Car Accident Lawyers Sydney – Motor Vehicle Accidents
AM Legal Compensation Lawyers – expert Car accident lawyers Sydney, specialises in providing motor vehicle accidents advice and representation pursuant to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act. AM Legal Compensation Lawyers are car accident lawyers who can assist you in obtaining proper compensation for your motor vehicle claim.
A claim for damages can be made in respect of death or injury caused by the fault of the owner or driver of a motor vehicle accidents in the use or operation of the vehicle.
There are special requirements for making a claim following injury in a motor vehicle accident. These requirements must be met within a certain statutory time frame. We can advise and assist injured people to meet their statutory obligations.
Following completion of the injured person’s statutory obligations, the insurer will assess the claim and decide whether to accept liability for the injuries or otherwise. In the event liability is accepted, we carry out the necessary investigations and assemble the best evidence to maximise the damages / compensation that the insurer has to pay in the circumstances of the case.
In the event liability is not accepted, we can provide advice in relation to the issues in dispute and use our expertise to assemble the evidence necessary to ensure that liability is accepted by the court.
If a claim is not settled within 3 years of the date of the motor vehicle accident, proceedings must be commenced in the District Court of New South Wales (if the insurer denies liability) or applications should be lodged with the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service (CARS) (if the insurer accepts liability). Otherwise, the entitlement to commence proceedings and receive compensation may be lost. We ensure that the three year limitation period is diarised and several reminders are put in place. In the event a claim is not resolved within the three year limitation period, we ensure that it has been thoroughly prepared and proceedings are filed within time. Commencing proceedings does not preclude settlement negotiations continuing and we have found that sometimes insurers are more responsive and reasonable once proceedings have been commenced.
Until the claim is accepted by the insurer all treatment fees incurred can be paid through Medicare. These expenses will be repaid to Medicare at the conclusion of the claim. After the claim is admitted by the insurer the fees for all reasonably necessary treatment should be submitted by the doctors and other medical providers directly to the insurer for payment.
Once symptoms have settled and future problems from the accident are reasonably clear, negotiations can be entered into with the insurer for the settlement of the claim. There is an entitlement to payment of:-
a. A payment for pain and suffering in some circumstances.
b. Wages or earnings lost since the time of the accident.
c. Wages or earnings that will be lost in the future.
d. Medical expenses that will be required for future treatment.
e. The value of any services provided in the past by family or friends, subject to certain limitations.
f. The cost of care provided in the home since the accident.
g. The cost of care which may be required in the future.
AM Legal Compensation Lawyers specialise in providing advice for motor vehicle claims and incidents pursuant to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act. We can provide further information and advice about these heads of damage (types of compensation) and all aspects of motor vehicle claims. Contact Antony and speak to an experienced car accident lawyer Sydney
ALERT MARCH 2016
The NSW government is reportedly reviewing the CTP / motor vehicle accident injury compensation system as it is concerned about the cost of and wishes to put downward pressure on CTP premiums. We fear that victims of motor vehicle accidents may be the losers from this review. The government reportedly may introduce reforms that may wipe out or significantly reduce entitlements in claims that involve what it deems to be “minor injuries” like whiplash injuries and soft tissue injuries. In our experience these types of injuries are often not minor at all, but can cause considerable and even permanent pain, disability and losses. In the circumstances, we encourage everyone who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injury (no matter how “minor” it seems) as a result of the fault of another driver to contact us for advice and make a claim NOW. Time is of the essence.
ALERT APRIL 2017 – Changes to Car Accident Compensation Law.
If you are seeking Car Accident Lawyers Sydney who can assist you in obtaining proper compensation for your motor vehicle claim contact Antony at AM Legal Compensation Lawyers on 02 9546 8835.
MOTOR ACCIDENT INJURIES ACT 2017
On 30 March 2017 the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (“MAIA”) was passed by the New South Wales Parliament. It received Royal Assent on 4 April 2017 and is expected to commence on 1 December 2017 (and will apply to claims lodged after the date of commencement). The objects of MAIA include to encourage early and appropriate treatment, provide early financial support, to encourage early resolution of claims etc.
