Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claims Making a claim in Western Australia


Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claims in Perth and Western Australia

In Western Australia, motor vehicle injury (“personal injury”) claims are dealt with by The Insurance Commission of Western Australia (also known as ICWA). Funding for ICWA is provided by the compulsory third party insurance scheme which is known as “CTP” insurance, or “registration”, which each driver on Western Australian roads is required to take out in order to drive legally on our roads.

This is different to your ordinary motor vehicle damage insurance, which only covers you for the cost of damage to vehicles and other property damage. These insurance policies are known as “comprehensive” or “third party” or “third party fire and theft” policies. Your CTP insurance is designed to cover you for any injury you may cause to another road user. It will cover the cost of any treatment the injured person may need and any compensation to which they may be entitled, for example loss of earnings or pain and suffering.


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How to Make a Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim after an Accident (Steps)

You need to take the following steps to begin a claim:

  • 1 Complete an online crash report as soon as reasonably practicable after the accident. This will create a record of the accident, the circumstances and the parties involved. It will also let ICWA know if you were injured. The form can be completed at:
  • 2 See your GP or other medical specialist to assess your injuries.
  • 3 Contact ICWA to obtain a “Notice of Intention to Claim” form. This notifies ICWA that in addition to being involved in a crash, you also need medical treatment. They will then be able to help you get the medical advice and support that you need, including paying for treatment (often physiotherapy or more specialised treatment depending on the nature and severity of your injuries).
  • 4 Ensure that you keep receipts for any injury-related expenses. These may be consultation fees with your GP or specialist, treatment and prescription expenses. You may also be able to claim for any loss of earnings you have suffered as a direct result of the accident, providing you have a suitable medical certificate to cover any period of absence and proof of your earnings.

How Can We Help With Your Claim?

We take the stress, confusion and worry out of your motor vehicle accident injury claim. Understanding the challenges and stress of a motor vehicle accident injury means we know how to make life easier for you.

With the right answers and support we'll help you get life back to normal sooner rather than later.

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West Australian Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim Assessment Process

Once they receive notice of a claim, ICWA will assess who was at fault and, if they accept the claim, will review the medical evidence and recommendations. The factors that may influence their decision include:

  • Whether you were wearing a seatbelt or helmet
  • Whether anyone was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • What the witnesses say
  • What the medical specialists say about your injuries
  • What supporting evidence you have regarding any loss of earning

ICWA will issue a claim reference number and once they have accepted the claim, they will monitor your progress, mainly through medical reports. In addition to reviewing medical reports from your own doctors and specialists, they will often send you to see one of their own specialists to obtain a second opinion.

Once you have recovered, or your condition has stabilised, your claim can be assessed. Your lawyer will review all the evidence and will put forward a submission to ICWA regarding the amount they think you should receive. The claim will then proceed by way of negotiation with ICWA. Most claims are agreed in this way. If agreement cannot be reached, it may be necessary to issue court proceedings.

Information Required to Lodge a Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim in Perth and Western Australia

The most important document you need to complete in the days after a crash is the online Crash Report. Without this, ICWA are unable to investigate a claim. Both drivers are required to complete them, so it is important that you obtain as much information as you can at the scene of the accident.

This will include the names and contact details of the other driver(s), ideally a copy of the other driver’s licence and a clear description of when, where, and how the accident happened. Photographs showing the position of the vehicles immediately after the crash and the road layout and conditions will be very helpful.

Common Injuries with a Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim

The most common types of injury suffered during or after a road accident are as follows:

Car-Accident-Injuries - Motor Legal

“Whiplash” injury.

This is an injury to the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) of the neck and/or back. It is caused by the rapid acceleration and deceleration effect when the body is suddenly and forcefully thrown forward or sideways by an impact and is then restrained by the seatbelt.

The body is violently pushed and pulled in opposite directions until it returns to its original position. The whole event may last 1-2 seconds but, in that time, the small fibres of the muscles and tendons undergo enormous and unnatural stress which may cause lasting damage and lead to pain and loss of movement.

Shoulder injuries.

Similar in nature to a whiplash injury, a shoulder injury is usually caused by the effect of the seatbelt, in which one shoulder is restrained and the other, usually the left one if you are the driver, is not.

