6.3.4 Serious injury

The first response to a common law application is the determination of serious injury.


The steps in the SI determination phase are:

  • WorkSafe receives and allocates the common law application to a Panel Solicitor
  • Panel solicitor WorkSafe’s External Investigation Management Unit reviews the common law application and makes recommendations on whether the worker has a serious injury or not
  • WorkSafe determines whether the injury is serious or not
  • the panel solicitor prepares and sends a response to the worker’s solicitor including WorkSafe’s SI determination
  • if determined that the worker does not have a serious injury the worker can challenge the determination by issuing an Originating Motion.
  • a court determines whether a worker has a serious injury or not, if WorkSafe maintains its view that the worker does not have a serious injury.
Worker undergoes assessment of impairment

Before making a common law application a worker may make an impairment benefits claim. If such a claim is made, it must be finalised before making a common law application. However it is not compulsory for a worker to make an IB Impairment Benefits claim before making a common law application.

When a worker lodges an impairment benefits claim, they must undergo an assessment of impairment.

See: Impairment

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Worker informs Agent of acceptance

Before pursuing a common law application, the worker must inform the Agent that they:

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Impairment benefits claim

A worker is not required to make an impairment benefits claim before making a claim for common law damages. However, the worker may only make an application after a period of at least 18 months has elapsed since the event or circumstance giving rise to the injury occurred (unless it is an action by a terminally ill worker).

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