Common Law information

On this page
  1. Introduction to Common Law
  2. Ministerial directions
  3. Common Law forms
  4. Legal costs orders
Common Law applications to WorkSafe

WorkSafe Victoria wishes to advise legal practitioners of a revised communication approach upon WorkSafe's receipt of a common law application.

WorkSafe is committed to improving communication with injured workers about their common law claims, and with employers about their part in the common law process. Upon receipt of a common law application for damages, WorkSafe is now writing directly to the worker to the employer.

The letter to the worker advises the worker of when the application was received by WorkSafe and of WorkSafe's commitment to efficiently resolve the application. The letter does not invite ongoing communication with WorkSafe about the common law application.

WorkSafe will also now prefer the use of email (rather than DX or Australia Post) to acknowledge receipt of the common law application to the worker's solicitor. This email will attach a copy of the letter addressed to the worker.

Any enquiries about this process can be addressed to WorkSafe's Dispute Management Division by email to dmd_enquiries@worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Workers injured in the course of employment on or after 20 October 1999 may have a right to sue for damages for those injuries. To be entitled to sue for damages the injury or injuries must be 'serious', as defined in Victorian workers compensation legislation. You can view the legislation online at legislation.vic.gov.au.

Before any court proceedings claiming damages can be commenced, the degree of impairment arising from the injuries must be assessed and the worker must make an application to the Authority seeking its determination as to whether or not the injury is 'serious'.

Ministerial Directions

Ministerial Directions setting out the process and requirements for an application to the Authority for a determination of serious injury came into operation on 20 December 2001.

Forms

As outlined in the Ministerial Directions, you will need to complete and submit a copy of Form A to the Authority for a determination of serious injury to be undertaken.

A copy of Form B (Statutory Offer) and Form C (Statutory Counter Offer) must be completed before a proceeding can commence in the court, following a determination that an injury is 'serious'. View all Common Law forms.

Legal costs

Legal costs payable to a worker's legal practitioner are set out in the three WorkSafe Legal Costs Order documents.

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