MAIA does not appear to have benefits for injured people that the current Motor Accidents Compensation Legislation does. Nonetheless, there are still benefits including a new limited statutory payments regime and modified common law damages in some circumstances.
Statutory Benefits – At-Fault Claimants
People who suffered injury as a result of an incident for which no one was at-fault or for which the claimant him or herself was at-fault can recover statutory benefits. They are entitled to weekly payments (if they have suffered a total or partial loss of earnings) during the “first entitlement period” being the first 13 weeks after the accident and during a portion of the “second entitlement period”, being the period 14 weeks to 78 weeks after the accident.
In the first entitlement period, for up to 13 weeks after the accident, weekly payments can be recovered at the rate of 95% of the claimant’s pre-injury weekly earnings less post-accident earnings, if any, up to a maximum of $3,853.00 as adjusted by the Government from to time and not below the amount of minimum weekly benefits (“MWB”) which will be set by Regulations (yet to be completed and published). During the second entitlement period, at–fault claimants can only recover weekly benefits from week 14 to week 26 at the rate of 80% of pre-accident weekly earnings (if totally unfit) or 85% of pre-accident earnings (if partially unfit) less their post-accident earnings, if any, at that time, not exceeding $3,853,00 and not below the MWB.
At-fault drivers cannot receive weekly payments beyond 6 months.
Claimants Who Are Not At-Fault
During the first entitlement period the entitlement is 95% of pre-accident weekly earnings less post-accident weekly earnings.
If the claimant is 18 years of age or older, weekly payments can be recovered for up to 104 weeks (2 years), or longer if the injury is the subject of a pending claim for damages (up to 156 weeks if the whole person impairment is not greater than 10%), or up to 260 weeks (if the whole person impairment is greater than 10%).
If the claimant is less than 18 years of age and not an earner, weekly payments stop after 78 weeks (one and a half years).
If the injury occurred before the claimant’s retirement age, weekly payments are not payable beyond the first anniversary of their retirement age. If the motor vehicle accident occurred after the claimant reached their retirement age, they are entitled to weekly payments for 12 months.
On the expiration of 26 weeks after an injury, weekly payments can be reduced if the claimant contributed to his or her injuries by their own negligence (but not up to 61% responsible or more, which would deem them to be “mostly at-fault” pursuant to the Legislation and only entitled to statutory benefits for 26 weeks).
Medical Expenses and Domestic Assistance
“Reasonably necessary” medical and related expenses are payable. It appears that these can be paid for up to 5 years by the insurer. The Lifetime Care and Support Authority may take over the payment of those expenses during the five years immediately following the accident, if it appears that the claimant is so badly injured that they will have to be supported for longer than 5 years. It appears that, where there is no such agreement, and the greenslip insurer pays treatment expenses for the first 5 years, but the claimant requires medical treatment and care beyond that, the Lifetime Care and Support Authority will then take over and administer that assistance and make those payments.
There are no payments for domestic assistance required by the claimant as result of the motor vehicle injuries.
For claimants who are not most at-fault, payments can be recovered to reimburse them the cost of employing someone to provide domestic assistance to their dependent/s. Dependents are defined as spouses, de-factos, children, grandchildren, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, parents or grandparents, or, any other person who is a member of the claimant’s household and any unborn child as a claimant as at the time of the motor vehicle accident and who is born after that time. However, this reimbursement may only be paid if the claimant provided services to the dependants at the time of the motor vehicle accident, the dependents were not capable of providing that care for themselves at the time of the accident and will not be able to do so in the future, the claimant reasonably expected that they would continue to provide assistance for at least six hours per week and for at least six consecutive months had the injury not occurred, there will be a need for the services to be provided for those hours per week and for that consecutive period of time and that need is reasonable in all of the circumstances.
After the claimant’s death statutory benefits stop.
No statutory payments under MAIA are to be made if the claimant has workers compensation rights and payments as a result of this same accident.
No statutory payments are to be made for an at-fault claimant if the vehicle that they were driving was uninsured.
On receipt of damages under MAIA or Workers Compensation Legislation, statutory payments are to be stopped and will be deducted from the damages payment.
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority can arrange and implement vocational assessment and training.
Statutory benefits cannot be redeemed and paid as a lump sum.
Overpayments can be recovered.