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How to make a claim under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act NSW

This information is for accidents before 1 December 2017.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme. This is governed by the Motor Accidents Compensation Act (NSW) 1999(MACA) and such claims are overseen by the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW.

This guide will help you decide if you have a claim for compensation, how to make a claim for compensation and the time limits that apply. The NSW Compulsory Third Party Scheme only applies to motor vehicle accidents which occur in NSW.

Who can make a claim?

To make a claim for compensation:

  • You must have sustained an injury in a motor vehicle accident
  • You need to be able to demonstrate that the driver or owner of a vehicle, other than you, was partially or completely responsible for the accident.

Any kind of road user can make such a claim including a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, motor cyclist, etc.

If you were partly at fault you may still be able to make a claim but the compensation you receive will be less than if you were not at fault at all. Examples of where you may be partially at fault include, not wearing a seat, driving whilst drunk, travelling in a vehicle when you know the driver to be drunk, not wearing a helmet when cycling or riding a motor cycle.

There are three (3) special circumstances where you can make a claim under the NSW Compulsory Third Party Scheme regardless of who caused the accident.

  1. If you are under 16 years of age and a resident of NSW at the time of the accident then you can make a claim for special benefits including the provision of hospital, medical, rehabilitation and attendant care expenses.
  2. If you were injured in a blameless accident you may also be able to make a claim. A blameless accident would include accidents caused by unexplained mechanical vehicle failure, a driver suffering a sudden illness such as a heart attack or an unavoidable collision with an animal on the road. A blameless accident may also be were a pedestrian or cyclist is injured and there is no fault on behalf of the driver of the car.
  3. If you are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident in NSW as a result of the partial or total fault of an unidentified vehicle or an unregistered vehicle then you may still be able to make a claim against the Nominal Defendant.

You must undertake all appropriate steps by notifying the police and talking to witnesses to ascertain the registration details of the vehicle which caused the accident including placing an ad in a newspaper to see if you can find the details of the unidentified vehicle. This is called due search and enquiry. If you are unable to find out the registration number of the vehicle which caused the accident then you may be to make a claim against the Nominal Defendant.

How to make a claim for compensation

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in NSW you need to notify the CTP insurer of the vehicle which was at fault.

You may do this by filling out a claim form. There are 2 types of claim forms: The Accident Notification Claim Form, and The Personal Injury Claim Form.

The Accident Notification Claim Form (ANF)

This entitles an injured person immediately to claim up to $5,000.00 worth of treating medical expenses and/or loss of earnings. You must be able to identify the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident, have reported the accident to the police within 28 days and obtain an event number.

Once you have completed the Accident Notification Claim Form and sent it to the relevant CTP insurer then the insurer will let you know within 10 days whether they will pay for early treatment expenses.

The loss of earnings is only payable at the end of the six months from the date of accident and only if the claim does not proceed further. The first priority of the insurer is to pay for medical expenses to assist in your recovery. If you recover and have lost only a short period of time off work and this together with the medical expenses is below $5,000.00 then the insurer will pay for your loss of earnings as well.

However if it is likely that your treatment expenses and loss of earnings will exceed $5,000.00 or you do not recover from your injuries within six months from the date of accident then you need to complete a Personal Injury Claim Form.

Personal Injury Claim Form

If your treatment expenses and loss of earnings exceed $5,000.00 and/or your condition has not resolved completely within six months from the date of the accident you will also need to complete a personal injury claim form to receive further compensation. This is in addition to the earlier ANF.

This is a much more detailed form requiring you to advise the CTP insurer as to the details of the accident, the details of the parties involved, the injuries sustained and the loss of earnings you have as a result of the injuries.

To make a claim you need to have undertaken the following:

  • Reported the accident to the police within 28 days. If you do not do this you may not be able to make a claim.
  • Find out the CTP insurer of the vehicle that caused the accident. The Motor Accidents Authority (Ph: 1300 656 919) can give you the name of the CTP vehicles insurer if you tell them the registration number.
  • Complete a personal injury claim form and send it to the CTP insurer within 6 months from the date of the accident.

The claim form can be detailed and complex to complete and if needed you should seek the assistance of your Lawyer to assist you in completing the claim form.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

A personal injury claim form must be completed no later than six months from the date of the accident.

