WA’s Catastrophic Injuries Support (CIS) scheme has been running since July 2016. Unfortunately, people who were catastrophically injured in road crashes were younger and more severely injured than first estimated. Three quarters of those were young men.
The CIS scheme
The CIS scheme is designed to cover people catastrophically injured in car crashes where it is not clear another driver is at fault.
At 30 June 2017, 48 people needed treatment and care via the CIS or compulsory third party (CTP) scheme. Nearly half of them (22) are young people 15-34.
The meaning of catastrophic
The most common catastrophic injury, 69% of eligible cases, is to the brain. Next are spinal injuries, 29% of cases. People with these types of injuries need lifetime support and the average cost is a huge $4.9 million per person.
Some 183 people died on WA roads in 2017 compared to 171 in 2016. As Insurance Commission of WA notes, there is a “fine line between a near miss and a crash, or a fatality and a catastrophic injury”.
Nearly 3 million vehicles are licensed to drive in WA. These vehicle owners:
- Paid $555 million in insurance premiums in 2016
- Paid $686.6 million in 2017 to pay for extra cover from the new CIS
- Made car crash claims in 2017 worth $2.2 billion.
While both the CTP and CIS schemes have a valuable role, it is tragic so many young people are ruining their lives. It is particularly sad young men are still overrepresented in the statistics. These injured young men also deeply affect parents, siblings and friends around them.