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How to Have a Successful Case Conference

Case conferences are defined as “meetings that take place between individual claim stakeholders in relation to a claim.” These claims are quite common when workers are seeking compensation for injuries sustained in the workplace. A case conference requires an independent medical opinion , and is generally considered to be the best method available to facilitate a successful resolution to both claimant and claimer.

Although case conferences may appear to be complicated at first glance, they are relatively straightforward when proper procedure is followed. So how exactly do you have a successful case conference?

The Process Explained

What are the Advantages of a Case Conference?

Case conferences are the best way to settle a workplace dispute without the heavy cost of litigation. Most parties prefer to resolve any outstanding issues in a mediated space where arguments from both sides can be heard.

Also, in case conferences you have much more control over the overall outcome. In a court, you are at the mercy of the presiding judge or tribunal.

Mandatory

Case conferences are mandatory when:

“A decision has been made that there is no suitable employment available with the pre-injury employer or a serious injury claim has been received”

All parties – including the medical provider, employer, worker and in some cases a psychologist – should hold meetings in a confidential environment that promotes uninhibited expression and participation. Unless there is major conflict between the worker and his employer, the best place to hold such a meeting is in the worker’s workplace.

Desired Outcomes

Before the meeting’s commencement, both the employer and the worker seeking compensation should agree on what the desired outcome of the meeting is. In most cases, future employment and ongoing medical treatment are two of the biggest issues that need to be addressed in advance.

Create a Written Agenda

Having a written agenda is crucial to the success of any case conference. All participants should have a copy of the agenda well in advance of the conference. This will give them adequate time to prepare.

Teleconferencing or Video Link

If the meeting is to take place via teleconferencing or video link then each party must be given space to fully articulate their views and opinions. It is much more difficult to express these issues over the phone than in person.

Clearly Summarise

At the meeting’s conclusion, it is important that all of the agreed points, agreed actions and responsibilities are summarised in written form. This is also the time for the participants to raise any final objections.

After the conference’s conclusion, a written summary should be promptly prepared and distributed to all of the participants.

Workplace injuries are a horrible reality in our society. Although we do as much as we can to minimise the danger, accidents will happen, especially in high risk occupations such as machinery work, factory work, and any work involving heavy objects. Any professional in the medico legal field will testify that case conferences are the best means available to resolve any claim issues; for both the injured worker and the employer from which compensation is to be received.

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