Preparing to take action
Initial preparation includes gathering information about your claim and may involve requesting medical reports, witness statements, and your Comcare file.
Our team of experts in Comcare claims will carefully guide you through the various entitlements you may be eligible to receive.
This involves obtaining regular instructions from you about your medical condition to determine whether you qualify for compensation for medical expenses, incapacity payments, an impairment lump sums or claims for damages.
Communicating outcomes to you
We have developed our own Best Practice Standards and Guidelines to ensure your legal experience meets the exceptional standards we have set our lawyers and support staff, every time.
We consider how we communicate your legal outcome to you as an important part of our service. Your lawyer will ensure that your claim is reviewed at key points throughout your litigation process. This may be either in person, in writing, by telephone, fax or email.
What if I disagree with Comcare’s decision?
Most decisions made by Comcare can be reviewed. A decision regarding your entitlements is called a ‘determination’.
If you are dissatisfied with a determination, you may request reconsideration of the determination by an independent review officer.
A request for reconsideration of the determination must be made within thirty (30) days of receiving the determination. An extension of time may be granted. A request for reconsideration should set out reasons. We can assist you to prepare your request.
The insurer should provide its decision within a reasonable time, however, there is no time limit by which Comcare must decide. If you have not received a decision with 10 working days of lodging a claim or requesting reconsideration of a determination, you should seek legal advice.
What will happen if I request reconsideration of a determination?
If you request reconsideration of a determination, Comcare will issue a second decision called a ‘reviewable decision’. If you are dissatisfied with Comcare’s second decision, you may have the decision reviewed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
To do so, you must lodge an ‘Application of Review of Decision’ form within sixty (60) days of receiving the reviewable decision. Slater & Gordon can advise you of the prospects of successfully appealing a reviewable decision and help you prepare the Application for Review of Decision form.
What will happen if my claim goes to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?
Disputed Comcare claims are dealt with in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
In some cases, a dispute about entitlements to compensation can be resolved without going to the AAT. If it is necessary to proceed to the AAT, Slater & Gordon has the skill and experience in litigation to guide you through the complexities of AAT proceedings.
In every case where AAT proceedings are commenced, the parties are required to participate in settlement discussions.
Only a small percentage of cases result in formal hearings.
In the event that your claim proceeds to the AAT, Slater & Gordon will prepare your case and ensure you are well informed of:
- relevant AAT processes
- the duration of legal proceedings
- how to prepare to give evidence
- what to expect during cross-examination
Preparation may also involve engaging a barrister to represent you at the hearing as well as arranging the attendance of any witnesses.
In some limited circumstances, if you are unsuccessful at the AAT you may have the right to appeal the decision to the Federal Court. Slater & Gordon will be able to advise you about this.
Things you need to know about legal Costs
Your claim will usually be managed under our No Win - FeeTM scheme. This means you are only liable to Slater & Gordon for the professional fees incurred in your claim, if your claim is successful.
Notwithstanding this, you may be required to make a contribution towards disbursements, such as the cost of medical and other expert reports.
We will provide you with a written agreement, which explains the terms and conditions of our No Win - No FeeTM scheme. The fee agreement clearly sets out your rights and responsibilities and explains how legal costs are calculated. It will also set out the circumstances, if any, in which you might become liable for the costs of the other party.
We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding legal costs with your lawyer at any point during your matter.