If you've made a workers 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 disagree with their decision?
What is a medical panel?
As the name suggests, a medical panel is a body of doctors assembled to resolve a medical question. After the examination, the panel usually has 60 days to finalise their opinion. Medical panels provide legally binding answers with detailed written reasons for their decisions. 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 workers compensation?
Medical panels are established under the Workers Compensation legislation and the Wrongs Act 1958. When there's disagreement regarding the nature of a person's injuries, what caused the injuries or whether the injury reaches the minimum threshold to entitle the injured person to compensation, a medical panel may be called upon to provide their independent and expert 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-day limitation period starts from the date that the medical panel signed off on their decision. Obtaining an extension of time to file an appeal, once the 60-day limitation period has expired is 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 from reading the Opinion and Reasons how the medical 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 want expert advice about your workers 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.