Loading...

A short summary of the proposed changes to Green Slip Law (The Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013)

____

Injured Persons Association

A SHORT SUMMARY

Proposed Changes to Green Slip Law (The Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013)

Effect on 90% of Accident Victims Injured by a Driver at Fault (Not Over 10% Whole Person Impairment)

 
Before Proposed 2013 Changes:

  • Entitled to recover all actual losses over lifetime including full loss of earnings, superannuation contributions by employer, medical expenses, costs of care including the value of care provided without charge by family or friends plus legal costs.
  • Actual loss calculated by looking at the particular circumstances of the accident victim with the aim of restoring the accident victim financially to his or her position if there had been no accident.
  • Loss paid in a single lump sum.
  • No entitlement to general damages for pain and suffering and permanent disability
  • Most cases settled and, if not settled, almost always determined by a CARS Assessor at an informal hearing normally taking about half a day.
  • Some appeals to the court which determines underlying principles for calculation of loss.

 

After Proposed 2013 Changes (Summary of Major Changes):

  • Entitled to weekly payment for loss of earnings being 95% of actual earnings for three months and then 80% of earnings.
  • Earnings based on actual earnings during preceding 12 months with few exceptions (e.g. ignores fluctuating circumstances of men and women running a business) and capped at about $2,000 per week.
  • Entitled to reimbursement of reasonable medical expenses and paid care.
  • Accident victim unable to seek care from any doctor, physiotherapist etc who charges more than the fixed fees because illegal for doctor physiotherapist etc to charge above the government rate.
  • Cannot recover value of care provided without charge by family or friends.
  • Cannot recover any other losses.
  • Payments for lost earnings, medical expenses and paid care terminates 5 years from date of accident (even for a child whose losses don't start until more than 5 years from date of accident).
  • Payments for lost earnings terminate at normal retirement age and after 1 year if accident victim already over normal retiring age.
  • Cannot recover legal costs.
  • Accident victim unable to seek legal representation beyond that allowed by regulation because illegal for lawyer to charge above the amount regulated by government (although insurer entitled to unlimited legal representation).
  • Right to benefits can be redeemed by lump sum but lump sum calculated on the basis of likely payments under statutory rules for the remainder of five years as distinct from damages based on actual lifetime loss.

 

Effect on 10 % of Accident Victims Injured by a Driver at Fault (Over 10% Whole Person Impairment)

 

Before Proposed 2013 Changes:

  • Same entitlements as above for 90% of accident victims
  • In addition entitled to recover general damages for pain and suffering and permanent disability.

 

After Proposed 2013 Changes:

  • Entitled to same weekly benefits for loss of earnings, medical expenses and paid care as above for 90% of accident victims.
  • In addition entitled to pursue a claim for lump sum damages (after giving credit for amounts already received) in the same way as before with these restrictions:
    • Any loss of earnings above $2000 per week is ignored
    • Cannot recover value of care provided without charge by family or friends.
    • Cannot recover for any losses other than loss of earnings and paid medical expenses and care.
    • Accident victim unable to seek legal representation beyond that allowed by regulation because illegal for lawyer to charge above the amount regulated by government (although insurer entitled to unlimited legal representation). This is a dramatic change because the accident victims traditional right to contract out of the minimal scale costs has been removed. Effectively accident victims with serious injuries will be largely unrepresented and substantially at the mercy of the insurer.

 

 

 

 

Still want to know more?

 

Why not read the full explanation of the proposed changes to Green Slip law and how it will affect you.