The objective of this policy is to ensure that where WorkCover Queensland and other parties insurers are both liable to contribute to the cost of a claim:
- Issues around indemnity and/or apportionment contribution are resolved as quickly and simply as possible.
- Where possible and as appropriate, the ongoing management of that claim is conducted by only one party and from that point any legal costs or other outlays are shared equally.
How the policy is implemented
WorkCover identifies that a contributor is potentially responsible to contribute to the damages and costs of a claim during the pre-proceedings phase of a common law claim under the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act), as amended.
WorkCover will then make contact with the contributor's solicitor to identify the liability insurer and to check if the insurer will be indemnifying the contributor in relation to the claim.
Discussions should then be had in relation to liability, quantum and the ongoing management of the claim.
Our approach to these discussions is to get to an agreed contribution as quickly as possible. To that end we should be open and frank in our discussions rather than treating this as a standard negotiation.
Any limitation, entitlement and compliance issues, plus unassessed injuries should be discussed as part of initial contact.
Initial and ongoing discussions should be undertaken regarding the value of the claim for estimating purposes for both parties.
Discussions regarding joint independent medical examinations (IME) and other allied health assessments should be undertaken as part of initial and ongoing contact.
Application of Section 236B
WorkCover Queensland will, where applicable, rely on section 236B of the Act.
This can be undertaken in two pathways:
- Each party continues to manage its' own claim but with agreement in principle on liability, quantum and clear steps, jointly and/or separately to work towards early claims resolution, in particular informal resolution and expediting compulsory conference in a timely manner. This may involve joint IME, factual investigations and other activities in managing the claims.
- Where possible and as appropriate, WorkCover and the other party may agree to one party managing the claim on terms satisfactory to both parties.
Information should be shared freely and openly between both WorkCover and the other party to facilitate appropriate resolution of any issues between WorkCover and the other party and to assist with the ongoing management of the claim.