Be careful what you wish for – campaigner
LONG-TIME no-fault insurance campaigner Shane O'Keefe has spoken out against the State Government's scheme, saying it is not as good as it sounds.
Mr O'Keefe, a Riverton resident, received catastrophic injuries in a motorbike accident in 2011, rendering him a complete paraplegic.
He received compensation based on culpability and the severity of his injuries.
"On the surface, this scheme looks good, but the devil is in the detail," he said.
"I changed my mind on it after speaking with my lawyers… in the words of my lawyer, it's a disaster."
Mr O'Keefe said he was concerned the scheme would take specialist and private options away from newly injured people.
"This system is putting people in the public system," he said.
Other criticisms included what he called ‘double-dipping’, where car registration was increased, while registration insurance was taken away.
"It seems like double-dipping; although registrations have been increased on one hand, they're taking away claims we can make on rego insurance," he said.
Mr O'Keefe said he was concerned there was no recognition of the emotional trauma that becoming permanently injured had on people.
"There was no consideration for the emotional state, no padding for the emotional torment and adjustment from an able-bodied person to a disabled person," he said.
"In an equal opportunity court, you can claim for hurt and embarrassment and (paraplegics) go through that; it's a massive adjustment in life and some people take their lives over it."
"With compensation, it was better the devil you know."
Shane O’Keefe says that catastrophic injury insurance is not as good as it sounds.