Motor Accident Compensation

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims, NT: Part 2 – Permanent Impairment Claims

Part 2 in a series of blogs that specifically address Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in the Northern Territory.

Part 2 in a series of blogs that specifically address Motor Vehicle Accident Claims in the Northern Territory.

Depending on your type of injury and significance of your injury you may be able to make a claim for Whole Permanent Impairment (WPI) following a motor vehicle accident in the Northern Territory. It is advisable to obtain the advice of a lawyer when deciding whether to pursue a claim for WPI as there are a number of criteria which must first be satisfied. A lawyer will be able to guide you through the claims process, ensuring you avoid the common errors made by some.

Whole Permanent Impairment:

Section 17 of the Motor Accident Compensation Act (MAC) allows a person suffering from a permanent psychological or physical injury to make a claim for a once off lump sum payment for their impairment.

Do I qualify?

In order to qualify under section 17 of the MAC scheme you must have suffered a permanent physical or psychological injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident. This injury must have resulted in a WPI of 5% or greater. You must also be considered stable, often referred to as having reached maximum medical improvement.

If your doctor believes you may have suffered from a permanent impairment (of 5% or greater) and your condition is stable, the injury must then be assessed by an accredited medical specialist in the appropriate field. This specialist will be arranged by either TIO or a legal advisor.

The medical specialist will perform an assessment with reference to the American Medical Association Guide for assessing Permanent Impairment (Edition 6). They will consider your reported symptoms and for physical injuries will often measure range of movement and review radiological investigations. Your results will then be compared with someone of full function and an assessment as to your percentage of impairment will be made.

As a general rule, injuries that will heal over time, no matter how serious, will not qualify you for a WPI payment. Injuries that have a lifelong impact such as permanent brain injury and spinal cord injuries are more likely to satisfy the requirements of the MAC scheme.

Payments:

For any person with a 15% impairment or more they will get that exact percentage of the prescribed amount:

– 15% = $44,215.59.

– 20% =$58954.12

For assessments between 5% and 15% a sliding scale applies. For example, a 10% impairment will only result in compensation based on 3% of the prescribed sum.

Any assessment less than 5% results in no compensation.

Payment should not affect other entitlements.

Once compensation for permanent impairment has been paid, you cannot claim any additional compensation for that impairment.

In order to assess your eligibility for a claim of WPI it is advisable to contact a personal injury lawyer who will be able to provide critical assistance in the formulation of your claim.

Part 1 – The Basics

Part 3 – Loss of Earning Capacity Payments

Part 4 – Disputing a Decision

Contact us for a free initial interview about your claim.