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Recent Changes to the NSW Legislation for People Making Claims for Injuries Suffered in a Motor Vehicle Accident on a Public Road

On 1 December 2017 major changes were made to persons who suffered injury in a motor vehicle accident.

The requirement to make a claim if you are injured in a road incident whilst driving and/or a passenger in a motor vehicle is to obtain legal advice, and you should contact Paramount immediately. In addition the assistant website for your is www.sira.nsw.gov.au.

An online Claim Notification Form can be completed by you and/or by us on your behalf.

A Certificate of Capacity/Certificate of Fitness needs to be completed by the specialist and/or your family doctor.

Weekly payments are available. For the first 13 weeks the percentage maybe up to 95% of your wage if you are unable to return to work and between 14 and 26 weeks the percentage maybe up to 80%.

After 26 weeks your weekly payments will end if:

  • You were at fault; or
  • Your injuries are assessed as minor

At the present moment, the definition as to ‘minor’ and/or ‘soft tissue injury’ is not clear to the industry and we are waiting for certain court decision to be made available in order for clarity on this issue.

However, at Paramount none of our client’s are considered to have minor and/or soft tissue injury and all our clients are treated with the utmost respect and seriousness.

Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident covered by the NSW CTP scheme can apply. This includes:

  • Drivers and passenger;
  • Riders and pillion passengers;
  • Pedestrians and cyclists.

The injury can be physical and/or psychological.

It is only after the first 20 months that you can apply for a lump sum claim if the insurer disputes the extent of your injuries. This allows you to make common law claims and weekly income payments.

We are able to assist you in this regard and make the process as easy as possible, because at Paramount, our clients are important to us.

Soft Tissue and Minor Psychological or Psychiatric Injuries are Defined.

The guidelines under the Motor Accidents Injury Act 2017 (NSW) (“The Act”) particularly the Sections 1.6(5), 3.28(3) and 3.31 of the Act with respect to:

5.1.1 Assessing whether an injury is a soft tissue or minor psychological or psychiatric injury;

5.1.2 The approval of domestic services and home maintenance as appropriate treatment and care for soft tissue or minor psychological or psychiatric injury or injuries; and

5.1.3 The authorisation of payment of statutory benefits for treatment and care expenses incurred more than 26 weeks after the motor accident for soft tissue or minor psychological or psychiatric injury or injuries.

Divisions 1.2, Section 1.5 and clause for the regulation, a minor injury is any one or more of the following:

5.2.1 A soft tissue injury – an injury to tissue that connects, supports or surrounds other structures or organs of the body, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, fascio, fibrosis tissue, fat, blood vessels and synovial membrane) but not an injury to nerves or complete or partial ruptures of tendons, ligaments, menisci or cartilage.

  • Injury as a soft tissue injury under the Regulation is an injury to the spinal nerve root that manifests in neurological signs, other than radiculopathy

5.2.2 A minor psychological or psychiatric injury – a psychological or psychiatric injury that is not a recognised psychiatric illness.

  • Included as a minor psychological or psychiatric injury under the Regulation is acute stress, disorder and adjustment disorder.

The changes from 1 December 2017 have resulted in direct communication by the insurer to our clients. It is still early days in this regard, but we are able to inform the insurer to ensure that it communicates with us directly so that you do not have to face the insurer and deal with their trickery.

In respect to the definition of soft tissue injury, there is an internal review process and we are more than capable to address this on your behalf. This must be addressed within 28 days from the date of the decision made by the Reviewing Claims Clerk.

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