Again, the tearing effect on the muscles and tendons can cause inflammation and, in some cases, cause an actual tear of the tissues. Some of these inflammatory injuries (often called a “bursa” or “bursitis”) can be helped by cortisone injections. More serious cases may require surgery which is painful and will require a period of convalescence in which the shoulder cannot be stressed.

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Again, these are usually a by-product of the primary whiplash injury described above.

They are often referred to as “cervicogenic”, meaning they originate from the cervical spine, or neck, as opposed to from the head itself. They can be migrainous in nature and can often be one of the most debilitating aspects of a whiplash injury.


This is the acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and is a psychological disorder caused by the mind’s reaction to the perceived threat of harm which it has just experienced. When a person’s life is suddenly threatened, it can cause a disturbing set of symptoms, including extreme anxiety, flashbacks, re-experiencing of the accident, sleeplessness, hypervigilance and avoidant behaviour amongst other symptoms. It can often outlast the physical effects of the accident and create life-long difficulties for the sufferer.

Psych-impact_Stress-and-anxiety-after-a-motor-accident - Motor Legal


They may not occur as frequently as soft tissue injuries but are a feature of more serious accidents.

Often the injuries are to the legs or feet, caused by the crushing effect of the impact, usually in the footwell of the vehicle.

Degloving injuries.

These are a more severe form of soft tissue injury, where the skin and underlying tissue is stripped off the limb exposing the tendons and bone underneath. These injuries may require multiple surgical procedures to clean the wounds, repair the bones (often using wires or pins) and graft healthy skin tissue from elsewhere on the body to form a patch over the damaged area.

These procedures carry a risk of infection and may have to be repeated if the grafts do not initially take. They will often lead to marked disfigurement with permanent scarring and loss of function in the affected limb.

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What will impact the compensation amount in a Motor Vehicle Personal Accident Injury Claim?


The amount of compensation you may be entitled to will depend upon:

  • whether you were at fault to any extent
  • the nature, severity and duration of your injuries
  • the impact the injuries have on your life and lifestyle
  • their effect on your earning capacity
  • the type and amount of treatment you need
  • whether you now need help to do the things that you otherwise could do for yourself (e.g. showering, dressing, shopping, cleaning, cooking, lifting, carrying, driving, gardening etc)
  • the impact on your recreational and social activities

Because there are many different aspects to a personal injury claim, it is a good idea to seek professional advice and guidance on what you should be including in your claim.

How can Motor Legal help your Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Claim?

We have been dealing with motor vehicle accident, injury, and insurance claims for over 30 years and we do not deal with any other type of law.

It means that when you deal with us, you know that this is the area in which we operate, providing an end-to-end service on any motoring matter.

We provide you with free initial advice to help you work out whether you have a claim and can explain your rights so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

The Secret of Getting Ahead, is Getting Started

However you get from A to B, if you’ve had a car accident and sustained a personal injury, Motorlegal will help you sort out your injury claim. Whether a personal injury from a car accident, a motorbike accident, accident on a bus, bicycle accident, or an accident as a pedestrian you will have the assurance of professional legal support and guidance.

We'll Drive the Claim for You

As your injury claim moves forward, your Motorlegal lawyer will keep you in the loop and makes sure you’re treated fairly from start to finish. With Motorlegal, you’ll always be dealing directly with a dedicated road accident lawyer.

Experience the Difference

When we’re satisfied that you have received a fair settlement offer, we will ensure that you will receive your injury compensation promptly to allow you to move on. And if you or your family and friends need us again, we’re here to help. This is what we do.

Resources & Guides

Bus Accident with Personal Injury

Understanding Your Rights: A Guide to Passenger Personal Injury Claims


Vehicle Damage Claims: A User’s Guide


Navigating Injury Compensation Offers from ICWA

Motor Legal - Bicycle Cyclist Accident Injury

A Guide to Bicycle Accidents and Injury Claims in Western Australia

Motor Legal - Physio Whiplash Injury

The Role of Physiotherapy in the Treatment of Whiplash Injuries


What Types of Treatment Work for Whiplash Injuries?


What Exactly is a Whiplash Injury?


What Costs And Expenses Can I Recover After An Accident?