Bringing legal proceedings relating to your workcover injury? Hide under a rock!

hide-under-a-rock

I have said it a million times, and I am saying it again – if you are bringing legal proceedings which relate to your workcover injury, please, please be advised to refrain from posting any comments on your social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogger etc.) and on sites such as workcovervictimsdiary.com which relate to yourself.

Bringing legal proceedings relating to your workcover injury? Hide under a rock!

Bringing legal proceedings involve matters such as a Common Law damages claim, establishing negligence, negotiating settlement monies by means of “compensation” for your pain and suffering and/or economic loss.

Most injured workers will have discussed the dangers of using social media with their lawyer(s) and would/should have been advised they should  refrain from leaving any personal comments on those social media sites and blogs — which relate to yourself– , especially when they are bringing legal proceedings which relate to their personal injury.

keep-calm-and-hide-under-a-rockIt is almost guaranteed that any injured worker commencing legal proceedings will be put under surveillance, and the use of social media sites and blogs must be seen as an extension of that “surveillance”. Remember that by now the workcover insurer is really desperate to find any way out of a payment, be it an innocent comment taken out of context or a photo… So, be safe and hide under that rock until it’s all over.

workcovervictimsdiary.com receives daily emails from wonderful warriors eager to share their stories and written material, so that they can help other injured people. However, in the best interest of those injured warriors, we always advise them to keep very quiet and not to share their treasures — publicly — until such a time their litigation has reached settlement and/or they received permission from their lawyers to share specific information. Better safe than sorry.

 

19 Responses to “Bringing legal proceedings relating to your workcover injury? Hide under a rock!”

  1. @WorkSafe_Vic @RichPhillipsMLC  @JuliaGillard I hope you’re reading this!

    And the other dispicable thing, I inform my case manager of my nerve blocks and current treatment, even thought the treatment is NOT supported by them and what do they do? Send investigators out after I’ve had a block…

    • Yep. they are such snakes. You can’t tell them anything without them looking for a way to use it against you. In my current struggle for retraining, they’ve told me that because I have “no current work capacity” I can’t be supported to retrain/study. What a catch 22. I would think that retraining fits more rationally under the “rehabilitation” component of the system, but no, not them. Anything to block an injured worker’s progress!  I told them two years ago I was homeless because of their failure to properly compensate me. they completely ignored me. Now they are trying to use my homelessness as a barrier to retraining. They’ve actually said that due to my “transient lifestyle” I would have to prove that I could complete a course before they would fund it. Duh?

      A sweet voiced, empathetic young man from the Case Management has been calling me constantly, apparently to help me. He says I can request a review of the decision about “no current work capacity”. He also always tries to find out where I am “currently staying”. I won’t tell the insurers because I know they’ll mess up if they have more than one address to play with, and I move regularly from one place to another, so the confusion could be extreme. But he keeps trying. I wonder why they want my living address. Perhaps they would like to subject me to more legal abuse do you think? A subpoena maybe? No no no Mr Wolf you are not coming to my door.

  2. Sarah I hope you do go for them. I am currently fighting for the surveillance tape taken of me in 2004. The surveillance was ordered – get this – within a couple of weeks of the Medical Panel decision which forced acceptance of my claim. It was ordered before I was paid a cent of the 10 months back pay that was owed!

  3. God help me – I actually feel like I’m going insane. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder & the other night I was convinced my mobile phone & hotmail account had been hacked. I called electronic crime division & apparently it’s not possible to do this. I was doing so well until I had to go to an IMA followed by an interrogation by an investigator. I got past that but then received the transcript by post & read it & re-read it over & over again til I went absolutely crazy. I was on track & although my claim is still in dispute & I’ve had to live on job search for 6 months I’ve started to overcome my physical injury & start looking for suitable work but now it feels like I’m going mentally insane & I don’t know how much more I can take 🙁

    • I understand you dumbfounded, I get so upset hearing about this. I’ve revised my article and tweeting it all over the place including the WorkSafe Minister. Investigation terror never goes away I think. Well I’ve been trying to cope with it for 4 years at least. The feeling is a some sort of minor form of rape (don’t mean to be ignorant to anyone who has been physically raped here) but I just can’t find another word for the brutal stripping and abuse of your personal info/activity/status. As I said, it’s hard to sum up.. But here’s my article, keep sharing it and feel free to add comments. Investigations have to stop.

      http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au/2012/11/28/performance-fit-for-modified-duties/

      • As someone who has experienced rape I can tell you soula, you can say that it is like rape – that is my own analogy for what this bullying and disempowerment feels like. Harder to get over though. I’ve dealt with the rapes, but I’m still suffering mentally from the Workovers.

        • Pauline that’s terrible. I’m sad to read your reply.

