Why is this so important?
When you lodge a CTP claim, the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries is based on your medical assessment, and whether your injuries are classified as minor or non-minor. To understand the impact this can have on your payments, please refer to our article on how an incorrect assessment could cost you dearly.
Even if you have just one non-minor injury that’s overlooked in your assessment, you could miss out on tens of thousands of dollars in compensation that you’re entitled to. So it’s important that you understand the difference between minor and non-minor injuries. It’s also important to understand that injuries can be physical and psychological or psychiatric. Read our guide on commonly overlooked non-minor injuries.
What’s a minor injury?
A minor injury is a “soft-tissue” or muscle injury, like a muscle strain or a sore back. The most common soft tissue injury after a crash is a whiplash injury, which often results in neck pain. Soft tissue injuries also include injuries to tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, fascia, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels and synovial membranes.
A minor psychological or psychiatric injury is a psychological or psychiatric injury that’s not a recognised psychiatric illness.
What’s a non-minor injury?
Non-minor physical injuries may include fractures; nerve injuries; complete or partial rupture of a tendon, cartilage, meniscus or ligament; or damage to the spinal nerve root that meets the criteria for radiculopathy.
Examples of non-minor psychological or psychiatric injuries may include a diagnosed psychological or psychiatric illness such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a range of other psychological or psychiatric illnesses.
Can non-minor injuries develop over time?
The simple answer is yes – and this is a critical point. Let’s look at an example where a medical assessment showed only minor injuries, meaning that compensation payments would be cut off after a maximum of six months, and possible sooner. But it’s entirely possible that the injuries have not yet stabilised at that point, and in fact could worsen after the initial six months. In particular, psychological or psychiatric injuries can take a lot longer than six months to develop. So it’s possible that you could develop a non-minor injury over time. If that happens, you’ll need to dispute the insurer’s decision in order to receive ongoing benefits or make a common law claim for a lump sum. For more information on this, please refer to our article on What you need to know about checking and disputing insurer’s decisions.
…it’s possible that you could develop a non-minor injury over time. If that happens, you’ll need to dispute the insurer’s decision in order to receive ongoing benefits.