I’ve been in a Motor Vehicle Accident… Do I need a Lawyer?

The simple answer is YES!

But first lets backtrack a little and catch up with some of the recent changes in the law regarding personal injuries as a result of motor vehicle accident in NSW.

From 1 December 2017 a new scheme commenced as a result of reform to the Motor Accident Compensation Act (1999). The principle change was that some benefits were available to all people injured in a motor vehicle accident regardless of fault (for a limited period).

In some ways this brought the NSW Scheme into line with the benefits available in Victoria. On the other hand it further complicated the situation because there is a lack conformity between the benefits available in each state but this is a discussion for another day.

Practically the difference is that the Victorian scheme is administered by the one government owned instrumentality, The Transport Accident Commission (TAC). TAC administers a statutory scheme of compensation and damages to balance the needs of all Victorians. In NSW the responsibility for administering the scheme providing compensation and damages to those injured in a motor vehicle accident falls upon a number of privately owned insurers who have a commercial desire to return a profit their shareholders. Their duty to do so conflicts with their obligation to pay out such compensation and thus their advice to injured motorists will always be infected by this conflict.

When this situation is combined with the massive imbalance in knowledge of the legal operation of the NSW Scheme between the insurer and the injured motorist, it is easy to see how that injured motorist may not get the best advice concerning their entitlements from the insurance company.

Under the current scheme in both states, first contact is now almost always with the insurer. When they tell you that you don’t need a lawyer who are they protecting?

Independent legal advice is readily available. In the case of our firm the initial consultation and comprehensive advice is free. We do not charge you costs where no compensation is received.  For small claims and those where the injured party is at fault our fees are fixed and paid by the insurer.

There is no reason to lose valuable rights though ignorance of the law or misdirection by an insurer.

 

Never, never, never, never accept an offer or advice about your rights from an insurer without getting independent legal advice!