There’s so much to consider when you have been injured at work – and not all of it is simple and straight-forward. If liability for your claim has been accepted, you will receive a Form 36 Notice from your employer or the insurer approximately 26 weeks before the Termination Day. The Termination Day is the date by which you should pursue common law damages against your employer.
Receiving Form 36 does not mean that you’re about to be fired from your job or that your weekly compensation payments are going to end soon. What it does mean is that you need to obtain legal advice if you think that your employer was negligent in causing your injury and you want to bring a common law claim. If so, you will need to be assessed by an Approved Medical Specialist (AMS) to provide a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) rating to determine if you meet the required criteria to retain the right to seek damages.
If you meet the required criteria and you intend to proceed with an application at WorkCover to retain the right to seek damages (known as an Election), then you need to do so well before the Termination Date. If your condition has not yet stabilized, then you have to file an application to extend the Termination Date to protect your rights. This should also be done well before the Termination Date.
The Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act of 1981, sets strict time limits within which to obtain a WPI assessment and proceed with an Election, or to extend the Termination date. If you fail to meet these time limits you will no longer be able to seek damages against your employer. You should also consider other limitation periods that may affect your rights.
If you are assessed with a WPI between 15% and 25% it is important to note that doing so has serious implications upon your ongoing to entitlements which you should consider before proceeding with an Election.
Before deciding whether or not to pursue common law damages against your employer and in order to decide what the best course of action is for you, you should seek legal advice well before the Termination Date.
Tindall Gask Bentley’s team of experienced professionals offer a free, no obligation claim assessment, To book call our West Perth office on (08) 9211 5800 or fill in your details here and our team will be in touch soon.