The month of October has produced welcoming developments for claimants in motor vehicle accident claims, with the mandatory costs reporting provisions in Clauses 8(d) and 23 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Regulation 2005 being in full force on the 1st October 2015.
Essentially, any claim which settles after the 1st October 2015 will fall within the ambit of the new regulations which require legal service providers to complete an online document to the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA), which details amongst other things the amount of the settlement or award to the claimant and the nature of all deductions incurred in the claim, including fees in retaining a barrister, the disbursements incurred in running the claim such as engaging a medical expert, centrelink deductions, and of course the legal costs charged.
These reporting requirements will necessarily position the MAA as a “gatekeeper” for monitoring the costs charged on claimants in a motor vehicle accident case and give claimants more transparency in the breakdown of costs in their respective claim. We believe these policies will no doubt strengthen and encourage the confidence, assurance, peace and comfort of claimants who may have reservations and concerns about the extent of costs in a motor vehicle accident claim. However, the cost reporting obligations do not necessarily mean that costs have to be cheap and low. The principle of the regulation is not to be a fixed pricing or capping system for potential litigants, rather its purpose is to increase the transparency of the costs charged across the board. As a result, this would also indirectly provide claimants with a more accurate and clearer breakdown of the costs incurred in their claim.
At Gerard Malouf and Partners, we understand that the first and foremost concerns of our clients are the costs in running a claim. We strongly believe that these new regulations in combination with our 90 day complimentary free trial offer will certainly place you in the best position in understanding how your claim would be litigated in the most effective and least costly manner.