As a long-serving CARS (Claims Assessment Resolution Service) Assessor I have heard hundreds of compensation claims brought on behalf of injured motor vehicle accident victims.
I invariably conduct CARS Assessment Conference with the injured person, called the claimant, present to answer questions. This enables me to assess the claimant’s credibility, demeanour and to determine whether the claimant’s evidence is reliable.
As I always read all of the medical and other reports, statements and submissions before the Assessment Conference, I can easily identify the issues and then direct my questions to those issues.
It is important for lawyers who represent claimants and insurers to provide the CARS Assessor with full and frank written submissions and to know what issues are in dispute and what can be agreed.
At the conclusion of the hearing I explain to the claimant that I have 15 working days to publish my Reasons. That’s quite a tight time frame.
If the insurer has made no allegation of contributory negligence by the claimant my decision will be binding on the insurer. The claimant on the other hand has 21 days to either accept or reject my decision. If rejected the claimant can take the claim to the District Court. However there are enormous costs risks for the claimant in doing so because costs penalties will be imposed on the claimant unless a District Court Judge awards the claimant at least 20% more than the claimant received from the CARS Assessor. In my experience very few cases go from CARS to the District Court.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. To arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please do not hesitate to call Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively, make an online enquiry to speak to one of our friendly solicitors.
Written by Tom Goudkamp.