The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 commenced on 1 December 2017 introducing a new Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme to replace the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999. The new legislation applies to motor accidents that occur after its commencement.
The first 6-months
One of the major changes in the new CTP scheme is the introduction of access to statutory benefits available to most injured people in a motor vehicle accident, regardless who is at fault, for a period of 6 months (this period being extended in certain circumstances). Statutory benefits include the following (where necessary):
1. Weekly income payments if you cannot work;
2. Medical and treatment expenses; and
3. Commercial attendant care.
Claimants with minor injuries (defined as soft tissue and/or minor psychological injuries) or those who were wholly or mostly at fault in the accident are limited to 6 months of weekly payments of statutory benefits.
After the first 6-months
If your injury is agreed or assessed to be more than a minor injury, you may receive up to 2 years of weekly payments if you are assessed as suffering up to 10% Whole Person Impairment (WPI). This may also be extended if you are also pursuing a “damages” claim (outlined below).
Medical expenses are available for life for those not-at- fault with more than a minor injury.
Common law claims for damages
A claim for damages is a claim for lump sum compensation which finalises your claim with the CTP Insurer. A claim for damages is now to be made separately from a claim for statutory benefits.
Distinct from common law claims under the old CTP scheme, common law claims are now limited to specified categories of economic and non-economic loss. This removes damages claims for medical treatment and care expenses. As under the old CTP scheme, non-economic loss is only available if the claimant is assessed above 10% WPI.
Those with minor injuries will be unable to pursue a common law damages claim. Common law claims for damages are available for claimants assessed as sustaining something other than a minor injury (ie. a moderate or significant injury).
How Coastal Compensation Law Specialists (CCLS) can help
There are strict time limitations for making motor vehicle accident claims. Under the new scheme, claimants have a period of 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a claim form on the relevant CTP insurer.
CCLS can assist you with a number of disputes and claims with the Insurer, some examples are as follows:
If your claim is rejected by the Insurer because it was lodged out of time;
ii. If the Insurer wholly denies liability for your claim;
iii. If the Insurer refuses to fund treatment expenses;
iv. If the Insurer refuses to pay your weekly wage while you’re off work;
v. If the Insurer determines you are at fault;
vi. If the Insurer’s specialist assesses you as under 11% WPI.
CCLS also specialises in maximising your common law claim for damages.
Should you have sustained significant injuries arising out of the motor vehicle accident that occurred after 1 December 2017, we urge you to contact us immediately so we may gather the necessary evidence in support of your potential claim.
The new CTP scheme is not retrospective. This means that anyone injured in a motor accident before 1 December 2017 will continue to have entitlements in accordance with the legislation that applied at the time of the accident. If you were injured in a motor accident before 1 December 2017, we can also assist you with your motor accident claim with the CTP Insurer.
Should you not be able to attend our offices to discuss your potential motor accident CTP claim, CCLS can arrange one of our lawyers to visit you in the hospital or your home.
CCLS knows how stressful being involved in an accident is, so ‘No Win, No Fee’ means you don’t have to worry about expensive medical report fees to help you in your case, nor do you need to pay any upfront legal fees. For more information on what No Win, No Fee means refer here.