When you make a CTP claim, any benefits and lump sums you receive for your injuries are 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 benefits you’re entitled to. So it’s important to 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.
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 whiplash, which often results in neck pain.
A minor psychological or psychiatric injury is a psychological or psychiatric injury that’s not a recognised psychiatric illness.
Non-minor psychological or psychiatric injuries include diagnosed psychological or psychiatric illnesses such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a range of other psychological or psychiatric illnesses.
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 personal injury benefit payments would be cut off after a maximum of six months. 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 a lump sum. Please refer to our article on What you need to know about checking and disputing insurers’ decisions.