Have you been injured in a car accident? You may be eligible to make a claim. What is a CTP claim?

A CTP (Compulsory Third Party) claim is an insurance claim for a lump sum to compensate you for injuries sustained in a car accident and the effects of those injuries, including but not limited to:
– Medical and rehabilitation costs to treat your injuries; and
– Lost income resulting from the injuries.

Can I make a CTP claim?

In Queensland, you can make a CTP claim if you:
1. Were injured in a car accident; and
2. The car accident was not your fault, or only partially your fault.
If you are a passenger in the at-fault car, you can still make a claim.
Who do I make a claim against?

CTP claims are made against the CTP insurer of the at-fault car. CTP insurance is compulsory with car registration. Every registered car has a CTP insurer.

In Queensland, we have a voluntary CTP insurance scheme in that you can nominate which insurer you would like your CTP policy with. As such, there are a number of different CTP insurers in Queensland that we deal with, such as Suncorp, RACQ, Allianz and QBE.

Why should I make a CTP claim?

Why should you be out of pocket for expenses and losses associated with an injury that was not your fault?

1. Making a CTP claim allows you to access funding for medical and treatment expenses from the CTP insurer. If your claim is accepted and your medical treatment approved by the insurer, they will usually fund most of your medical and treatment costs as verified by your doctor. These expenses include items such as:
– GP consults
– Physiotherapy
– Investigations such as X-Rays, CT scans, Ultrasounds, MRIs
– Psychological treatment
– Medications
– Travel associated with treatment. This can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses.

2. If your injuries are long-term, that is, they persist after 9-12 months, then a CTP claim can also serve to compensate you for possible future expenses and losses arising from those injuries.

Sometimes, an injury can be serious enough to affect your earning potential, which will result in future losses of income. This can happen due to reasons such as:
– You can no longer do your usual job and require retraining and reskilling
– Your injury prevents you from heavy lifting and manual handling
– You can only work part-time instead of full time
– You will need time off work to rest
– Your general productivity, efficiency and capacity has decreased

What can I claim for?

1. Pain and suffering from the injuries themselves (this will be a fixed amount depending on the severity of your injuries and the medical evidence)
2. Past and future medical and rehabilitation costs
3. Past economic loss
4. Future economic loss
5. Past and future care costs (if applicable).

Past economic loss is the income you have lost as a result of your injuries – eg. due to time off work.

Future economic loss typically makes up the largest portion of your lump-sum payment. It is an amount paid to compensate you for the risk of future lost income due to your injuries. How much will depend on the impact of your injuries on your ability to work.

The amount of compensation available to an individual in each of these areas is dependant on the evidence. The injured party needs to show through documentation and medical records their losses and how they have been affected. If you are ever involved in a car accident, it is a good idea to keep
copies of all documents and make notes from the time of the accident onwards.

Why should I use lawyers for my CTP claim?

The CTP process is complex and may take 12 – 18 months or more. As your representatives, we will guide and support you through this process so that it is as easy as possible and you can focus on your treatment and recovery.

Most importantly, we will gather evidence to prove your case and provide you with advice so that you can make informed decisions throughout the process and regarding any offers of settlement made to you.

How much the CTP insurer will pay you is determined by:
– Evidence of your injuries and impact on your work;
– Evidence of expenses and any other losses;
– Your personal circumstances and history;
– Previous Court decisions in matters with similarities;

The negotiation stage is where we really shine. We will prepare your evidence, your case, and advocate and negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Have any questions? Call our friendly team for a free of charge and a no-obligation initial consultation.
Phone 1800-GET-HELP (1800 438 435)

Are you Googling “what does no win no fee mean”?


If you’ve been hurt on the road, at work or in a public place and are considering making a compensation claim, you probably have more than a few questions about how the “no win no fee” system works, and what, if anything, you’ll end up paying for legal fees.


Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know about lodging a claim, without the legal jargon.


What is “no win no fee”?

Basically, if you sign up to a “no win no fee” agreement with a lawyer, then that lawyer will work on your case without the “certainty” of payment until a “win”.

In one way, this takes a significant risk away from the injured party when deciding whether to make a claim.  It also means the lawyer will be motivated to do everything possible to get that “win” so that they can get paid!

As your lawyers, we will share your risk by putting our time and right to payment on the line until we get that “win”.  


What is a “win”?

