The Injured Persons Association was formed in 1987 when the NSW Motor Vehicle Compulsory Third-Party Insurance Scheme (the Green Slip Scheme then called 'Transcover') was last under attack. The right of innocent accident victims to claim damages was abolished. At the same time the workers compensation laws were changed and workers right to claim common law damages was removed. This Association campaigned for more than 18 months and eventually the laws were changed and the right to claim damages by both motor accident victims and workers was restored.
In 2013 the rights of motor accident victims were again under attack. Without any consultation with accident victims – but apparently from press reports following lobbying by a consultation with insurers a government "Discussion Paper" was published proposing that effectively 90% of motor accident victims in NSW would lose their right to claim damages. Instead it was proposed that accident victims and those who caused the accident would have equal rights under a statutory claim of benefits – rights dramatically less able than the right to claim damages. Notably the 90% of accident victims any entitlement to loss of earnings, medical expenses and care was proposed to be cut off after a period of 3 to 5 years.
All objections to these proposals were swept aside and the "Discussion Paper" became the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013.
This attack on the rights of innocent motor accident victims followed a similar attack on the rights of those injured at work in 2012.
It was obvious that there was to be a pattern of attacks on the rights of accident victims in NSW.
The Injured Persons Association was reformed in 2013 in response to these attacks. It is an association of accident victims but families and supporters of accident victims are also welcome to join. Within a month of the Association going public, almost 1000 accident victims joined up.
The inaugural President of the Injured Persons Association was Kieran Fraser. Kieran's wife was a motor accident victim and Kieran himself is a psychologist with extensive experience in the workers compensation area. Kieran shot to fame in 2012 when he was selected on The Voice TV Program as part of Team Seal. For those interested Kieran is on YouTube.
Keiran is now pursuing his career. The current spokesperson for the IPA is Andrew Christopoulos, a lawyer devoted to preserving the rights of injured people.
In 2016, the Association is responding to a further attack on the rights of innocent motor accident victims very similar to that which we experienced in 2013. We haven't seen the Government's Bill yet but what we know is that the changes look like, but could be more radical than, those proposed in 2013.
Membership of the Injured Persons Association is free but it will cost money to continue to run the Association and donations from supporters are welcome and can be made via this website.