During the life of your CTP personal injury claim, you must have heard of this term “minor injury” on a number of occasions. So, what does it actually mean in plain English? 

What is a minor injury?

The definition of a minor injury is determined by the diagnosis rather than the symptoms, and it does not consider the injury’s physical or emotional effects on the individual. Generally, individuals with a minor injury can expect to recover with appropriate treatment, manage their symptoms independently or with some assistance, and return to work or normal activities relatively quickly. 

There are two types of minor injury;

1. Soft tissue injury 

Soft tissue injuries refer to damages to the muscles and other non-bony tissues in the body. These injuries are prevalent at different stages of life, and it’s probable that you’ve experienced one before, such as a muscle strain or a painful back. The most frequently occurring soft tissue injury following an accident is whiplash, which typically causes neck discomfort. 

2. Minor psychological or psychiatric injury 

Following a crash, you may encounter changes in your mood and behavior, or feelings of sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, or guilt, whether you were involved in the incident or witnessed it. These psychological symptoms are considered minor psychiatric or psychological injuries, and most people tend to recover within a short period, enabling them to return to work or normal activities. While the duration of these emotions may vary from one person to another, evidence suggests that people start feeling better soon after. In general, if the injury is not a recognized psychiatric illness, it is categorized as a minor injury.  

However, two psychiatric illnesses, namely adjustment disorder and acute stress disorder, are considered minor injuries since they also lead to a full recovery within a short period. 

What benefits are available for people with minor injuries?

Individuals with minor injuries resulting from a crash may be eligible for statutory benefits to aid their recovery for up to 26 weeks. These benefits may include weekly payments for income support, expenses for medical treatment, and domestic and personal care services.  

However, in some situations, treatment and care benefits may be available even after the initial 26 weeks period, especially if they contribute to improving recovery. It is recommended to discuss this possibility with the insurer’s case manager if necessary. 

What if I don’t agree with the insurer’s decision?

If you don’t agree with the insurer’s decision, you may ask the insurer to reconsider it via an ‘insurer internal review’. If you want to request this, you must do so within 28 days of receiving the liability notice letter. You should provide the insurer with any new information you have regarding your injury. 

The CTP scheme is a complex one and if you have sustained injuries (physical and/or psychological injuries) from a motor vehicle accident, we highly recommend you seek legal advice. The Head of our NSW team, Jessica Cheung is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law. Depending on your claim, we can review the liability notice on your behalf, request for an extension of time to lodge internal review, obtain medical evidence to support your injuries and position, and then challenge the insurer’s decision on your behalf.  

If you believe you have sustained a personal injury and would like professional legal advice, reach out to Jessica and her team for a confidential discussion at no costs to you.   

*The intention and purpose of this article is to be used as a guide only. 

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