6 October 2010

Katy moves to cap CTP payouts

| johnboy
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[First filed: Oct 5, 2010 @ 10:24]

Spare a thought for Canberra’s plaintiff lawyers and the restaurants which depend on them.

The Canberra Times reports that the increasingly Chiefly Katy Gallagher is planning to cap compulsory third-party motor insurance scheme payouts after discovering most of the money is spent on the lawyers.

Legislation which would mandate pay-outs based on set amounts for certain injuries and seeking to stop minor accidents ending in expensive court battles, will be introduced this month.

Treasurer Katy Gallagher said the Bill was ready to be presented last month but the Government delayed after she was ”inundated” with complaints from outraged lawyers.

One can only hope that the new system will make it easy to get paid out appropriately without engaging a lawyer on contingency fees “No Win, No Fee”.

UPDATE: Liberal Leader Zed Seselja has woken with a start and wants to know why he wasn’t consulted:

“The proposed legislation appears to create new rules in a range of areas, removing existing rights and imposing new regimes that have not been openly discussed or debated,” said Zed.

“We have also heard that any changes to the third party insurance regime will be mirrored in workers’ compensation claims as well. That means any person injured in the ACT could face very significant problems getting any common law compensation at all. Given the implications of these changes, it is critical that a comprehensive process is followed.

“If these changes are indeed what Katy Gallagher intends, it is vitally important that the process be above reproach. As it stands, we have some confusing figures and the inability of Katy Gallagher to answer even basic questions about the operation of the proposed scheme, which is clearly concerning.

How to oppose without being seen to oppose? Attack the process!

FURTHER UPDATE: Katy’s people have finally put the initial media release online which explains what they’re trying to do:

The main features of the Bills are:

— An injured person’s level of whole person impairment will be determined using the same objective medical and injury assessment mechanisms that have applied in other jurisdictions for many years.
— As in NSW, courts will be required to justify awards made for loss of earning capacity. A discount rate of 5% will apply to these when made as a lump sum, as in NSW and Queensland.
— The establishment of a cap on CTP NEL, initially set at $270,000 and indexed annually by the consumer price index.
— For persons with injuries less than 15% (or less than 20% for psychological injuries) whole person impairment, it replaces common law damages with a modern, evidence-based statutory entitlement process.

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I’m so angry about this.

6 Months ago i injured my wrist at work due to negligence of my employer. My employer knowingly had me pushing trolleys that weighed around 500kg’s which were only rated by their manufacturer to have a load limit of 200kgs. There were no signs on the trolleys to that effect and we were never provided adequate OH&S training on what is safe weights to push or lift or anything like that.

I cannot bear weight on my wrist when it is extended which means I cant do lots of everyday tasks without some assistance or without someone having to do them for me (push a lawnmower/shopping trolley/lift heavy objects/etc). The only way i’m able to do any of these is by having my wrist fully immobilised in a splint. I am in a second round of physio and have had a cortisone injection and if it doesnt heal in the next month or two I’ll be getting surgery.

Under the proposed new laws I might not even qualify for compensation (15% impairment/disablement) and even if I did i’m likely to get drastically reduced compensation.

The thing that concerns me most is that all this does is provide carte blanche for criminally negligent employers who dont care about their staff. The new laws just ensure that its harder and harder to hold accountable those employers whose shoddy and dangerous work places/work practices and work ethics endanger their staff or harm their staff.

Now that you’ll have to have 15%+ impairment/disability people will need to lose fingers/hands/etc before an employer will be held to account – and even then, thats WHY they have insurance. These 2nd rate dodgy employers dont even care as it is and dont have to change their practices, because the money doesnt come directly out of their pockets anyway. At worst their insurance premium might go up a little bit.

Great job ruining the fairest insurance system we have in the country, Katy.

It’s a disgrace. Zed should ask his friend Jesus the Magical Sky Fairy to smite them!

Gungahlin Al12:41 pm 05 Oct 10

A 25% increase in premiums over just 18 months? Great to see Alan Evans earning his keep as an NRMA board member and really looking after the interests of his Canberra consitituency.


When is this loser up for re-election?

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