Reforms to SA Motor Vehicle Accidents Compensation and a new CTP Scheme
What are the key changes?
From 1 July 2013: Children under the age of 16 at the time of a crash that occurs in SA will qualify for ‘no fault’ compensation for ongoing medical costs irrespective of who was at fault for the crash.
The way injuries are assessed has changed. A new measure of injury severity, known as Injury Scale Values (ISV) has been introduced and assigns points from one to 100, based on objective medical evidence and consideration of the impact of the injury on the individual. Damages for non-economic loss will be available when an injury exceeds 10 points on the ISV scale.
Motor vehicle registration has become more affordable with CTP insurance premium dropping by $104 in 2013 for Class 1 Passenger Vehicle (reducing from $512 in 2012 to $408). The reforms will also reduce the pressure on rising premium costs into the future.
The right to legal representation has not changed but new thresholds are in place for the reimbursement of legal fees. Legal costs are no longer being awarded if the total amount recovered by the claimant amounts to $25,000 or less. If they are between $25,000 and $100,000, costs are capped at the Magistrates Court scale.
From 1 July 2014:
All catastrophically injured motorists will be entitled to lifetime care and support irrespective of who is at fault for a crash that occurs in SA.
How do the changes affect me as an injured person?
The changes are not retrospective, therefore any claim with a crash date on or before 30 June 2013 will be determined in accordance with the previous rules and compensation structure.
For claims with a crash date occurring on or after 1 July 2013, the changes can be summarised as follows:
- Claim notification
A new claim notification process has been introduced. A person wishing to make a claim after 1 July 2013, will need to complete and submit an Approved Injury Claim Form, including the Prescribed Authority. Time limits also apply. If the claim notification process is not followed, reasonable and necessary treatment expenses will not be paid as they are incurred.
- Access to compensation
A new Injury Scale Values (ISV) table has been introduced to ensure consistency is applied when assessing a claimant’s entitlement to compensation. The requirement to access the main compensation types are summarised as follows: o
- Pain and suffering
A person must receive an ISV assessment score exceeding 10 points to access this type of compensation. There is also provision for cases deemed to be exceptional, harsh and unjust to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
- Future loss of earning capacity
A person must receive an ISV assessment score exceeding 7 points to access this type of compensation. There is also provision for cases deemed to be exceptional, harsh and unjust to receive future loss of earning capacity compensation.
When considering the potential for any future loss, it must be proven that there is greater than 20% chance that an event could eventuate. Once past and future loss of earning capacity is determined, a 20% reduction will be applied to this figure.
- Voluntary services
A person must receive an ISV assessment score exceeding 10 points and have been provided with a service for at least 6 hours per week for 6 consecutive months to qualify. If a person qualifies, then an hourly amount has been prescribed and will apply to this type of compensation.
A person must receive an ISV assessment score exceeding 10 points to access this type of compensation.
- Pain and suffering
Other forms of damages have not been affected.