Support for injured motorists

10 June 2014

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Motorists who sustain lifelong disabilities in road accidents in South Australia will receive lifetime treatment, care and support, regardless of fault, from next month as part of reforms to the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance scheme.

Each year, about 40 per cent of catastrophically injured road accident victims are left without compensation from the CTP insurance scheme because there is no-one else at fault.

Currently, accident victims can only seek compensation if there is someone to sue for the accident. But if, for example, a driver swerves off a road to avoid hitting a kangaroo, or simply just lose control of their vehicle in bad weather conditions, they are not covered despite paying their insurance premiums like all other motorists.

In other instances, the compensation received may not be sufficient to cover the cost of lifetime treatment, care and support, or there is a significant wait for the payment of damages while a court case is carried out.

By moving to a no-fault scheme, motorists who suffer lifelong disabilities like paraplegia, quadriplegia, brain injury, whole limb or multiple amputation, severe burns or blindness in a motor vehicle accident will qualify for treatment, care and support.

The Lifetime Support Authority has been established to oversee the scheme which will begin on July 1.

Peter Stewart, CEO of Paraquad SA, said the introduction of the Lifetime Support Scheme (LSS) will result in much better long-term outcomes and quality of life for individuals who suffer life-changing injuries, as well as their families.

Mariann McNamara, CEO of the Brain Injury Network, SA (BINSA) said the introduction of the LSS was an important step forward for disability care in South Australia.

The LSS scheme is being implemented over two years, with the first stage - a reduction in CTP premiums – occurring in 2013/14.

In 2014/15, a Lifetime Support Levy to fund the scheme will be introduced, along with a further reduction in CTP premiums.

For more information on the new scheme visit: www.lifetimesupport.sa.gov.au.

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