Making a CTP Claim in Qld

CTP Claim

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to make a CTP claim against the insurer of the vehicle you believe was at-fault. Here we address many of the frequently asked questions we receive about CTP claims.

This article is not legal advice.   If you require legal advice about any aspect of insurance, please contact us at Denning Insurance Law.

What is a CTP claim?

CTP is short for “compulsory third party”. A CTP claim is a claim for the injuries or death caused by a motor vehicle accident.

CTP insurance is insurance which responds to a CTP claim for personal injuries arising out of:

which is caused, wholly or partly, by a wrongful act or omission in respect of a motor vehicle by a person other than the injured person.

It is a statutory policy of insurance provided to all Queensland vehicles. It is “compulsory” because it comes as standard with the payment of registration for many classes of vehicles. 

What can you claim on CTP insurance?

The amounts which an injured person may recover include:

  1. Reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation expenses
  2. General damages (pain and suffering)
  3. Special damages (out-of-pocket expenses such as treatment, medication, travel, equipment, aids)
  4. Gratuitous care
  5. Paid care
  6. Past and future loss of earnings
  7. Interest
  8. Lost superannuation benefits
  9. Legal costs

You cannot seek compensation for motor vehicle property damage on CTP insurance.

The amounts which each person can claim vary and so it is important to seek legal advice about your potential entitlements, to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries by the CTP insurer. For advice about a CTP claim, contact us.

CTP insurer vs third party property insurer

The CTP insurer is not necessarily the same insurer as the other driver’s third party property damage insurer. 

If you are injured and want to start a CTP claim, you need to identify the correct CTP insurer of the vehicle as at the date of the accident.

The CTP insurer is the insurer who was nominated by the owner when the registration was commenced or renewed. 

Who are the licensed CTP insurers in Qld?

There are four (4) licensed insurers in Qld:

How do I find out who the CTP insurer is?

CTP lawyers have access to restricted databases to perform a search to identify the CTP insurer at the date of an accident.

It is critical to perform this search because making a claim against the wrong CTP insurer can have serious consequences.

What happens if the at-fault vehicle was not registered?

If the vehicle was unregistered or unidentified, the claim is handled by the Nominal Defendant. The Nominal Defendant can then pursue the person responsible for recovery of all damages and costs paid in respect of the personal injury claim.

What if the vehicle at-fault was registered interstate?

If a vehicle was registered interstate, the CTP claim will progress against that interstate insurer, in the same way as a CTP claim made against a Qld insurer. In some cases, an injured individual may have additional rights and entitlements, depending on the State or Territory in which the vehicle was registered. 

How do I make a CTP claim in Qld?

If you are injured, you start a CTP claim by sending a Notice of Accident Claim form to the CTP insurer of the vehicle at-fault.

The Notice of Accident Claim form is a sworn declaration. There are serious consequences for providing a misleading or false statement to a CTP insurer. And so it is important to seek legal advice prior to submitting a Notice of Accident Claim form to an insurer. 

How do I claim against CTP in Qld?

If you were the at-fault party, the claim form sworn by the injured person will be sent directly to your CTP insurer.

If you were the driver of a vehicle and you were at-fault, you cannot make a claim against your own CTP insurance in respect of your own injuries. 

Can I claim CTP if I am at fault?

If you were 100% responsible for the accident, then you would have trouble recovering compensation for your injuries. However, if the other vehicle was partly at-fault you may be entitled to recover damages which are reduced for any wrongdoing on your part. 

For example, in a rear end collision where the leading car did not have operating brake lights but the following car was travelling too close, both drivers may have contributed to the collision. 

Determining who was at-fault for an accident is not always straight forward. If you in-doubt as to who was responsible for an accident, you should seek legal advice, to understand your rights and entitlements. 

How does a CTP claim work?

CTP claims are regulated by the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld). There are a series of steps which occur in these claims. These steps are described as the “pre-Court” process. The pre-Court stage must be completed before an injured person can start Court proceedings.

An injured person can have their reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation expenses funded by the insurer along the way in their CTP claim, provided that liability is admitted. When injuries are stable and stationary, independent medical examinations can be arranged to assess the nature of the individual’s injuries and their ongoing impact.

The last step in the pre-Court process is a Compulsory Conference. This is a settlement conference attended by the insurer and the injured individual with their legal representatives. The parties exchange settlement offers in a genuine attempt to resolve the claim. 

