What are the time limits for making a car accident compensation claim?

Published 15 Nov 2017

When making a car accident compensation claim, the best course of action is to get it done as soon after the accident as possible.

However, there are some situations in which this isn't feasible, such as if you were severely injured during the crash and haven't been physically or mentally capable of filing the claim until now.

If you're experiencing some kind of a hold-up in making a claim, it's important to know the time limits that exist - a failure to observe these could lead to you not getting the payout you deserve.

Are the time limits different for various types of claims?

Yes, the time limits differ depending on the kind of claim you wish to file. Here is an overview of the four primary claim types and their time limits:

1. Accident Notification Claim: This is a claim you lodge with the other vehicle's CTP insurer that can provide you with up to $5,000 in compensation - it must be filed within 28 days of the accident.

2. Personal Injury and Fatal Accident Claims: The next step up, a Personal Injury Claim is for individuals whose injuries cause over six months of recovery time or incur costs over $5,000. You can also file a claim for compensation if a loved one is killed as a result of a motor vehicle accident - you have six months from the date of the accident to file either of these claims.

3. Nominal Defendant Claims: There are also cases, such as a hit-and-run, in which you were unable to identify the person who caused the damage, or cases where the person who injured you doesn't have insurance. You can still claim for compensation, as long as you lodge within six months of the accident.

What if I missed the deadline?

Luckily, there are some situations in which individuals are able to file a claim after the time limit has expired. For example, if there has been a delay in the onset of your symptoms from an accident-related injury, you can file after the deadline - as long as you provide ample evidence to support your claim.

If the insurer rejects your claim based on the delay, the court will look at all relevant information when making a decision about whether or not the claim stands. For this reason, it's important to enlist the help of an experienced compensation lawyer who can help you.

To discuss the process of filing a motor vehicle accident compensation claim, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for more help.