Changes to the MAA Claims Assessment Guidelines
Following the NSW Court of Appeal decision in Smalley v Allianz  NSWCA 318, the Motor Accidents Authority has advised the Association that changes to the Claims Assessment Guidelines may be introduced shortly (as early as mid-December).
The changes proposed are significant. No longer will cases where breach of duty or liability is denied or contributory negligence of greater than 25% alleged be automatically exempted. Rather, all such matters may now have to be submitted to CARS for determination of whether there should be a discretionary exemption or whether the cases can be kept within the CARS system.
The Bar Association has prepared detailed submissions which have been sent to the MAA. The Bar Association is meeting with the Motor Accidents Authority to urge moderation of their proposal.
A copy of the Bar Association submission can be seen here.
It should be noted that the guideline changes would apply to all exemption applications lodged from the date of gazettal of the proposed changes. That could be as early as mid-December.
Barristers may wish to consider advising their solicitors as to this proposed change and the limited opportunity that may currently be available to lodge an Application for Exemption in relevant cases whilst the exemption can be obtained as of right, rather than as a discretionary determination of a CARS assessor.
5 December 2013
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