A personal injury settlement is “once and for all” and an injured person will not be able to claim any further amount for their injuries after the claim is settled. This is why it is important for individuals who has been injured in a car accident to seek legal advice about their entitlements. 

What is the CTP claim process?

This is a basic timeline of the steps that can take place in a CTP claim in Queensland, during the pre-Court process. Please note that this is a general guide only:

  1. Serve a Notice of Accident Claim Form.
  2. Insurer responds to Notice of Accident Claim Form providing a Compliance Response. 
  3. Injured person undergoes rehabilitation and treatment. 
  4. Insurer provides a Liability Response. 
  5. The parties gather information and documents from third parties about the nature and extent of the injuries. 
  6. The parties arrange independent medical examinations. 
  7. The parties hold a Compulsory Conference.
  8. If the claim does not settle at a Compulsory Conference, the injured person starts Court proceedings. 

What is the CTP claim time limit in Qld?

Strict time limits apply in CTP claims and it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible to protect your interests.

A claim must be commenced within the earlier of:

A general limitation period also applies in CTP claims. If the at-fault vehicle was registered, then a general three (3) year limitation period

Because of the strict limitation period applicable to claims involving unregistered vehicles, it is important to arrange for a search to be performed to correctly identify the CTP insurer as soon as possible.

What is the time limit for a claim against the Nominal Defendant?

If the vehicle was unregistered, there is a strict nine (9) month limitation period.

Can I claim for an accident after three (3) years?

If the accident happened when you were under 18 or you have been under a legal disability, you may be able to make a claim. There are other limited circumstances in which a claim can be made outside of a limitation period, however, it is essential to obtain legal advice particular to your circumstances as soon as possible. Urgent legal steps may need to be taken to protect your interests.

Can you claim compensation for whiplash?

Yes. “Whiplash” describes a mechanism of injury. An injury described as “whiplash” can involve injury to the muscles, tendons and soft tissues of the neck. It is the most common type of injury claimed for by injured road users in CTP matters. The seriousness of a whiplash type injury varies from minor to moderate and the effects of these injuries can be long lasting for some people. 

Can you claim compensation for a deceased person?

A spouse, de facto spouse, child or other dependant can submit a CTP claim in respect of an accident. This type of claim is described as a claim for dependency.

The claim can be started by any one of the dependants. Usually the claim is conducted by the estate of the deceased on behalf of the dependants. Damages for loss of dependency can be substantial. 

How much is the payout for death in a car accident?

In a claim for dependency, CTP death payouts are (basically) calculated by:

  1. estimating the ongoing level of earnings that the deceased would have derived but for their death; and
  2. deducting an allowance for the amounts that the deceased would have spent upon themselves. 

The loss of benefit of the deceased’s superannuation payments is also claimed together with interest. In addition to the loss of financial dependency, a claim for damages in respect of a deceased’s loss of domestic services is usually claimed. 

Am I in a position to accept payment to finalise my claim?

A question that we are frequently asked is how to answer the question in the Notice of Accident Claim form about accepting payment to finalise a claim.

Our general advice to people is that it will probably be many months and up to two (2) years before accident related injuries are stable and stationary. If your injuries are not stable and stationary, you should not finalise your claim for any amount. 

This is because there is no way of knowing what the long term impacts of your injuries will be and their may be other injuries of which you are unaware. You can still request reimbursement of your expenses in the short term, but please – do not offer to finalise your claim after you’ve just had an accident without seeking legal advice. 

The CTP insurer said my claim is "closed" - what does this mean?

If you have been told by a CTP insurer that your claim is closed, you should seek legal advice. Some insurers tell injured Claimants this to avoid paying any further amounts on a claim.

This is sharp claims practice and almost certainly incorrect advice. “Closing” a claim is done with the click of a button, whereas properly finalising a claim requires an injured individual to sign a Release, agreeing to claim no further amounts.  

If you have not signed a Release, you could be entitled to significant damages for your injuries, paid out in a lump sum. 

Do I need a solicitor in a CTP claim?

Our experience is that CTP claims settled against self-represented individuals settle for significantly less than those claims by individuals who are legally represented. 

Due to legal issues that can arise in the course of a CTP claim, it is generally advantageous to have an experienced personal injury lawyer represent you throughout the process.

