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: 3 November 2018
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 9 November 2023
Age of Claimant: 38-year-old man
Summary of facts: Claimant was riding his motorcycle in the curb side lane of Rocky Point Road at Sans Souci. Motor vehicle of insured driver made a left hand turn from the centre lane of Rocky Point Road and collided with the claimant’s motorcycle, throwing him from the vehicle and sustaining serious injuries. The claimant suffered injuries to his right knee, right foot, right hand, extensive scarring to right knee, forearm, foot and shoulder, chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic adjustment disorder and whole person impairment of 15%.
Past loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $127,058
Fox v Wood: $6849
Non-economic loss:
Future loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $1,032,240
Total damages assessed: $1,546,147
Read more

Date of accident: 12 April 2018
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 7 August 2023
Age of Claimant: 71-year-old woman
Summary of facts: Claimant driving her motor vehicle on the M4 and was stationary on the off-ramp leading to Parramatta when the insured’s vehicle collided with the rear of the claimant’s. The claimant suffered injuries to her cervical and lumbar spine, right shoulder and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following the accident. Claimant was 66 at the time of the accident and had not intention of retiring until she turned 75. The claimant was medically retired two months after the accident.  
Past loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $358,308
Fox v Wood: $19,730
Non-economic loss: $275,000
Future loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $200,000
Total damages assessed: $853,038
Read more

Date of accident: 9 September 2019
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 31 July 2023
Age of Claimant: 31-year-old man
Summary of facts: Claimant was riding his motorcycle at approximately 7:12am on Wells Street in Springfield, as he rode over the crest of the hill he was confronted with a stationary flatbed trailer across both lanes of the roadway. The immediately engaged his brakes but was unable to avoid colliding with the trailer. The impact caused severe injuries and the claimant was taken to Gosford Hospital by ambulance where he underwent emergency surgery. He suffered the following injuries: multiple displaced left sided rib fractures (associated hemopneumothorax and subcutaneous emphysema), subscapular hematoma over the liver, undisplaced left humerus fracture, right patella fracture, open fracture through the right tibial midshaft, and a left thigh hematoma. The claimant suffers permanent and ongoing disabilities as a result of the accident.
Past loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $166,208
Fox v Wood: $12,062
Non-economic loss: $350,000
Future loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $471,554
Total: $999,824
Read more

Date of accident: 20 May 2017
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 21 July 2023
Age of Claimant: 60-year-old man
Summary of facts: Claimant was injured in motor vehicle accident that occurred in North Wollongong in 2017. The claimant states that he worked 14-hours a day, 7-days a week running his two restaurants. As a result of the accident the claimant suffered soft tissue damage in his neck, back, left shoulder and wrist, and aggravated underlying degenerative changes in the lumbar and cervical spine. He also suffered from an adjustment disorder as a result of the accident. Following the incident, the claimant has gone from working over 100 hours per week, to 15-20 and has had to hire replacement labour.
Past loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $436,869
Non-economic loss: $270,000
Future loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $289,289
Past expenses: $17,411.62
Future expenses: $17,988.90Past domestic assistance: $5,988
Future commercial assistance: $22,946
Total: $1,060,492.52
Read more

Date of accident: 7 November 2020
Date of Personal Injury Commission Decision: 30 June 2023
Age of Claimant: 18-year-old woman
Summary of facts: Claimant was walking with her best friend and their respective boyfriends on a street in Wollongong when a motor vehicle left the roadway, drove onto the footpath and collided with the claimant and her friends. The vehicle struck the claimants left side/buttock area, forcing her some five metres along the footpath after the impact. The vehicle inflicted significant injuries on the claimants boyfriend as well as thrusting her best friend into a brick wall which inflicted fatal injuries. The claimant witnessed the grossly disfiguring facial injuries suffered by her best friend at the scene of the incident and then at the hospital where she eventually passed. The claimant has suffered from significant post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident, having also experienced suicidal ideation. The claimant is unable to maintain any relationships beyond familial since the incident. She also suffered soft tissue injuries to the cervical spine, left shoulder, lumbar spine, buttock and left leg. Hamstring tendinitis and ischial bursitis was also diagnosed.
Past loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $88,800
Fox v Wood: $8,130
Non-economic loss: $400,000
Future loss of earnings (incl superannuation): $627,000
Total damages assessed: $1,123,930
Read more

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