          • I’m sorry for all of us past present and future injured workers who have to deal with this abusive meat grinder of a system. As I said, I have dealt with the rapes. i had to before I could work on the workplace bullying and the workover bullying because my long buried memories of the rapes began coming back to me as soon as I was bullied at work. I felt the same disempowerment, the same disrespect of my personhood, my autonomy, the same breaking of my fight flight mechanism, the same wrecking of my selt esteem, the same fear for my life and health, except this time it has become permanent.

            I’ve been in the hottest point of the fire, and have been hardened by it. I guess I’m a warrior now, though I always thought of myself as a peace loving person!

    • I understand your feeling too Dumbfounded. My first workcover claim in 1987 left me with undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder. I was put under surveillance and the resulting report was used to stop my payments. They claimed I was working at two different addresses. One address was my official rehab provider (one of theirs!), the other was my union office. I fought them and got re-instated, but became so paranoid that I decided I couldn’t recover under such a judgemental, adversarial and incompetent system, and left Workcover to fend for myself. I didn’t find paying work for another 11 years, and was bullied four years later in that job. Being followed, knowing you’re being followed is bound to trigger your fight/flight mechanism (ptsd response) and to send you “crazy”. It is like so much of the Workover, irrational, cruel and counterproductive to injured worker healing and rehabilitation.

      try to get help for how you’re feeling, as these feelings left unresolved can indeed fester to the point where you become crazy.

      Shame on the Workover!

      • I was seeing a psychologist for pain management & depression & severe anxiety but because my claim is in dispute I had to pay nearly $200 per session because officially it is work related!!! Now my credit card is maxed out – I can’t afford so seems I just have to suffer. Thanks to all your replies. I know anyone in this situation would feel the same (mental) but its hard sometimes to comprehend all the anxiety & fear I’m feeling over nothing. I’ve actually been made fit for restricted duties so why I’d be under surveillance is beyond me. I’m probably not & the worst thing is I think it’s all in my head. I think the social isolation can make anyone mental

        • @Dumbfounded – just a tip: there are many psychologists that take on patients under mental health treatment care plan, which is under Medicare and bulk billed. It is outrageous that you had/have to pay yourself for treatment. Also in the event your claim is successful, ensure you submit all your accounts for reimbursement.

        • It’s important to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for both treatment and documentation of your condition. My psychologist is able to remind me of terrible events and maltreatments that I had forgotten. I think forgetting and dissociation are autonomus self-protective measures, but they’re pretty counterproductive when you need your mental strength to survive the Workover.

  4. The whole point of Workcover legislation is to disenfranchise the injured worker i.e. to prevent them from gaining adequate compensation for their injuries. Hence all this surveillance rubbish, the explicit exemption of secondary injuries (which everyone on the Workover for serious injuries ends up with), the breaking up of injuries into “workplace caused” and “other” etc. Workcover is for the benefit of employers NOT employees!

     

  5. I’ve posted my note for the Prime Minister to her Facebook page. Speak up folks. You’re welcome to copy and paste parts of my message if you feel the same way:

    ‘Strong, fair, smart nation’ is where I want to live but that means I want to pay WorkCover premiums for an up-to-date system. Not the current system that does not comprehend ‘chronic pain’, a system that seems structured on infuriating and intimidating the injured worker to the point where they give up their entitlemens and in the process often stripped of their dignity through investigations and ‘independent’ assessments. That’s no way to get injured workers well and back to work. If I had known this system’s ways I would have protected myself differently. Never did I, or even now after 6 years, can believe Australian legislation could be set up in this narrow minded way. http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au/category/work-system/

  6. In my case my point of disgust is that the surveillance was shown to me when I produced a capacity report saying i was fit for duties and used as proof of capacity. That certificate was produced late last year and the surveillance was undertaken in Feb and May. If the surveillance could have been useful and indeed could have been evidence of capacity it would have been used then and there (not that surveillance can measure capacity). So why include it when it wasn’t valid and carried no weight? Why not simply use my fit for duty’ capacity reports which I was discussing during that whole time with my case manager? He mentioned the payments would stop after a few months of this trial work period to see how I went and then BANG, in the mail of information was the surveillance. Complete intimidation, damaging to me and my health, incensitive, pathetic actions. And my rant is still with our Government legislation which allows this treatment.

    ‘I washed my car today’ and social posts should not be evidence unless backed up properly. Anyone wanting to use such simple information should have to supply it in its entirety and complete, it should be researched and unacceptable in courts and for legal purposes. Who makes this acceptable? This is childish activity that our Government allows to intimidate anyone proceeding with a claim or wanting fair treatment. How can it be made so hard to simply be heard? Why does a conciliator only have authority to work out issues of $5,000 or under?

