ON 1 OCTOBER 1999, the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW) commenced.
The Act introduced significant changes to assessment of damages for personal injuries arising from the use or operation of a motor vehicle in NSW. Such changes included:
- The establishment of the Motor Accidents Assessment Service (MAAS) of the Motor Accidents Authority, consisting of the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service (CARS) and Medical Assessment Service (MAS).
- The requirement that a s91 certificate be issued by CARS before court proceedings may be commenced.
- The requirement that CARS assess claims in which the insurer has admitted fault and that the assessments be binding on the insurer but not the claimant.
- The requirement that MAS assess medical treatment or permanent impairment disputes.
- Caps on damages for non-economic loss, domestic services and loss of earnings.
- Thresholds to entitlement to damages for domestic services and non-economic loss, including a greater than 10% permanent impairment threshold for non-economic loss.
- Abolition or damages for loss of services.
- Restrictions on damages for compensation to relatives.
- Restrictions on interest.
- Restrictions on legal costs.
Motor accident claims have also been affected by the subsequent enactment of the Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) and the Motor Accidents (Lifetime Care and Support) Act 1996 (NSW).
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