In legal terms we call it a “successful outcome” or “successful conclusion”.

A claim is considered to be successful once someone makes a reasonable offer of payment, which will lead to the ultimate resolution of the claim.  At that time you become liable for the legal fees incurred, however they are not payable until the conclusion of the matter, when the money hits the bank.


Will I have to pay anything upfront?

No. There are two different types of legal fees:

1. Professional fees: the fees charged for our time spent working on your matter.  

2. Disbursements: things your lawyers have to pay to others to get you a result, for example: getting evidence from police, medical records and paying for specialist medico-legal reports.  

We will cover the expense of the outlays as your claim progresses, then these are repaid to us from the settlement monies when the matter is finalised.  

All clients have the choice whether or not to fund their own disbursements. Most clients choose not to, either because they can’t afford to, or they simply prefer that the lawyers bear that risk, which we offer to do.


How do lawyers calculate their professional fees?

Professional fees are sometimes charged by the hour.  We have a full team of people – from admin assistants to senior lawyers –  who will work on your case. They spend time on things like, preparing the arguments, reading and understanding the evidence, attending meetings with you and the insurer etc. Normal service stuff.

Professional fees are also sometimes charged by the job.  For example, compiling a brief to a doctor depends on the size and volume of the brief, rather than the time it takes to put it all together (it’s more cost effective this way for you!).  Also, if we went to court to lodge a document, we just charge for item, and not the time it takes, so you avoid paying for waiting at the registry because another clerk from another firm is clogging up the queue.


Will I get a breakdown of costs?

Of course!

All work completed on your matter is logged and recorded.  It will say who did the activity and how long it took.

As your claim nears the final stages an assessment, an assessment will be done on your file to calculate our total legal fees based on the hourly rates of the various persons who did the work.  

This assessment is sometimes performed internally, but often we use an independent cost assessor to provide an accurate and independent assessment of the legal fees payable.  


What is the 50/50 cap?

A lot of people have questions about how much of their final settlement amount will be taken up by legal fees.  What if I settle for less than what the lawyers will charge?!

Well, that can never happen.

Queensland laws don’t allow lawyers to charge the client any more in legal fees than the client gets in their hand.  This is called the 50/50 rule and it trumps any assessments or calculation of legal fees.  

The bottom line is: If your claim is successful, you can not be left with nothing or owing any monies.  

The settlement award will:

  • Cover any repayments to relevant government bodies
  • Repay your outlays
  • Pay your legal professional fees and;
  • Produce an in-hand amount for you.  


What are “relevant government bodies”, and why do I have to repay them?

When a claim settles, the insurer must notify government bodies such as Centrelink, Medicare etc for a charge/clearance.  They are required to do this. If there is any monies owed for payments or services related to your injury, the insurer will repay that money to the relevant organisation on your behalf.

For example, if you attend a GP and are bulk billed for a consultation related to the compensable injury, then Medicare is entitled to be paid back the amount of the consultation that they covered in the first instance.  

Don’t worry, these don’t eat into your settlement because we add these amounts into the claim from the insurer as part of your overall settlement. It’s kind of like, the insurer pays you to pay back Medicare.

Centrelink operates a little bit differently though, and its best to speak to us about how it works.  


Who pays me my final cash-in-hand settlement amount, and how much will it be?

After the relevant government bodies have been repaid, the rest of the settlement monies are forwarded to our trust account under your name.  

From there, we will repay the outlays that have been incurred to progress your matter.  

The amount left over after statutory refunds and outlays is called the net settlement. The most a lawyer can charge for professional legal fees is half of the net settlement.  


How do I sign up for a no win no fee claim?

If you have more questions about whether you are eligible to lodge a claim, call (07) 3180 0908 or email info@phoenix-law.com.au for a confidential, obligation-free consultation.

We’re here to help YOU!

You can also get help in your  preferred language, if you’re not a native English speaker.

We have a multinational team including:

  • Mandarin speaking lawyers
  • Cantonese speaking lawyers
  • Japanese speaking lawyers
  • Farsi speaking lawyers
  • Dari speaking lawyers
  • Hindi speaking lawyers
  • Urdu speaking lawyers
  • Kurdish speaking lawyers
  • Bosnian speaking lawyers
  • Croatian speaking lawyers
  • Serbian speaking lawyers
  • Slovenian speaking lawyers
  • Macedonian speaking lawyers
  • Montenegrian speaking lawyers

In an ideal world, media outlets would act as a mirror that reflects society back at itself and gives us much-needed opportunities to examine our actions, attitudes and beliefs. A societal “self-crit”, if you will.

