Vehicle accident victims lose out in CTP changes
Ninety per cent of people injured in vehicle accidents will have to battle giant insurance companies alone and without legal assistance under controversial changes to the NSW CTP Green Slip scheme put forward by the government.
This is just one of the detrimental effects of the proposed reforms for the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme announced by the NSW government, said Justin Stack, Managing Director of Stacks Law Firm.
“While the current CTP scheme has problems, these reforms go too far against the interests of the victims of vehicle accidents, and give too much power to the giant insurance companies,” Mr Stack said.
“Insurers have a vested interest in not paying out for injuries, so the entire focus for justice for victims has shifted.”
The government has proposed a no-fault, low-benefits, compensation style scheme for motor accident victims. After a certain period, only about ten per cent of accident victims receive any ongoing benefits.
Instead of a government agency dispensing benefits which has some sort of oversight and obligation to treat accident victims fairly, the scheme will rely on five powerful private insurers whose only motive is to maximize profits and squeeze victims.
“The vast majority of people with long-term loss of earnings and long-term medical needs will be pushed into reliance on Centrelink payments or public hospitals and Medicare. The taxpayer will effectively be picking up the bill for the insurance giants.
“If victims dispute a decision on lost earnings and future medical needs, it will be the insurer who receives the appeal, the same company that just denied the benefit.”
“This is obviously unfair, and groups like the Australian Lawyers Alliance are deeply concerned there will be no independent way to review decision making by the insurers, and that ninety per cent of claimants won’t be allowed to engage a lawyer to assist them to access benefits to which they are entitled.
“Insurers have powerful teams of highly experienced in-house legal experts, and to expect accident victims to battle against them without anyone qualified to help or support them is a denial of justice.”
“Stacks Law Firm has extensive experience in this aspect of law and we are concerned vehicle accident victims will be denied their rights, and insurance giants will pocket massive profits.
“It sounds good for the NSW government to say the changes will bring down the cost of a green slip, but we’ve seen what happened with similar changes to the NSW Workers Compensation scheme – accident victims got less and insurers’ profits went up.”