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NSW Motor Vehicle Claims

Drivers, motorcycle riders, passengers and pedestrians enjoy the protections available under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 for compensatory damages arising from injuries received in a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales.

Unlike some other states, New South Wales as a fault based system and a blameless accident system (a no fault system).

This means that if you are injured from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle or injured in a blameless accident, you are able to make a claim for compensatory damages under New South Wales law.

The accident must occur within the state of New South Wales in order for the claim to be successful. If the motor vehicle accident occurs in another state then the laws of that state will apply to the motor vehicle accident.

The fault based accident scheme in New South Wales basically means that if you have been injured by the fault of another driver you are able to claim compensation for your injuries.

If the other driver is given an infringement notice or charged with an offence this is normally good evidence that you will be able to show fault or negligence on the part of the other driver.

Please note it is not essential for a driver to receive an infringement notice or be charged in order to show negligence on the part of that driver, negligence must be proven on the balance of probabilities.

Under the NSW Motor Accidents Compensation Act blameless accidents are now also compensable under the Act. An example of a blameless accident is a person driving a car or truck when a tree from the side of the road falls on the cabin of the car or truck causing the drivers injuries.

Another example is a person driving on a country road when a kangaroo hops in front of the vehicle and the driver has no time to take evasive action, strikes the kangaroo and then crashes resulting in injuries to the driver and/or passengers.

Both of these scenarios would be considered a blameless accident under New South Wales law under which you can make a claim.

If you are fully or partially at fault in the circumstances of the accident, i.e. stepping out in front of a moving vehicle, your damages can be reduced or even reduced to zero depending on your level of culpability or blameworthiness for the accident

Damages are categorised under 4 “heads” of damages. These are:

1. General damages (damages for non-economic loss or pain and suffering).

2. Past and future out of pocket expenses, i.e. medical expenses.

3. Past and future wage loss including superannuation.

4. Past and future domestic care benefits.

  1. General Damages or Pain and Suffering Damages

A threshold exists under New South Wales law for the payment of these entitlements.

No compensation is payable for pain and suffering (non-economic loss damages) unless you are above a 10% whole person impairment under the AMA 4 Guidelines and the Motor Accident Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. Very few people qualify for non-economic loss damages. Only 10% of claimants injured in motor vehicle accidents qualify for pain and suffering damages under New South Wales law. Of the10% that do qualify for general damages the payment is significant, normally over $100,000.00 under that head of damages.

2. Past and Future Out of Pocket Expenses

Past and future out of pocket expenses is essentially the medical expenses that you incur or will incur from your injuries including doctor’s visits, pharmaceuticals, physiotherapy, surgeon’s fees, assistant surgeon’s fees, psychiatrist and psychologist visits and travel expenses at the rate of $0.55/km to the various treatment providers.

3. Past and Future Wage Loss

If you have been unable to work as a result of your injuries you are able to claim your net wage loss from the accident. Net wage loss is claimed. Gross wages are not claimed because the amount in tax is normally not received whilst you are working. In addition, you can also make a claim for superannuation contributions which you have been deprived of, by not being at work due to the accident. If you have returned to work on lesser hours or if the accident shortens your working life you are also able to make a claim for wage loss on that basis.

Some injuries will result in the development of arthritis in various parts of the body which will not materialise or become symptomatic until many years after the accident. On this basis a claim can be made for future economic loss when those conditions materialise at a later date.

4. Domestic Care Benefits

A claim for domestic assistance is subject to a threshold of 6 hours per week for more than 6 months. Unless you meet this strict threshold no claim for domestic assistance is payable. The prescribed amount for domestic assistance is approximately $29.00 per hour, however that amount changes depending on when the domestic assistance is provided. The amount is indexed upward.

If a family member needs to do more around the house as a result of the accident, for example washing, cleaning, ironing, transport, looking after pets etc. then this amount can be claimed as domestic assistance. If you hire a person to come in to perform domestic duties around the house and pay that person to provide those domestic duties then that amount is claimable as a past and future out of pocket expense listed above.