In reality, however, the news media often performs that examination itself, giving viewers and readers pre-packaged ideas about topics most of us won’t research past the headlines.

This potentially polarising approach is particularly problematic when it comes to one topic that most news publications and current affairs programs never get tired of covering: Compensation.

When it comes to portraying “compo” claimants, there seems to be no middle ground in Australia: You’re either a blameless victim or a shameless opportunist.

Blameless Victims: Genuine, Deserving Claimants

The Australian media, and in turn the Australian public, tends to see some groups of people as blameless victims.

These groups include:

  • Victims of violent crime and sexual abuse
  • Customers who have been wronged by a huge corporation and;
  • “Battlers” who have had their rights flouted by the government (The Castle, anyone?).

While it’s easy to sympathise with these groups, there can be unintended consequences when media outlets act as advocates:

  • Emphasis on any accusations before of an official verdict is reached can cause the public to make unfounded judgements about people who may later be proven to be innocent. If claims against someone are later found to be unsubstantiated, the damage the media can do to their reputation often lasts a lifetime.
  • Sometimes the victim’s right to privacy is flouted in favour of the public’s right to know. Even if a compensation claimant is portrayed favourably, the media attention they receive can negatively impact their lives.
  • The media’s tendency to publicise only the most salacious cases may leave people who have a legitimate but not necessarily newsworthy claim to feel as though they aren’t injured enough to seek payment.

Shameless Gold Diggers: Opportunists Looking for Quick Cash

While some compensation claimants can do no wrong in the eyes of the media, many people who make a claim find themselves in the limelight in all the wrong ways.

Claimants the media portrays as shameless opportunists include:

  • Slip, trip & fall claimants who are injured while going about their daily lives
  • Businesses seeking recompense after being adversely affected by government policy
  • Celebrities pursuing large claims
  • Stories about these groups often have less sympathy for a claimant and more of a focus on how large a claim is, how the victim’s suffering could be their own fault, or how ridiculous the premise of a claim may be.

These interpretations, while sometimes valid, have problems of their own:

  • Framing the process of seeking compensation for a public injury in a negative light can make people who are entitled to claim feel too ashamed to act.
  • Focussing on celebrity cases, such as Rebel Wilson’s defamation lawsuit, can perpetuate inaccurate assumptions about who Australia’s laws are designed to protect. The majority of defamation cases in Australia aren’t pursued against media publishers; they’re between everyday people.
  • Publicity surrounding corporate claims often perpetuates ignorance of what compensation is and how it works, neglecting many of the nuances involved in commercial litigation.
  • When it comes to compensation, many Australians have an understanding of the law that is based entirely on media representations of cases. But, these representations can be inaccurate, biased, incomplete or oversimplified, and as such are not an ideal resource for anyone who needs legal information.

In our next blog “Contextualising Compensation: What You Need to Know About Claiming” we fill in the gaps so that whether you’re considering making a claim or you’re just reading about someone else’s case, you’ll be well informed.

Need to know more about compensation law in Queensland? Tell us your story today and we’ll let you know what your options are. Just fill in our online contact form, call (07) 3607 3274 or email info@phoenix-law.com.au and our friendly team will be in touch.

Whether you’re reading about a monster payout in the newspaper, or you’re wondering if you might be entitled to compensation, it’s vital that you have an understanding of compensation that is based on the law, not the media.

What is Compensation?

Compensation is a payment that you are entitled to receive if you suffer harm that was caused by the negligence of someone who owes you a duty of care.

This rather wordy explanation contains several legal definitions you need to be aware of:

Harm refers to all types of injury and loss, including:

  • Physical and psychological injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage and;
  • Economic loss (both past and future)

Negligence is when someone else acts recklessly, carelessly, or without the degree of skill usually expected of them in a particular set of circumstances, and this causes some kind of damage or injury to you.

Duty of care refers to circumstances where a person should have foreseen that their conduct could have injured you. If there is a duty of care, the person who owes the duty must perform it or act to a reasonable standard. Failure to do this is called a “breach of duty of care”. Only someone owing a duty of care to you can be said to have acted negligently towards you.

In Queensland, some relationships automatically have a duty of care.

