A guide for people who have witnessed someone die, or lost a relative in a motor vehicle accident in NSW
Unfortunately, accidents happen. With accidents, sometimes there is trauma. Being involved in a traumatic event, witnessing a traumatic event or being a close family member of a person involved in an accident or other persons with parental responsibility for the victim even if you did not witness it, can be extremely distressing and have long lasting emotional or psychological consequences.
If you have witnessed a serious accident or are a family member of a victim who has been injured, put in peril or died in an accident), you may be eligible to make a “nervous shock” compensation claim. This is similar to any other personal injury claim in that you can claim compensation for the injury, losses or damage that you have suffered. Separately you could make a compensation to relatives claim if you were dependant on a loved one who died because of an accident, and they were not at fault.
Regardless of whether the accident is a car accident, workplace accident or another traumatic accident, if your close relative has died as a result of a traumatic accident, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
To be eligible however, there are some requirements that must be met. This guide specifically outlines the eligibility requirements, your entitlements and how to make a claim for nervous shock as a result of witnessing a traumatic motor vehicle accident or being a close family member of a person who died in a motor vehicle accident.
Who can make a nervous shock compensation claim?
To be eligible to make a nervous shock compensation claim you must:
- Have witnessed a traumatic accident –a passenger, cyclist, driver, pedestrian or bystander etc – including a car accident, workplace accident or other (such as recreational accident); and/or
- Be a ‘close relative’- the husband or wife, de facto partner, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, parent or child of the victim unless you had parental responsibility, as a result of an accident, including a car accident, workplace accident or other accident.
- The victim not be mostly at fault.
What compensation can I claim?
If the victim was injured, put in peril or killed due to a motor vehicle accident that was not mostly their fault, you can claim reasonable medical and treatment expenses, loss of income to take into account your future earning capacity, in light of the psychological injury suffered. You can also claim pain and suffering, as part of your payout, if your injury is assessed as being greater than 10% whole person impairment.
If the person who died was a child under the age of 16 years old and living in NSW at the time, you may be able to additionally claim for reasonable funeral or cremation expenses associated with their death.
How can I make a claim for nervous shock?
When you make a nervous shock claim for compensation, you will claim against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurer of the owner or driver of the vehicle that caused the accident.
Firstly, you need to ensure that the accident is reported to the police in writing and an event number is obtained within 28 days, if possible. You then need to obtain the registration number of the at fault vehicle and use that to identify the CTP insurer, via the Services NSW App, of the vehicle that caused the accident, complete a Personal Injury Benefits Form and Certificate of Capacity that needs to be completed by your GP and you.
If you have the registration of the vehicle that caused the accident, you can also obtain the name of their CTP insurer by calling CTP Assist on 1300 656 919. On the other hand, if you do not have the registration details, you will need to enquire with the Police and/or place an advertisement in newspapers asking that witnesses get in contact with you. If you are unable to obtain the details, despite your attempts, you can still make a claim however, you will need to show your attempts to obtain the registration details.
During challenging times, it can be difficult to find the energy to get up in the morning, let alone do paperwork to make a compensation claim. That’s why we’re here to help. We can take the guess work out of making a claim, and we will advise you in simple terms to understand, in relation to your entitlements to ensure that we get you the maximum compensation that you deserve. All while being no win no fee compensation lawyers. Contact our CTP Lawyers for a free claim check to find out more.
How long do I have to make a nervous shock claim?
It is also important to understand that time limits apply for making a claim. You need to submit your claim form to the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the vehicle who caused the accident within three (3) months of the accident. If more than 3 months has passed you can still, make the claim however will need to provide a reasonable explanation for the delay. Our CTP lawyers take pride in preparing the reasonable explanations on our clients’ behalf so get in contact with us today and we will tell you what we think in a straightforward approach.
You also have 3 years to ensure your claim is lodged with the Personal Injury Commission unless it resolves with the insurer, beforehand, which may very well happen! If it is not lodged with the Personal Injury Commission within 3 years you will require the insurers consent and the Commission’s permission.
Successful Car Accident Injury Claim story
A father of a young child received $1 million in compensation following his son’s injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Max, a young child, unfortunately suffered injuries as a result of a negligent driver. Max was only a pedestrian walking on a footpath, minding his own business, when the negligent driver struck him. . Maxs father was not present with him, nor did he witness the accident, he is his father who, normally, had a good relationship with his young son. As a result of the injuries sustained to Max, his father was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a recognised psychiatric illness. A family member from their family contacted Withstand Lawyers to assist the family during their terrible ordeal. Thankfully, our CTP Lawyers were able to take the burden of making a claim away from the father and collated the information and evidence required to make a successful claim on their behalf. Max’s father’s juries were assessed as being over 10% and he made a claim for pain and suffering in addition to receiving income support payments until his car accident compensation payout was received. Looking back, it was a good result not only in that in our view the compensation was within the range of his entitlement, but also as a closure in that the father no longer had to recount the events that took place prior and after the accident.
CTP Lawyers – We’ll explain your entitlements simply and help you claim those entitlements
During these difficult times, we believe that your priorities should be your wellbeing and your recovery, and we are here to help take the burden of making a claim away from you. If you’ve been affected due to a car accident, whether you witnessed a traumatic accident, were involved in an accident or are a close family member of someone who died in a motor vehicle accident, contact our experienced CTP Lawyers for a free claim check. We are no win no fee lawyers, so we’ll deduct our costs upon successful completion of your claim.