It has been an interesting year for many – as with the years before it, 2017 has been a year of both positive and not so positive change. With so many changes that might have been missed, in this blog we want to touch on several key law reforms that might affect our clients.

We believe that if you’re informed regarding what’s changed in the New South Wales law landscape, you’ll be able to stay on top of any changes relevant to you.

Changes to workers compensation payments in 2017

In 2012, the State Government amended laws limiting financial entitlements for workplace compensation, so that only the most seriously injured people would qualify. In December of 2017, this legislation effectively came into effect, and it has meant that thousands of workers receiving benefits through the NSW workers compensation scheme no longer received the income they were previously entitled to.

The new scheme only favours those with severe disabilities, such as missing limbs and paralysis.However,those losing their benefits are stillsome of the most vulnerable members of the community, using their entitlements to purchase necessities such as medication and food. It is estimated that between 7000 and 8000 people will be losing these benefits, with little else they can do.

If you’ve been affected by this alteration in workers compensation law and are unsure what to do, Marocchi Law recommend seeking relevant advice as soon as possible.

Changes to NSW motor accident laws in 2017

New reform will replace the current compulsory third party motor accidents scheme. The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 changes the way that injured parties are compensated after motor accidents occur, which we believe is important information to share in the unfortunate event that you suffer through a motor accident.

The first benefit is a valuable one for all those involved in an accident – the reforms enable all parties to have statutory benefits available to them, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. These statutory benefits include having access to coverage of wage loss, medical treatment and funeral expenses.

The second alterationreduceswhat can be claimed for in terms of damages if someone else is at fault, or if the accident was completely blameless. It should be noted that those convicted of or have been charged with a serious charging offense are not eligible for these statutory benefits. These kinds of issues are being worked on from the earliest possible opportunities, which leads on to the next change…

Creating better drivers on the road

New revisions to laws related to obtaining a driver’s licence have been recently introduced to create better drivers from the get go. As a response to high provisional-related accidents (15% of fatalities were made up P-Platers, despite these P-Platers making up 8% of drivers in New South Wales), the Graduated Licensing Scheme has been introduced to alter the ways in which learner drivers approach relevant testing.

These changes have resulted in learner drivers being made to complete the Hazard Perception Test before being eligible to take the driving test (which means P1 drivers are not required to complete the Hazard Perception Test to get their P2 licence) and the Driver Qualification Test being abandoned. Instead, P2 drivers will have to remain on their licence for an additional 6 months if they received a suspension for unsafe driving behaviour during their probationary period.

Don’t wait any longer to learn more!

During the Christmas period, Marocchi Law are open Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 5:30PM, with the exception of Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s Day. If you have any questions about these law reforms, or any other law matters related to compensation, get in touch with us today over the holiday season.

We look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

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