Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation (NT)
Updated on Nov 07, 2022 • 5 min read • 264 views • Copy Link
Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation (NT)
Road accidents are stressful events, especially when property is damaged or someone is injured. The last thing that someone needs following an accident is a complicated or acrimonious fight for compensation. The Northern Territory has statutory provisions that clarify a person’s entitlements when they are injured in a motor vehicle accident. This article looks at the process involved in making a motor vehicle accident compensation claim in the Northern Territory.
Motor Vehicle Accident in the Northern Territory
When someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Northern Territory, they must stop and give as much help as possible to anyone involved in the accident. The first step following an accident is to try and make the accident scene safe for all road users. This means switching off the engines of any damaged vehicle and turning on hazard lights. If someone is injured or killed, an ambulance and the police must be called. In addition, those involved must call emergency services if the accident involves a vehicle carrying a dangerous load. Even if the police do not need to attend the accident scene, the parties must make a report to the NT police within 24 hours.
Each driver must provide their details to the other people involved, whether or not there is damage or injury. If it is safe to do so, each driver should take photographs and/or make drawings, and take notes at the scene about:
- The location, time and date;
- The contact details of the other driver/s;
- The model, make, colour and registration of the other car;
- The contact details of any witnesses of the accident; and
- The police report number.
Northern Territory Motor Accident Compensation Scheme
All vehicle owners pay a premium for compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance as part of their registration. In the Northern Territory, the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1979 provides that a person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident can seek compensation under this CTP insurance. In fact, a person is entitled to claim if they were injured while a passenger in a car, while driving a truck, motorbike, or bicycle, or even if they were a pedestrian.
In the Northern Territory, the Motor Accidents Compensation Commission manages the CTP Scheme, while the Territory Insurance Office administers it. Under this Scheme, an injured person is covered regardless of who caused the accident. The injured person can claim compensation for medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as financial support. A claimant with permanent injuries may also be entitled to a lump sum payment. When someone dies in a road accident, their immediate family members may be able to claim funeral expenses and lost financial support. Fortunately, someone injured in NT can claim compensation under the CTP scheme even if the vehicle that caused their injury was unregistered or could not be identified. The injured person can also claim if the other vehicle is registered in another jurisdiction in Australia.
The NT CPT insurance is a “no-fault” accident compensation scheme. This means that the injured person does not need to prove the other driver was negligent or otherwise caused the accident in order to obtain compensation. However, in some circumstances, when the other driver was negligent, the injured person can also claim compensation against the driver personally under the Personal Injuries (Liabilities and Damages) Act 2003. For a claim of less than $25,000, the claimant can take the matter to the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. For cases involving a claim of more than $25,000, the claimant can take the matter to the Local Court. When a person’s negligence causes property damage, the property owner can make a civil claim for compensation. This is in addition to any compensation they receive under CTP insurance for their personal injuries.
A person cannot claim compensation under the Scheme if they are convicted of reckless driving or are merely deemed to have acted recklessly at the time of the accident. In addition, if the injured person was drink driving or engaging in criminal conduct at the time of the accident, they are not eligible under the CTP scheme. Drivers of unregistered vehicles are not covered by the Motor Accidents Compensation Scheme, but passengers and pedestrians injured by an unregistered vehicle can be compensated for their injuries.
A person should seek legal advice as soon as possible after an accident. There are deadlines that apply to motor vehicle accident compensation claims in the Northern Territory, and a claimant may lose their entitlement if they do not act swiftly enough. In the Northern Territory, the Motor Accidents Compensation Commission can reject a claim that is made after six months, and all claims made after three years will be rejected. There are some exceptions, as the Commission may allow an out-of-time claim if the claimant can provide a reasonable excuse for the delay. Also, if the injured person is under 18 at the time of the accident, they have until they turn 21 to lodge a claim. A person only has three years to make a personal injury civil claim in the Northern Territory.
Every person’s claim is different. Your best course of action is to speak to Go To Court Lawyers about what approach is best for you. Our Northern Territory civil law team can help make sure you are adequately compensated if you are in a motor vehicle accident.
Contact our team on 1300 636 846 for any legal advice or representation.
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