If you do not complete a personal injury claim form within six months (even if you had previously completed an ANF form) then you may not be able to proceed with a claim in the future. You will need leave from the Motor Accidents Authority or the court to proceed with your claim if you have not completed the personal injury claim form and sent it to the CTP insurer within six months from the date of the accident.

You then have a period of 3 years from the date of the accident to either commence a claim in CARS (See Information Sheet on CARS and MAS) or the District Court of NSW, failure to do so may well prevent you from making a claim in the future.

These time limits are very important and should be diarised to ensure your lawyer complies with the time frame. You cannot rely solely on your lawyer to remember these time periods.

Once your claim is received by the CTP insurer they will provide you with a claim number and commence payment of medical expenses whilst they determine if they should accept that their driver was at fault.

If you would like further information about MVA claims, please contact us.

About Matthew Garling

Matthew Garling, Founder of Garling & Co is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law. He specialises in compensation law and has acted on behalf of thousands of injured people in work accidents, motor vehicle accidents and negligence cases over the last 20 years.

Zee
14:20 15 Jan 22
I would like to thank the entire team at Garling and Co for being in my corner throughout the worst years I've experienced in my life.I chose Garling and Co in the end after being seriously injured... at work and needing representation, something I should have done years prior.I met with over 12 other legal firms in Sydney. Large,medium, small and all in between. Some were friends, some family, some were sharks, many were pressuring, many promised the world, Matthew was not like that.Matthew was the benchmark as he was one of the first I spoke with and ultimately he stood out in the end as I felt he was the most genuine.From the outset to the conclusion, I found Matthew to be very polite, easy to communicate with and extremely down to earth.He explained everything simply, he had answers for any questions along the way. He told me it how it was, not just what I wanted to hear.Matthew is a genuine nice guy that runs a very efficient and professional law firm. I made the correct choice engaging him in my claims and would not hesitate in recommending him.Renee was also terrific in handling my TPD claim which was literally finalised faster then international postage.Allison, Rebecca and Kelli were all great, always.Thanks again Garling and Co.read more
mark S.
06:30 23 Dec 21
I found from my very first meeting With Matthew that he was upfront honest and to the point . He thoroughly investigated my claim and we agreed too proceed.The staff at Garling and Co are wonderful... and helpful and I was kept informed and upto date from day one till the end .They made me feel confident and secure and I know I had the best team possible for my best outcome .I can’t thank Matthew and the team for their wonderful serviceread more
Daniel F.
08:48 10 Nov 21
My wife suffered psychological injury.Never having similar experience she had to get legal advice.Workers compensation law is complex and she needed someone to help her navigate her way through.... There are many compensation lawyers but not all with enough experience and strong reputation . We have finally decided to go with Matthew and his team based on the independent website reviews .Looking back now we have made the right choice .There is lot of hurdles and having trustworthy lawyer with great communication skills on your side can make huge difference .My wife can now try to move on with the compensation she deserved.Thanks to Matthew ,Allison ,Emma,Rebecca and rest of the team. Thank you again.Daniel and Veerayaread more
K B.
07:35 28 Oct 21
When you work for an employer for a number of decades and suffer a debilitating injury, you expect compassion, support and belief that you are genuine. When you don’t get that and then also have to... deal with Workers Compensation Insurers it slowly breaks you.That's when you need amazing support like Matthew Garling and his team. From my first meeting with Matthew I was confident I was referred to the right guy. I couldn’t be more pleased with my outcome. Matthew is the Guru of workers compensation, he is professional, easy to work with, nothings a bother and most importantly he gets great results. Do not think twice about using Garling and Co Lawyers.Thank you Matthew, Renee, Allison and Kelli for your invaluable support.read more
Moussa I.
14:23 20 Sep 21
Great attitude! they return my call every time I callI'm very confident I will reach something good with garling &co
Dulce L.
08:48 23 Aug 21
Garling & Co have been exceptional. Matthew was always professional attentive clear and concise, I felt up most confidence in his management dealing with my matter always had my best interest. i... highly recommend Garling & Co Lawyersread more
Melissa H
11:53 10 Aug 21
I am grateful to have had Matthew represent me on my motor vehicle compensation claim.After meeting with two lawyers previous to deciding on Garling and co, I was left unsure and confused as to... where I stood regarding my claim. Matthew and Allison were incredibly helpful, put my mind at ease, and took the worry and stress out of an already difficult situation.Through the settlement process they would always keep me informed and made time to answer all of my questions. I am really pleased with the outcome of the settlement.Thank you to the team at Garling and Coread more
Violeta C.
07:30 05 Aug 21
My experience with Garling & Co was great. Matthew was always professional, attentive and communicated in a clear manner. I felt confident in his management of my matter & always had my best interest... in mind.I have no reservation in recommending Matthew & the Garling & Co team.read more
Sonia C.
03:04 05 Aug 21
Ann F.
04:11 04 Aug 21
Professional and helpful
READ ALL TESTIMONIALS

