“At present about half of all people who sustain such catastrophic injuries on Queensland’s roads are not covered by their CTP because they were found to be at fault or no one was at fault,” – The Honourable Curtis Pitt
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland, the Compulsory Third Party Insurance scheme provides compensation for injuries if your were not at fault for the accident.
In circumstances where an injured person was at fault, or there was no negligent party involved, then that injured person is unable to claim for compensation for their injuries.
Commencing on 1 July 2016, anyone, including those not at fault, and at fault, who sustain serious personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident will receive necessary and reasonable care and support under the National Injury Insurance Scheme.
Eligibility for the National Injury Insurance Scheme
The National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Bill 2016 applies to a serious personal injury caused by, through or in connection with a prescribed vehicle, if:-
(a) the injury is a result of:-
(i) the driving of the prescribed vehicle; or
(ii) a collision, or action taken to avoid a collision, with the prescribed vehicle; or
(iii) the prescribed vehicle running out of control; or
(iv) a defect in the prescribed vehicle causing loss of control of the vehicle while the vehicle is being driven; and
(b) the incident (the motor accident) resulting in the injury happens in Queensland on or after 1 July 2016.
If you qualify for the National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland then assistance will be provided so you can undertake your daily activities, maximise your independence, and pursue employment opportunities.
However, you are not eligible to participate in the scheme in relation to a serious personal injury if you have been awarded damages, under a final judgment of a court or a binding settlement, in relation to your treatment, care and support needs as a result of the injury.
Also, you are not eligible to participate in the scheme in relation to a serious personal injury if:-
(a) before the motor accident resulting in the serious personal injury, you suffered from another injury or condition; and
(b) the serious personal injury does not permanently increase the extent of any disability experienced by you before the motor accident.
What is a serious injury?
A serious injury is a life-changing injury that leaves a person with a permanent disability, requiring assistance in their everyday life. Serious injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Multiple amputations
- Severe burns
- Permanent blindness
If the application for the National Injury Insurance Scheme is made within 1 year after the motor accident happened (the application period), the agency must accept the application.
If the application is made after the application period, the agency must decide whether or not to accept the application. In making a decision the agency must consider whether it would be fair and reasonable in the circumstances to accept the application, having regard to:-
(a) whether you were likely to be eligible to participate in the scheme; and
(b) whether a claim has been made, or can be made, for the serious personal injury; and
(c) the nature and severity of the person’s injury.
There are also strict time limits that apply to motor vehicle accident claims in Queensland. A Notice of Accident Claim form must be given:
- if it is to be given to the Nominal Defendant because the motor vehicle at fault can not be identified – within three (3) months after the motor vehicle accident; or
- in any other case – given to the CTP insurer within the period ending on the earlier of the following dates:
- nine (9) months after the motor vehicle accident or, if symptoms of the injury are not immediately apparent, the first appearance of symptoms of the injury;
- if you retain a solicitor/lawyer, then within one (1) month of the first consultation with the solicitor/lawyer.
Your claim could be rejected if you lodge outside the timeframes. Early lodgment of your claim will assist in early access to treatment and rehabilitation if required.
In Queensland, you also only have three (3) years from the date of injury or accident to commence proceedings in a Court of law for damages. Should an action not be commenced by this time, you are forever barred from bringing a claim in the future.
Services provided in the National Injury Insurance Scheme
If you qualify for the National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland then proposed services you can access:
- Medical treatment;
- Dental treatment;
- Ambulance transportation;
- Care: respite, attendant and domestic assistance;
- Prostheses, aids and appliances other than ordinary personal or household items;
- Educational and vocational training;
- Home or transport modification.
If you have suffered injury in a motor vehicle accident you should seek legal advice as soon as possible due to the time limits that apply. You should also ensure you seek legal advice before settling any personal injuries claim as the settlement may preclude you from being eligible for the National Injury Insurance Scheme.
For more information about the National Injury Insurance Scheme please contact our Mr Joshua Brown on (07) 3812 2300.