Road and Traffic Accidents

Time Limits for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

The number of car accidents occurring on our roads continues to grow steadily each year. It is concerning how many cars, motorcycles, trucks and other motor vehicles are caught in these accidents, often causing serious injuries for the parties involved.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, read on to find out more about the time limits for motor vehicle accident claims, and securing your chance for compensation.

Am I eligible for a motor vehicle accident claim?

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident as a driver, rider, passenger or pedestrian, then you may be entitled to claim coverage with motor vehicle accident compensation.

Who I do submit my motor vehicle accident claim to?

Under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme, all motor vehicle owners in NSW are required to have CTP insurance. Therefore compensation claims can be made against the insurer of the negligent driver at fault.

What are the time limits for submitting a motor vehicle accident claim?

There are strict time limits for making compensation claims, and therefore it is important to ensure you make a claim as soon as possible to secure your best chance at receiving compensation for your injuries.

The specific time limits will depend on the type of claim you are making:


  • Accident notification claim
    This claim must be lodged with the CTP insurer of the driver at fault within 28 days of the accident. For this claim, you can receive up to $5000 in compensation for expenses incurred up to six months after the accident occurred.
  • Personal injury claim
    This claim must be also be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, and within six months of the car accident. This claim is for when the injured party expects their expenses to amount more than $5000, or that their recovery time will exceed six months.
  • Fatal motor vehicle accidents claims
    Family members who have lost a loved one in a fatal motor vehicle accident will be entitled to claim compensation. The time limit for this claim applies from six months of the date of the accident, or from the date of the death.
  • Nominal defendant claims
    In some circumstances, such as during a hit and run, it may not be possible to identify details of the other motor vehicle. In this case, the injured party should consider filing a claim under the NSW’s Nominal Defendant scheme. This claim must be made within six months of the car accident.



Can these time limits be extended?

If a claim is not lodged within the specified time period, there is the possibility of an extension being granted by the courts. However, only where special circumstances prevail will an extension be granted. When deciding whether an extension will be allowed, the courts will consider the following:

  • The length of the delay in bringing forth a claim
  • The reasons for the delay in bringing forth a claim
  • The nature and extent of the personal injury

It is solely at the court’s discretion as to whether an extension should be granted. Injured parties should not rely upon obtaining an extension as they are not easily given, and should aim to make their claims well within the time limits.

Are there any other timing considerations?


  • Police event number
    Parties involved in a motor vehicle accident should report the accident to the police as soon as possible. If there is a failure to report the accident within 28 days, there will need to be a justification of this delay when making any compensation claims. Parties should ensure that once they have reported the accident, they have received an event number from the police.
  • Medical records
    Any injuries sustained from an accident need to be assessed by a medical practitioner soon after the accident occurs. Evidence of medical records and receipts are required should the injured party wish to claim compensation for them. Even if the parties involved feel as though they have not suffered a personal injury, injuries can take time to appear and seeking medical attention immediately helps to determine if any future medical treatment or ongoing care is required, for injury claim purposes.


What can I claim compensation for?

  • Medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses and hospital expenses
  • Home modification and attendant care expenses
  • Loss of earnings (lost wages) or earning capacity
  • Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (if the injured party has suffered a whole person impairment over the 10% threshold)


For more information about motor vehicle accident compensation, contact Schreuders today.


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