Once you have a motor vehicle accident it is incumbent upon you to follow the strict time limits for the reporting requirements. These are:-

1. Report the accident to the police within 28 days;

2. Serve a Personal Injury Claim Form within 3 months from the date of the accident;

3. Have your medical condition assessed by MAS for non-economic loss damages around the 2 year mark following stabilisation of your injuries;

4. Section 85A Particulars must be served by 2 years 6 months from the date of the claim to ensure that there is sufficient time to participate in the compulsory conference provisions before proceeding to the Claims Assessment Resolution Service (CARS).

5. Your matter must be referred to CARS or commenced in the District Court within 3 years from the date of the accident.

Most claims under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act are handled administratively by the NSW Motor Accidents Authority and the quantum of damages assessed by a CARS assessor.

The CARS assessment process is a non-adversarial process where the CARS assessor assesses the damages following submissions by both parties with the submission of medical evidence through the Motor Accidents Authority. The Motor Accidents Authority is administered under the State Insurance Regulatory Authority of NSW (SIRA).

SIRA is the government organisation responsible for the regulatory function of worker’s compensation, motor accidents compulsory third party scheme. It is only in limited circumstances that claims for injuries under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act are litigated in the District Court.

In some cases where the claim has been exempted from the CARS assessment process the claim can be commenced in the District Court without the need for a CARS assessment hearing.

A claim can be exempted from CARS only in the following circumstances :-

1. Where liability is denied by the insurer in writing because fault is denied;

2. A claimant or in a claim for an award of damages under the Compensation to Relatives Act or one of the dependents is a person under a legal incapacity;

3. The person against whom the claim is made is not a licensed or other CTP insurer (e.g. an employer as owner of a motor vehicle);

4. The insurer denies indemnity under the policy;

5. The insurer alleges that the claim is fraudulent.

The bulk of claims are decided by CARS assessors, unless settled by the solicitors beforehand.

An insurer will normally offer you a small amount of money to resolve the claim early in an attempt to have you sign away your rights and accept a lesser sum. Normally it is best to seek legal advice before you consider any such settlement. An insurance company will only make a very small offer at the start of the case on a commercial basis. If you obtain legal advice you will normally find that your damages by the end of the case may increase by some 5-10 times the amount originally offered by the insurer, depending on the severity of the injury.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, or on a motor bike, bicycle or on public transport please contact our personal Injuries Department Manager Casey Reedyk on 1800 621 071 or for more information or book an appointment for a free initial consultation.

All our personal injury lawyers across the Gold Coast, Kingscliff, Robina and Brisbane work on a No Win, No Fee basis to give you the confidence and assurance that we are on your side.

“What our clients say about us!

Jess was absolutely brilliant. Managed to do the entire conveyance without one single phone call (and I'm deaf, and I'm overseas, so that was great).

I bought a house, and she managed the whole thing, without me even being in the country, sending all the documents electronically and settlement - everything! She made it easier to buy a house than to buy a pair of shoes!

ALWAYS got back to me on my questions quicker than lightning! Brilliant!
Jessica Kimpton
To the world's best lawyers and people,

Wishing you all the very best over Christmas and a rewarding happy 2019 - you deserve it.

From a very satisfied person. I'm sure there are many like me, who speak very highly of you.
David H.
Hi Jess,

Thank you so very much for all your hard work and organisation on the selling of our apartment, I truly appreciated your help.

Whilst at times I felt anxious and stressed you did your very best to make sure all went well and we achieved the final result.

You are a great asset to Attwood Marshall, you do an amazing job.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year.

Thank you once again very much.

Kindest Regards
Jenny F.
You excelled beyond all expectations...Deb was so very real in acknowledging that this situation was difficult for me on a very personal level and her kindness, support and advise created in our short time of knowing each other a warm friendship. This to some may have been a simple procedure however, for me is was very difficult and Deb literally took charge of all matters to ensure that I would not have to be overly stressed in any way. She also gave further advise if other matters arose in the future, to assure me that she was there if I needed her.
Lorraine P
We were very happy with all the precise and informative information and help that Larisa gave us. Everyone we contacted in person by phone was pleasant, helpful and polite. As older people we appreciated that.
John and Moya R
Dear Donna

When I rang to make an appointment about the estate of my late Husband, I was given Larisa Kapur, and what a wonderful team person you have. She understood my awful position which helped me, and has done everything legal to perfection. As I do not have family here on hand, they have been pleased with Larisa's help, telling me everything in a very simple way, but so understanding and very clear.

