The new CTP scheme took force from 1 December 2017 and came about with the passing of the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (‘the Act’). Under the new scheme, injured people could access statutory benefits without needing to establish fault. These changes aimed to provide fair and tailored outcomes, as well as timely support for injured people during their recovery.
This article will explore the meaning and importance of statutory benefits and delve into the new changes that have been introduced that victims of motor vehicle accidents should be aware of, especially if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident on or after 1 April 2023.
So, what are statutory benefits and why are they important for me?
Statutory benefits are a type of insurance coverage that provides compensation to individuals who suffer injuries in motor vehicle accident claims. These benefits ensure that victims of accidents receive necessary financial assistance for medical expenses, loss of income, care support and rehabilitation regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
Generally, statutory benefits include:
- Weekly Income Payments (Wages) if you are an earner and off work;
- Medical and treatment expenses; and
- Domestic and personal care services.
Initially, those who were injured in motor vehicle accidents could only be entitled to statutory benefits for a period of up to 26 weeks. To continue receiving benefits for more than 26 weeks, injured people had to pass a ‘minor injury’ test (now called ‘threshold’ injury) and to potentially have a feasible claim for common law damages.
In November 2022, important changes regarding statutory benefits were introduced under the Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2022, providing extended benefits for those injured in motor vehicle accidents from 1 April 2023 onwards.
Under these new changes, the 26-week period was extended to 52 weeks. This means that if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident on or after 1 April 2023, you are entitled to statutory benefits for up to a period of 52 weeks, regardless of whether you were at fault of the accident.
Why is this good news for you? The new changes:
- Expedite and extend the delivery of financial assistance to injured victims without needing to establish fault,
- Ensure injured victims receive timely support,
- Extend support injured victims during their recovery period,
- Protect victims who may experience delayed onset injuries, for example, digestive system injuries due to excessive intake of pain killer medication or psychological injuries,
- Work to make the motor vehicle accident compensation system more accessible and efficient for injured victims.
So, to summarise the new changes:
IF YOUR ACCIDENT HAPPENED BEFORE 1 APRIL 2023
- Statutory benefits for a period of up to 26 weeks regardless of whether or not you are considered at fault for the accident.
- The insurer must issue their ‘Liability Notice – benefits after 26 weeks’ within 3 months after you make a claim for statutory benefits.
IF YOUR ACCIDENT HAPPENED AFTER 1 APRIL 2023
- Statutory benefits for a period of up 52 weeks regardless of whether or not you are considered at fault for the accident.
- The insurer must issue their ‘Liability Notice – benefits after 52 weeks’ within 9 months after you make a claim for statutory benefits.
It still remains the case that after the 26-week or 52-week period, the insurance company can stop paying statutory benefits if you are considered to be wholly or mostly at fault for causing the motor vehicle accident or if your injuries are deemed ‘threshold’ injuries. The meaning of the term threshold will be carefully examined in another article, which can be found here.
If the insurance company has stopped paying your statutory benefits and you wish to dispute this decision, or if you wish to talk to an experienced personal injury solicitor regarding a claim or potential claim, please do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced team at Trump Lawyers who will hear you out, assess your claim and discuss the next steps forward.