“How much is my workcover case worth?” Is a question we receive very often from seriously injured workers. It is a very difficult question to answer because the “commercial value” of your case depends of many factors, and each case is unique.
Deeds of release are often used in settling workcover cases and common law claims between employers (or their representing insurance companies and defense lawyers) and injured workers — but what are they really? In this article, we try to discuss what deed are, how they’re written and provide very important tips on their use for injured workers.
We recently received the following inquiry and the following horror story from two separate injured workers, both cases basically revolve around the fact that -yes- Workcover can recover compensation paid to a worker from a third party, where the third party has caused or contributed to the injury occurring. As Carol kindly explained,if you already have an accepted workcover claim and/or common law settlement there is absolutely no point bringing a separate civil damages claim against a third party for negligence/damages born out of the same incident as your workcover claim as you can’t double dip and be compensated twice for the same injury/damage/loss.
Last year, the County Court of Victoria had announced that it proposed to implement informal Judicial Settlement Conferences with the assistance of a County Curt Judge in serious injury cases from 2012. A review of the outcomes from the Judicial Settlement Conferences that took place between 16 January 2012 and 20 March 2012 found that the results are promising and that many serious injury applications are now successfully heard faster in Vic.
Serious injury application and judicial settlement conferences in Victoria
A State conference of the Australian Lawyers Alliance was held in Lorne last month at which Judge Sandra Davis, of the County Court of Victoria, delivered an address regarding the success of the County Court’s Judicial Settlement Conferences that are held in Serious Injury cases.
The County Court of Victoria’s mandatory court led conferencing program commenced on the 16th of January 2012, and since this time, Judicial Settlement Conferences have been held at the County Court in an attempt to reduce the delay that we are currently experiencing in obtaining a trial date for Serious Injury Applications.
Judicial Settlement conferences are informal conferences that are held in a court room at the County Court, before a County Court judge. The legal representatives for each party involved in the matter attend together with the injured worker. At the Judicial Settlement Conference, the judge allows each party to present their case to the other party in an attempt to resolve the matter. In the event that the matter is not resolved at the Judicial Settlement Conference, the County Court judge who assists at this time is prohibited from hearing the subsequent Serious Injury Application.
A review of the outcomes from the Judicial Settlement Conferences that took place between 16 January 2012 and 20 March 2012 found that:
- 21 cases were resolved within 0-7 days following the Judicial Settlement Conference.
- 5 cases resolved within 8-30 days following the Judicial Settlement Conference.
- 3 cases resolved within 31-60 days following the Judicial Settlement Conference.
- 69 cases remained unresolved.
Victoria based Adviceline Injury Lawyers, from which we obtained the above figures, believe that the above figures are promising.
can I claim compensation for pain and suffering under workcover: covers what a serious injury is
Updated 18 June 2019