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What to do first

This page explains the first few steps you should take if you've been injured in a workplace accident or been involved in a motor vehicle accident.

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Motor accidents

A motor accident can be traumatic for those involved. This page provides some simple information about what you should do immediately and what details you should record (if you're able to) to help later lodge a CTP claim.

1. First steps

If there's just been an accident, the first priorities are to ensure that:

  • those at the accident scene are safe from further injury. No one seriously injured should be moved before an ambulance arrives unless there is an urgent need (eg potential fire)
  • anybody who has been injured receives first aid and if necessary medical attention
  • the police are notified immediately if it is a serious accident
  • you do not drive your vehicle unless it is safe to do so. This will only be when the vehicle is in safe condition and you do not have an injury that could interfere with your ability to drive.

2. Report the accident to police

Depending on the nature of the accident the police may attend the scene. Generally, if the accident has been serious enough that there's been an injury, police will attend.

If police do attend, the police will speak to those at the scene for information about what happened and who was involved and record this information in an 'event report'. Ask for the report's reference number because you need it to make a CTP claim.

If you can't get it at the time, you can obtain this information later from the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

If the police don't attend the scene you should report the accident to police as soon as you are able to and obtain an event number.

3. Seek medical help

If you've been injured it's important to see a GP (or other medical practitioner) as soon as possible (if you think you need to).

Your GP will assess your injury, prescribe treatment and referrals, advise you on your best path to recovery and expected timeframes for returning to your pre-accident activities.

You should also ask that they complete a medical certificate demonstrating your fitness for work. There is a preferred form of certificate called a SIRA certificate of fitness.

You will need a medical certificate like the certificate of fitness if you want to make a CTP claim.

Most medical practitioners will be familiar with the certificate of fitness but if yours is not they can find the information they need here.

Remember to keep any receipts for your medical treatment.

4. What information would be helpful to record after the accident?

When investigating a claim the insurer will want as much information as possible about the accident. So it's helpful to note down as much information as possible, as soon as possible.

Information like:

  • the name, address, phone number and licence details of any drivers involved in the accident
  • the make, model and number plate of any cars involved in the accident
  • the contact details of anyone who witnessed the accident
  • the time, date and location of the accident including the nearest cross street of the accident
  • whether police and or ambulance attended the accident scene

If possible, take photos of the accident scene including the location and save them for use with your claim.

Don’t worry if you are not able to collect all the details at the time; you can still start your claim with the insurer and add more information later.

5. Contact the insurer or CTP Assist

If you are injured in the accident you need to notify the insurer of the at-fault vehicle. If you know who the at-fault insurer is you can contact them directly.

If you don’t know who they are, we can find out for you. Go to Who do I claim with? and fill out the online form or call CTP Assist on: 1300 656 919.

The insurer can approve payment of some medical expenses even if you do not proceed to a claim and can record the details you report for use if you do.

The CTP Assist Team can also help with other questions you might have such as what you can potentially claim for and step you through the claims process.

Further information

Workers compensation

If you or someone at the work site needs urgent medical treatment, do that first.

If you're a worker...

1. You must notify your employer that you've sustained a work related injury or illness.

Give them:

  • the date and time of the injury, or the period over which the injury emerged
  • a description of how the injury happened
  • a description of the injury.

2. You can also notify your employer's insurer as well if you wish.

To learn more, please refer to the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation or call us on 13 10 50.

If you're an employer...

1. If the injury is considered 'serious' or 'dangerous' or has resulted in a death you must report the incident to Safework NSW immediately on 13 10 50 because an urgent investigation might be required and the incident site might need to be preserved until an inspector attends.

Safe Work Australia have a notifying fact sheet with more information about what constitutes a serious injury or illness or a dangerous incident.

Significant penalties apply if you fail to notify an incident.

2. You must also record it in your register of injuries (regardless of whether there has been/will be a claim made).

The register of injuries must include these details:

  • name of the injured worker
  • the worker's address
  • the worker's age at the time of injury
  • the worker's occupation at the time of injury
  • the industry in which the worker was engaged at the time of injury
  • the time and date of injury
  • the nature of the injury
  • the cause of the injury

Also:

The register of injuries may be kept in writing or be electronic (eg on a computer). A record of each notifiable incident must also be kept.

There are penalties for failing to keep a register of injuries.

SafeWork NSW has a standard template you can use.

For more information on register of injuries, see SafeWork NSW.

3. You must tell your insurer within 48 hours of being made aware of the injury.

This is called the 'initial notification'.

As the notifier you must provid your business's name and contact details, as well as your own name, relationship to the worker or employer (eg your job title) and contact information.

The insurer will also want to know:

  • the date and time of the injury/illness, or the period over which the injury emerged
  • a description of how the injury happened
  • a description of the injury

Your insurer may request more information if the above information is incomplete or further information is required.

To learn more, please refer to the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation or call us on 13 10 50.

Further information

What information do I provide the insurer?

As the notifier, you must provide the following information to the insurer:

  • worker's name and contact details
  • employers business name and contact details
  • treating doctor's name and contact details (where relevant)
  • date and time of injury (or the period over which the injury emerged), description of the injury and how it happened
  • notifier's name, relationship to the worker or employer, and contact details (including phone number and postal address)

The insurer may request more information if the above information is incomplete or further information is required.

To learn more, please refer to the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation.

Who else can notify the insurer?

The representative of either the worker or employer (such as a doctor or union representative).

Problems reporting a work related injury?

If you’re a worker and your employer has not notified SafeWork NSW or their insurer, or will not provide you with their workers compensation insurance policy number, we can help. Call 13 10 50 for assistance.

Time limits for claiming

A claim for workers compensation should be made within a maximum of six months of the date of injury (or in the case of a death - within six months of the date of death).

In some circumstances, this time limit may be exceeded. For example:

  • a claim can be made up to three years after the accident in some situations (eg absence from the state or honest mistake)
  • if a claim relates to an injury resulting in death or serious and permanent impairment, the claim may still be made after three years, if there is a reasonable cause for the delay
  • if a period greater than three years has passed since the incident then a claim may still be made with SIRA approval.

There are special arrangements for cases where a worker is made aware they have received an injury a long time after the accident.

Contact the insurer for further advice or call us on 13 10 50 for more information.