For the majority of the population, trying to understand legal rules, time limitations and the court system can be a nightmare. Legal jargon is notoriously difficult to understand, requiring lawyers to complete years of study to master the complex language of legislation. Workers compensation injury claims are no exception and having an expert on your side will make the world of difference to getting on with your recovery and rehabilitation.
Workplace accidents: Do I need a workers compensation lawyer?
If you sustain a workplace injury, your life can change in an instant. Medical bills quickly stack up and returning to work is sometimes out of the question. The financial and emotional pressures placed on you and your loved ones can take their toll. But a successful workers compensation claim can provide access to the ongoing care and support you need to make a full recovery and get back to work.
Do you need a workers compensation lawyer on your side? Yes. The laws surrounding workers compensation depend on where your injury occurred and the circumstances of your accident. This can make it difficult to know what your rights are and what you’re entitled to claim.
Do I need a workers compensation lawyer if I know what I need to claim for?
Compensation is awarded differently for each case, and a lot depends on specific circumstances. The amount of compensation you can receive may depend on:
- Your employer’s liability – whether they failed in their responsibilities and this caused or contributed to, at least partially, your injury
- Your working conditions including previous training and supervision
- The seriousness and complexity of your injury, and
- Your own injury management including rehabilitation prospects and potential aggravation.
Without an experienced legal expert on your side, it can be difficult to identify the merits of your case and you may not receive all the compensation you're entitled to under the relevant workers compensation scheme in your state.
In some states like NSW, there are also limits on the number of claims you can make. Failing to obtain legal advice before you make a claim can mean that you exhaust your one entitlement to claim without fully understanding what impact that may have on your future benefits.
When should I contact a workers compensation lawyer?
Firstly, in all instances of a workplace injury, it is important that you report the incident with your employer as soon as possible; above all seek medical treatment for your injuries. It is then beneficial to have a chat with an expert workers compensation lawyer as soon as you intend to lodge a workers compensation claim through your state work cover authority.
In order to give yourself the best chance to maximise your compensation claim, speaking to an expert workers compensation lawyer will ensure that you have access to the following compensation:
- Medical costs, including any necessary operations
- Rehabilitation costs
- Time off work and loss of wages
- Permanent impairment costs
- Loss of future earnings if serious injury occurs.
Engaging a workers compensation lawyer means you can be sure your claim meets all the legal requirements.
Can I settle my workers compensation claim on my own?
In short, yes, however consider the risk to the outcome of your claim if you proceed without professional legal assistance.
Having a legal expert on your side will help to prevent the defendant insurance company using legal manoeuvers in an effort to reject your claim. Dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers yourself can be intimidating and frustrating. You may not be aware of your right to appeal a decision by the insurer. Engaging a lawyer will help to put you on an equal playing field with the well-resourced defendant insurance company.
Shine Lawyers - Your workers compensation claim experts
So if you’ve been injured in your place of work, you don't have to go it alone.
Our workers compensation services are offered on a No Win, No Fee basis* - meaning you won't have to pay our legal fees unless we win your claim at the end.
We’ll assess your case, lodge a claim on your behalf and help you access the full range of care and support you need to get your life back on track.
Start your claim using our free online claim checker, or talk to one of our experts over the phone.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: October 16, 2020.