Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 No 10
Current version for 25 March 2020 to date (accessed 17 July 2020 at 01:08)
Part 1 Division 1.2
Division 1.2 Interpretation
1.4   Definitions
(cf ss 3 and 7 MACA)
(1)  In this Act—
attendant care services means services that aim to provide assistance to people with everyday tasks, and includes (for example) personal assistance, nursing, home maintenance and domestic services.
Authority means the State Insurance Regulatory Authority constituted under the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015.
claim means a claim for statutory benefits or a claim for damages.
claimant means a person who makes or is entitled to make a claim.
claims assessor—see Part 7.
commencement of this Act means the commencement of the majority of the provisions of this Act.
damages means damages (within the meaning of the Civil Liability Act 2002) in respect of the death of or injury to a person caused by the fault of the owner or driver of a motor vehicle in the use or operation of the vehicle, but does not include statutory benefits.
Dispute Resolution Service means the Dispute Resolution Service of the Authority established under Division 7.2.
driver means a person driving a motor vehicle, and includes—
(a)  a person riding and operating a motor cycle, and
(b)  a person for the time being in charge of a motor vehicle.
employment includes self-employment.
fault means negligence or any other tort.
function includes a power, authority or duty, and exercise a function includes perform a duty.
hospital means a public hospital (within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1997), or a private health facility licensed under the Private Health Facilities Act 2007.
injured person means a person who has suffered an injury in respect of which this Act applies as provided by Division 1.3.
injury means personal or bodily injury and includes—
(a)  pre-natal injury, and
(b)  psychological or psychiatric injury, and
(c)  damage to artificial members, eyes or teeth, crutches or other aids or spectacle glasses.
Insurance Industry Deed means an agreement, as in force for the time being, between the Minister on behalf of the State, the Authority, licensed insurers and other persons (if any) with respect to the third-party insurance scheme and the Nominal Defendant scheme under this Act that is designated by the agreement as the Insurance Industry Deed for the purposes of this Act.
insured motor vehicle means a motor vehicle in relation to which a third-party policy is in force.
insured person means a person insured under a third-party policy.
insurer of a motor vehicle means the insurer who insures the owner or driver of the motor vehicle against liability in respect of the death of or injury to a person, whether or not under a third-party policy, and includes—
(a)  the Nominal Defendant, and
(b)  where a claim is handled on behalf of an insurer by another insurer, the other insurer, and
(c)  an interstate insurer, being an entity (including an authority or instrumentality of the Commonwealth or of another State or a Territory) that under a law of the Commonwealth, another State or a Territory indemnifies the owner or driver of a motor vehicle against liability in respect of the death of or injury to a person, and
(d)  a self-insurer under Division 9.3.
licensed insurer means an insurer that is the holder of a licence granted under Division 9.1 and in force.
medical assessor—see Part 7.
merit reviewer—see Part 7.
minor injury—see section 1.6.
motor accident means an incident or accident involving the use or operation of a motor vehicle that causes the death of or injury to a person where the death or injury is a result of and is caused (whether or not as a result of a defect in the vehicle) during—
(a)  the driving of the vehicle, or
(b)  a collision, or action taken to avoid a collision, with the vehicle, or
(c)  the vehicle’s running out of control, or
(d)  a dangerous situation caused by the driving of the vehicle, a collision or action taken to avoid a collision with the vehicle, or the vehicle’s running out of control.
Motor Accident Guidelines means the Motor Accident Guidelines issued by the Authority under Division 10.2 and in force.
motor vehicle means a motor vehicle or trailer within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013.
Nominal Defendant means the Nominal Defendant referred to in section 2.27.
Note.
 Section 2.27 appoints the Authority as the Nominal Defendant for the purposes of this Act.
Nominal Defendant’s Fund means the fund by that name established under Division 2.4.
non-economic loss means—
(a)  pain and suffering, and
(b)  loss of amenities of life, and
(c)  loss of expectation of life, and
(d)  disfigurement.
owner of a motor vehicle—see section 1.5.
Principal Claims Assessor means the person appointed as the Principal Claims Assessor under section 7.5.
registration means—
(a)  registration of a motor vehicle under the Road Transport Act 2013 or the Recreation Vehicles Act 1983, or
(b)  the issue of an unregistered vehicle permit under the Road Transport Act 2013 for an unregistered motor vehicle, or
(c)  registration in New South Wales of a motor vehicle under the Interstate Road Transport Act 1985 of the Commonwealth.
rehabilitation of an injured person, means the process of enabling or attempting to enable the person to attain and maintain—
(a)  the maximum level of independent living, and
(b)  full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and
(c)  full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life.
relevant insurer in relation to the payment of statutory benefits—see section 3.2.
RMS means Roads and Maritime Services constituted under the Transport Administration Act 1988.
road means a road or road related area (within the meaning of section 4 (1) of the Road Transport Act 2013), but does not include an area to which the whole of that Act does not apply because of an instrument under that Act.
SIRA Fund—see Division 10.4.
spouse means—
(a)  the person to whom a person is legally married (including the husband or wife of a person), or
(b)  a de facto partner,
but where more than one person would so qualify as a spouse, means only the last person so to qualify.
Note.
 “De facto partner” is defined in section 21C of the Interpretation Act 1987.
statutory benefits means statutory benefits payable under Part 3.
third-party policy means a policy of insurance under this Act.
trader’s plate means a trader’s plate within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013.
trailer means a trailer within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013.
Note.
