Once an application for expedited assessment or an application to resolve an injury management dispute has been accepted by the Commission, a teleconference will be scheduled 14 days from lodgment. The Commission will inform each party in writing of the time and date of the teleconference.
The teleconference is conducted by a senior lawyer or arbitrator from the Commission who will have read all the evidence on which each party relies.
The teleconference may be attended by:
- the worker
- the worker’s legal representative
- the insurer
- the insurer’s legal representative
- the worker’s employer, especially if the employer is a self-insurer
- an interpreter, if needed.
Once all parties are connected to the teleconference, the senior lawyer or arbitrator will be connected and will introduce the parties and explain the process. Senior lawyers and arbitrators are required to use their best efforts to bring the parties to an agreed resolution.
The teleconference is scheduled to run for up to 90 minutes, although it often takes less time than that.
At any stage during the teleconference, there is a facility for either party to have a private conversation with their legal representative, even if they are not in the same location. The senior lawyer or arbitrator will use the teleconference facilities to arrange this.
If a dispute is not resolved at the teleconference, the senior lawyer or arbitrator will either seek further information (such as obtaining an assessment by an injury management consultant) or will decide the dispute and issue a decision. Decisions are issued to the parties within 14 days.