    It’s a repulsive system that I would expect in a third world country, NOT Australia.

    This issue needs to be addressed, it’s well overdue and I’m sick of hearing poor excuses of ‘people rip off the system, it’s there for the worst cases only, etc etc’.

    Anyone reading this forum can see what pedantic, tidbits of info prescious time and resources are being wasted on, not to mention prescious up time and capacity that we spend having to fight for deserving support when we really need it for repair. I can’t believe I paid WorkCover premiums as an employer and got this!!!!!!

    Hmph!

  7. Did you know?

    Facebook is now providing even greater historical information about an unsophisticated  Facebook user puts even more information, out of context, into the hands of the employer and workcover insurance during litigation which can be detrimental to a claim.

    Did you know that our lawyers told us that they know for a fact from another lawyer who used to work for the other side that they ROUTINELY download ALL injured workers Facebook pages as to “preserve the evidence” in case the injured person were to later alter the content of the pages! How SICK is this?

    See Facebook Privacy Blog

    “Starting today, you will be able to download an expanded archive of your Facebook account history. First introduced in 2010, Download Your Information lets you get a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook, such as photos, posts, messages, a list of friends and chat conversations. Now you can access additional categories of information, including previous names, friend requests you’ve made and IP addresses you logged in from. This feature will be rolling out gradually to all users and more categories of information will be available for download in the future. Download Your Information is available from your Facebook Account Settings.”

    Also see http://marketingland.com/facebook-offers-up-more-data-to-download-includes-ip-address-usage-9851

    Facebook is beefing up the data included within their download feature.  The most important addition? IP addresses.  Users will now be able to download a copy of all IP address activity that is occurring on the account.  Additional information that can now be downloaded are previous names and friend requests.

  8. Good point Soula… Unfortunately utterly pathetic low “PI” tactics from workcover and – agents’ surveillance only show how utterly desperate they truly are, for just about anything goes…In your own surveillance case for example it was astounding that they had to make a fuss that you could “move freely”above the waist, while your severe injury is below the belt… duhhh!?

    Again this only shows to what sick length these bastards will go to deny you a legit benefit and that is where it is so very important not to write/post personal stuff about yourself (using your real name and identifying features) on social sites and even on this blog (which as you know, the scum attempts to copy and download over and over again).

    Not that long ago an injured worker received a warning from his lawyers, after having seen Counsel (barristers)… and as you can see he too was advised to refrain posting “personal” comments on his own blog, which is in a way similar to aworkcovervictimsdiary but talks about life after serious injuries. The reason the injured man was asked to refrain from posting “more personal comments” again was because he was commencing a common law damages claim, after he had obtained a serious injury certificate. Now this man is 200% genuinely injured and has absolutely nothing to hide and yet… the “vultures” would happily take just about anything out of context to show that this poor man is not “as seriously injured as he states”. Things taken out of context can be very subtle such as “I washed my car today” – whilst the injured person may have wanted to write “I had my wife/son drive my car to a car wash and had it valet cleaned today”. In the context of his blog (his severe injury) any reader would understand that he himself would not be capable of physically washing his car (he is in a wheelchair), but of course insurance vultures (PI/lawyers/defense etc) would jump on this sentence and use it as “evidence” in a court of law i.e. “so, Mr X, did you not explicitly write on (date) that you washed your car?”…. errrgggg… Good luck defending your comment!

    It’s a screwed world injured workers are living in!

  9. It infuriates me that it’s ‘almost guaranteed’ to be investigated with legal proceedings. What is going on here? What is allowed in court by our Government, in fact what is the Government doing here? If the investigations were accurate and thorough I wouldn’t have an issue but after my experience with investigators I’m repulsed that this activity is instructed by WorkSafe Insurers to be presented in court as ‘evidence’.

    If anyone wants evidence, they should be asked to provide a ‘good days’ evidence and a ‘bad days’ evidence and conduct surveillance daily for a longer time, in fact I’d love to get any investigator living with me. Let’s make it accurate and do the job properly! Are our judges and the legal profession stupid enough to rule with ‘she walked’ and other ridiculous snippets from the years that go by us in pain? What is the purpose of inaccurate surveillance and how can it be allowed?

    The Government is taking action now on ‘bullying’, they should also look at ‘intimidation’ which is the core of the w/c insurer’s activity.

    There are other more effective and less wasteful ways to find out about people’s injuries… does our Government really have to stoop this low?

    This is my surveillance story, PLEASE SHARE IT, I want everyone to know how the W/C insurers are asked to conduct their ‘business’….

    http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au/2012/11/28/performance-fit-for-modified-duties/

    ps. I’m so happy to read the final line of this post. My best wishes and love to your beautiful administrator. And to the rest of you for your astounding support. xx