Section 74 (4) of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW) (MACA) has been repealed and a potential claimant is no longer required to verify his or her claim by statutory declaration. However, protection of an insurer’s interests against lodgement of false or misleading claims remains under section 307C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) (CA) and sections 117 and 118 of MACA.
Section 74 of the MACA requires Notice of a Motor Accident Claim to be made in the form approved by the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA). Accordingly, a potential claimant must lodge a Personal Injury Claim Form and Subsection (4) requires a Personal Injury Claim Form to be verified by statutory declaration.
Section 307C of the CA makes it an offence for a person to produce a false or misleading document in compliance with a law of the state, carrying a maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment or a fine of 200 penalty units or both.
The overlap means section 74(4) of the MACA is redundant. This means that its repeal has no effect on the obligation of a potential claimant to provide accurate and true documents. In fact, the deterrence mechanism for making a false claim under MACA is significantly less severe than under the CA, imposing only 50 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment or both.
Claim Forms will need to be revised to reflect this amendment. Presumably, the MAA will communicate with insurers about this shortly.
Essentially, a deterrent against the making of a false claim remains under the CA and the delay associated with a claimant executing a statutory declaration should now assist in the timely lodgement and resolution of claims.