Legal rights of the injured suffer in new green slip changes in NSW
The legal rights of people injured in motor vehicle accidents are being further undermined by the NSW government’s changes to the green slip insurance scheme.
Many injured people likely to be forced to rely on Medicare
The government recently brought in a new regulation defining what constitutes a “minor injury” under the compulsory third party insurance scheme. (Please see the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Regulation 2017.)
The new government regulations exclude people from access to damages if they have injuries classified as “moderate” that manifest in neurological damage. These injuries can be very serious and prevent a person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident from returning to work and earning a living.
These changes to conditions of the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 are likely to force many injured people to rely on Medicare for the long term treatment of their injuries.
Only the insurance industry will benefit from the changes, and insurers are already making huge profits under the changes to the compulsory third party insurance scheme brought in by the government.
NSW Bar Association criticises changes to laws
The NSW Bar Association has said these changes “undermine the legal rights of people injured in motor accidents.”
The president of the Bar Association, Arthur Moses SC, said the original Act had come about after lengthy discussions with the legal fraternity, but at the last minute the government altered some significant features of the Act to the detriment of the rights of individuals.
Mr Moses said the changes are contrary to the government’s expressed objective of providing adequate compensation for accident victims.
People injured in motor vehicle accidents in NSW still have rights
The Act came into operation on 1 December 2017. The changes still leave a system that is complicated and difficult to negotiate.
Nevertheless, everyone has rights, even under these changes, and it would be wise to seek expert legal advice before agreeing to any offers of compensation from an insurance company.
The changes reduce what you can claim for, as well as cutting back on damages that can be claimed. But there are statutory benefits available to people who are injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
For more information about the changes to motor vehicle accident laws in NSW, please see Changes to NSW motor accident laws – your definitive guide.