford their initial medical treatment only to find that after 2 years their pain has not gone away and they require further surgery and additional time away from work. Had they have engaged an experienced personal injury lawyer to make their claim, they would have discovered that their claim was actually worth around $400,000.00 (after legal fees).

Direct offers from a CTP insurer will almost never take into account the long-term impact your injuries will have on you and your future earning capacity. Further, any advice the CTP insurer may give you with their offer should not be relied on as the offer will not outline all of your entitlements. Remember, the business model of a CTP insurer relies on paying injured victims as little as possible.

If you accept an offer from the CTP insurer, there is almost no way the deal can be un-done.

Roche Legal’s no win no fee motor accident lawyers will never let a CTP insurer off the hook lightly. We always make sure our clients receive their full entitlements when making CTP claims. You only get one chance at making a CTP claim so make sure you lodge your claim appropriately to ensure maximum compensation.

Seriously Injured? Consider Additional Claims

Most CTP insurance claims are lodged for people injured whilst driving in metropolitan areas (such as Brisbane) rather than regional areas (such as Mackay). However, statistics show that regional crashes lead to more severe injuries than in metropolitan areas.

In any case, 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.

If you were injured on the way to or from work, you may be entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim (this is referred to as a ‘journey claim’).

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you run my CTP claim No Win No Fee?

Yes. Roche Legal offers No Win No Fee representation to everyone with a qualifying motor vehicle accident 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 (including superannuation).
– Any loss of enjoyment of life.
– Your rehabilitation and medical expenses.
– Gratuitous (unpaid) or paid assistance from others as a result of your injuries.

Related: See the Motor Accident Insurance Commission’s Road To Recovery brochure which explains the importance of rehabilitation, how to access funding for rehabilitation services, and the responsibilities of the CTP insurer and the injured person.

Who pays for the damage to my vehicle?

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.

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.

What if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when the motor vehicle accident happened?

Specialist medical evidence will be considered to determine whether or not wearing a seatbelt would have lessened the extent of your injuries. The answer will vary from case to case. Previous court decisions have determined that if a seatbelt would have reduced your injuries, then the value of your claim may be reduced by around 15 – 25% on average.

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

If 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. Unfortunately, it is not possible to claim for the grief or emotional distress unless you were a direct witness to the accident at the time.
When death occurs from a motor vehicle accident, there are usually other claims to consider such as a death benefit claim through the deceased’s superannuation fund.

What if I was intoxicated when the motor vehicle accident happened?

Just because you were intoxicated doesn’t mean that you are not able to make a claim. However, the Civil Liability Act (‘CLA’) applies to motor vehicle accident claims in Queensland. Section 47 of the CLA sets out that your claim value will be reduced by 25% if you were intoxicated when you suffered your injury on account of contributory negligence unless you can prove that the intoxication did not contribute to you sustaining the injuries.

It will no doubt 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 defence argument will not always succeed.

If your blood alcohol content was more than 0.15% the amount of contributory negligence applied under the CLA increases from 25% to 50%.

Similar reductions for contributory negligence exist if you were a passenger and relied on the care and skill of person you knew to be intoxicated at the time of the accident.

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.

What if the driver of the car I was a passenger in was intoxicated when the motor vehicle accident happened?

Sections 48-49 of the Civil Liability Act (‘CLA’) sets out that your claim value will be reduced by 25% if you relied on the care and skill of a person you knew to be intoxicated at the time of the accident.
If their blood alcohol content was more than 0.15%, the amount of contributory negligence applied increases from 25% to 50% unless you can satisfy the court that their intoxication did not contribute to you sustaining your injuries.

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 lack of valid driver’s licence, 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 against an unregistered or uninsured vehicle?

If the motor vehicle that caused the accident was unregistered or uninsured, you may still make a CTP claim. In this case, your claim would be made against the Nominal Defendant rather than one of the four major insurers of vehicles in Queensland (Suncorp, Allianz, QBE Insurance, and RACQ Insurance).
If the motor vehicle that caused your injuries was unregistered for another reason, such as being a non-standard vehicle such as a forklift, tractor, motorised scooter, etc., please contact Roche Legal for a free initial consultation to determine whether you are entitled to bring a CTP claim.

Can I make a CTP claim if my vehicle was unregistered at the time of the accident?

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.

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.

What is the first step to making a CTP claim?

After a traffic accident, making claim CTP insurance claim requires that the accident be reported to the police, a special medical certificate be completed by your doctor, and a properly completed notice of accident claim form being served on the at-fault vehicle’s compulsory third party insurer.

Read all articles related to Personal Injury Law.

This commentary is published by Roche Legal for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as specific advice. The content relates to Queensland law only and is subject to change over time. You should seek legal advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any decision.