In 2012 whilst driving to the next town Melissa and her young children were involved in a high-speed head-on collision.
Melissa – Teacher and Mother
Prior to the accident, Melissa had lived a successful career as a full-time teacher and was on the path to position as a School Principal. Due to the accident, she struggled with the demands of classroom teaching and could not cope with the additional responsibilities of running a school.
Home life for Melissa had always required her to go above and beyond the regular duties of a mother – one of her children has special needs. After the serious accident, Melissa’s loving husband took over the housework as well as working full-time to support their family’s ongoing needs.
The serious accident left her with 5% whole person impairment. Her neurosurgeon recommended she have spinal surgery, but she decided to delay any surgery for as long as she could.
Melissa’s claim was assessed and she was awarded $248,000. This included reimbursement of paid medical treatment, some sick leave and future loss of earnings.
Under the Government’s proposed changes, Melissa would receive no compensation for her future loss of income and no contribution towards the cost of further medical treatment that she may require. This means that she would receive only $3,712 because she was on part-time maternity leave when the unfortunate accident occurred.
CURRENT SCHEME – $248,000
NEW NSW CTP SCHEME – $3,712
Melissa received significantly less compensation because her injury was under 10% whole person impairment, and under the new scheme only those with 10% + impairment receive significant benefits.
Furthermore, under the new scheme Melissa would not have the assistance of a lawyer, therefore if the insurer declined her claim she may not have been awarded the compensation amount of $3,712 as she may not have known how to contest the insurers decision, or she may have just felt like it was easier to give up on her claim.
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