The legislation surrounding ‘workers comp’ is not easy to understand, in fact, sometimes even the courts have difficulties when interpreting statutes. That being said it is important to understand that not every injured worker will need to hire a lawyer for assistance with ‘workers comp’. However, there is a big difference between instructing a lawyer and simply seeking advice from one.
The worker’s comp legislation differs from state to state
Each state has its own legislation and a government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating the workers’ compensation and injury management scheme. In New South Wales workers comp is governed by the Workers Compensation Act 1987 No 70 and regulated by Insurance and Care NSW (icare), the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) and SafeWork NSW. Victoria has The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013, regulated by Safework VIC. In Queensland, The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 is overseen by Worksafe QLD. WA has the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 managed by Workcover WA. In South Australia ReturnToWorkSA is responsible for regulating theReturn to Work Act 2014. The Northern Territory the Return to Work Act 1986 and Regulations is controlled by NT WorkSafe. Tasmania has the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 regulated by WorkSafe Tasmania. ACT The Workers Compensation Act 1951, WorkSafe ACT.
Instances when you don’t need a lawyer
Generally speaking, employees who have suffered from minor work-related injuries such as sprains, strains and bruising ranging to simple fractures and muscle tears which heal completely with treatment may not benefit from legal assistance. This is assuming an employer and the insurance company is playing ball. Most people injured under the scheme will receive a percentage of their weekly wage and first-class treatment and rehabilitation support paid for by the insurer. In most cases, employees incur little to no financial losses and make a full recovery before returning to work.
So when should you get a lawyer for workers comp?
Any of the following reasons may or may not justify hiring a lawyer.
- You’re unsure whether you are considered a “worker” under the law
- You’re being denied weekly payments.
- Whole person impairment rating is being disputed.
- You have a preexisting medical condition.
- Experiencing delays in the provision of treatment
- Your work capacity has been affected or may be affected in the future
- You’re receiving Centrelink payments
- You are having a workers’ comp hearing.
Still not sure whether you need a lawyer or not?
If you are still unsure whether or not you should get a lawyer for workers comp why not call us for a free impartial chat regarding your situation. Millner and Knight have WorkCover experts ready to assist you and if you decide to instruct one of our panel solicitors they will assist you on a no win no fee basis.