People are being delayed for years to even see a medical assessor.
Within minutes, the young man had a seizure, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he drew his last breath.
Four and a half years later, the trauma and horror of that day have taken over Mr Logan’s life.
“I don’t have much of a life anymore,” he told 9News.
“I’ve had two nervous breakdowns, I have had 12 lots of electric shock therapy, I don’t go out of the house unless I have to and I used to drive trucks all over Australia.
“It’s just destroying me from the inside out.”
The cars at the scene of the crash where Troy Logan stopped to help. (Supplied)
Compulsory third party insurance (CTP) is supposed to help people like Mr Logan.
Drivers each pay hundreds of dollars a year into CTP, also known as green slips, to ensure victims of accidents are compensated for injuries, treatment, and time off work.
But in practice, the system is failing people like Mr Logan, who has received zero compensation to date.
He is one of many NSW road accident victims who can’t reach an agreement on claims with an insurer and are instead facing years of delays to see medical assessors, the independent experts appointed by the NSW Government’s Personal Injury Commission, to get a resolution.
Lawyers report it’s becoming a major issue, prolonging victim suffering and making cases more complicated and difficult to resolve because of elapsed time.
Court cases cannot proceed until the assessments are undertaken.
In Mr Logan’s case, a medical assessor found last year his psychiatric injuries were caused by the accident he attended on the Hume Highway near Gundagai on October 29, 2016 — but then the insurer contested his claim again and so Mr Logan is again waiting to see another medical assessor.
“The longer this goes on, the more it actually destroys me,” Mr Logan said.
“It’s hard to keep going each day, it’s a struggle.
Lawyers report it’s becoming a major issue, prolonging victim suffering. (9News)
“[CTP] is supposed to help people but when you need the help, they do everything to actually call you a liar or a con artist … fair enough, there are people like that, but there are genuine people like myself who have got so much overwhelming evidence.
“The system is definitely broken … there’s so many people left out in the cold. It’s just wrong.”
Paul Singh, of Shine Lawyers, says he has up to 40 clients who have waited more than a year to see a medical assessor.
“No one knows how unfair the system is unless you have actually been in a motor vehicle accident which has changed your life around due to someone else’s negligence,” he said.
Adam Cook is another accident victim who has faced years of waiting. He was hit head-on by a car while riding his motorbike in the Tweed Valley on October 16, 2016.
“My left leg shattered, from the knee right down to the ankle, and my left shoulder was broken,” he says.
The 59-year-old still hasn’t received a cent for loss of income and medical costs. Proceedings have stalled while he waits to see a medical assessor.
“It’s just been an absolute joke,” he said.
Adam Cook says the compensation system isn’t working as it should. (9News)
To add insult to injury, Mr Cook took time off work and caught a flight to Sydney for a scheduled assessment last month, only to be told by the doctor it had been cancelled.
He doesn’t have a new appointment.
His life has been irrevocably damaged.
“I can’t surf anymore and I’ve surfed all my life, I can’t dance anymore and I’ve danced all my life,” he said.
“It just wrecked my life.”
The NSW Personal Injury Commission (PIC), a newly formed independent statutory tribunal that took over from the State Insurance Regulatory Authority’s former Dispute Resolution Service, is responsible for CTP claim disputes.
Mr Cook said he had been waiting years to no result. (9News)
In a written statement, a PIC spokesperson said in-person medical examinations had to be suspended last year as a result of the pandemic.
“Since 1 March, the new Commission has been working to reduce the numbers of medical assessments delayed by the pandemic as quickly as we can,” the spokesperson said.
“As restrictions have eased, we have recommenced in-person examinations and are endeavouring to give priority to those cases that have been on the list for the longest period.
“We are confident that we can achieve a normal operating situation in the short to medium term.”