Another person who was always so bright and happy, as I certainly needed that help, was your front lady, Jeanette. Two lovely people who I will never forget.

Thank you for all your great staff.
Judy S.
Dear Zoe,

I would like to take this opportunity to convey my sincere thanks to both Chris and yourself.

Without Chris's guidance and your very pleasant support, this time post injury at work would have been so much more difficult and stressful.

Knowing that Chris is there in a legal sense, has taken the weight of the world off my shoulders.

You have always been so very professional, pleasant and kind, such a delight to see.

I will contact your office again immediately should I require surgery.

Once again Very Many Thanks,
Dear Jeff

Many, many thanks for your expertise and guidance during the last eleven months, which I have found, at times, extremely distressing. However, knowing that you were in my corner, made a huge difference. I will be only too happy to make use of your company’s services, should the need ever arise. I wish you all the best in the future.

- Andrea

P.S. I feel very settled and happy already in xxxxxxxxxxx all thanks to you.
Andrea F.
Dear Andrea,

I just want to say a big “Thank You” for all your hard work regarding the sale of my former home and purchase of my new unit, where I feel very “at home” already.

This year has been a difficult one for me, but with the help of you, Jeff and Jess, I have got through it and now look forward to enjoying a more peaceful life.

Thanks again
Andrea F.
"Larisa was excellent - friendly and professional with a solid knowledge of the law. It was great being able to go on Thursday night too without having to take time off work."
Anne D.
Hi Chris, Many thanks for your valuable assistance with bringing this matter to a conclusion. Kris and I appreciate your work on our behalf and now we know where to find a great lawyer if we need one 😉 Kind regards and all the best,
Mal and Kris S
Chris, Thank you for your long and painstaking work on my behalf over the past couple of years. It is great to be appreciated. Thanks also to your wonderful staff. A very special thanks to Zoe for her patience and understanding. She`s been magnificent translating things into layman's language for me. Thank you all again and the best of luck for the future. Yours in appreciation Tom Hegarty
Tom Hegarty
To Jeff and April Thank you for everything that you have to make our nightmare much easier to deal with. Sincere thanks
Daryl and Kathy Rowley
[To: Jeremy Roche]

Its a good ending mate and we REALLY appreciate what you did for us. I know you pulled out all the stops for me and and i don’t think we would have got the results with out you doing so. Im always up for a drink hahaha and thanks, glad it over wahooooooooooooo
Joel H.
Thank you for all your time and assistance with this matter. I will be sure to recommend Attwood Marshall to any friends and colleagues about how detailed and professional you and your company is. Thanks again Mitch
Mitch A
I have always appreciated the service and concern for transactions from the 1970`s with Eric in Coolangatta office to the ladies at Kingscliff where I did my will recently. Thank you
Patricia M
We were fortunate enough to have Chris Clarke from Attwood Marshall take on our case for us, and we are more than happy with the professional way they handled our case. They kept us informed with everything and also had empathy for the situation every decision we made was with a calculated risk from the team and we understood the costs involved in our case. We would absolutely recommend them to our family and friends. Thank you Chris and team!
Graham E
Hi Chris, Graham and I would like to thank you for all your Support during our case,it’s been an emotionally and Physically challenging time, but it was made so much easier knowing you had our best interests at heart.Thank you so much
Leah & Graham E.
Hi Jeremy
Thank you so much! Your patience and diligence helped me more than you know and I cannot imagine there being a better person to have put my faith in. Immediately I decided to give the claim fully over to you, I’ve made some excellent progress in letting go and moving forwards. Thank you!

