When should I get a lawyer for workers comp?
The legislation surrounding ‘workers comp’ is not easy to understand, in fact, sometimes even some of the best legal experts have difficulties when interpreting statutes. That being said it is important to understand that not every injured worker will need a lawyer for assistance with ‘workers comp’. However, there is a big difference between instructing a lawyer and simply seeking advice from one.
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 and you are receiving your statutory benefits. 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?
There are many instances when you may need the assistance of a lawyer for your claim. One of the foremost being if you have been told that you must pursue a common law claim. However, generally speaking, 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, or
- you’re being denied weekly payments, or
- your whole person impairment rating is being disputed, or
- you have a preexisting medical condition, or
- experiencing delays in the provision of treatment, or
- your work capacity has been affected or may be affected in the future, or
- you’re receiving Centrelink payments, or
- you have been asked to attend a workers’ comp hearing, or
- something just doesn’t feel right.
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.
Queensland, The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 is overseen by Worksafe QLD. Our experts are here and ready to guide you through the process and offer you some free advice. The number to call is 1800 106 107 or start a QLD WC claim online.
WA has the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 managed by Workcover WA. Start a claim online.
In South Australia ReturnToWorkSA is responsible for regulating the Return 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.
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.