Catastrophically injured car accident victims to receive compensation in a no fault injury insurance scheme
The Queensland Government introduced a no fault National Injury Insurance Scheme for those catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents in Queensland. The idea of the scheme is to provide some assistance to those seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents in Queensland, no matter whether the accident is through their own fault or through no fault of their own.
CTP insurance and what falls outside of its cover
In Queensland, we already had CTP insurance, which covers those injured in car accidents when the accident is through the fault of another party. However, where injury sustained in an accident fell outside the CTP insurance scheme, those road traffic crash victims were left out in the cold with no assistance.
Some suffer catastrophic injuries, such as tetraplegia and significant brain injuries, require 24/7 hour care, and struggle to survive through the public health system and on disability support payments. Some suffer these injuries when it is no fault of their own, but they have no redress under the CTP insurance scheme because there is no negligence on the part of another person (for example, they are involved in a freak accident, or another driver suffers an unexpected heart attack and causes a collision).
In one case for instance, a young man suffered neck injuries resulting in tetraplegia when the taxi he was a passenger in collided with a horse that had escaped onto the roadway, and he had no claim under the CTP insurance scheme.
The no-fault scheme
The no-fault scheme introduces reasonable and necessary lifetime care and support for these catastrophically injured road accident victims. It is much needed, with three Queenslanders suffering life-changing catastrophic injuries every week due to road traffic accidents on Queensland roads.
This legislation has brought Queensland into line with most other Australian States and Territories, who have all introduced similar schemes or are in the process of doing so.
The scheme will not only help the victims themselves, but also the families and partners of those who suffer these terrible injuries, as much of the burden falls on them when these tragic events occur.
Announcing the no-fault scheme
The Treasurer, Mr Pitt announced the scheme in late 2015, saying in his statement:
"Unless we act now, Queensland will be the only state or territory in Australia without a lifetime care and support scheme in place by 1 July next year…That’s unacceptable when you consider that each week about three Queenslanders sustain life-changing, catastrophic injuries as a result of a road traffic crash.
When a catastrophic injury is sustained an individual, it also has significant impacts on the families and carers of those who are injured. This scheme will support the individual, their family and carer, and it’s something that Queenslanders will welcome......
Queensland’s current compulsory third party insurance scheme does not provide cover for injured people who are at fault or in situations where there is no negligent party involved. It’s imperative that we move to address this issue so that those with catastrophic – injuries, arising from road traffic crashes, get the lifetime care and support they need.
The Palaszczuk Government is committed to implementing the scheme after the former LNP government signed Queensland up to a national agreement on minimum benchmarks for insurance coverage in 2013.The LNP didn’t implement the scheme, which is why Labor is getting on with the job of delivering it for Queenslanders. I would expect bipartisan support from the LNP for this important initiative.”
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