 The Road Transport Act 2013 defines “trailer” to mean generally a vehicle that is built to be towed, or is towed, by a motor vehicle and that is not capable of being propelled without being towed by a motor vehicle, but does not include a motor vehicle that is being towed.
treatment and care means the following—
(a)  medical treatment (including pharmaceuticals),
(b)  dental treatment,
(c)  rehabilitation,
(d)  ambulance transportation,
(e)  respite care,
(f)  attendant care services,
(g)  aids and appliances,
(h)  prostheses,
(i)  education and vocational training,
(j)  home and transport modification,
(k)  workplace and educational facility modifications,
(l)  such other kinds of treatment, care, support or services as may be prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition,
but does not include any treatment, care, support or services of a kind declared by the regulations to be excluded from this definition.
use or operation of a motor vehicle includes—
(a)  the maintenance or parking of the vehicle, or
(b)  in the case of a motor vehicle that is not a trailer—the use or operation of a trailer attached to the motor vehicle and a trailer running out of control having become detached from the motor vehicle towing it, or
(c)  in the case of a motor vehicle that is a tow truck—the use or operation of an uninsured motor vehicle that is being towed or carried by the tow truck.
Note.
 As a result of the above definition, a third-party policy for a motor vehicle extends to cover the matters mentioned in the definition.
Note.
 The Interpretation Act 1987 contains definitions and other provisions that affect the interpretation and application of this Act.
(2)  Notes in the text of this Act do not form part of this Act.
1.5   Meaning of “owner” of a motor vehicle
(cf s 4 MACA)
(1)  For the purposes of this Act—
(a)  in the case of a motor vehicle that is registered, the owner is—
(i)  each registered operator of the vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013, unless the operator has sold or ceased to have possession of the vehicle, and
(ii)  each person who, although not a registered operator of the vehicle, is a sole or joint owner of the vehicle, unless that person has sold or ceased to have possession of the vehicle, and
(iii)  if any such registered operator or owner has sold or ceased to have possession of the vehicle—any person who solely or jointly or in common with any other person is entitled to the immediate possession of the vehicle, or
(b)  in the case of a motor vehicle that is unregistered, the owner is any person who solely or jointly or in common with any other person is entitled to the immediate possession of the vehicle, or
(c)  in the case of a motor vehicle to which a trader’s plate is fixed, the owner is the trader to whom the trader’s plate is issued.
(2)  For the purposes of this section, a person is taken not to have ceased to have possession or, as the case may be, not to have acquired possession of a motor vehicle where a change of possession occurs by way of—
(a)  any hiring (not being a hiring under a hire-purchase agreement) or lending of the vehicle for a period not exceeding 3 months, or
(b)  the passing of the possession of the vehicle to a bailee for the purpose of sale or disposal or for the purpose of alteration, repair, renovation, garaging, storing or other like purpose not involving the use or operation of the motor vehicle for the benefit of the bailee.
(3)  In the application of any provision of this Act to and in respect of a motor vehicle to which a trader’s plate is fixed (whether or not with the authority of the trader), a reference in any such provision to the owner is to be read as a reference to the trader, and a reference to the third-party policy in relation to that motor vehicle is to be read as a reference to the third-party policy in relation to motor vehicles to which the trader’s plate is fixed (whether or not with the authority of the trader).
1.6   Meaning of “minor injury”
(1)  For the purposes of this Act, a minor injury is any one or more of the following—
(a)  a soft tissue injury,
(b)  a minor psychological or psychiatric injury.
(2)  A soft tissue injury is (subject to this section) an injury to tissue that connects, supports or surrounds other structures or organs of the body (such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, fascia, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels and synovial membranes), but not an injury to nerves or a complete or partial rupture of tendons, ligaments, menisci or cartilage.
(3)  A minor psychological or psychiatric injury is (subject to this section) a psychological or psychiatric injury that is not a recognised psychiatric illness.
(4)  The regulations may—
(a)  exclude a specified injury from being a soft tissue injury or from being a minor psychological or psychiatric injury for the purposes of this Act, or
(b)  include a specified injury as a soft tissue injury or as a minor psychological or psychiatric injury for the purposes of this Act.
(5)  The Motor Accident Guidelines may make provision for or with respect to the assessment of whether an injury is a minor injury for the purposes of this Act (including provision for or with respect to the resolution of disputes about the matter by the Dispute Resolution Service).
1.7   Determination of threshold degree of permanent impairment of injured person who suffers both physical and psychological/psychiatric injuries
(1)  This section applies for the purposes of a determination under this Act of whether the degree of permanent impairment of an injured person as a result of an injury caused by a motor accident is greater than 10% (the impairment threshold).
(2)  If an injured person receives both a physical injury and a psychological or psychiatric injury arising out of the same motor accident—
(a)  the degree of permanent impairment that results from the physical injury is to be assessed separately from the degree of permanent impairment that results from the psychological or psychiatric injury (and accordingly those separate degrees of injury are not to be added together for the purposes of the impairment threshold), and
(b)  the injured person is taken to have a degree of permanent impairment greater than the impairment threshold if either the degree of impairment caused by physical injuries or the degree of impairment caused by psychological or psychiatric injuries is greater than 10%.
Note.
 If there is more than one physical injury those injuries will still be assessed together as one injury, but separately from any psychological or psychiatric injury. Similarly, if there is more than one psychological or psychiatric injury those psychological or psychiatric injuries will be assessed together as one injury, but separately from any physical injury.