|1.||Action required at the time of an incident||Immediately|
- At the time of an incident, agencies and their employees must:
- take immediate action to minimise the extent of personal injury and/or property damage to a third party (but not at the expense of their own safety); and
- notify an appropriate agency contact in accordance with established agency protocols; and
- record details of the incident, including witnesses' names and contact details; and
- contact the police (if a crime has been committed).
- Agencies and their employees must not:
- admit liability, either verbally or in writing; or
- agree to pay or settle any third party costs.
|2.||Report an incident||Within 24 hours of the incident|
The Claims/Incidents Report Form must be completed, signed and emailed to the Fund Administration Agent, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty Ltd (JLT) at email@example.com, within 24 hours of the agency becoming aware of incidents (excepting medical liability incidents) which:
- are likely to result in a claim; or
- involve personal injury to a third party.
Important: If a writ or other
legal demand is received by an agency, it must be forwarded to the Office of
the Solicitor-General, with a copy sent to the FAA, as soon as possible to
allow the Office of the Solicitor-General to provide advice to an agency on the
Crown’s liability. The Office of the Solicitor-General and the FAA must also be
advised of details of any impending inquests or official enquiries.
It is important that the Office of
the Solicitor-General is provided with any legal demands received by an agency
as soon as possible to ensure there is adequate time in which to provide
appropriate advice to the agency and to lodge a defence. Agencies should
contact the FAA for a claim number to accompany the referral to the Office of
Any other communication received from
a third party should be forwarded to the FAA as soon as possible.
Medical liability incidents should be reported to the Department of Health in accordance with established agency protocols.
Other agencies may also have additional internal reporting requirements. These should be followed in accordance with agency guidelines.
|3.||Manage a claim||Ongoing|
Fund Administration Agent
- Upon receipt of a claim, the FAA will allocate a unique claim number to the claim and register it on its claims administration database. This number should be referenced in all contacts with the FAA and the Office of the Solicitor-General.
- JLT is responsible for administering all claims in accordance with written instructions provided by agencies and, where applicable, the Office of the Solicitor-General. This includes:
- appointing and instructing loss assessors and/or investigators, if required;
- providing ongoing claims management (not legal) advice and assistance to agencies;
- forwarding agency instructions to the Office of the Solicitor-General where applicable, and liaising between the Office of the Solicitor-General and agencies;
- regularly providing agencies with reports on the progress of, and actual and outstanding costs associated with, each claim, including copies of reports from investigators / loss assessors;
- negotiating settlements, or representing the agency in court, with regard to small claims (ie claims up to $5 000);
- where appropriate, ensuring that a Deed of Release is prepared by the Office of the Solicitor-General and signed by the claimant to prevent further action arising from the same incident. The FAA is under instruction not to release a settlement cheque wihout a signed Deed of Release; and
- paying settlements and associated claim costs.
It is important that all claims are registered by the FAA to ensure that the Crown's contingent liability is not underestimated.
Office of the Solicitor-General
The Office of the Solicitor-General is exclusively responsible for providing legal advice on claims.
The Office of the Solicitor-General must be involved in all negotiations, settlements, or court appearances regarding large or complex claims and any claims concerning personal injury (excluding those personal injury claims made by approved agency volunteers where the amount of the claim does not, or is not likely to, exceed $10 000).
Large and/or complex claims include all claims EXCEPT FOR claims that meet ALL the following criteria:
- the amount claimed is less than $10 000 (including legal costs) arising from the one event or connected series of events; and
- the State's legal liability is clear; and
- there is unlikely to be any suggestion in future that settlement constitutes a precedent for other claims.
The Office of the Solicitor-General must also be advised whenever a legal demand is received by an agency (refer above).
The Office of the Solicitor-General will arrange for external legal assistance, in consultation with the agency, if it determines that it is required.
The Fund will only reimburse agencies if the Office of the
Solicitor-General considers there to be a legal liability on the part of the
Crown and that a settlement amount is reasonable. Agencies are directly
responsible for any additional amounts paid. If an action is to be settled, a
Deed of Release must first be prepared by the Office of the Solicitor-General
and signed by the claimant.Agencies
Department of Health
- Agencies are ultimately responsible for the management of claims and must instruct JLT in writing and, where appropriate (refer above), the Office of the Solicitor-General, regarding the management of those claims.
- From 1 July 2008, medical liability claims have been managed by the Fund Administration Agent in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Office of the Solicitor-General.