Law Society vice president Morry Bailes says the state government’s planned overhaul of the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme is “unjust” and economically irresponsible.
Mr Bailes, who is also managing partner at law firm Tindall Gask Bentley, said the proposed changes would be another blow for the already struggling South Australian disability sector.
“This system would drastically reduce entitlements for the thousands of people injured in road accidents in this state every year,” Mr Bailes said.
“The government justifies this by promising to increase payouts for those who suffer catastrophic injuries, but the reality is only 12 to 15 people fall into this category each year.
“Our state should be big enough to look after the needs of catastrophic claimants separately, without robbing the rights of other injured people.”
The proposed system would no longer be fault-based, allowing people who cause accidents as much right to compensation as innocent victims.
“It is unjust and unfair to give people who cause accidents, through their own irresponsibility, the same rights to compensation as those who are doing the right thing on the road,” Mr Bailes said.
Along with the human cost, the planned overhaul would also cripple the state’s ailing economy.
“The government is effectively proposing to create another WorkCover, which is now a billion dollar liability and nothing less than a disaster,” Mr Bailes said.
“South Australia is already buried in debt and simply cannot afford to go down this path.
“While there are promises of reduced registration costs, the estimates are incomplete and not adequately calculated.
“There may be no reduction in fees and indeed costs may go up in the same way as WorkCover levies under a no-fault scheme.
“In any event, it is important to look at the big picture and see the full impact that this system would have on people and the economy.”
UPDATE: Many of these proposed changes became law from July 1, 2013. Click here for more information. If you have been injured in an accident, it is now more important than ever to seek legal advice. Contact us on (08) 8212 1077 for a free initial interview.