The latest industry insights into compensation law.

The importance of not delaying the lodgement of a CTP claim

If someone sustains injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident and they are not at fault, they have entitlements to lodge a CTP claim.

The general time limits for lodging a CTP claim require a claimant to serve a Notice of Accident Claim Form within one month of consulting a solicitor or nine months of the motor vehicle accident; whichever occurs first, failing which a reasonable excuse for delay must be provided.

If the at fault driver is unidentified or uninsured, the claim must be lodged within nine months of the accident or it will be statute barred.

Proceedings must also be commenced within three years of the motor vehicle accident should a claim not be resolved.

It is highly recommended that an injured party seeks immediate legal advice regarding their entitlements to lodge a CTP claim. There are many reasons why this is recommended.

The early lodgement of a CTP claim will generally see claimants get access to rehabilitation funding. This is vital for many reasons. Early rehabilitative intervention and funding from the insurer ensures that the claimant is not out of pocket for their medical expenses. This assists the claimant in maximising access to all appropriate forms of rehabilitation as they are not faced with the financial burden.

From a claims perspective, it is also helpful to have a claim lodged early as it will ensure the accident, subsequent injuries and their impact are well documented and consistent within all of the medical notes.

Usually when treatment is being funded by a CTP insurer, the treatment provider will be required to prepare a Provider Treatment Plan which details the proposed treatment and also documents the progress to date from the treatment. This is helpful in maintaining the causal link between the injuries caused by the accident and any ongoing symptoms at the end of all reasonable and appropriate treatment being provided.

Claimant’s can run into hurdles when they delay the lodgement of a CTP claim for extended periods of time. It can result in the injuries not being well documented in the medical records together with other intervening events complicating the causal link to the accident-related injuries.

Delay in lodging a CTP claim can also hinder a claimant’s ability to access rehabilitative funding. It is usually within the first six to twelve months post-accident (depending on the severity of the injuries) whereby claimants can access rehabilitative funding before the injuries are considered to be stable and stationary or having reached maximum medical improvement for medico-legal purposes.

After this time passes, the insurer may be reluctant to fund rehabilitative treatment given the gap between the accident and the request. The insurer may argue that the chronic phase of rehabilitation has passed and question what outcomes could be achieved from such late intervention.

Another problem with delays in lodging a CTP claim can be establishing the causal link between the accident and the injuries as mentioned earlier in this article. If it is the case that a claimant has been injured in a motor vehicle accident but failed to seek early intervention from their medical providers, the lack of documented medical evidence with respect to injuries and symptoms can result in insurers arguing that the symptoms are not related to the motor vehicle accident.

With all of that being said, it certainly does not mean that a claimant should not lodge a CTP claim if they have delayed taking such steps. Obtaining qualified legal advice and having solicitors obtain appropriate medico-legal evidence can assist in combatting any of the above issues which may have arisen from a delay in lodging a claim. However, it is always highly recommended that such delay be avoided.

If someone is injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is strongly encouraged that they seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure all entitlements are protected.

Senior Associate
Beth has been working in the area of compensation law since 2011 and was admitted as a Solicitor in 2012. Beth is passionate in ensuring those who have been wronged are appropriately compensated.
Sean is proud to be a lawyer for everyday people no matter what their issue. He has practised in compensation law for all his legal career and he has a superb track record of achieving outstanding results for his clients.

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