You are driving along obeying speed limits when suddenly a
vehicle drifts to the wrong side of the road slams into you head
on. You are thrown hard against the seat belt, the airbag bursts
into your face, your knee slams into the dash board, your neck
snaps bath and forth and your shoulders are badly wrenched by the
force of the collision.
You have to have surgery on a knee and both shoulders. You have
permanent injuries to knees, neck and shoulders. Doctors deem your
injuries are less than 10 per cent physical impairment under the
tough current guidelines.
You can't work as much as you used to because of your
physical pain, let alone your mental fears. Before the accident you
earned $750 a week. Now you can earn only $200.
Under the current compulsory third party (CTP green slip) scheme
you can be awarded a payment that helps with your medical and
mental health bills, as well as covering you for loss of income.
You'd rather the accident never happened, but at least the
payment helps you get your life back on track.
This was a real case. The accident victim - a manual labourer
with a wife and young children - went to Stacks/The Law Firm for
help. A Stacks lawyer specialising in compensation law helped get
the victim $915,000 through the CTP scheme.
The payment included compensation for future loss of income. It
will help the victim's young family cope in the years ahead
with its much reduced income.
Maurie Stack OAM, chairman of the law firm, warns that under
plans by the NSW government to change the CTP scheme, this
victim's compensation would be cut by $800,000 to somewhere
between $90,000 and $150,000.
The changes slash the level of benefits available to the injured
person for loss of income, and they will be cut off entirely after
three to five years.
"It will also take away your right to sue the negligent
driver who caused the accident," said Mr Stack, a former
president of the Law Society.
"Under the government's no-fault proposal, 90 per cent
of those injured as a result of the negligence of others will lose
their right to sue. So the family man hit by the driver who was on
the wrong side of the road is effectively having his entitlements
slashed in order to provide equal compensation for the negligent
"The government says it wants to do this to lower green
slips by about $50. What they're not saying is you'll have
to spend thousands more to take out your own income protection
insurance to match what we already have through the CTP
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Contractors and principals should ensure they have appropriate insurance coverage instead of relying on indemnity clauses.
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