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Duncan Basheer Hannon

- 5 Feb 2016
  • Personal Injury

Has CTP become its own car crash?

NONE of us wake up in the morning thinking that today is the day we will be hit by a car.

And, even if we did, I’m fairly certain that our next thought would be about how much it would hurt rather than worries over insurance and compensation.

Indeed, it’s probably not until we are holed up in hospital that we even begin to turn our attention to money matters. Who’s paying the doctors’ bills? How long will I be off work? How is the mortgage going to get paid? The bills? The groceries?

These are all legitimate questions and that’s why Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance is there to help provide us with some of the answers.

The very reason CTP exists is to compensate us if we are hurt in a car accident that is not our fault.

It ensures we are supported not just straight after the accident but until we are fully recovered.

It is not there to drive profits for a company or revenue for a government. It’s meant to be all about us.

Yet, since the State Government started overhauling CTP two years ago, there have been a lot of changes and so far, no one has bothered to ask us what we think.

Here are some examples of compensation for pain and suffering that you might find interesting.

A 47-year-old female cyclist was hit by a car and broke her leg and collarbone putting her in hospital for more than six weeks. She endured a very painful rehab process and, of course, an extended time off work. In 2013, before the CTP changes, she would have received up to $45,900 compensation. In 2015, she’s entitled to a maximum of $5000.

A 60-year-old woman was out walking when she was hit by a car, fracturing her hip, resulting in blood transfusions and a heart attack during her 11 days in hospital. In 2013, she would have got up to $30,600. In 2015, she got $14,000.

It makes me wonder if the changes have gone too far, if the compensation cuts have gone too deep and if the gap between our expectations and what we actually receive is now too wide.

But who is going to stand up and ask the question?

If you are injured at work, your union will fight for your rights. If you are hurt in a robbery, the Commissioner for Victims of Crime will come rushing to your aid.

But if you are the victim of a car accident, there’s no one who can take a stand on your behalf.

And, with the biggest changes still to come in July 2016, when CTP is handed over to private providers, alarm bells need to start ringing.

The Advertiser – 12 January 2016 page 18