Most people seem to agree that the current CTP scheme in NSW isn’t working well. This is why the NSW government called this year for submissions to its proposals for reform.
Broadly, it proposed a CTP scheme based largely on common law principles or a no-fault defined benefit scheme to standardise care and costs, or combinations of the two and process improvements.
It turned out most submissions wanted a no-fault scheme, with little or no access to common law. They reasoned it would:
- Offer equal access for all injured road users and keep premiums affordable
- Put the focus on recovery and returning to health, rather than maximising compensation
- Give immediate treatment for recovery and remove the incentive to stay injured.
Supporters of the no-fault scheme included Kingsford Legal Centre, Actuaries Institute, National Motorcycle Alliance, NSW Taxi Council, Insurance Council of Australia and insurers, health bodies and treatment providers.
Most submissions for a no-fault structure opted for a hybrid approach – defined benefits for all plus common law for those most seriously injured.
Pro common law
Supporters of common law only were Motorcycle Council of NSW, Claims Assessment and Resolution Service (CARS) Assessors and some legal bodies and legal providers. They argued:
- Common law takes into account the unique needs of each claimant
- No-fault would allow negligent drivers to access the system and penalise the innocent
- Process improvements and adjusted benefits would improve the common law system.
All agreed there were too many legally represented minor injury claims and legal fees were rising. There was broad support for capping legal costs below a certain threshold, and tackling fraud through the CTP fraud taskforce and SIRA’s regulatory ability to prosecute.
Greenslips.com.au will be watching closely to see how the government responds to these submissions and will provide updates on the website.