Do I have to give notice before proceeding with an injury claim?

Published 10 Apr 2018

Author: Nassir Bechara

Anyone making personal injury claims in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) must provide the individual or organisation they believe is at fault with notice that they intend to pursue damages.

This requirement also applies to motor accident compensation claims, so there are certain steps you must follow if you are involved in crash. Here are the relevant legislation and timeframes you need to keep in mind for personal injury claims.

Pre-court procedure laws

The Civil Law (Wrongs) Act 2002 governs pre-court procedures for personal injury claims in the ACT. Not all claims go to court, but you should comply with the necessary processes in case the respondent does not accept liability for the accident.

Under Section 51 of the Act, you must provide notice within nine months of:

  • The day of the incident; or
  • The first day symptoms of the accident appear.

Even relatively minor car accident injuries, such as whiplash, may take days to manifest. The psychological impact of a crash may not become apparent until much later.

However, you only have four months to give notice from the date:

  • You instruct a lawyer to offer advice on making a claim; or
  • The respondent is identified.

But what if you can’t identify the person you believe is responsible? Or maybe the other road user wasn’t insured? In these situations, you have three months to inform the Nominal Defendant that you intend to claim.

Are there other deadlines to keep in mind?

Compulsory third-party (CTP) insurers and the Nominal Defendant are obliged to pay $5,000 towards any medical expenses you incur within the first six months of an accident.

You are entitled to receive this money even if you are later found to be partly or fully to blame for the crash.

But you must inform the relevant insurer within 30 days of the accident to be eligible. Furthermore, the payout is not an admission of liability on the part of the insurer.

Making a car accident compensation claim in the ACT can be confusing, especially if you have suffered a serious crash and are coping with severe or even life-changing injuries.

That is why you should enlist the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer to assess your case. A no-win, no-fee law firm can fill out the necessary forms on your behalf, gather evidence to support your claim and even fight your case in court if the insurer denies liability.

Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to learn more about seeking damages.