Compensation Recipient Hails Government Initiative


The considerable challenge and loss of time in proving faults of a motor vehicle accident by victims and their family is something of the past with the launch of the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji early last year.
While there is no price to life, the Government is providing a helping hand to those who lose their loved ones in accidents with $75,000 in compensation and $150,000 to those who sustain serious injuries.
Hailing this initiative as one of its kind, Wilfred Underwood, father of 17-year-old accident victim said his future was starting to look bleak upon the demise of his only child.
“I was not expecting any support from the Government and I was taken back when I was given $75,000. I am using part of this sum to invest in housing development which will help my wife and me to secure our future,” Mr Underwood said.
“This is only possible through the insight of the government of the day and I am thankful to them for assisting families who had to face the trauma of losing our cherished ones and giving us the much needed encouragement to move forward in life.”
Accident Compensation Commission Fiji (ACCF) chief executive officer Parvez Akbar says there is now a system in place which is premised on providing compensation that is fair in substance and procedure.
“The ACCF feel honoured to be able to serve victims of accidents during their time of need through a no-fault scheme that removes all hurdles which included lengthy and costly legal battles, the burden of proving fault, unreasonable exclusions and uncertainty of outcomes,” Mr Akbar said.
The commission receives its funding for compensation payment from Motor Vehicle Accident Levy and since this year it receives 40 per cent from the one per cent levy paid by employers to the Fiji National University.
Since its inception, the commission has received 511 applications for motor vehicle accident out of which 60 were successful for the payout of $3.5 million and since 1 January this year, ACCF has started compensating for personal injuries and deaths from employment and school accidents.
“Applications are only approved if the person or student injured was authorized to work or be at school at the time of the incident,” Mr Akbar highlighted.
ACCF provides three years for applicants to file in their application from the date of the accident and its decision is final, however, those wishing to contest the decision can appeal in court.
“There are specific exclusions under the Act where applications are declined such as driving a motor vehicle while being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving with expired driving license and driving illegally,” he added.
He revealed the extent of the injuries on the applicant is determined by the medical report and compensation are paid according to the percentage of the incapacitation on their body.
“Our top priority is to create awareness on our initiatives through social media, talk back shows and provide presentations to stakeholders including schools and the general public for more outreach which has garnered us a lot of positive feedback,” he said