If you've made a worker's compensation or Wrongs Act claim in Victoria, you may be required to attend a consultation with a medical panel. But why? What does it involve? And what happens if you don't agree with their decision?
What is a medical panel?
As the name suggests, a medical panel is a body of doctors assembled in order to resolve a medical question. After the examination, the panel usually has 60 days to come up with an opinion. Medical panels provide legally binding answers with detailed justifications for their decisions. Several persons and agencies can refer a claimant to a medical panel including WorkSafe agents, self-insured employers and Wrongs Act claim defendants. If you've been referred to a medical panel, you can find out more information about what to expect here: http://www.medicalpanels.vic.gov.au/claimants.
How does it relate to worker's compensation?
Medical panels are established under the Workers Compensation legislation and the Wrongs Act 1958. When there's disagreement regarding the nature of injuries, what caused the injuries and whether the injury reaches the minimum thresholds to be entitled to claim compensation, a Medical Panel may be called upon to offer an independent and unbiased opinion.
What if you disagree with the results of the examination?
If you disagree with the medical panel's assessment, you have a maximum of 60 days to file an appeal at the Supreme Court. The 60 days starts from the date that the medical panel signed off on their decision and obtaining an extension from that point on can be very difficult.
When it comes to the medical panel's opinion there are three main reasons for an appeal:
- The panel has failed to take something into account or has taken something into account it shouldn't have.
- One party has provided the panel with information the other party hasn't been made aware of.
- It is impossible to understand how the panel reached its conclusion.
- If you need help or further advice, get in touch with Shine Lawyers and we'll do everything we can to assist you.
How can Shine Lawyers help?
Whether you disagree with the medical panel's assessment of your injuries or just want some expert advice regarding your worker's compensation claim, Shine Lawyers can help. Our expert workers compensation lawyers can help you get the best outcome possible on a no win, no fee basis. For more information visit our Workers' Compensation page.