Be care­ful what you wish for – cam­paigner

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH - Pia van Straalen

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."

Pic­ture: David Baylis­mu­ni­ d430727

Shane O’Keefe says that cat­a­strophic in­jury in­sur­ance is not as good as it sounds.

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