When first starting in workers compensation law, the process of making a claim can often be overbearing, especially for clients who have not yet experienced the process. Many clients are often unfamiliar with the time it will take, how it will be paid for, and the various other steps involved.
Like many legislation based claims, a workers compensation claim can be broken down into specific steps. Below is a basic timeline of the life of a workers compensation claim.
Timeline of a Workers Compensation Claim
- An injured employee (client) calls asking for the solicitor to act for them in a workers compensation claim, while informing them of the details of the incident.
- The solicitor accepts the instructions and sends them blank authorities for the client to sign and return.
- Using the signed authority to release information, the solicitor requests s126 documents off the insurer. S126 provides a worker or their solicitor to be provided by any medical reports in the possession of the employer/insurer.
- Using the s126 documents, the solicitor is then able to make a WIRO application, asking for funding for a medico-legal report and clinical notes of treating doctors.
- Once WIRO grants funding, the solicitor may then ask for clinical notes off treating doctors. To receive these notes the solicitor must attach a signed medical authority from the client.
- Using those clinical notes the solicitor is able to write a letter of instruction to the medico-legal doctor. The questions within the letter are often based around the injury the client has received, with the main question being, “what degree of whole person impairment has the client received?”
- Once the solicitor receives the medico-legal report from the doctor, he then advises the client as to what the report means. He will then ask for instructions as to how the client would like to proceed.
- Once instructed by the client to proceed, the solicitor will then serve the medico-legal report and a letter of demand on the insurer asking for a sum of money. It is at this date that the compensation claim begins. The Defendant has two months to respond.
- The insurer will then do 1 of 4 things: serve a s74 notice denying the liability, accept liability, ask to bargain or not respond within the 2 month period.
- Once 1 of these 4 options are chosen, the solicitor may then serve an ARD – Application to Resolve a Dispute to the Workers Compensation Commission.
Although this is a very basic timeline and different situations require different steps, it provides a broad overview of how the majority of workers compensation claims proceed.
If you are an employee that has been injured during the course of your employment, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, and to arrange a free, no-obligation assessment of your claim, please contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800, or alternatively, make an online enquiry.
Written by Michael Greene.
Michael Greene is a paralegal to Cali Baldwin and Sian Louise-Perez. Michael works on a variety of different compensation matters, including workers compensation claims, work injury damages claims, and motor vehicle accident claims.