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Zee
14:20 15 Jan 22
I would like to thank the entire team at Garling and Co for being in my corner throughout the worst years I've experienced in my life.I chose Garling and Co in the end after being seriously injured... at work and needing representation, something I should have done years prior.I met with over 12 other legal firms in Sydney. Large,medium, small and all in between. Some were friends, some family, some were sharks, many were pressuring, many promised the world, Matthew was not like that.Matthew was the benchmark as he was one of the first I spoke with and ultimately he stood out in the end as I felt he was the most genuine.From the outset to the conclusion, I found Matthew to be very polite, easy to communicate with and extremely down to earth.He explained everything simply, he had answers for any questions along the way. He told me it how it was, not just what I wanted to hear.Matthew is a genuine nice guy that runs a very efficient and professional law firm. I made the correct choice engaging him in my claims and would not hesitate in recommending him.Renee was also terrific in handling my TPD claim which was literally finalised faster then international postage.Allison, Rebecca and Kelli were all great, always.Thanks again Garling and Co.read more
mark S.
06:30 23 Dec 21
I found from my very first meeting With Matthew that he was upfront honest and to the point . He thoroughly investigated my claim and we agreed too proceed.The staff at Garling and Co are wonderful... and helpful and I was kept informed and upto date from day one till the end .They made me feel confident and secure and I know I had the best team possible for my best outcome .I can’t thank Matthew and the team for their wonderful serviceread more
Daniel F.
08:48 10 Nov 21
My wife suffered psychological injury.Never having similar experience she had to get legal advice.Workers compensation law is complex and she needed someone to help her navigate her way through.... There are many compensation lawyers but not all with enough experience and strong reputation . We have finally decided to go with Matthew and his team based on the independent website reviews .Looking back now we have made the right choice .There is lot of hurdles and having trustworthy lawyer with great communication skills on your side can make huge difference .My wife can now try to move on with the compensation she deserved.Thanks to Matthew ,Allison ,Emma,Rebecca and rest of the team. Thank you again.Daniel and Veerayaread more
K B.
07:35 28 Oct 21
When you work for an employer for a number of decades and suffer a debilitating injury, you expect compassion, support and belief that you are genuine. When you don’t get that and then also have to... deal with Workers Compensation Insurers it slowly breaks you.That's when you need amazing support like Matthew Garling and his team. From my first meeting with Matthew I was confident I was referred to the right guy. I couldn’t be more pleased with my outcome. Matthew is the Guru of workers compensation, he is professional, easy to work with, nothings a bother and most importantly he gets great results. Do not think twice about using Garling and Co Lawyers.Thank you Matthew, Renee, Allison and Kelli for your invaluable support.read more
Moussa I.
14:23 20 Sep 21
Great attitude! they return my call every time I callI'm very confident I will reach something good with garling &co
Dulce L.
08:48 23 Aug 21
Garling & Co have been exceptional. Matthew was always professional attentive clear and concise, I felt up most confidence in his management dealing with my matter always had my best interest. i... highly recommend Garling & Co Lawyersread more
Melissa H
11:53 10 Aug 21
I am grateful to have had Matthew represent me on my motor vehicle compensation claim.After meeting with two lawyers previous to deciding on Garling and co, I was left unsure and confused as to... where I stood regarding my claim. Matthew and Allison were incredibly helpful, put my mind at ease, and took the worry and stress out of an already difficult situation.Through the settlement process they would always keep me informed and made time to answer all of my questions. I am really pleased with the outcome of the settlement.Thank you to the team at Garling and Coread more
Violeta C.
07:30 05 Aug 21
My experience with Garling & Co was great. Matthew was always professional, attentive and communicated in a clear manner. I felt confident in his management of my matter & always had my best interest... in mind.I have no reservation in recommending Matthew & the Garling & Co team.read more
Sonia C.
03:04 05 Aug 21
Ann F.
04:11 04 Aug 21
Professional and helpful
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