The statutory scheme for motor vehicle accidents in NSW varies depending upon whether the accident occurred before or after 1 December 2017. The Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 applies to accidents before that date. The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 applies to accidents that occurred after that date.
A new Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2020 commenced on 1 September 2020. It repeals and replaces the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2015. These regulations are under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 – that is, they relate to claims for motor vehicle accidents which occurred BEFORE 1 December 2017.
By Lawyers Motor vehicle accidents publication has two separate guides to assist practitioners when acting for clients injured in motor accidents under both statutory schemes, before and after 1 December 2017.
The 2020 regulation
The explanatory memorandum for the new 2020 regulation notes:
The object of this Regulation is to remake, with some changes, the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2015, which is repealed on 1 September 2020 by section 10(2) of the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989. The Regulation provides for the following matters—
(a) the maximum costs for legal services provided in connection with claims relating to motor accidents covered by the compulsory third-party insurance scheme under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999,
(b) the circumstances in which a legal practitioner and party may contract out of those maximum costs for legal services (to the extent they are payable on a practitioner and client basis),
(c) the maximum fees for medico-legal services and expert evidence provided in respect of claims,
(d) the assessment of claims by claims assessors,
(e) other matters relating to costs including what is to occur if a claimant fails to attend a medical assessment, the rate of certain travel expenses and providing for GST to be taken into account,
(f) the maximum amounts payable by insurers for certain treatment provided to claimants,
(g) the classes of motor vehicles that are taken to be subject to an unregistered vehicle permit for the purposes of section 10A (Treatment of certain vehicles for purposes of third-party policy) of the Act,
(h) the time in which an insurer must pay an assessed amount of damages to a claimant,
(i) prescribing the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority as an authority to which protected information may be divulged for the purposes of section 217 (Secrecy of information obtained from or relating to insurers or proposed insurers and other persons) of the Act,
(j) providing for information about settlement amounts, deductions and amounts paid to claimants to be disclosed to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority by legal practitioners,
(k) creating a duty for legal practitioners not to give or receive fees or other consideration in respect of referrals in relation to claims,
(l) savings and transitional matters.
The changes introduced by the 2020 version of the regulations are not substantial. The most significant is the provision, with some exceptions, for the automatic adjustment for inflation of the maximum costs for legal services and maximum fees for medico-legal services.
The By Lawyers Motor Vehicle Accidents – Accidents prior to 1 December 2017 Guide has been updated accordingly.