[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.
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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.