Lawyers emphasise right to choose in national insurance schemes

24th Aug 2012

The National Disability Insurance and National Injury Insurance Schemes, being advanced by the Federal Government, are being discussed in Perth today (Friday 24 August) by lawyers at the coalface of personal injury law.

Lawyers, dignitaries and academics are gathered at the Hyatt Regency for the Australian Lawyers Alliance annual WA Conference that includes a dissected analysis of the NDIS and NIIS by ALA National President, Tony Kerin.

Mr Kerin’s address is focussing on concerning details from both schemes that have yet to be properly ventilated, probably because of the vast scope and multi-facetted elements of the national plan.

“Of particular worry is the no-fault implications of a National Injury Insurance Scheme that eliminates access to negligence-based damages awarded by the courts,” Mr Kerin said.

“Ultimately, people with disability want greater access to their rights. However, this access must be supported by appropriate legal structures, including the right to appeal, merits review, and the right to an advocate to act on one’s behalf,” he said.

Mr Kerin said such elements were crucial for the advancement of the quality of life for those suffering from disabilities or injuries and the ALA was well placed to assist in refining and honing such elements as it was originally formed in 1994 as organisation focussed on improving the rights of the injured and disabled.

“This is the greatest chance the community has had to improve the lot of the injured and disabled for a generation. It must be done in a considered and well planned manner. To do otherwise will likely result in great disappointment for those who now have such high expectations and who deserve what many of us take for granted – true quality of life,” Mr Kerin said.

Tags: Western Australia NDIS NIIS Access to justice