Lenore M.
Dear Jeremy,
Thank you so much for all your hard work and support throughout my case. I truly appreciate all you have done for me and hope that you and your family enjoy the holiday season. Thank you again for everything, enjoy the holidays

Warm wishes,
Fiona C.
I am writing to commend one of your staff members, Amanda Smith. My mother and I recently met with Amanda to finalise enduring power of attorney and guardian documents. I was very pleased by the way Amanda handled our matter, and the way in which Amanda offered advice for our situation. Amanda was very professional, and ensured that we felt comfortable throughout the whole process. I will definitely be recommending the services of Amanda in our local community. Thank you, Amanda.
Brooke M
How would you rate your experience with us? Excellent Was it easy to contact the person acting for you? Yes What areas can we improve to give you better service? Nothing - Angela was brilliant at her job!
Julie B
What areas can we improve to give you better service? No areas to mention, Sarah was extremely helpful, and helped us navigate a property purchase in NSW which we had not done before.
Mary C
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you so much for yesterdays outcome, Rob and I really appreciate the way this was handled. The amount of compensation really surprised us as well as we had no expectations. I now feel confident to move forward and start with the treatments so I can put this all behind me. Please thank Zoe and Kevin Roche for their part too.
Jane L.
Your capacity to act in QLD and NSW and your knowledge of both jurisdictions is a real strength of the organisation in my view.
Kim A
Thanks Chris And thanks again to both you and Frank for your efforts yesterday in achieving this timely payment. I really appreciate the experience and savvy which both of you bring to my case, as well as your understanding of my situation. Regards Andrew
Hi Chris, Once again, I cannot thank you enough for your ongoing assistance and always upmost professionalism in helping us fight this case. I would definitely call you if we need a wonderful lawyer in the future. I would highly recommend you to anyone I hear needs some legal assistance in your areas of expertise.
Matt and Cindy R
I would highly recommend you to anyone i hear needs some legal assistance in your areas of expertise.
To be honest the service was first class. Rachel provided me with a fantastic level of service, her attention to detail was great. Rachel also ensured my funds were transferred to my other account due to an issue with the original account details.
Craig A
Dear Ms Tolley Because of unexpected health set backs, am tardy writing this to you. However wanted to advise what professional and positive meetings I had with Ms Kapur. Her ability to strip stress from the dialogue of complicated legal terms and convert to understandable form. I so appreciated. Am not conversant with legalese. Additionally if I presented a difficult line of thought she displayed zero sense of disapproval or judgement. Rather, she may have proposed looking at topic from differing angle, and explained the reason for so doing. I regard myself as lucky to have met someone of Ms Kapur’s capabilities and warmth. Knew my best interests were her interests to work on my behalf. Hence I have knowledge and contentment that my documents are as they should be.
Janice C
Dear Chris, how can I thank you for all your years of such total commitment to my case... I am overwelmed with gratitude & many tears of joy and much relief. Please pass on my SINCEREST OF THANK YOU'S TO DEAR MR CURRAN , for his exceptional quality of service. Kindest of thank you's to you both. Sincerely, Meriss ... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Meriss E
Dear Jeff, I felt compelled to write and express my appreciation with regard to the way my recent litigation was undertaken by Rhiannon. Not only did she keep me informed of all the developments over the past eighteen months she was totally professional and polite at all times. I found it very refreshing at my mature age to be treated in such a respectful manner. I have nothing but praise for Rhiannon and wanted to congratulate both you and your wife for your efforts in raising such a grounded young lady.
Rhonda S
I found Larisa to be very helpful and was able to explain things easily in terms that I could understand. The process of preparing my Will was a lot easier than I thought it would be thanks to her. I also would like to make mention to the front office team, they also made you feel very welcome on arrival at the Robina Town Centre office.
Very helpful and was able to explain things easily in terms I could understand
Top marks to the Dream Team, Debbie and Angela and always a great welcome and service in reception from Jennifer and Kelli. I had anticipated a simple process for my legal matters, it became a very stressful situation. My matter was handled so well by an amazing team!
J Nicholson
Top marks to the Dream Team!
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you, Kevin and all the team at Attwood Marshall for all your help during the settlement process. It was much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Gregory L.
Dear Jeremy,
Thanks very much for this great outcome and for all your professional support. It has been a pleasure dealing with Attwood, everyone has been incredibly supportive, professional and great to work with, as I have found in the past.

