Difference Between WICA And Common Law

The claimant is at liberty to choose between Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) and Common Law while claiming insurance compensation for losses through injury which he has sustained during a work-related accident. In the case of death, the family or dependants of the demised insured employee can request for work injury compensation .

Though many tend to interchange the words, WICA and common law are two different entities dealing with insurance claims. Here is how you can easily differentiate between the two:


When you approach the WICA, you will deal with the Ministry of Manpower. The claim payable is determined by the commissioners from MOM. Whereas, when the claim is made through the Common Law, the report is taken to the High Court or to the State Court. The decision for payable compensation is made by the judges of these courts.


In WICA, you do not need a lawyer to represent you. But it is the decision of the claimant if he would like to have one or not. When you look at the process of the Ministry of Manpower, a lawyer is not required to carry out the claim at any given point of the procedure. MOM provides strategic guidelines to the claimant for a smooth execution of the work injury compensation procedure. In Common Law, it is mandatory to be represented by a lawyer. You are to incur the legal fees as well.


There are formulas that help calculate the compensation payable to the claimant. A limit is set to how much can be taken that is set by the WICA. In the case of Common Law, there is no such limit for the compensation amount. The claimant has to prove the severity of the damages to claim such lump sum compensation.


By the rules of the WICA, the claimant only needs to prove that the damages were incurred during the work hours of work related injuries. The blame need not be put on any specific person. But in the Common Law, the claimant needs to prove that the fault or negligence was on the part of the employer or a third party.


If the claimant wishes to withdraw his suit from the WICA and claim through Common Law, he can do that before the Commissioner of the Ministry of Manpower issues the Notice of Assessment. In the opposite scenario, where the claimant wants to withdraw his suit from the Common Law and claim through WICA, he can do that within one year of the accident or the date when the illness was diagnosed.

The clear understanding between WICA and Common Law gives the people a chance of selecting the better approach for compensation

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