You have received an offer of lump sum compensation from WorkCover or a self insurer. This offer has been based on an assessment of permanent impairment by a Doctor.
A permanent impairment is impairment from an injury resulting in:
- loss of efficient use of part of the body, or
- loss of part of the body.
For example, you may be assessed as having a back injury with a 4% impairment.
The impairment is permanent if your injury is stable and stationary and not likely to improve with further treatment.
The percentage of permanent impairment has been used to calculate your offer of lump sum compensation.
If you disagree with the assessment of permanent impairment you can request a review of the assessment by a Medical Assessment Tribunal (unless the Tribunal made the original decision). You only have 20 business days after receiving the notice of assessment of permanent impairment to request a review of the decision by a Medical Assessment Tribunal or you are taken to have agreed with the PERCENTAGE of permanent impairment.
If the Medical Assessment Tribunal made the decision then you may defer the offer and seek fresh medical evidence to challenge the percentage of impairment if you think the percentage should be higher.
The lump sum compensation is the initial offer made by WorkCover and is often not a large amount or adequate compensation.
By claiming for common law damages a much fuller and comprehensive amount of damages can be claimed.
You should seek legal advice before accepting any offers of lump sum compensation as accepting an offer prevents you from making a common law damages claim. You can only accept a lump sum offer OR claim common law damages, not both, unless your impairment is more than 20%.
If you do not accept the lump sum offer then the next step will be to lodge a Notice of Claim for Damages with WorkCover and your employer. However if your injury occurred between 15 October 2013 and 31 January 2015 and your impairment has been assessed as less than 5% you are not entitled to pursue a common law claim for damages.