Personal Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

2016/17 Annual Report

The Personal Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Committee has continued its involvement in matters affecting the administration of compensation claims and damages awards for personal injuries.

The Committee made submissions adopted by the Law Society’s Council in relation to the District Court’s fees and conciliation and arbitration fees and noted the probable increase in fees at the 2017/18 review period. The Committee also participated in a review of the Health Services Act 2016 (Cth) and regulations and commented on and continues to monitor the issue of public hospitals’ claims for recovery of medical expenses from compensable patients post-settlement. The issue of access to hospital and medical practitioner files pre-litigation continues to be an issue of consideration by the Committee.

A sub-committee participated in an external consultant’s review of WorkCover WA’s Conciliation and Arbitration Services. Members of the Committee continued to participate in WorkCover WA’s Conciliation and Arbitration Service Users’ Group and Costs Committee. The Deputy Convenor continued to serve on the Law Council of Australia’s Personal Injuries and Compensation Committee which met to discuss the compensation systems in the various States.

Other matters discussed by the Committee this year included the Limitation Act amendment for child abuse, the problems associated with increased use of electronic filing in the courts and taxation of redemption payments.

The long awaited legislative review of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 1981 is expected to occupy the Committee in 2018.

For more information about this committee please email General Manager, Advocacy – Mary Woodford, advocacy@lawsocietywa.asn.au