I Don’t Want To Close My Claim

Dr David Colvin workers compensation

04/01/2019 Dr. David Colvin, trained in orthopaedic surgery in Perth. David's specialty is knee and shoulder surgery and sports injuries.

All workers’ compensation claims are ultimately finalized. Many patients are apprehensive about this process and some patients express a desire to keep their claim open indefinitely. Unfortunately, that is not practical or feasible. If the insurer was obliged to keep all claims open indefinitely, they would not have a viable business and we would therefore not have a workers’ compensation scheme. Insurers are entitled to close claims and it is legislated that they have that right.

In order to settle your claim, you will need to undertake a medical examination to determine your permanent impairment. This assessment is undertaken by specialists, such as myself, who have undertaken further qualifications to become an approved medical specialist for the purposes of impairment assessment. The assessment is undertaken using a rigid set of guidelines so that any two medical practitioners should come up with an identical assessment. That assessment is expressed as a percentage whole person impairment. This figure is used to determine a financial settlement for your claim. For most patients, the settlement is in the order of thousands of dollars, very rarely tens of thousands of dollars. The settlement is an acknowledgement by the insurer that you have not have made a full recovery and that you are permanently impaired to some degree.


It comes as a surprise to all patients that the assessment makes no allowance for pain.

Pain perception is a very individual thing. It is impossible to quantify the impairment from pain, and therefore it is excluded from the assessment.

The assessments are based on such things as what operation has been performed, what is the joint range of movement, is the joint stable, is there arthritis as a result of the injury, etc.

The assessment also allows for exclusion of conditions that are pre-existing, such as arthritis predating the injury.

Occasionally people voluntarily close their claim before they have fully recovered. In this situation it is often necessary to seek legal advice. A claim can on occasion be finalized with an allowance for the cost of future treatment. Some of my patients have done this in a setting where I have advised that surgery is required but it is not possible for personal reasons for them to go ahead at the present time.

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David Colvin


Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5.00pm AWST

Consulting Rooms

Dr David Colvin consults at:
Western Orthopaedic Clinic
Suite 213, 25 McCourt Street,
Subiaco WA 6008 (Perth)

  • These rooms are part of St John of God Subiaco Hospital.
  • Parking is available on site.


Dr David Colvin operates at:

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Salvado Road, Subiaco WA 6008 (Perth)