Catastrophic Injuries Support Scheme

Contributed by DavidBayly and MelissaLetizia and current to 27 July 2018

The introduction of the Catastrophic Injuries Support Scheme (the "CIS scheme") under the Motor Vehicle (Catastrophic Injuries) Act 2016 provides that all persons catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident may claim compensation for treatment, care and support, regardless of whether the injured person was at fault.

Eligibility for compensation under the CIS Scheme

To be eligible to claim compensation under the CIS scheme the following criteria apply:
  • the motor vehicle accident must have caused the claimant's injuries (causation);
  • the motor vehicle accident must have occurred in Western Australia;
  • the motor vehicle accident must have occurred after 1 July 2016;
  • the claimant was at fault or unable to prove that another driver was at fault; and
  • the injuries are assessed as "catastrophic".
The CIS scheme also covers catastrophic injuries resulting from accidents involving unregistered motor vehicles (that are registrable).

The CIS scheme does not cover injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents where:
  • the accident occurred on private property;
  • the accident occurred as a result of organised motor sports;
  • the accident involved only unregistrable vehicles such as quad bikes; or
  • the injuries occurred as a result of an act of terrorism.
If there is a dispute over your eligibility under the scheme then you may wish to seek legal advice.

What are 'catastrophic' injuries?

Catastrophic injuries include:
  • spinal injuries;
  • traumatic brain injuries;
  • multiple amputations;
  • severe burns; and
  • permanent traumatic blindness.
If there is a dispute over whether your injuries meet the definition of 'catastrophic' then you should seek immediate legal advice.

What can be claimed?

Under the CIS scheme, catastrophically injured persons are entitled to receive necessary and reasonable treatment, care and support in a number of defined categories which are set out below.

Past and Future Medical Expenses

This includes:
  • ambulance transport services;
  • hospitalisation expenses;
  • consultations with general practitioners, specialists, pathology tests and pharmaceuticals;
  • the cost of undergoing x-rays, CT scans, MRI and ultrasounds; and
  • dental treatment.

Care & Assistance (both paid and voluntary)

This includes:
  • attendant care services such as assistance with dressing, grooming and showering;
  • domestic assistance such as assistance with laundry, household cleaning, gardening, home maintenance and handyman expenses;
  • nursing services;
  • household support services; and
  • respite care.

Additional Expenses

This includes:
  • aids and appliances such as wheelchairs, hoists and continence equipment;
  • rehabilitation services such as physiotherapy, clinical psychology, occupational therapy and driver training;
  • home and transport modifications such as ramps, rails and vehicle medications to assist with driving.
  • prostheses; and
  • educational and vocational training.

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