Opening the Door to CTP Claims

A court has recently found that even though an injured person may have contributed to a motor accident, they will still be able to make a CTP claim, though the compensation may be reduced.

The case involved a 14-year-old who ran out from behind a school bus and into the path of a motor vehicle, giving the driver no chance to avoid colliding with her. She was seriously injured and brought a claim against the driver of the vehicle. It was accepted that there was no fault on the part of the driver.

However, under the law, the driver could be deemed to be at fault – known as a blameless accident – provided there was no other person at fault, allowing the injured person to claim under the CTP insurance. At issue in the case was whether fault by any other person included that of the injured person.

The court found that the injured person could not be a person at fault in such circumstances and thus could make a claim under the blameless accident provisions. However, the court said that the compensation should be reduced by the amount that the injured person departed from the standard of care she was required to observe in the interests of her own safety. In this case, the court took into account the girl’s age and the circumstances of the accident and reduced her compensation by 50 per cent.

If it had been a drunk adult pedestrian who ran in front of a car, the compensation could well have been reduced by 100 per cent. And as a result of this case, for children aged six and below, it’s likely that they will now have complete no-fault entitlements under the motor accidents scheme due to the fact that they are not capable of being found to have contributed to the accident.

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