Govt must reveal model for no-fault insurance
5th May 2015
The State Government must end the uncertainty about which model of no-fault insurance scheme it will introduce, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.
While the government has confirmed that it has committed to the scheme, the community is still in the dark over which option has been chosen.
ALA Western Australia Committee member Phil Gleeson said current figures show an estimated 92 people a year suffering catastrophic injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
“Under the current scheme, only around 48 of those people who can prove a third party was at fault are eligible to claim for a lump sum payment to cover expenses,” Mr Gleeson said.
“The government has rightly decided to introduce a scheme to cover the remaining 44 people who cannot prove fault, however we still don’t know exactly how the scheme will work.”
Mr Gleeson said the government should end the uncertainty and reveal which option it has chosen.
“Those people who have been catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident need certainty - they need to know whether they will be affected by these changes,” Mr Gleeson said.
“The government was given three options. Option 1 was to do nothing, which it has already confirmed it has disregarded.
“Option 2 is to overhaul the whole system and treat all catastrophically injured people the same way, whether they can prove fault or not.
“Option 3 is to leave the current system as is, with the addition of covering the 44 people who currently miss out on coverage for their catastrophic injuries.”
Mr Gleeson said that Option 3 was in the community’s best interest.
“The government does not need to re-invent the wheel. The current system allows people to pursue a claim to prove negligence and get their money in a lump sum,” Mr Gleeson said.
“Many accident victims I talk to feel strongly that a lump sum payment allows them to maintain control, independence and choice in the delivery of their care and support.
“Option 2 would take away this right and only give people access to ongoing, or drip-fed, payments.
“This would leave them reliant on the WA Insurance Commission to monitor and manage their payments for life, which takes away their independence and choice,” Mr Gleeson said.
Mr Gleeson called on the government to announce its choice before it handed down the state budget.