These include (but aren’t limited to) relationships between:

  • Doctor & patient
  • Landlord & tenant
  • Employer & employee
  • Prison & detainee
  • Manufacturer or supplier & consumer
  • Road user & road user
  • Teacher & student

If you think that your case satisfies these three requirements, it’s time to get some legal advice about what to do next.

How Does Claiming Compensation Work?

How you go about making a claim will depend on the specific facts of your case. For example, in Queensland, injuries sustained at your workplace usually involve navigating the WorkCover system first, whereas claims of medical negligence can go straight to court.

If you’re seeking compensation, you’ll need a lawyer to:

  1. Help you see if you have a case
  2. Explain what you need to do next and;
  3. Prepare the relevant documents so you can lodge your claim within the legislated deadlines.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim?

One of the biggest misconceptions in Australia is that large compensation claims are essentially “money for nothing”.

How much a claim is worth is actually based on very real calculations that take into account:

  • Financial losses suffered as a result of the harm caused: This calculation includes both immediate losses and future losses, which can be quite substantial if the claimant’s ability to work has been affected.
  • The extent of any injuries: Injuries that are severe, or have life-long consequences will incur higher compensation payments than temporary or minor injuries.
  • Damage to personal property: Claimants may also receive compensation for physical property that has been damaged, with unique items usually attracting more compensation than replaceable objects.

Every claim is different, which is why most lawyers will be reluctant to give you a dollar figure until they understand all of the details of your case and have communicated with the other party’s insurer or solicitors.

When Can’t I Make a Claim?

There are some circumstances where you cannot claim compensation. These include:

  • Occasions where any harm you suffer is caused by incidents that are deemed to be “acts of God”
  • When harm occurs as the result of an act of war or terrorism
  • Injuries and accidents that were your own fault (as opposed to contributory negligence, where an incident is only partially your fault)

A good personal injury lawyer will tell you very early on if your claim is likely to be unsuccessful because of any of these factors.

What Is No Win No Fee?

You may have seen lawyers who offer “no win no fee” services. This is a popular type of billing arrangement where you may not have to pay any legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful.

It’s important to know, however, that no win no fee is not a risk-free arrangement.

You may have to pay disbursements (out of pocket expenses your lawyers pay other people, e.g. court fees) and if you lose you may also have to pay the opposing side’s legal fees.

Make sure that you fully understand your solicitor’s billing structure before you sign anything.

I Think I May Have a Claim, What Do I Do Now?

There is a handful of accurate and informative online resources available to Queensland residents who are considering pursuing a personal injury or negligence claim. If you want to find out more before you contact a lawyer, take a look at:

Legal Aid (note: this is a basic overview, Legal Aid does not offer specific legal advice in this area)

The Queensland Law Handbook

WorkCover Queensland (for information about work-related claims)

Or, if you’re not sure what to research, you can contact Phoenix Law to book a free, no-obligation claim evaluation with one of our solicitors. Just call (07) 3607 3274 email info@phoenix-law.com.au or use our online contact form to tell us what happened to you.

Overwhelmed. Undervalued. Unappreciated.

These are the feelings many Australian caregivers experience from the moment they wake up in the morning up until they go to sleep at night.

As personal injury lawyers, we have witnessed first hand the traumatic effects accidents and injuries have not just on victims, but on carers who must also pick up the pieces.

Caring is rarely a one-off or short-term task, and whether acting as a carer is your job or a responsibility that’s fallen into your lap, the various ways you first coped when you started out on your caregiving journey may not sustain you in the long-term.

In this blog, we want to help carers by:

  • Highlighting the warning signs of caregiver burnout
  • Offering practical ways to cope with stress
  • Providing a list of resources for caregivers who need professional help

14 Signs You’re Headed For a Burnout

While concerned family and colleagues often tell caregivers “look after yourself”, negative symptoms usually creep up so slowly that carers don’t realise the importance of their own suffering until a full-fledged burnout has taken hold.

