Lawyers object to proposed Green Slip changes
MOTORISTS involved in road accidents may lose benefits under a radical overhaul of the Green Slip Scheme in NSW, a local solicitor has warned.
Michael Fishburn has echoed the calls of the New South Wales Bar Association saying the proposed State Government changes could have dramatic ramifications in centres like Coffs Harbour with high crash rates.
The proposed changes come as an attempt by the O'Farrell Government to cut premiums.
Mr Fishburn said the fallout would see the benefits significantly restricted for innocent accident victims, who since 1942 have received full compensation for loss of income for the remainder of their working life.
"The people who are going to pay for these changes are the accident victims outside the 10% whole-person impairment threshold and that's majority of accident victims," Mr Fishburn said.
"The overall effect of the Green Slips changes could mean motorists have to take out personal injury insurance to ensure they are suitably compensated.
"This will more than offset any CTP premium savings.
The bar association maintains that many people who cannot afford income protection will face financial risk every time they go near the road.
It claims removing victim's solicitors from the CTP scheme will give insurers and their in-house lawyers an unfair advantage where the injured will have to fight powerful insurers alone in court.
In a case study, the bar association says a middle aged worker injured in a crash returns to work in permanently modified duties resulting in weekly loss of $85 net per week.
Unable to claim the 10% whole-person impairment, the worker would currently have settled for $135,000 compensation but under the proposed scheme would instead recover between $13,500 and $22,500.