Your assessment is everything.
In other articles in this series, we’ve explained how your medical assessment determines what compensation you’re entitled to, and the importance that nothing is missed in this assessment. To summarise the key points from these articles:
- If your injuries are assessed as minor, you’re only entitled to income support and medical expenses for a maximum of six months
- If your injuries are assessed as non-minor you’re entitled to income support and medical expenses well beyond six months, and you may be able to claim lump sums for lost earnings and pain and suffering
In this article, we’ll look at the impact it can have on you financially if your assessment isn’t done correctly.
One missed injury can make a world of difference.
Let’s look at an example where a person has minor physical injuries and also has a psychological injury, but the psychological injury isn’t noted on their certificate of capacity. This is the form that’s filled out by the GP during your medical assessment.
Keep in mind that GPs might only do these assessments very occasionally, and their priority is to help you feel better, not to maximise your compensation claim.
In this example, if the GP doesn’t ask the right questions to determine whether you have psychological injuries, it would mean that overall your injuries would be classified as minor, even though they would have been classified as non-minor had the assessment been done correctly.
What’s the financial impact?
If this person was suffering anxiety or PTSD following the accident, and this prevented them from returning to work for two years, then they would be entitled to lodge a lump sum claim for lost earnings for the full two years. This could be a substantial lump sum. However, since the GP didn’t note the psychological injury on their assessment, and their injuries were classified as minor, their benefits would be cut off within six months of the accident and they would miss out on tens of thousands of dollars in entitlements.
In other words, had the injuries been correctly classified as non-minor, this person could have been entitled to make a substantial lump sum claim. So you can see how leaving just one injury off the assessment can dramatically reduce your entitlements.
Let’s look at another example, where the injured person has been assessed as having minor injuries, but a pre-existing condition worsens as a result of the accident. This is a very real situation that many people will face, as the scheme only provides benefits for minor injuries for a maximum of six months, but the worsening of a condition many take longer than six months to stabilise. For example, if the injured person had arthritis prior to the accident, but the arthritis became a lot worse as a result of the accident, it may take some time for this to become apparent. So it would be easily overlooked by a GP in a medical assessment in the first six months. If this resulted in significant time off work in the future, then the injured person would miss out on tens of thousands of dollars in compensation they would have been entitled to, had the worsening of the arthritis been picked up in the assessment.
If you believe you may have missed out on compensation due to an injury that was overlooked in your assessment, you can call our advice line to find out what you can do about it. It’s a free service.
…leaving just one injury off the assessment can dramatically reduce your entitlements.