The Queensland Parliament recently passed the National Injury Insurance Scheme which will come into effect from July this year.
What is the National Injury Insurance Scheme?
The purpose of this Act is to ensure that persons who suffer particular serious personal injuries as a result of a motor accident in Queensland receive necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support, regardless of who may be responsible for the accident.
The new Act will retain the choice of common law rights for people who sustain catastrophic injuries. The scheme does however, restrict damages for treatment, care and support in cases where contributory negligence is 50% or more.
The benefits of the scheme are twofold. The scheme ensures that those who currently have no support will have access to the injury insurance scheme to facilitate their lifetime care and treatment requirements. In addition, the scheme retains the existing common law rights of those who can prove fault to opt-out of the scheme and accept a lump sum compensation payment.
This change is warranted as under the current Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in Queensland. About half of all people seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents are not eligible to receive compensation on the basis that they were responsible for their own injuries.