Look after yourself and thanks.

All the Best

Kind Regards
Brian O.
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you very much for the prompt transfer of fund into Aaron's account. It has been a great journey dealing with you and Henry. We learned a lot along the way, and appreciated the guidance and advice presented to us. We wish you and Henry all the very best in your legal career and business.

Kind regards,
Michael and Aaron
Michael W.
Thank you Jeremy. I appreciate all the hard work & effort that yourself, the team have put into my case.
Jason H.
Hi Jeremy,
Thanks again for everything. It's still a bit surreal it's finally over! I'm very grateful to you, Rhiannon and Kevin for all of your patience, hard work and perseverance throughout the case. It was certainly frustrating at times but we got there in the end.

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday and wishing you all a wonderful 2017 (and be careful at the gym lol).
Dear Amanda, Meeting you at the Red Cross day was a joy. I want to thank you for the such positive experience you created in preparing my will, which you carried out with such professionalism, kindness, and loveliness. You made it easy and comfortable, and you gave me a full sense of ownership of the process especially at completion. I wish you all the best in your career and wish you blessings for a very happy life. Kind Regards,
Dear Jeff. I write to you as a client of Attwood Marshall since 2012, in which I made my will ,and at the time was handled at the time by Debbie Sage. I have now updated my will and this time It was handled by Amanda Smith. I Would like to commend these two ladies for their Professionalism, excellent customer skill and their ability to quickly handle the matter for me. As a retired Police Officer, I had many dealings with solicitors, lawyers and barristers, some were good and some really bad experiences especially in the courtroom. I have no doubt you set a high standard for the staff you employ at Attwood Marshall, but I feel that both Debbie and Amanda have worked well above that standard and would ask that they both be praised and recognised for their good work. I now intend to recommend these two ladies to our friends who may be in need of the services of your office.
Professionalism, excellent customer skill and their ability to quickly handle the matter for me.
For what we required our lawyer was excellent and informative. Amanda followed through by phone as well. It was a pleasure to see a neat and immaculate employee.
Ian T
Very satisfied with Amanda`s commitment to our overall circumstances. She explained some things we hadn't even thought about. We started using your services in 1998 and continued with wills and updating etc. We have been very happy with your services over the last 16 years - very professional!!
Robert & Gwen B
We have been very happy with your services over the last 16/14 years
Thanks Amanda. We all are very appreciative of what you and Richard have done for us. Things could have been very different without Richard’s expertise. Thanks again. Kind regards.
Chris, Thanks, for all that you and your staff did for me in the settlement of my claim. Best wishes to you an your family. Thanks again!
Compensation Law Client / Thanks so much for everything!
Dear Rhiannon, Jeremy Roche has just completed my litigation case with Alliance. I feel very fortunate that when I made the initial phone call to Attwood Marshall I was transferred to Jeremy. From that initial call Jeremy displayed excellent communication skills as he gave me a full lengthy explanation of the claim procedure, costs and possible outcomes. Following the initial contact I felt positive and reassured. Throughout the claim Jeremy has remained communicative and easily contactable. When there hasn't been any communication I didn't have to wonder if he was doing anything as he always was remaining very organised, in fact one step ahead of Alliance anticipating their next step. When alliance employed a solictor Jeremy even supported her. When we encountered some private matters of mine Jeremy was very respectful and kept these private.
Compensation Law Client / I felt positive and reassured!
To Chris, Thanking you for all your hard work and a pleasing result. Working with you made the experience stressfree for Chris and I. We have already recommended you and your firm to our friends and we will keep on doing this. Again many thanks!
Compensation Law Client / Stress Free Experience!
Hi Chris, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to yourself and Kevin! You especially were so great to deal with and have made my life so much easier with everything that was going on. I have nothing but positive comments about you and will definitely make sure anyone I know doesn't go anywhere else but Attwood Marshall (to you of course!) So basically thank you and all the best for the future =)
