- The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) will commence on or about 1 December 2017 and will only apply to motor accidents occurring after its commencement.
- Those injured in motor accidents will now be able to access statutory benefits regardless of fault unless they have been charged with or convicted of a serious driving offence.
- No common law damages will be recoverable for minor injuries.
- A new dispute resolution service will be established.
The Motor Accident Injuries Bill 2017 (NSW) was passed by New South Wales Parliament on 30 March 2017 and was assented to on 4 April 2017. The Bill introduces a new NSW Compulsory-Third Party (‘CTP’) Accidents Scheme which replaces the scheme under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). It is anticipated that the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) (‘the Act’) will commence on or about 1 December 2017. It will only apply to motor accidents occurring after its commencement.
The Act is the cornerstone of what is to be a new CTP scheme for all those injured or who die as a result of a motor accident in New South Wales. It represents a substantial shift away from what was fundamentally a fault-based scheme to a genuine hybrid model which combines access to statutory, no-fault benefits with limited access to common law damages. It also includes a number of new provisions designed to deter false or misleading claims and to reduce the opportunity for insurers to generate so-called ‘super profits’.
Central to the functioning of both the statutory and common law branches of the new CTP scheme is the definition of what is a ‘minor injury’.