Red flags to look out for include:

  1. Anxiety about going to work or day-to-day life
  2. Feeling emotionally and physically fatigued even when you get enough sleep
  3. Being unable to relax even if you get a few days off or go on holiday
  4. Having trouble sleeping or relying on sleep medications
  5. Being easily set off by minor annoyances
  6. Feeling hopeless and helpless
  7. Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  8. Feeling resentful
  9. Overeating, excessive drinking and smoking
  10. Having trouble focussing
  11. Withdrawal from friends and family
  12. Getting sick more than you used to
  13. Wanting to hurt yourself or the person you’re caring for
  14. Feeling like your life revolves around caregiving

Many caregivers find it very hard to tell someone when they start experiencing these warning signs, often believing that these negative symptoms are a reflection of their character or ability.

It’s also very common for caregivers to feel guilty about the way their role makes them feel, which just continues the hidden cycle of stress and unhappiness.

6 Self-Care Practices for Carers

Practising self-care is essential for everyone, but when you’re a carer, it’s critical.

Self-care practices that you can start right now include:

  1. Taking time for yourself: List the activities you like doing and make sure they are a part of your life. Even if you only have 30 minutes a day to yourself, it’s essential that you are spending that time replenishing the energy you expend in your role as a carer.
  2. Setting boundaries and limits: You can’t compromise your health or happiness for someone else. By using a journal and/or getting professional help, you can reflect on the root of your unhappiness, recognise your limitations and learn how to enforce them assertively.
  3. Establishing a routine: Carers often exert so much energy establishing other’s routines they don’t have time to look after themselves. Schedule your week in advance, making sure to include time to take care of your chores, connect with friends and family, and periods where you just do nothing.
  4. Asking for help: Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out for help. Find networks of people who you can talk with freely (whether that be an official support group or just a Facebook community), get counselling, and consider delegating our outsourcing tasks you don’t have time to do.
  5. Getting enough sleep: Mental health and good sleep go hand in hand. Set a bedtime, avoid looking at screens after dark, and if you still have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor.
  6. Appreciate yourself: Don’t downplay how important your role is. As a carer, you provide a service that is incredibly valuable – something you can forget when you get no appreciation from the people who receive most of your energy. One way to overcome this is to tell yourself the positive feedback you wish others would give. If, however, you’re feeling down more often than not, you should seek professional help.

Where to Get Help in Australia

Fortunately, there are many resources available for carers in Australia. If you need someone to talk to, you want information on additional resources, or you’re in crisis, you can access free 24/7 counselling from:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36

Headspace: 1800 650 890

Or, you can find a local carer support group and gain access to free counselling specifically for carers on the Queensland Government Support for Carers page.

For more information about your rights as a carer, or the rights of the person you’re caring for, get in touch with one of our solicitors today for an obligation-free chat. Simply call 07 3607 3274, email info@phoenix-law.com.au or fill in our online contact form.

There is no industry more concerned with specifics than the insurance industry, and anyone who has lodged a Total and Permanent Disability insurance (TPD) claim can attest to just how detailed a completed claim application needs to be and how excruciatingly long it can take to have a claim approved.

If you’re considering lodging a TPD claim with your insurer or superannuation fund, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer on hand to:

1. Scrutinise your insurer’s definitions

Earlier this year, Queensland construction worker fund BussQ changed the wording of their policies to state that a claim would be paid out when a hurt worker is “unable ever” to return to work. Previously, claims would be paid out if a hurt worker was “unlikely ever” to return to work.

While changes in wording may seem insignificant, one slightly altered phrase can be the difference between lodging a successful claim and getting knocked back. Unsuccessful claimants need to know that updated policy definitions that were applied to their TPD insurance claim might not have been tested by the courts, and any unfairly worded policy could be legally contested.

2. Navigate deadlines

A lawyer can inform you about the timeframe you have to lodge your claim within (sometimes there is one, sometimes there isn’t) and any waiting periods you have to serve before you can make a claim.

3. Help you provide detailed, relevant and necessary information

By giving you a list of documents (including evidence) needed to process your claim, explaining the very specific wording of your policy, and reviewing the language used in your claim, a lawyer can help speed up the application process and increase your chances of success.

4. Explain your entitlements

Do you know that if your claim is paid, you may be entitled to interest on the claim amount? In some circumstances, if you don’t ask your insurer simply won’t tell you what extras you are entitled to.

TPD claims can be complex, and putting together a claim after you’ve suffered a life-altering injury or illness is always trying.

A lawyer can take the stress out of accessing your entitlements and ensure that you receive all that you deserve. If you would like to speak to one of our lawyers about your TPD claim, contact Phoenix Law on 07 3607 3274 or info@phoenix-law.com.au for an obligation free consultation.