Medical bills, time off work, property damage, and flashbacks; car accidents are expensive and stressful. Whether you were in the back seat or behind the wheel, you need to know your options for compensation if you’ve been in an accident. 

So, let’s talk about everything you need to know about Motor Vehicle Compensation (MVC). 

What is Motor Vehicle Compensation? 

The short answer is MVC is a payout from Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance, which is mandatory in Australia. It covers the costs of medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation costs. 

An injured party can file a CTP claim with the relevant insurer, providing evidence of the accident and the injuries to claim compensation. 

Who Can Claim Motor Vehicle Compensation? 

MVC eligibility is broader than you think, that’s because not everyone involved in a motor vehicle accident is in a car or even in a vehicle. 

  • You may be able to make a claim if you were driving and not at fault or were only partially at fault.  
  • Any injured passenger is eligible to claim MVC. This extends beyond car passengers and can include taxis, buses, and other vehicle types. 
  • An injured pedestrian in an MVA is also entitled to claim compensation. Given how vulnerable pedestrians are, the compensation may be sufficient to cover various costs. 
  • Cyclists are also eligible to claim MVC, whether they were struck by or collided with a vehicle. 
  • Motorcyclists are also eligible to claim MVC. 

You can’t claim if you were at fault or are an uninsured driver. 

If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to make a claim, you should speak to a lawyer who specialises in Motor Vehicle Compensation (MVC). 

What Types of Injuries Are Covered? 

MVC covers physical injuries (whiplash, fractures, bone breaks, and injuries to soft tissue, the spinal cord, brain, and head) and psychological injuries (anxiety, depression, and PTSD). 

New South Wales differentiates injuries using a threshold to determine the severity. A pain and suffering claim requires your injuries to meet a certain threshold. 

In NSW, this includes limb loss, permanent impairment, significant disfigurement, or the permanent loss of bodily function. These are deemed ‘above threshold’ and qualify for pain and suffering claims. 

What Compensation Can You Claim? 

There are various types of compensation you can claim via MVC, including: 

  • Medical expenses (past, ongoing, and future)
  • Rehabilitation costs (past, ongoing, and future)
  • Loss of income (past and future)
  • Pain and suffering (this is dependent on where you live and how severe your injuries are)

Most people can claim more than one type of compensation, but your motor vehicle compensation lawyer can advise you. The most common outcome is claiming for medical costs and the past loss of income in the immediate aftermath of an accident. 

The Claims Process 

Speak to a lawyer as quickly as possible, before you start the official claims process. 

When you contact the insurer, they will provide you with the necessary forms to make your claim. You just need to provide the relevant details and evidence pertaining to your injuries and the accident. 

Evidence is a big part of the process, so include all of your medical reports that document your injuries, incident reports, police reports, and witness statements. 

The insurer will assess your claim and reach out to negotiate a settlement. An experienced lawyer can help you manage the settlement phase to ensure you reach a fair settlement. If you can’t, it could go to court, where your personal injury lawyer can represent you.

Time Limits 

There are plenty of reasons to file your claim promptly, from access to witnesses and gathering evidence easily. However, another important reason for prompt filing is the time limits across Australia.  In New South Wales, there is a 3 month limitation for lodging a claim with the insurer, and a 3 year limitation for bringing your case to court.

Seek legal advice as quickly after your accident as possible and get the ball rolling so you don’t miss out. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you receive a payout. 

Seeking Legal Advice 

A qualified lawyer specialising in motor vehicle compensation can assist you with a successful claim. Your lawyer has in-depth knowledge of the process and provides you with the expertise necessary to maximise your settlement quickly. 

Your lawyer can advise you on what type of evidence will bolster your claim, and navigate you through the process from start to finish. There’s no need for you to negotiate or contact the insurer, your lawyer will take care of everything. 

Get in touch with the team at AJB Stevens for an initial consultation. We are an experienced team of lawyers and we provide you with legal advice, compassion, and guidance while you navigate a difficult time.