Compensation Law Client / Great to deal with
Jeremy, today I received the settlement payment for my w/c claim I would like to thank both yourself and Kevin for all your hard work but most of all you Jeremy for going that extra mile. You are indeed a wonderful young man and I would like you to know that the extra effort did not go unnoticed. I look forward to working with you on this next hurdle my superannuation claim.
Compensation Law Client / Changed my family`s life forever
To Chris,
Thank you very much for your tiredless work on my case. The outcome has changed my family`s life for ever. All the best to you mate! You are held in very high regard.
Thank you
Kurt A & Family (TEWANTIN, QLD)
Compensation Law Client / Changed my family`s life forever
Hi Chris
Just to appreciate how your practice has done everything important, in relation to the matter. I would like to thank you and your fellow staff for the patience and understanding of a multidisciplinary task. I’d need to highlight how you endeavoured to offer good service despite of my language barrier.
Once again thank you all
Compensation Law Client / Language Barrier no Barrier
To dear Chris,
Thank you so much from the bottoms of our hearts, not just for the great win you resolved but for your support and professionalism and never too busy to answer our calls and questions.
Shane, Kelly, Jett, Boston, Cruz & Gypsy
Compensation Law Client / Caring Lawyers
Hi Chris
Just a note to thank you for your representations on my behalf, in relation to my compensation law claim (MVA).
Your assistance was very much appreciated.
Compensation Law Client / Appreciated
To Chris and staff at Attwood Marshall Lawyers,
Many thanks for all of your help throughout my matter. Your professionalism is second to none. I would not hesitate to refer or deal with your office in the future!
Thank you
Nicole C (ORMEAU, NSW)
Compensation Law Client / Second to None
Hi Barry You guys are often the unsung heroes. You fight the battle, get your fee and then you’re quickly forgotten. Well, I’m sure you were hoping you’d heard the last of us (and this long running debacle) but I won’t let you get away without a big thank you from me (and Pam) for seeing this through. We really appreciate your persistence and communication throughout. Thanks and have a great weekend!
A Moses (NSW)
Compensation Law Client / Unsung Heroes
Dear Chris,
All the doctor’s examinations, flights to Sydney, X-rays etc, forensic accountant reports and reams of paperwork to dissect have all contributed to such a successful outcome. Yours faithfully
Compensation Law Client
Thank you, Jeremy. When you mentioned that your overarching intent as a firm is 'to help people', you've captured the very essence of my impression of yourselves from yesterday's meeting perfectly. I felt certain you're genuine and doing your job for the very right reasons. Sadly, many in your profession don't give this aspect the importance and priority it should have, so I'm very happy and grateful you've given me an opportunity to maximise my potential in helping Jason in this difficult situation. Have a great day! 🙂
Rosa S.
Hi Jeremy,
Once again you have delivered with exceptional professionalism. I honestly cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me and the manner and speed in which it was all handled. It has worked out really well, greatly appreciated! Thanks again Jeremy, will talk soon..

Daniel G.
Hi Jeremy, hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Thanks for your help .I hope I don't go through that again, but if I do I will call you .Great work thanks once again.

Daniel S.
Hi Jeremy

My husband and I would like to sincerely thank you for all the hard and speedy work you had put into my compensation claim. You are a credit to your profession. We could not be more happy with the wonderful outcome. Would you also pass on our sincere thanks to Kevin. He certainly proved to be a valuable asset on the day of the conference and I was glad he was on my side.

I am now relieved that this is behind me and can really concentrate on getting myself fully recovered. Once again many thanks.

Warmest regards
Jeff & Chrissie P.
Hi Jeremy, Just giving you the bank details for the settlement money to be put into. Thank you so much for everything! You have been really helpful, I really appreciate it.
Hannah S.
Finally home, thanks Jeremy for getting me through this very difficult time, I feel like a weight is lifted and I can now get on with finding my new path in life – whatever it may be. You have been a great support and your legal advice has been spot on. Thanks also to Kevin, you both make a good team and your relationship was an asset to the case, I don’t believe that I could have achieved such a good result with anyone else, although I hope I never need you again (no offence).

Take care, all the best
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