Compensation commission reaches out to Kasavu accident victims

Fiji’s Accident and Compensation Commission has reached out to victims of an accident in Kasavu where an elderly couple died, and another was hospitalised after a tree branch fell on the car they were travelling in.

The accident which happened a fortnight ago near Kasavu Road in Naitasiri, is the first case of this nature to happen since the commission began compensating for serious injuries or deaths from motor vehicle accidents more than four years ago.

Since ACCF started compensation for motor vehicle accidents on 1 January 2018, it has paid more than $24 million, with the highest its paid amounting to $132,000 in 2020. The injured was a passenger in a motor vehicle that collided with another motor vehicle. The victim sustained multiple injuries, and fractures and was bedridden.

The commission has also made similar payments for employment and school-related accidents. Since 1 January 2019, the ACCF has paid nearly $10 million for employment-related accidents and $668,500 for school accidents. The ACCF has paid more than $34 million to date.

Although a no-fault scheme, the ACCF have a set of exclusions including:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol over the prescribed limit, or under the influence of drugs.
  • Being convicted of an offence of driving with an excess of alcohol or blood alcohol concentration over the prescribed limit.
  • Failing or refusing to permit a breath test or a specimen of blood to be taken.
  • Not holding a valid driving licence authorising that person to drive the motor vehicle of the class or use for which it is registered.
  • Failure to comply with all the conditions of the driving licence.
  • Being convicted of an offence for any act or omission that directly caused the accident.
  • Attempted suicide or suicide.
  • Any injury or death that did not directly arise from the accident.
  • Owner of a vehicle who has failed to pay the Motor Vehicle Levy.
  • Deliberate self-injury.
  • Personal injury or death as a result of an accident arising out of and in the course of employment where the injured or deceased person is not a worker.

The ACCF team will also need to obtain a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) assessment from a medical practitioner, which is an assessment of the extent of permanent incapacity once the injured person has reached maximum medical improvement. The timeframe to provide accurate permanent disability depends on the extent of the injury. Compensation payments, if there is an entitlement, are as follows:

  1. In the case of permanent incapacity, a maximum lump sum of $150,000
  2. In the case of death, a lump sum payment of $75,000
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