Injured drivers will not be fairly compensated under proposed ACT MAI Bill
1st Nov 2018
The proposed ACT Motor Accidents Insurance (MAI) Bill will not provide proper compensation to injured motorists and will shift the balance of power in favour of the insurers, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
“Most of us don’t want to think about the consequences of being involved in a serious car accident but we also assume that, if we are injured due to the negligence of another driver, our insurance means we will be properly looked after,” said Jamie Ronald, ACT Director, ALA.
“If the new Bill being proposed by the ACT Government is passed, innocent victims of car accidents can no longer be confident that they will be fairly compensated.”
The ALA has opposed the draft MAI Bill in a submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety of the ACT Legislative Assembly.
“When judges and magistrates decide how much compensation to award, they analyse the impact of the injury upon the person across all aspects of their life, for the duration of their life,” said Jamie. “Common law compensation attempts to put the injured person back into the position they would have been in but for the injury. This is fair and appropriate.
“The Government’s proposed Bill will not do this. The statutory compensation proposed in the Bill is far more limited. It only provides limited protection for a maximum period of five years in defined sums and under strictly limited circumstances. It will undercompensate drivers that have been injured through no fault of their own.”
The new Bill limits access to the courts for people with seemingly less serious injuries however this will prevent some motorists who suffer serious and permanent harm from seeking damages.
“The proposed Bill allows insurance companies to become the judge of whether an injured person should receive compensation and how much should be paid. This is not right and may have devastating impacts on a person whose whole life has been destroyed by an accident,” said Jamie.