Road accident
compensation:
how to claim in your state

'Fault' and 'no fault' schemes

States and territories across Australia have different schemes based on who is at fault for a road accident.

With fault schemes, you can make claims if someone else caused the accident. 'No fault' schemes accept claims no matter who caused the accident. Some areas have fault schemes or no-fault schemes, while some have a combination of both.

'Common law' damages can also apply if someone else caused the accident.

Find out what your state or territory offers for all road accidents in the Frequently asked questions below. You can also learn more about motorcycle accidents or cycling accidents.

All you need to know about Road injury claims

If you’re injured in a road or public transport accident involving a car, bus, truck, train, tram, motorcycle, scooter or bicycle, we’ll show you how to navigate your way through a road injury claim.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do road accident schemes work?

State based car accident commissions may have ‘fault’ and ‘no fault’ schemes, or a combination of both.

With ‘fault schemes’, you can make a motor vehicle accident claim if someone else caused the incident. 'No fault' schemes accept claims no matter who caused the accident. Some areas have fault schemes or no-fault schemes, while some have a combination of both. In some states you may also have common law rights to sue the person who caused the accident.

Common law claims usually involve money being claimed for:

  • pain and suffering
  • past and future medical expenses
  • past loss of earnings
  • future loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity
  • past and future loss of superannuation contributions.

Am I eligible for a 'no fault' and 'at fault' road accident schemes?

Your eligibility for a 'no fault' or 'at fault' road accident scheme will depend on the location in which motor vehicle accident occurred and in what state or territory the affected vehicle is registered.

What compensation can I expect from my 'no fault' accident scheme?

With fault schemes, you can make claims if someone else caused the accident. If you are eligible to make a no fault claim, you are likely to be covered for benefits such as:

  • medical and hospital (including pharmacy and counselling)
  • rehabilitation
  • nursing and disability services, and
  • expenses arising from a death including funeral costs

In some states you may also be able to reasonable costs associated with the road accident, such as:

  • travel to and from medical appointments associated with your motor vehicle injuries
  • an injured person returning to work or retraining
  • home and vehicle modifications
  • attendant care services, including attendant care while travelling overseas,
  • home help, domestic assistance, gardening services, school tutoring and integration aides.

What road accidents schemes operate in my state?

Each Australian state and territory has different schemes based on who is at fault for a road accident. Where you should lodge a claim depends on where the accident happened, where you live and the state in which your vehicle is registered. Find out what your state or territory offers for all road accidents below.

How can I apply for road accident compensation in my state?

Find out what your state or territory offers for all road accidents below. You can also learn more about motorcycle accidents or cycling accidents.

Australian Capital Territory

Name of agency overseeing scheme: The Australian Capital Territory Compulsory Third–Party Regulator

Insurers: AAMI, APIA, GIO and NRMA

Fault or no-fault scheme? Fault scheme but currently you can receive up to $5,000 for medical expenses for up to six months whilst the insurer determines whether their insured is at fault.  Time limits apply and laws do change so check with us for more information.

Common law damages? Yes.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • You need to make a claim within 28 days of the accident. However, if you know who is at fault, you have up to three months.
  • Within nine months of the accident, give a written notification to the insurer of the person who caused the accident.
  • Complete a Motor Accident Notification Form.

New South Wales

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Motor Accidents Authority (MAA)

Insurers: AAMI, GIO, NRMA CTP, QBE and Zurich

Fault or no-fault scheme? Fault scheme with some no-fault benefits. In some cases, you can receive compensation for medical expenses, up to six months of lost earnings, lifetime care and support for catastrophic injuries.

Common law damages? Yes.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • Lodge an Accident Notification Form within 28 days of the accident.
  • Submit a Personal Injury Claim Form within six months.

Northern Territory

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Territory Insurance Office (TIO)

Insurer: TIO

Fault or no-fault scheme? No-fault scheme. Benefits can cover medical expenses and your loss of ability to work. If you are 5% impaired or more, you also can claim an impairment benefit lump sum.

Common law damages? No.

Requirements: Complete an application for benefits within six months of the accident. This deadline can be extended to up to three years. Exclusions or reductions in benefits may apply if you were unregistered, unlicensed, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or not wearing a seatbelt.

Queensland

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC)

Insurers: AAI Ltd, Allianz, RACQ and QBE Insurance’

Fault or no-fault scheme? Fault scheme only.

Common law damages? Yes.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • Complete a Notice of Accident claim form. If you consult a lawyer, you need to submit this form within one month of first talking with them. Otherwise, you have three months from the accident if the claim is against a specific defendant. You can file the claim up to nine months from the accident if you aren't aware of the injury at first.

South Australia

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Motor Accident Commission (MAC)

Insurer: Allianz Australia

Fault or no-fault scheme? Fault scheme with some no-fault benefits. Check with us for more information.

Common law damages? Yes, for serious injuries.

Requirements: You have six months from the accident to complete an Approved Injury Claim Form, including a Prescribed Authority. You have more time to complete this if you don't know the person at fault.

Tasmania

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Motor Accidents Insurance Board (MAIB)

Insurer: MAIB

Fault or no-fault scheme? No-fault scheme. Benefits can cover medical expenses, lost earnings, housekeeping, and death and funeral expenses.

Common law damages? Yes.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • Lodge a claim form within 12 months of the accident.

Victoria

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Transport Accident Commission (TAC)

Insurer: TAC

Fault or no-fault scheme? Both. Even if the accident is your fault, you can still make a claim for reasonable medical expenses, lost earnings and a lump sum. If the accident is someone else's fault, you may receive additional compensation for pain and suffering as well as lost earnings.

Common law damages: Yes, for serious injuries.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • Lodge a claim form within 12 months of the accident (which can be extended to up to three years). If an injury has not manifested immediately after the accident, you have 12 months (which can be extended to three years) from the date any injury first manifests to lodge a claim. you have up to 12 months from when you become aware of the injury. You need to submit this form before you can take legal action.

Western Australia

Name of agency overseeing scheme: Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA)

Insurer: ICWA

Fault or no-fault scheme? Fault scheme.

Common law damages: Yes.

Requirements:

  • Report the accident to police.
  • Complete a Notice of Intention to Claim.

Is my road accident eligible for 'common law' damages?

In all states except Northern Territory you may also have common law rights to claim further compensation from the person who caused the accident. Victoria and South Australia will only permit common law damages in cases where the accident caused serious injuries

Under a common law claim you can seek compensation for pain and suffering, loss of amenity, loss of wages and/or financial loss (including superannuation), and medical expenses.

How can I check the status of my road accident claim?

It is important to remember that every road accident compensation claim is different. We will push to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, and will keep you fully advised and informed through the process.

Are there time limits for making a road accident claim?

Strict times limits apply that vary in each state, and different laws apply for children involved in road accidents. You may have as little as 28 days from the date of the accident to lodge your initial claim, while in other states you may have up to a year with a possible extension of up to three years. It is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

How long does a road accident claim take?

Every motor vehicle claim for compensation is different. Generally road accident claims take between 1-3 years to resolve from the date of the accident.

Common delays in claims include injuries not having stabilised, difficulty in negotiating a settlement with the insurer or delays in the court process. It is critical to remain patient when applying for a motor vehicle claim for compensation because all of your injuries and losses may not be assessable at an early stage.

How much will making a road accident claim cost me?

Our motor vehicle accident lawyers are experienced in winning fair compensation for our clients on a ‘no win, no fee'* basis. Come in for a free first consultation to know where you stand.

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