In other articles in this series, we’ve explained how your medical assessment determines what personal injury benefits you’re entitled to, and the importance that nothing is missed in this assessment.
In this article we’ll look at the impact it can have on you financially if your assessment isn’t done correctly.
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.
In this example, it would mean that overall your injuries would be classified as minor, even though they would have been classified as non-minor if the assessment had been done correctly.
Keep in mind that GPs might only do these assessments very occasionally, and their priority is to help you get better, not to maximise your personal injury benefits claim.
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 certificate, and their injuries were classified as minor, their benefits would be cut off within six months after 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 would have been entitled to a substantial lump sum. 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 can come up, 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 missed 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 be missing out on a lump sum worth tens of thousands of dollars they would have received had the worsening of the arthritis been noted in the assessment.
Review your medical assessment – have any of your injuries been overlooked?
Consider whether your injuries need to be reassessed.
Call our free advice line if you’re not sure how to proceed.