Foyle Legal blog about the Insurance Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 in Western Australia. The scene shows a concerne


Attention drivers in Western Australia! The Insurance Legislation Amendment (Motor Vehicle Claims Harvesting) Bill 2023, currently under consideration, poses significant challenges and changes to the rights of individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents. This blog post delves deeply into the proposed changes, exploring their implications for drivers and gathering reactions from both the legal community and the public.

Background of the Legislation

The proposed bill aims to address the issue of claims harvesting—where businesses unlawfully gather accident claims to sell to law firms. However, the scope of the bill has expanded significantly, leading to concerns about broader impacts on accident compensation and legal rights.

Key Changes and Their Implications

Mandatory Pre-Action Conference

The bill mandates a ‘pre-action conference’ before legal proceedings begin, requiring plaintiffs to verify that all documents are shared with involved parties. This adds bureaucratic layers and potential delays in justice for the injured. Unrepresented individuals face significant disadvantages, as errors in document handling can lead to the perception that they are not a reliable witness, which could lead to harsh penalties and reduced compensation, severely impacting their claims.

Financial Implications for Injured Drivers

The proposed bill could significantly burden drivers who settle their claims after the pre-action conference for the amount offered at the pre-action conference, as they will likely be held responsible for the insurance company’s legal fees. This shift could drastically reduce or completely eliminate the compensation that injured parties would otherwise receive, leading to severe financial and physical hardships for accident victims.

Pre-Action Conference and Cost Implications

The bill mandates pre-action conferences that go beyond typical settlement discussions by imposing stringent restrictions on the reimbursement of costs related to evidence gathering post-conference.

Currently, evidence-gathering costs such as medical reports are generally recoverable, ensuring equitable justice access regardless of financial status. The new changes prevent reimbursement of evidence gathering after the pre-action conference stage, potentially making fair compensation unaffordable and hindering justice for many drivers. This could disproportionately benefit the Insurance Commission, financially burdening individual claimants seeking necessary evidence post-conference.

Legal Advice and Representation Restrictions

One of the most critical aspects of the legislation is its impact on the ability of personal injury law firms to provide advice to potential clients. Under the new Section 10, s25D, law firms are restricted from advising on the viability of claims unless they opt not to charge any fees, facing penalties up to $10,000 for non-compliance. This could severely limit access to necessary legal guidance for many injured individuals.

Conflict of Interest Involving the Insurance Commission

The bill assigns the Insurance Commission of Western Australia a policing role in claims processes while also serving as the payer of compensation and usually the defendant in these cases (Section 10, s25G). This overlap could create significant conflicts of interest, undermining the fairness and impartiality of the claims handling and litigation processes.

New Limitations on Legal Proceedings

The legislation introduces a strict 28-day window for initiating legal proceedings following a claim notification (Section 16, Section 29H). This tight deadline places an undue burden on unrepresented individuals, potentially preventing many from adequately pursuing their claims.

Reactions from the Legal Community

Reaction from Australian Lawyers Alliance

The legal community, including entities like the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), has expressed significant concerns about the bill’s implications. They argue that it promotes premature settlements and unfairly limits compensation. The ALA is advocating for more consultation before any further advancement of the bill, emphasizing that the current draft could lead to severe injustices for road accident victims.

Reaction from the Law Society of Western Australia

The Law Society of Western Australia expresses significant concerns about the Insurance Legislation Amendment (Motor Vehicle Claims Harvesting) Bill 2023 in a letter to the Minister for Transport. They criticize the lack of prior consultation and the rushed introduction of the bill, highlighting that it contains provisions, particularly in Part 7, which could undermine claimants’ rights to compensation and a fair hearing. The Society points out that the bill imposes stringent pre-action requirements, potentially preventing timely settlement of claims. They assert that the bill’s implementation could erode legal fairness and burden claimants financially. The Law Society requests an urgent meeting to discuss these issues before the bill progresses further.

Public Outcry and Social Media Engagement

The response on social media has been overwhelmingly negative, with many expressing concerns about the government’s motives and the potential for increased insurance company profits at the expense of injured drivers. Comments from social media platform show a broad range of reactions, from outright frustration at increased legal complexities to calls for public demonstrations and petitions to prevent the bill’s passage.

A recent poll conducted on a popular social media platform reflects the widespread disapproval. An overwhelming 97% of participants have expressed that they believe the proposed change is unfair. This strong consensus highlights the depth of concern among the public regarding this issue.

“Looking after corporate profits.” – Gary Evans981

“So how do we say “no” to make it valid/count?” – k

“I am getting rid of that straight away” – Supreme

“This is this should not there a petition happening?” – Ollie2024

“I hate Australia why is our government in bed with big business” – Paul Terriaca

“Is this intended to affect all car insurance or just CTP?” – guya222

“So the insurance companies also own the politicians” – pozzi

“So with this what’s the point of having insurance if this passes

“😳😳no way, I am on the road 40 % of my day, wtf” – koda72

“ Trust Fund your Assets and STOP Voting for the filthy 2party scam Liberal /Labor. WakeUp they’re the SAME Agenda. Get rid of them all. Vote Independents only” – Maarla

“Stop paying insurance! They will change before us” – jeobelow310

Conclusion and Recommendations

The Insurance Legislation Amendment (Motor Vehicle Claims Harvesting) Bill 2023 presents several significant challenges and risks that could undermine the rights and financial security of drivers in Western Australia. To ensure fairness and protect the interests of all parties involved, it is crucial that:

  • There is a re-evaluation of the restrictions placed on legal advice and representation to ensure access to justice is not unduly hindered.
  • The roles of the Insurance Commission are clearly defined to prevent conflicts of interest.
  • Amendments are considered to maintain cost reimbursements for legal proceedings to ensure that justice remains accessible to everyone, regardless of financial capability.
  • The time restrictions for commencing legal proceedings are removed – There are already time restrictions (Limitation Act 2005) for commencing legal proceedings.

Call to Action

It is imperative for the community to engage with this issue actively. Share this information, discuss it with friends and family, and reach out to your legislative representatives. Your involvement is crucial in shaping a just legislative environment for all drivers in Western Australia.


At Foyle Legal, we prioritize reliable and trustworthy information sourced from leading authorities. Our content is based on peer-reviewed research, top academic institutions, respected journals, up-to-date laws and regulations, and validated government data. We also consider authoritative public opinion when relevant. We avoid lower-quality references and clearly list our sources in a dedicated section for each blog post, complete with publication details and direct links for easy verification. Additionally, we endeavor to regularly review and update our articles to ensure the information remains current and reflects the latest developments. Our commitment is to ensure the integrity and reliability of the information we provide. To understand our commitment to accuracy and currency in our content, we invite you to review our editorial policy.

Christian Foyle best injury compensation lawyers Perth for workers comp and personal injury claims

Christian Foyle, founder and director of Foyle Legal - one of the top-rated personal injury law firms in Perth, Western Australia. Christian has been named one of the best compensation lawyers, leading workers' lawyers, and recommended public liability lawyers in WA. Born and raised in Western Australia, his mission is to bring social justice to those injured in accidents that are not their fault. Christian helps injured people seek fair compensation with a No Win, No Fee solution. Follow him on TikTok and LinkedIn.

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