Can You Claim Compensation for the Death or Severe Injury of a Loved One as a Result of a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Motor vehicle accidents have the capacity to cause great harm to the people most close to you. If a loved one is abruptly killed or injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, it can cause one to experience severe psychological symptoms that far surpasses the typical grief reaction.

If you have experienced a psychological condition, you may be able to seek medical help to address those symptoms from the CTP insurer.

What Is Nervous Shock?

Nervous shock arises when a loved one suffers pure mental harm arising wholly or partly from being injured, killed or put in peril as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Claims for nervous shock can only arise if one’s relationship with the victim is:

(a) A parent or other person with parental responsibility;
(b) The spouse or de-facto partner;
(c) A child or stepchild;
(d) A brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, step-brother or step-sister.

The mental harm that is suffered as a result of the motor vehicle accident must be more than a typical grief reaction and needs to be a recognised psychological injury, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These types of psychological injuries typically arise from the death of a loved one or the loved one suffering from a severe life-changing injury, such as paraplegia, or witnessing an accident that involved a loved one.

Symptoms of psychological injuries can be characterised by a change in mood, feelings, thoughts and/or behaviour over a prolonged period of time, such as feeling anxious while driving, struggling to focus at work, or a reluctance to socialise.

If you are uncertain as to whether you have suffered from a psychological injury, you may complete a DASS questionnaire. Please contact our office to obtain a copy of the questionnaire.

How To Seek Assistance For Treatment

Seeking assistance for medical treatment can only be made if your loved one did not cause the motor vehicle accident.

But it may still be requested if your loved one was partly responsible, but this may cause your entitlement for financial assistance for treatment to be limited.

If you would like to make a request for financial assistance for treatment, you must first complete a Notice of Accident Claim Form and submit it to the relevant CTP insurer. If you need assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

What Type Of Treatment Can You Get?

It is important that if you are experiencing any form of grief or psychological symptoms as a result of the death or injury of a loved one, you seek treatment from your general practitioner and/or recognised health professional.

Alternatively, you may like to contact mental health assistance hotlines such as the following:

Mental health phone service for Queenslanders: 1300 642 255
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Claims for nervous shock against CTP insurers may allow you to obtain assistance from the insurer to fund psychological treatment. This can be done by providing a form called a Provider Treatment Plan to your treatment provider to complete and submit to the insurer. The insurer must fund the treatment recommended on the plan if it meets the MAIC Rehabilitation Guidelines. For a copy of the Provider Treatment Plan and/or MAIC Rehabilitation Guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

We are happy to be of any assistance necessary to help you through this difficult time.