Are you self-employed and have been injured in a motor vehicle accident after 1 December 2017?
The Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 provides reimbursement for loss of income for both employed and self-employed injured persons. Whilst there are generally no difficulties in ascertaining the pre-accident earnings of an employed person, it is now apparent that CTP Insurers are finding it difficult to properly calculate the pre-accident earnings of a self-employed claimant.
Pre-Accident Weekly Earnings (PAWE) are defined in Schedule 1(4) of the Act.
“Gross earnings” is not defined in the Motor Accidents Injuries Act. However, it is clear in the definition of PAWE, the term refers to the gross earnings received by an earner as an earner. The issue for determination is therefore the amount of gross earnings received by an injured person in self-employment in the twelve (12) months before the motor accident, expressed as a weekly average.
We are presently acting for a number of clients who are self-employed and have a gross annual income in excess of $200,000.00 per annum. Self-employed persons have a number of fixed costs which are deducted from their gross earnings to determine profit, such as:
- Leasing of motor vehicles;
- Office equipment;
- Secretarial services;
- Administration costs; and
Unfortunately, there have been instances where a CTP Insurer has taken in to account these fixed costs when calculating a self-employed person’s weekly earnings. Despite the fact the injured person has been unable to work at all but is still incurring these ongoing fixed costs.
For example, one of our clients, who has gross earnings in excess of $200,000.00 per annum, was advised by the CTP Insurer they have calculated his weekly earnings to be the sum of $386.00.
This assessment is difficult to understand when the injured person’s weekly lease payments on a motor vehicle are in excess of $400.00!
At BPC Lawyers, we have the resources to be able to properly determine the weekly earnings of a self-employed person and will assist those persons in firstly seeking an internal review with the CTP Insurer. If this proves to be unsatisfactory, then we can proceed further with an Application for the matter to be determined by a Merit Reviewer appointed by the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS).