Recent amendment of the PIC rules impacts procedure for motor accident claims and workers compensation claims in the Personal Injury Commission.
The Personal Injury Commission Rules 2021 govern proceedings in both of the Commission’s divisions. The rules have received their first review since the PIC commenced operations. The review has resulted in a number of relatively minor tweaks and additions, and one substantial change.
The minor amendments include:
- provision for consistency across the divisions as to the material that is lodged in applications;
- provision for compliance with notices for production across divisions;
- procedure for lodgment and admission of surveillance recordings;
- provision for SIRA to intervene in Merit Review Panel proceedings;
- clarification that an application to refer a medical dispute for assessment can be may be made at any time.
Amendment to time limits for appeals
The substantial amendment relates to time limits. An anomaly in the legislation that established the PIC meant that there has until now been no discretion for the Commission to extend the time for an application or appeal beyond the 28-day period provided in the Act. The legislation has now amended to alleviate that situation, and a new Rule 133A is included in this amendment of the PIC rules to enable the time for applications and appeals to be extended where necessary.
The criteria for extension of time under the new rule is that, for the applicant to lose the right to lodge would result in demonstrable and substantial injustice.
The commentaries in By Lawyers Motor Accident Claims – from 1 December 2017 and Workers Compensation publications have been amended accordingly.