​Australians Alerted To Proposed Changes To Motor Accident Compensation Laws

Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers is a leading Sydney legal practice and accredited specialists in Personal Injury law. In a recent communiqué they make all Australians aware of the proposed changes to motor vehicle compensation laws.

The Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, the Honourable, Victor Dominello MP announced in a media release on 2 March 2016 that the Government will be establishing a task force to counteract CTP fraud in New South Wales and will also conduct a review of the present CTP scheme.

The Government has a clear agenda to reduce the cost of a green slip in New South Wales and is keen to see that a high proportion of the green slip premium goes towards helping the injured person.

Statistical information indicates only 45% of the premium is paid in direct claimant benefits and furthermore, 19% of the premium represents profit for the licensed insurers.

The Government has put on the table a number of potential reform options which are as follows: Option 1 – retain the current common law, fault based scheme with process improvements; Option 2 – retain the current common law, fault based scheme with adjustments to benefit levels as well as process improvements; Option 3 – move to a hybrid no fault, defined benefit scheme with common law benefits retained in parallel; and Option 4 – move to a fully no fault, defined benefit scheme with caps, thresholds and no common law.

As these discussions have progressed since March 2016, it appears the Government is in favour of option 3. This proposed scheme is similar to the scheme presently operating in Victoria which is managed by the Transport Accident Commission.

Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers believe it is important to note the present scheme in New South Wales is already a hybrid scheme with no fault benefits paid to a significant number of classes of persons injured in New South Wales. For example, upon lodgement of the Accident Notification Form payments are made to injured persons up to the sum of $5,000.00 for medical expenses. There is also the blameless accident legislation, Lifetime Care and Support Scheme and no fault coverage for children.

In the Victorian scheme there are no payments made for gratuitous domestic assistance. At the present time in New South Wales, persons who are injured can receive assistance from friends or relatives with self-care and domestic chores but such assistance must be not less than 6 hours per week and for a period not less than 6 months. The rate is legislated by statute at $29.44 per hour and is CPI indexed.

If the present legislation is changed, Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers believes there is cause for concern in ascertaining the entry level or threshold for access to common law benefits. Most objective observers of the proposed changes are concerned that the CTP scheme will not provide adequate economic loss compensation in most cases – meaning that those who cannot afford to pay for separate income protection insurance will be left ‘high and dry’.

Mr Mark Nelson, Partner of Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers said, “more than ever, injured persons need to consult experienced practitioners in the area of personal injury litigation and seek the assistance of solicitors who have many years’ experience in personal injury claims.”

Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers offers the services of accredited personal injury law specialists who are ready to assist members of the community. To learn more about the business and the comprehensive range of legal services offered, visit the website here: http://www.bpclaw.com.au/

About Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers

Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers is a leading Sydney legal practice with accredited specialists in Personal Injury and Family law. The practice has its origins as a legal practice started by Barry Beilby in 1975. The business expanded significantly in 1993 when the practice merged with that of Flannery Mura & Costello, a firm specialising in Compensation law.

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