The Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Act 2022 passed both houses of the NSW Parliament and was assented to on 28 November 2022. Several amendments have already taken effect since that date. The remainder of the provisions will otherwise take effect on 1 April 2023 or a later date.
Changes in effect since 28 November 2022
- There is no longer the requirement to seek an internal review with the CTP insurer for Whole Person Impairment disputes before proceeding to the Personal Injury Commission.
- The restriction preventing the lodgement of a Common Law Claim before 20 months has been removed.
- The restriction on settling a common law claim before 2 years has been removed.
- The requirement of commencing a damages dispute in the Commission before 3 years has been removed. Previously, if a damages dispute was referred to the Commission after 3 years, the Claimant is required to provide a full and satisfactory explanation for the delay. However, it is arguably best practice to refer to the Commission before 3 years in the even that a claim needs to be referred to the District Court NSW.
These changes will streamline the settlement of non-minor CTP cases. Oftentimes injured Claimants are prevented from receiving a common law settlement due to having to wait for their dispute to be determined, firstly by the CTP insurer and then be assessed at the Commission. Removing the 20 month restriction will mean that Claimants can resolve their claim quicker.
Changes to commence after 1 April 2023
- The term “minor injuries” will change to “threshold injuries”
The Nominal Defendant will be liable in statutory benefit claims in the same way as in common law damages claims.
- The insurer’s second Liability Notice where it is required to make a determination on threshold injury and fault is now due 9 months after the lodgement of claim instead of the current 3 months.
- The period that an injured Claimant will be entitled to statutory benefits will be extended to 52 weeks, up from the current 26 weeks. This entitlement period is irrespective of fault or whether one has sustained a threshold injury.
- When a person is partially at fault in a motor vehicle accident (not over 61%), their weekly benefits may only be reduced for their contributory negligence after 52 weeks rather than the current 26 weeks.