According to Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994, individuals who can prove their injuries were caused by another person’s negligence may be eligible to claim compensation. Please note you have up to three years from when the accident occurred to make the claim which means any claim made after 3 years of the subject accident will be statutory barred. There are specific steps that must be taken before you can make a claim. This article will briefly talk about steps and hopefully it can give you a general understanding about how the process of making a CTP claim works.
Step 1: Complete & Submit your claim
If you intend to make the claim, you will need to complete the Notice of Accident Claim Form (NOAC Form) and submit it to the “at fault” vehicle’s insurer. Note that your NOAC Form needs to be submitted within 9 months of the accident if you claim by yourself, or 1 month of the first consultation with a lawyer if you have a lawyer managing your claim. There are some information and certificates you need to obtain beforehand to fill out the NOAC Form, including:
- The Police Refence Number (if you have not already reported the accident to the police, you should complete a ‘Report of Traffic Incident to Police Form’ and deliver it to the police station);
- The details of the “at fault” vehicle’s insurer which you can obtain from the driver/owner of the vehicle or conduct a search on the MAIC website;
- A CTP Medical Certificate to be completed by your doctor;
- A Claimant Certificate to be completed by you; and
- A Law Practice Certificate to be completed by your lawyer if you engaged one.
Step 2: Lodgement Confirmation
The insurer will advise you within 14 days of receiving your claim if your NOAC Form was lodged correctly and whether the insurer will pay for the reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation.
Step 3: Rehabilitation & Treatment
You should arrange a rehabilitation or treatment plan as soon as possible after your NOAC Form is lodged. Normally, your insurer will contact you if your CTP Medical Certificate indicates that you will need rehabilitative treatments to help you recover. Note that if you are legally represented, the insurer can only contact you for the sole purpose of organising rehabilitation and treatment. If, at any time after the insurer makes the first communication, you feel you no longer want to be engaged in direct contact with the insurer, they must revert to communicating with your lawyer.
It is recommended to seek approval from the CTP insurer for paying your rehabilitation services before you attend them, to ensure the services will be paid for. Your rehabilitation provider can then send the invoices directly to the insurer for payment. Please note that there is no guarantee that an insurer will continue to pay the ongoing cost of a service if they have not approved it before the service is provided. That is why it is best to seek approval before you appointment. If you have paid for the rehabilitation services out of your own pocket, you can send the receipts to your insurer asking for reimbursement, or you can instruct your lawyer to do so.
Step 4: Liability Assessment
The insurer will make a decision on liability within 6 months from the date your claim is complied. If it is clear to everyone that it is the “at fault” driver who caused the accident, liability will usually be decided at an earlier stage.
Step 5: Insurer Obtains Your Records
To aid the assessment process, your insurer will obtain your records and information, such as your medical records and financial documents.
Step 6: Injury Stabilised
Normally your injury will be stabilised between 12 to 18 months depending on how serious your injuries were. You will need to see an independent medico-legal doctor after your injury is stabilised. The specialist doctor will give you an expert medical opinion in relation to the nature and extent of your injury, impairment and/or disability resulting from your incident. Your insurer will also organize a medico-legal appointment for you to attend from their panel of doctors.
Step 7: Claim Negotiation and Settlement
After the medico-legal appointments, you will reach the settlement stage. You will need to attend a ‘Compulsory Conference’ to negotiate settlement with the insurer. If your claim can be settled at this stage, you will get your compensation, it usually comes in a lump sum payment; If not, you can choose to start proceedings in court. It is advisable to seek legal advice should you wish to go to court.
Please note that this is just a general guidance. We recommend seeking professional legal advise or contact us today for a more detailed explanation.