Why am I being told I don’t need a lawyer?
The new CTP scheme is designed so that you can lodge your own claim without using a lawyer. In fact, even if a lawyer does help you lodge your claim, SIRA doesn’t allow the lawyer to charge for their time. So essentially the scheme has been set up to keep lawyers out of the claim lodgement process.
However, the insurer that assesses your claim does have lawyers on its side – as well as medico-legal specialists, accountants and other experts. The insurer’s team of experts will be assessing your claim and making a decision about how much compensation they’re going to pay you.
So the CTP scheme clearly puts you as the claimant in a position of weakness, and at the mercy of the insurer that’s assessing and paying your claim.
How can I even the playing field?
Although the CTP scheme is designed to prevent you getting legal assistance with lodging your claim, it can’t actually stop you from getting legal advice. That’s why we set up the CTP Claim Advice web pages – to provide comprehensive articles and resources to help you claim everything you’re entitled to.
When should I call a lawyer?
If you decide to dispute the insurer’s decision or make a common law claim for a lump sum payment, then you can use a lawyer and in most instances the lawyer can charge for their time. There are some “unpaid” disputes where a lawyer is not allowed to charge for their time. For “paid disputes”, however, the scheme specifies how much the lawyer can charge, and all legal fees are paid by the insurer, so you won’t have to pay anything.
So to give yourself the best possible chance of success, you should talk to a specialist CTP lawyer before you lodge a dispute or a common law lump sum claim. It won’t cost you anything, and without a lawyer on your side you’ll be at the mercy of the insurer and its team of lawyers.
It’s also important to be aware that strict deadlines apply – for example you have only 28 days after you receive the liability notice letter from the insurer to lodge your dispute. So it’s really important to act quickly.
What can I do right now?
Even if you’re not ready to lodge a dispute or a lump sum claim, you can register with a lawyer now, free of charge, so that they can give you free advice on your lodgement and be prepared to help you immediately if the need arises. It’s a bit like a free insurance policy. To find our more call our free claim advice line.
To give yourself the best possible chance of success, you should talk to a specialist CTP lawyer before you lodge a dispute or a common law damages claim. It won’t cost you anything, and without a lawyer on your side you’ll be at the mercy of the insurer and its team of lawyers.