The compensation scheme under the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 (the Scheme) applies to all motor vehicle accidents in NSW occurring after 1 December 2017.

The Scheme provides for payment of treatment expenses, benefits for loss of income, and compensation for pain & suffering for the most seriously injured.

The scheme is intended to ensure the early notification and resolution of claims.

The Scheme covers people injured in motor vehicle accidents including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and pillion passengers. It also covers witnesses at the scene of an accident, as well as dependent family members who observe injuries or death and who suffer loss of support.

What should I do?

  1. Lodge your Application for Personal Injury Benefits within 3 months of the date of accident, but within 28 days if payments are to commence from the date of accident rather than the date of claim.
  2. Make sure the accident is reported to police within 28 days of the accident – and when reporting the accident, get an event number from the police.
  3. Call us if the insurer disputes your claim or you think you may have a common law damages claim – see below under ‘Common Law damages’.

My Application for Personal Injury Benefits

A. If you need treatment or care lodge the Application for Personal Injury Benefits.

B. If you have also lost income, then also lodge a Certificate of Fitness completed by your doctor.

What am I entitled to? … Statutory benefits

I. Reasonable and necessary treatment and care expenses relating to my injury.

II. Weekly benefits if I suffer a loss of earnings, or earning capacity, as a result of the injury.

What is the amount of the weekly benefit?

Weeks 0 – 13 after the accident

Up to 95% of your pre-accident earnings, capped at about $3,853 per week (as at May 2021).

Weeks 14 – 78 after the accident

Up to 85% of your pre-accident earnings, capped as above.

Weeks 79 – 260 after the accident

If your injury is not a ‘minor injury’, payments may continue for up to five years.

Common law damages claims

Most damages claims will be restricted to compensation for:

i. Past and future loss of earnings; and/or

ii. Pain and suffering.

Time limit within which you have to make a common law damages claim

Most common law damages claims will not be ready to be made until about 20 months after the accident, but must be made within 3 years of the accident.

When should you contact a lawyer?

If the insurer disputes you claim, or makes you an offer of settlement, or recommends you get legal advice, or your claim hasn’t been finalised and it’s between 18 months and 3 years since your accident, then don’t hesitate to contact our team for some preliminary advice about your claim and what you can do, if anything.


Recent cases

Date of accident: 21 December 2017
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 7 May 2021
Age of Claimant: 63 year old male
Summary of facts: Casual truck driver; temporarily trapped; hit right knee; non-minor injuries; now 63 years of age; truck driver; not working at time of the accident; damaged left arm; depression; assaulted; pre-existing osteoarthritis in his right knee; already on a waiting list before the accident; right total knee replacement surgery; left shoulder rotator cuff repair and sub-acromial decompression; high levels of anxiety, depressive symptoms and anger/irritability; Major Depressive Disorder
Compensation for pain & suffering: Nil
Compensation for loss of income: $171,000 for past and future loss of income
Read more

Date of accident: 10 April 2018
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 29 March 2021
Age of Claimant: 67 year old male
Summary of facts: Riding a bicycle; insurer wholly admitted liability; multiple rib fractures, fracture through the right scapula, full thickness tear of the subscapularis tendon, torn hamstring tendon, severely affected psychologically; not able to cycle, had ceased almost all aspects of work and suffered from severe upper body restriction; crutches and a walking stick for about 12 months; working with restricted light duties in a sheltered environment; earning capacity assessment occupations not involving physical work; Deed of Agreement for the sale and purchase of shares in the business; assets of the business; Held- applicant entitled to non-economic loss damages and economic loss damages; both a director and employee of the business; loss in value of the shares of the company.
Compensation for pain & suffering: $250,000
Compensation for loss of income: $60,000 for future loss of income
Read more

Date of accident: 13 November 2018
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 29 April 2021
Age of Claimant: 75 year old female
Summary of facts: Injury loss and damage; pedestrian; 75 years of age; serious injuries; consequential injuries; damages limited to non-economic loss; was fit and mobile; unsteady on her feet and fell; elbow injury; fell heavily; fracture of right hip; loss of mobility and agility; Held- insurer owed a duty of care and breached that duty of care and as a result claimant sustained injury loss and damage; damages awarded.
Compensation for pain & suffering: $250,000
Compensation for loss of income: Not applicable
Read more

Date of accident: 2019
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 27 May 2021
Age of Claimant: 86 year old female
Summary of facts: Passenger; multiple cerebral contusions with right fourth nerve palsy; double vision; Claimant lived at home alone; recommended for Guide Dog assistance; glasses provided; cannot see well enough to prepare or cook her own food; domestic assistance; driver licence was taken away; was a very independent and very busy person; Held- entitled to non-economic loss; permanent impairment to her vision; $50,000 for future travel expenses; $195,000; approved.
Compensation for pain & suffering: $145,000
Compensation for loss of income: Not applicable
Compensation for future travel expenses: $50,000
Read more

Date of accident: 11 February 2018
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 23 August 2021
Age of Claimant: 66
Summary of facts: Amputation of right le below hip; pre-existing issues; catastrophic and traumatic injuries in assessment of non-economic loss (pain & suffering); assessment of economic loss; general reduction in ability to earn income; assessment of medical material and assessment of impacts of prior medical issues as effect and capacity for work; legal costs claimed.
Compensation for pain & suffering: $400,000
Compensation for past and/or future loss of income: $25,000
Read more

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