Pursuant to section 131 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act (NSW), a Claimant is only entitled to damages for non-economic loss where the permanent impairment is greater than 10% and results from an injury caused by a motor vehicle accident.
In Gray v Allianz Australia Insurance Limited  NSWPICMP 481, the Motor Accident Permanent Impairment Guidelines apply because the motor accident occurred between 5 October 1999 and 30 November 2017.
The Personal Injury Commission was required to assess whether the Claimant’s alleged injuries were caused by the accident and whether the Claimant’s permanent impairment is greater than 10%.
At first instance, the Medical Assessor determined that none of the injuries referred for assessment were related to the accident because:
As none of the injuries were related to the accident, the Medical Assessor was not required to assess the Claimant’s whole person impairment.
The Claimant successfully applied for the dispute to be referred to the Medical Review Panel.
The medical members of the Review Panel found that:
The Review Panel concluded that:
This decision reminds us that in order for causation to be accepted by a medical assessor in whole person impairment disputes, there must be contemporaneous evidence of consistent and similar complaints from the time of the accident until the time of the assessment.
If there is a break in causation in the medical evidence, the medical assessor may not accept that the injury was caused by the subject accident.
If you have a query relating to any of the information in this case note, or would like to discuss a similar matter of your own, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with CTP Insurance Special Counsel Helen Huang today.
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