A CTP lawyer can explain your rights and obligations, along the way and ensure that nothing is missed. Also, in many claims a proportion of your legal costs are recoverable from the insurer.

Although online articles like this contain a lot of useful information about CTP claims, there is no substitute for legal advice from an experienced lawyer which is tailored to your individual circumstances. Until you speak to a CTP lawyer – you simply don’t know, what you don’t know. 

To speak with our Principal, Kate Denning about your motor vehicle accident, call us on (07) 3067 3025. As insurance lawyers, we can also assist with your property damage claim, if required. 

What is a CTP lawyer?

A CTP lawyer is a lawyer who represents clients in personal injury claims relating to road accidents. These lawyers often have years of experience with handling CTP or general personal injury matters. Finding a CTP lawyer in Brisbane requires research and consultations. 

Denning Insurance Law was founded by former in-house CTP insurer, Kate Denning, so we know precisely how best to prosecute your interests. In CTP claims we:

How long does a CTP claim take?

The length of a CTP claim is generally between 12 and 18 months. However, every claim is different and there are a number of factors which can impact the duration of a claim, such as:

For finalised claims for accidents from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2020, licensed CTP insurers reported average claim lengths as follows:

Insurer Months to finalise
Suncorp Insurance 16.9
Allianz 15.8
QBE 15.9
RACQ 16.3

According to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission’s Annual Report for the 2020-2021 year, 50% of claims against the Nominal Defendant were resolved in under two (2) years.

There are a number of factors which can affect how long a CTP claim lasts including:

In an initial consultation, we can provide you with our initial views about how long your claim may take to resolve based upon our experience with handling similar cases. 

What is the average CTP claim payout in Qld?

For finalised claims from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 for accidents from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2020, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission reports that average CTP claim payouts were as follows:

Severity of injury Average amount paid
Minor $62,800
Moderate $146,400
Serious $357,600
Severe $928,500
Critical $2,378,100

According to data from the the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, the average amounts paid, under various heads of damage, on CTP claims finalised in the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 for accidents from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2020 are as follows:

Description Average amount paid
General damages (pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life) $15,693
Treatment $13,261
Past and future loss of income $70,489
Care $102,395
Legal costs $32,713

CTP Payout Amounts Qld

The following is a list of recent CTP claim payouts, as awarded by the Queensland State Courts:

Case name Payout amount
Murphy v Turner-Jones & Anor [2022] QSC 40 $200,776
Dearden v Ryan & Anor [2022] QSC 111 $600,797
Kickbusch v Lehane & Anor [2022] QDC 16 $173,085
Bosk v Burgess & Anor [2021] QSC 338 $573,616 and €871,373
Ketchell v RACQ insurance Limited [2021] QDC 307 $479,884
Allen v O’Donnell & Anor [2021] QSC 63 $2,499,399
Seiffert v Chadwick and TAC [2021] QDC 8 $456,640
O’Brien v Merton & Anor [2020] QDC 299 $41,560
Hariharan v Vojtisek & Anor [2020] QDC 276 $269,840
McKay v Armstrong & Anor [2020] QDC 127 $76,123

The CTP claim payout amount made by a CTP insurer varies from claim to claim. So, it is important to seek expert legal advice as to your potential entitlements at the earliest possible stage. 

Contact a Brisbane CTP lawyer

This article is not legal advice. 

Individuals should seek legal advice particular to the circumstances of their accident and injuries, from Denning Insurance Law. 

If you’re looking for a CTP lawyer in Brisbane, Denning Insurance Law acts on behalf of injured individuals in CTP claims.

We offer a FREE initial consultation with a Queensland Law Society Accredited Personal Injury Law Specialist to discuss:

What happens after the initial consultation?

After our consultation with you, we will provide you with a detailed letter of advice which covers everything we discussed in the first consultation, as well as our costs disclosure. Once we have received a signed costs agreement from you, we start working on your claim. 

Why choose Denning Insurance Law?

Denning Insurance Law is one of Queensland’s only personal injury law firms, founded by a former in-house CTP lawyer.

Principal Kate Denning is also an Accredited Personal Injury Law Specialist, meaning that she has undertaken additional training and achieving peer recognised, specialisation in the area of personal injury law. To read about just a few of our previous case outcomes, click here.

To find out more about our experienced team, click here