Court judgment provides insight into collection of evidence in car accident compensation claims

Date: Jan 20, 2020

A December Supreme Court of New South Wales decision based in the Permanent Impairment Guidelines outlined in both the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 has brought into question the fairness in collecting evidence when reviewing errors in car accident compensation processes.

Case background
The ruling found that an insurer was not afforded judicial review of a case involving a car accident compensation claims process. The claimant had sustained injuries in an accident and the Review Panel of Medical Assessment Service issued a certificate to finalise results of an internal medical assessment into the claim.

As a result, the insurer challenged the decision in the most recent case, arguing that the RPMAS has an obligation to obtain or compel certain entities to obtain documentation relevant to cases. In this particular claim, the insurer could not provide evidence related to the “extent of his whole person impairment.”

Ruling and subsequent explanation
In his observations on the case, the presiding justice noted that the insurer’s complaint was not “well articulated” with regard to explicitly citing a legal basis for its arguments. The insurer’s two submissions argued that the Review Panel’s assessment put it in a situation adverse to the former’s interests without the opportunity to counter, and implied that the process would not continue without collection of the evidence – or the insurer being legally compelled to proceed.

In the justice’s explanation for ruling against the submissions, the official held that the insurer’s conduct, by comparison, did not indicate that it wished to provide documentation to counter the assessment’s course of action. Furthermore, he pointed out that the entity did not provide evidence that it held the RPMAS to the expectations laid out in the second submission.

All parties involved and named in the filing of motor vehicle compensation claims should take this ruling as a reminder that they need a strong legal argument to file successful applications for judicial review of process errors. With the help of experienced legal representation from Gerard Malouf & Partners Car Accident Lawyers, you can build a solid case that can help you achieve the best desired outcome and/or compensation payout. Contact GMP today to find out how you can get started on initiating a claims process.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.