Changes to the NSW government’s compulsory third party (CTP) scheme will leave people fighting for entitlements without their own lawyer and queuing outside of Centrelink says Macarthur Law Society president Brett McGrath.
Mr McGrath rejected changes to the CTP scheme and said the new system undermined Macarthur residents’ “sense of security” they deserved with their insurer.
“We believe the rights of injured motorists should be put before the profits lining the pockets of large insurers,” Mr McGrath said.
“The reality is you need a lawyer to have any chance against these insurance companies.”
Under the new CTP scheme proposed, 90 per cent of innocent victims, who fall below the 10 per cent whole person impairment will have treatment expenses cut off after five years.
Mr McGrath said that injured motorists and their families would pay the price as benefits are slashed to deliver lower CTP premiums.
"The government's new 'no fault' scheme is likely to generate more claims, cost more to administer and pay out less to injured motorists," Mr McGrath said.
"We do not accept that reduced CTP premiums can only be delivered at the expense of fair and reasonable benefits for those who are injured in motor accidents.”
Marsdens Law Group partner and accredited specialist in personal injury Joe Bonura said that Macarthur residents should be aware that most injuries failed to reach this 10 per cent threshold.
Even severe injuries like brain damage and permanent back injury causing constant pain have failed to qualify.
“The changes will mean that injured motorists will be unable to access legal advice or obtain their own medical evidence, and will be forced to deal with an insurer who has access to legal expertise and whose decisions, except for an internal review, will be final,” Mr Bonura said.
“Except for those who are severely injured, lawyers will be removed from the process and that means you will have to fend for yourself against the insurer.”
The Macarthur Law Society has raised the issue with Shadow Attorney General, Paul Lynch MP and Greg Warren MP and are encouraging the public to contact their local state and federal members of Parliament to urge a review of the new system.