CTP Scheme Change in New South Wales
CTP Changes in NSW -Procedures for making a claim when you suffer injuries in a motor accident has changed profoundly if injuries occurred on or after 1 December 2017.
On that date, the new Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) came into operation.
For injuries that arose before 1 December 2017, the previous Motor Accident Scheme conditions will apply.
Under the new Act, a Claim Form and Certificate of Capacity need to be completely lodged and served within three months of the accident rather than the previous position which is within six months of the accident. If the Claim Form is not served within 28 days on the relevant CTP insurer then an injured person is not entitled to weekly benefits before that date. No backdating can occur.
A claim can also be made even if you are at fault in the accident. However, in relation to such claims and also in relation to other claims in which the other party is allegedly to be at fault in which a “minor injury” is found to have occurred, entitlements to claim for weekly income loss and medical treatment expenses only continue for six months from the accident date.
All claimants under the new Act will have to be scrutinised as to whether they are suffering a minor injury or not. Clearly this is going to be a source of great contention. In circumstances where an insurer decides that a claimant is suffering a minor injury, there is an internal view that needs to take place on the application of the claimant and thereafter an application to an external “Dispute Resolution Service” which is wholly administered by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (“SIRA”).
This large statutory body also regulates and administers Workers Compensation claims disputes and billing disputes.
It is vital under these circumstances that you seek appropriate legal advice and it is now clear that immediate attention must be given to any injury which occurs arising from a motor accident.
There are also important provisions in relation to whether a motor accident occurs in the course of your employment. Under such circumstances, generally, Workers Compensation entitlements apply and not motor accident entitlements. However, if at any stage, a Workers Compensation Claim is denied then a motor accident claim can then be applied to “fill in the gap” in relation to entitlements. It will probably depend however on a statutory claim having already been made even if at first glance it is not immediately applicable because of Workers Compensation rights already being made.
Damages claims are available to those who suffer an injury which is not minor. However, unless there is a whole person impairment of greater than 10% made at some early point in the life of the claim, such damages claims cannot be made until 20 months has passed from the date of the accident.
It is possible for those who are suffering something other than the minor injury to continue to claim statutory weekly benefits for up to five years and medical and treatment expenses for at least that period as well. It will depend on the extent and the strength of the medical evidence.
For all of the above reasons, it is vital that you seek legal advice urgently. We note that this government has not seen fit to publicise the very strict limitation periods that apply in relation to Claim Notification which places claimants unfettered with the scheme (that is virtually everyone at a severe disadvantage. The aim of the new scheme apparently extend the benefits to anybody injured in an accident and also designed to deter false or misleading claims. Fortunately, however, claimants will find themselves in a very disadvantaged situation. Even if a legal advice is sought, it is limited by the cost regime which is also in place for such new claims.
However, Walker Law Group will always attempt to assist any injured person injured in the motor accident. For further information on the CTP changes in NSW, call our Car Accident Compensation Lawyers on 1300 363 013