Changes to the NSW Motor Accident Legislation

We are pleased to advise several legislative amendments have been introduced by the Motor Accident’s Injuries Amendment Act 2022, which commenced operation from 28 November 2022. In particular, the following amendments will significantly benefit injured motorists:

An extension of statutory weekly payments and treatment:

For all claims made from 1 April 2023, the amending Act will extend statutory benefits for weekly compensation and medical treatment from 26 to 52 weeks to injured persons wholly or mostly at fault, or injured persons with a threshold injury. This amendment will ensure that those injured people who need it, can access statutory benefits up to one (1) year post the date of their accident, if required. It also ensures consistent financial support for both loss of earnings and for treatment and care, thus providing appropriate additional support to enable an injured motorist to return to work and their pre-accident activities.

Internal review no longer required for decisions relating to permanent impairment:

There will no longer be a requirement for injured motorists to seek an internal review for a decision relating to the degree of permanent impairment. This amendment will facilitate quicker progress of medical disputes to a Medical Assessor at the Personal Injury Commission.

We note internal review will still be required for all other merit review matters, medical assessments or miscellaneous assessments.

No time limit for referring damages claims for assessment:

The amendment directly above will operate in conjunction with the removal of the 20-month waiting period required before commencing a damages claim for certain claims. The removal of this waiting period reflects the differing circumstances of damages claims and injury stability. It will allow injured motorists to commence and finalise their claim quickly, supporting the objectives of the scheme.

Minor injuries terminology

For all claims made from 1 April 2023, the “minor” and “non-minor” terminologies will be termed “threshold injuries”. Further a threshold psychiatric injury, will be re-defined to mean “a psychological or psychiatric injury that is not a recognised psychiatric illness“. The change in terminology was made in response to feedback that the term “minor” trivialises an injury and the impact on an injured motorist and that using this term, may cause unnecessary distress.

At Turner Freeman, we have specialist motor accident lawyers who will assess your case and provide personalised advice regarding your legal entitlements. Our lawyers are located across NSW including offices in Parramatta, Sydney, Penrith, Campbelltown, Newcastle. Contact us today on 13 43 63.