Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a claim?
You can lodge your claim directly on the SA CTP Insurance Regulator website, or print the form from the website, complete it and provide to the relevant insurer.
There are 4 insurers: AAMI, Allianz, QBE and SGIC. You can find out which insurer you should claim from by entering the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident into the EzyReg website.
If you are struggling to complete the form due to your injuries, require assistance or need legal advice please call Johnston Withers Lawyers, we are happy to provide initial advice on a no cost basis.
How much does it cost for a lawyer?
In South Australia, lawyers will generally only charge by reference to a legal scale of costs. Most lawyers will charge by the hour, so the total legal fees in any matter will depend on how much work is required to resolve the claim.
Most experienced lawyers, such as Johnston Withers, will provide estimates of the fees they will charge prior to the matter commencing, and will offer fees on a deferred, or ‘No Win No Fee’, basis. This means that there is no risk of being out of pocket, as we will only seek to recover fees after the matter has resolved and you have received compensation. This is regardless of how long that takes. If a matter is not successful we will not charge any professional fees.
Can the insurer pay my fees?
If the insurer accepts that the driver is negligent and the damages you receive are over a certain amount, the insurer is obliged to contribute towards your legal fees. The insurer’s contribution can be as much as 70% of the legal fees in some cases. The balance is paid from the lump sum compensation you receive.
Are there any timeframes?
Your claim must be lodged with the relevant CTP Insurer within 6 months of the accident. It may be possible to lodge your claim after this time, although the insurer will seek an explanation for the delay.
You have 3 years from the date you were injured to resolve the claim with the insurer. If it is not resolved within 3 years then you are required to issue proceedings in the Court.
How long will the claim take?
Most claims resolve within 12 to 24 months of the accident.
However, the timeframe will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries you have sustained. This is because you must wait until your injuries stabilise before doctors will be able to provide an assessment as to your permanent impairment, which you need for your claim. This usually takes 12 to 18 months after the accident.
What medical expenses will the insurer pay for?
From the date of your injury until the date your claim is resolved, the insurer is obliged to consider paying for all ‘reasonable’ medical expenses.
This usually includes the costs of any medical and rehabilitative treatments for which have been referred for by your GP or a specialist, such as surgery, physiotherapy, Pilates or hydrotherapy.
So that you are not out of pocket, it is important that you ask your GP for referrals and seek a treatment plan to be provided to the insurer. The insurer will then consider pre-approving the funding for your treatment.
Once treatment has been pre-approved, your health provider can send their invoices with your claim number directly to the insurer for payment.
Am I entitled to be paid my salary while I am injured?
If you are unable to work because of your injuries, the insurer must pay 80% of your after-tax income (after the first week). It is very important that you provide the insurer with medical certificates confirming your incapacity for work.
Generally, the insurer will pay all of your lost income as part of the lump sum settlement you receive when your claim is resolved. However, the insurer may pay this amount during the course of the claim if you can establish that you are suffering financial hardship as a result of the loss of income. This is usually a complicated process and Johnston Withers Lawyer provide assistance in making these applications.
Do I have to go to Court?
No. It is very rare for matters to proceed to a trial in the Court. In almost all cases, the claimant and the insurer resolve the claim with payment of a lump sum. It may be that proceedings are issued in Court and the matter settles during the Court process, but cases do not need to be issued in the Court in order for them to settle.
Am I entitled to a lump sum?
Once your injuries are considered to be medically stabilised, the insurer or your solicitor can arrange for a medico-legal assessment to determine if you have any permanent impairment. The insurer will consider a lump sum settlement based on this assessment.
To be entitled to make a claim for a lump sum payment for pain and suffering and for future economic loss, you must be assessed above a particular threshold. Whether you are above the threshold depends on the nature and extent of your injuries and whether and how they will reduce your future earning capacity.
You may also be entitled to a lump sum payment to redeem the costs of assistance provided by your family, future medical treatment and future care and assistance.
We strongly recommend that claimants immediately seek legal advice if their insurer offers them a lump sum settlement. Johnston Withers Lawyers provides initial no cost assessments of settlement offers to assist claimants in assessing their rights.
Will the driver that caused the injuries pay any damages?
Generally the driver who caused your injuries will not pay any damages, unless they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, in this case the insurer may seek to recover the damages it pays you from the driver at a later date. Otherwise, the insurer will pay your damages. However, the ‘at fault’ driver may be charged by SAPOL for a driving offence and be required to pay a fine or incur some other penalty.
What if I contributed to causing the accident?
You may be eligible for compensation even where you are partially at fault for a motor vehicle accident if another party also contributed to the accident. In these cases, liability (and the amount of compensation you will receive) are proportionate to the extent to which you contributed to the accident.