Many of us may not have contemplated being injured at work. Yet the reality is, thousands of Australians find themselves dealing with the aftermath of such life changing events every year.
If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits following your injuries, these benefits can be stopped once your injuries become “stable and stationary,” which means your injury is unlikely to worsen or improve. At this stage, WorkCover may issue you with a Notice of Assessment.
What is a Notice of Assessment?
A notice of assessment (NOA) is a document that details the injuries that you have suffered at your workplace and will include with a monetary offer called Statutory Lump Sum Offer. This offer is intended to cover all of your injuries from the workplace injury from that date onwards. The NOA will also provide the total permanent impairment for the injuries (known as the Degree of Permanent Impairment or “DPI”). The DPI value indicates the seriousness of your injury and it affects your ability to claim damages under common law.
What to do when you get a Notice of Assessment?
It is paramount that you do not accept the Notice of Assessment Lump Sum Offer without first seeking legal advice. Accepting the lump sum amount may mean you are no longer entitled to claim for damages at common law. This is not in your best interest as the damages at common law are much higher and are more likely to properly compensate for the injuries you have suffered.
Accessing legal advice could help you to decide whether you should:
- Accept the Lump Sum offer; or
- Reject the offer and sue for damages at common law;
If the wrong decision is made, you can receive an amount much lower than you are entitled to.