Contemporary personal injury law lives and breathes in the bureaucratic processing of compensation claims. Little empirical legal scholarship has explored claimant experiences in Australian compensation systems, despite their central role in access to justice for the injured.
This article explores claimant experiences in compensation processes using data from a large longitudinal cohort study of patients admitted to hospital with injuries in three states (Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia). At 6 years after injury, participants (n=332) who had pursued claims in transport accident or workers’ compensation claims were interviewed about their experiences. The study highlights the diversity of claimant experiences and key themes in claimant encounters with compensation systems, including the relationship between rights information, advocacy and representation, and the inherent justice-based tensions in claims processing. The findings demonstrate that analysis of claimant experiences of injury law in its primary, bureaucratic form can provide important evidence for the evaluation and development of compensation systems.
Grant, Genevieve, Claiming Justice in Injury Law (July 24, 2015).