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State by State: What You Can Claim in a Motor Accident Compensation Case

Claiming compensation after a motor accident isn’t a simple process.

Slight differences between the states of Australia make it even more complicated; just because you can claim something in one state doesn’t mean you can make the same claim in another.

Here we break down some of the key differences between the states.[KM1]

What You Can Claim in New South Wales

  • If you caused the accident: You can claim up to $5,000 but nothing beyond this.
  • If you contributed to the accident via negligence: Your compensation amount may be reduced.
  • If you weren’t at fault: You can claim compensation for medical expenses, income loss, and possibly assistance costs. (In a blameless accident where nobody is at fault, all injured parties can claim compensation via third party insurance.)
It’s worth noting that you’ll have rehabilitation and care provided to you (even if you were at fault) if you are ‘catastrophically’ injured. This is thanks to the NSW Lifetime Care and Support scheme.

What You Can Claim in Queensland

  • If you caused the accident: You can’t make a claim.
  • If you were partly at fault for the accident: You can’t make a claim.
  • If you weren’t at fault: You can claim compensation for lost income (past and future), medical care, rehabilitation, and domestic assistance.
Apart from Western Australia, Queensland is the only state where being even partly at fault bars you from making a claim.

What You Can Claim in Victoria

Victoria’s compensation policies are the most forgiving for people who were at fault. As long as your vehicle is registered in Victoria, you can make a claim for any motor accident involving road vehicles (including public transport).

  • If you caused the accident: You can claim compensation for hospital costs, rehabilitation, support services, and lost income.
  • If you were partly at fault for the accident: As above.
  • If you weren’t at fault: As above.
If you lose a companion in a motor accident in Victoria, you can also claim funeral expenses and dependency benefits, if applicable.

What You Can Claim in Western Australia

  • If you caused the accident: You can’t make a claim.
  • If you were partly at fault for the accident: You can’t make a claim.
  • If you weren’t at fault: You can claim compensation for lost income (past and future), medical care, rehabilitation, and domestic assistance.
If you weren’t at fault, you may also be able to add economic loss to your compensation claim at the end of the case.

What You Can Claim in South Australia

  • If you caused the accident (i.e. entirely at fault): You can’t make a CTP claim.
  • If you were over 25% at fault: You may have to pay the excess if an inquiry claim is lodged regarding the accident.
  • If you weren’t at fault: You can claim compensation for medical treatment costs, pain and suffering, loss of potential earnings, and dependency benefits (as long as the deceased wasn’t at fault).
South Australia has the most complicated motor accident compensation policies of all the states, including a relatively narrow 6-month reporting timeframe.

What You Can Claim in Tasmania

  • If you caused the accident: You can claim compensation for hospital costs, rehabilitation, support services, and lost income.
  • If you were partly at fault for the accident: As above.
  • If you weren’t at fault: As above.
Tasmania’s policies are similar to Victoria’s, though the compensation limits vary.

What You Can Claim in the Northern Territory

  • If you caused the accident: You can claim compensation for hospital costs, rehabilitation, support services, and lost income. However, your compensation amount may be reduced based on certain factors (e.g. if you were drunk driving).
  • If you were partly at fault for the accident: As above.
  • If you weren’t at fault: As above.

When considering making a claim after a motor accident, it’s important to know whether or not you’re actually considered eligible for compensation in your state. If you’d like a professional opinion on whether or not you can pursue a claim, please contact us for an obligation-free consultation.


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