Are Medical Panel decisions binding?

Are Medical Panel decisions binding?

Medical Panels are often used as a quick and cheap way to answer a medical question which arises in a WorkCover dispute. However, workers are not allowed legal representation at Medical Panels and a negative outcome for a worker can have far-ranging effects, including potentially precluding a worker from accessing compensation. The impact of Medical Panels has recently come into question in two major court decisions. The High Court has recently ruled that Medical Panel decisions in the WorkCover system are not binding on any subsequent actions for damages by worker. Read the decision here: http://bit.ly/iIB7fy In another key court decision, the South Australian Supreme Court has ruled that Medical Panel decisions should not be binding on the SA Compensation Tribunal, ABC News reports. In a judgment that has not yet been released online, the Court found that, while the Medical Panels were constitutional, the Tribunal could not be directed to follow the opinion. This South Australian case has potentially wide-ranging implications to the Victorian system, which also utilises Medical Panels. If you are concerned about the impact of a Medical Panel decision in your WorkCover claim, or would like any further advice in relation to a work injury, contact our free Adviceline 9321 9988 to speak to a lawyer.

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