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Guidance material for medical assessors

If you’re a medical assessor appointed by SIRA under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, and are assessing a claim as a result of an accident prior to 1 December 2017, use these guidelines and other documents to ensure you provide accurate and consistent medical assessments.

Medical assessors must be appointed by Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) and listed on our website.

Medical assessors must follow the:

In addition medical assessor review panels must also follow the:

Guidance notes

We also issue guidance notes for medical assessors to use when assessing permanent impairment. They are not legally binding but outline the recommended approach for assessing different injuries. They are:

Specific injuries information

We also issue guidance material for medical assessors to use in assessing specific injuries:

Brain injuries

Minor skin injuries

Minor dental injuries

Periorbital injury involving minor scarring or disfigurement

Assessment of periorbital injury involving minor scarring or disfigurement fact sheet

Spine and consequential injuries

Judgment of the Supreme Court Nguyen v the Motor Accident Authority of NSW & Zurich Australian Insurance Ltd [2011] NSWSC 351.

This judgement was handed down by the Supreme Court of NSW and amended the longstanding approach taken in medical assessments in relation to permanent impairment of the shoulders arising from an injury to the neck caused by a motor crash. The Court has interpreted how the Act and permanent impairment guidelines should be applied and all Medical Assessors must adopt that interpretation when conducting assessments.

Examination checklist

Medical assessors should use the medical examination assessment examination checklist in documenting all the clinical findings specific to assessing permanent impairment of spine, upper and lower extremity, and nervous system.

Further Information

Assessment of resection arthroplasty

Issued on May 2015, Guidance Note 9 was removed because The AMA 4 Guides Table 27 (page 61) indicates that some resection arthroplasties are designated ‘isolated’. There is no definition of the meaning of 'isolated' in the context of Table 27 but the implication appears to be that the impairment rating for a resection arthroplasty is not applicable if the resection arthroplasty is part of a more complex procedure.

Guidance notes are issued primarily to provide guidance as to the clinically recommended interpretation in an area where more than one interpretation of existing provisions in SIRA may be possible.

Since publication it has become apparent that more than one clinically recommended interpretation is available and currently in use in similar jurisdictions. Accordingly SIRA is not in a position to recommend a particular interpretation as to the issue outlined in Guidance Note 9.

Glossary

Glossary of WPI terms and definitions of clinical findings