The latest industry insights into compensation law.

CTP claims – snapshot of claims process from start to finish

Some common questions that we are asked in relation to CTP claims include:-

  • How long will the claim take?
  • What is involved?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Should I do the claim myself or will it be worthwhile to engage a lawyer given that legal costs will be involved?
  • Will I have to go to court and give evidence?

How Long?

In the writer’s experience, the CTP claims process has never been more efficient than what it is at the present time which is a good thing.

Generally speaking, the claims process from start to finish can be as short as a few months or as long as a few years but this depends entirely the nature and extent of the injuries involved.

If minor injuries are involved and with full or near full resolution of symptoms within say 2 to 4 months post-accident then a settlement could be achieved and paid out within 6 months.

If the accident involves catastrophic injuries which require surgery or multiple surgeries and ongoing major rehabilitation then it can take a few years for the claim to resolve.

The pre-court procedures are focused on resolution rather than litigation or disputation. Sometimes, disputes can arise based on the medical evidence but skilful legal practitioners can and should be focused to help their clients to navigate through any disputes rather than ending up in court.

As we live and work with an adversarial system, some cases are not capable of resolution and must be determined by the court but in the writer’s experience, at least 98% to 99% of all CTP claims are capable of resolution without having to proceed to trial.

What is involved?

A Notice of Accident Claim Form needs to be prepared and lodged with the CTP insurer along with notifying the Queensland Police Service and supplying a medical certificate. This is quite simple and easy and particularly if you have engaged a lawyer or law firm with expertise in this area of law.

Your solicitor then investigates all aspects of the claim and formulates an assessment of damages or the full value of the claim which can or will involve compensation or money for the following:-

  • Pain and Suffering;
  • Out of Pocket Expenses;
  • Past Loss of Wages or Income;
  • Future Loss of Wages or Income;
  • Past and Future Loss of Superannation;
  • Claims for Past and Future Care and Assistance; and
  • Future Medical Treatment

You may need to attend a medical examination for your solicitor and also the CTP insurer. For bigger cases, there might be a few medical examinations so that all of the injuries are fully investigated and so that the full extent of the claim is understood and all damages are recovered.

Your solicitor will then seek your instructions to make an opening offer to settle to the CTP Insurer after carefully investigating the full value of your claim.

Your solicitor and the CTP insurer will then engage in some settlement negotiations by telephone or correspondence or in person.

If the settlement negotiations are conducted in person this is generally done at a compulsory conference which is must take place before court proceedings are commenced.

If your case does not settle at the compulsory conference, court proceedings must be commenced within 60 days and then there is likely to be a mediation prior to any trial.

Many but not all cases settle at the compulsory conference. As mentioned earlier, about 98% to 99% of all cases settle at some stage along the way and before any trial.

How much will it cost?

This depends on a few things. Smaller or minor claims will cost less to prepare than bigger cases.

If your claim settles at an early time, it will naturally cost less or significantly less than if the matter must proceed to trial.

Your ultimate bill will also depend on the fee agreement you enter into with your solicitor. Some law firms charge more than others.

It is worthwhile investigating which law firms have experience and expertise in personal injury law and to also consider the terms and conditions of the proposed fee agreement. There is a wide spectrum between law firms with respect to billing methods, hourly rates and whether professional and support staff are charging you by the hour.

Some firms charge an uplift of up to 25% on top of their professional costs due to taking on the matter on a speculative or ‘No Win – No Fee’ basis due to the risk which is involved or complexity of the matter. We do not.

Very few personal injury law firms publish their hourly rates on their website. We do as we wish to be completely transparent about our fee structure.

Some clients are attracted to certain firms based on significant marketing and public relations. Some clients will seek out a personal referral from a family member or friend or by looking at favourable Google reviews or if the lawyer or law firm have been recognised as leaders in their field by publications such as Doyles Guide or Best Lawyers.

Ultimately, clients want their matters to be handled by law firm with an excellent reputation, by a solicitor who is highly experienced and will achieve the best result possible while keeping the costs as low as possible.

Should I do the claim myself?

Of course this is entirely a personal choice but the writer strongly recommends against self-acting.

Historically, the statistics have demonstrated that self-acting injured people have achieved settlements in range of $8,000 to $10,000 whereas clients who have engaged a solicitor have averaged in the order of $80,000 to $100,000 across all claims from small to larger claims.

The CTP Insurers are not there to provide legal advice or to help claimants achieve a fair or reasonable settlement outcome. This is due to the adversarial system that exists.

Some firms have a fee cap on their professional costs to ensure that if the claim is a more modest claim that the bulk of the claim is not eroded or eaten away by legal costs. We have a 30% fee cap on professional costs which is explained on our website as well.

Will I have to go to Court?

Highly unlikely.

At least 98% to 99% of all CTP claims are capable of resolution. It is very for CTP claims to proceed to trial.

Greg is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading compensation law experts. Greg has a very healthy practice and enjoys providing his clients with superior personal service in every case. Greg is absolutely committed to achieving the best settlement outcomes for his clients while keeping the legal costs down.

Obligation free advice

Claiming compensation can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. vbr Lawyers is the multi award winning firm that gets you real results. Lower costs, higher claims and unrelenting advocacy.

State updated!
Your state has been updated to QLD. Practice areas on compensation law have been updated.