This edition was issued on 22 September 2021
Welcome to the latest edition of Personal Injury Commission News. I trust that you are keeping safe and well in our current circumstances.
This edition features the recruitment for the Commission’s Division Head Workers Compensation and a very informative paper regarding filing with the Commission that practitioner Geraldine Daley presented to the Legalwise seminar last week.
With the Commission now six months old and as we continue to bed its operations down, I also provide some information and tips about aspects of your interactions with the Commission that will assist in the efficiency of the dispute resolution process.
The Commission, like every other court and tribunal, remains adversely affected by the ongoing pandemic restrictions. I thank the profession in particular for their understanding during these difficult times.
I will be in touch with another edition of Personal Injury Commission News soon.
Judge Gerard Phillips
Recruitment for Division Head, Workers Compensation, Closes Tuesday 28 September 2021
As I advised in Personal Injury Commission News Edition No. 10, inaugural Division Head of the Commission’s Workers Compensation Division, Rod Parsons, has announced his retirement after 41 years of dedicated, high-quality public service.
While Rod’s departure remains some time off, recruitment for the Division Head, Workers Compensation Division (Principal Member) role is currently underway, with applications closing at 9.59am on Tuesday 28 September 2021.
If you are interested in applying for the role, the details and information pack are available to view on the i work for NSW website here.
If you require further information after reviewing the role description and information pack, please contact Alexandra Michelin via email and quote reference number REQ13312.
Filing Motor Accidents Claims Effectively
Geraldine Daley AM, Director, Colin Daley Quinn, who is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, presented an informative address to the Legalwise Motor Accident Claims seminar on 16 September 2021. Ms Daley’s presentation included her views and insights about engaging with the Commission since its inception and provided pragmatic tips and advice regarding preparing and filing claims. She has kindly allowed us to share her seminar paper here to help other legal practitioners build their knowledge and understanding of the claim filing process.
Motor Accidents Application and Reply Submissions Must Contain Complete and Relevant Information
When filing dispute applications and replies with the Commission’s Motor Accidents Division, please ensure that the submissions include complete and relevant information pertaining to the dispute including:
*The nature of the dispute and injuries in dispute
*The Insurer’s internal review outcome (MAIA 2017)
*Documents the parties have relied on to support the application/reply
This will help ensure the application moves smoothly through the dispute resolution process.
Where applications or replies do not meet the criteria required in the Commission Rules and Procedural Directions, the application may be delayed or rejected.
Please familiarise yourself with Procedural Direction PIC 3 – Documents and late documents and Personal Injury Commission Rules 2021 for further information concerning the preparation and lodgement of material.
Applications to the Stood Over List
Please ensure when applying to have a matter referred to the Stood Over List that the requirements outlined in Procedural Direction MA1 – Stood over proceedings have been met. Paragraph 10 of PD MA1 sets out the following reasons the Commission may refer proceedings to the Stood Over List:
a) the medical dispute has not yet finalised;
b) the claimant’s injuries have not yet sufficiently recovered to enable the claim to be quantified and the claimant is not yet ready for medical assessment;
c) the claimant is not available to participate in medical and/or claims assessment at this time due to reasons beyond their control, for example, due to being overseas, or due to being imprisoned; and
d) any other reason the Commission considers as relevant to the proceedings being unable to continue.
The Commission will make any other directions considered necessary as to the management of the proceedings, such as when it will next be reviewed, or any actions that must be completed by the parties.
Parties are reminded that proceedings will be discontinued at the expiry of six months from the day the proceedings were stood over and dismissed in accordance with Rule 101(3) of the PIC Rules, unless a party applies to have the proceedings restored for hearing, or an extension of time has been granted by the Commission.
An extension of time may be granted at the discretion of the Commission in circumstances where the reasons for referral to the Stood Over List have not resolved despite the efforts of the parties.
A party can apply to restore the proceedings for hearing by applying to the Commission and providing submissions demonstrating that the proceedings are ready for hearing.
In the absence of an application by a party to have the proceedings restored for hearing, or to have time on the Stood Over List extended, the proceedings will be discontinued and dismissed at the expiry of six months.
New Presidential Delegation
Please note that I have recently signed a new delegation that gives the Commission’s Principal Lawyers and the Director Legal and Policy powers to dismiss applications under section 90 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 in limited circumstances. View the delegation on the Commission’s website here.
Federally Impacted Matters – Please Advise the Other Party
Please be aware that it is not the Commission’s role to advise the other party if you lodge a matter at the Commission which may be federally impacted and needs to proceed to the District Court for determination. In these situations, please ensure you advise the other party as soon as you lodge such an application.
How to Correctly Name Parties in Appeals Against Presidential Decisions and Judicial Review Proceedings
Since the establishment of the Commission, there has been some confusion surrounding how the Commission should be named in appellate proceedings in the Court of Appeal and in judicial review proceedings in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
The Commission has prepared a How to Guide to assist practitioners with using the correct naming conventions in these situations. Access the How to Guide here
Etiquette for Virtual Proceedings
The Commission’s hearings and mediations that are conducted via videoconference remain formal tribunal proceedings. If you participate in virtual proceedings, please ensure that you show respect for the institution and the formality of the proceedings by dressing appropriately and observing all normal hearing or mediation etiquette and protocols in the virtual environment. Please also ensure that you test your technology as advised by the Commission prior to your appearance to ensure that the videoconferences can proceed smoothly.
The Commission is Unable to Advocate on Behalf of the Insurance Industry or Legal Profession
As an independent statutory tribunal that sits within the justice sector, the Commission is not in a position to conduct advocacy on behalf of the insurance industry or the legal profession.
The Commission’s power is derived from the statute and it is the independent decision-maker attempting to resolve, decide or assess disputes between claimants and insurers. It is therefore not appropriate that the Commission be involved in advocacy, whether that be related to legislation and guidelines, Authorised Health Practitioners or other matters related to the schemes.
Thank you in advance for raising these types of concerns and requests for advocacy via the appropriate channels.
Please Identify Medical Disputes that May Be Suitable for Paper Assessment
Certain medical dispute types may now be considered for determination on the papers to help reduce pandemic-related delays caused by the suspension of in-person medical assessments.
The Commission urges parties to identify any matters that meet the criteria outlined in Personal Injury Commission News Edition No. 12 and advise us so that they may be considered to proceed as part of this initiative.
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