Decent lawyers

Good personal injury lawyers

good-lawyer

If you are not represented by a (decent) lawyer, shame on you!

Why do you need a (decent) workcover lawyer?

Do I need a lawyer?  Yes!  This is the number one question asked by just about every (more seriously *) injured worker, and we say this without the slightest hesitation.  The only bargain or leverage you’re going to find in this sick and twisted system, is your right to have a lawyer of your choice represent you.

Without a lawyer specialising in workers’ compensation, you basically have little to no chance of getting what is rightfully yours – it’s that simple.

You see workcover insurance companies use nothing but a form of “anti- compensation terrorism” that starts the minute you enter the system, especially once you start claiming for lost time.

Your weekly payments start getting late for no reason and your endless calls to your case manager get you nowhere.  You then call your state’s workcover authority – for example the Victorian WorkSafe “Advisory Service” and they’re on a break or really can’t help you unless you have a ‘denial notice’ (for conciliation).  Weeks go by, still nothing… you and your family now struggle to put food on the table… the panic really sets in.  What do you do? Take it from us, get a lawyer  at the first sign of trouble! Decent lawyers will help you with ensuring you obtain what is rightfully yours (such as weekly pay, home help, taxi, physio, even surgery etc) as part of their service (and usually at no extra cost).

Worker’s compensation (or personal injury) lawyers are actually your very last line of defense against a multi-billion dollar, profiteering workcover-insurance industry.

If you have been (trying to) representing yourself up to now, you can -and should- switch  and get represented by a lawyer now.  Just walk into an office of a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer/ law firm and say you want to be represented. First consultations are free of charge, so ‘shop’ around if you don’t feel comfortable with the first (couple) you consult.

You’re probably wondering why the authors (and the founder) of such (yes, totally amazing) blog on the ins and out of workcover compensation is telling to get a lawyer.  We can tell you the reason why you need a lawyer in three little but big meaning words: “insurance company lawyers”aka the defence lawyers (see below for a list) for the very deep pocketed workcover insurance companies.  Most of the trouble injured workers will eventually face with their workcover claims – i.e. comes settlement time for example – can be traced directly to these parasites, excuse our French, defense lawyers.

Many of those defense lawyers  have probably caused more pain and suffering to injured workers than any combined physical and psychiatric injury or trauma imaginable. They’re immoral, their job is immoral and they are ruthless.

Unless you know your rights and how to protect them, defense lawyers for the insurance company will pay their bills with your mistakes.  Please don’t make it easy for those immortal parasites defense lawyers, get a good lawyer.

(* by more seriously we mean, more than just spraining your ankle or suffering from for example a broken leg that will heal with no complications within 4-6 weeks)

What is a decent lawyer?

In a nutshell there are basically only two kinds of lawyers: Those who remember your name and those who don’t – simple! Those who rip injured workers off fall under those who don’t remember your name.

Some workers comp lawyers are definitely the real thing.  They care about their clients – us – the injured workers. Unfortunately those genuine, caring lawyers are harder and harder to find.

The worst lawyers are the assembly-line-factory-type lawyers or law firms (aka sharks or ambulance chasers).

They are strictly in the business for the quick money.

They represent hundreds of injured workers at one given time, so many that we know of one such a lawyer talk five injured sods into settling in one and a half hours!  This shark- by the way -also had to have his PA call out the injured workers’ names before he went into “conference” mode, because he couldn’t even remember their faces or their claims! These lawyers often talk about “take it and run” – be very very careful!

Decent workers compensation Lawyers

In this (and the comment) section we’ll list some decent workers compensation lawyers – based on “word of mouth” reputation from injured workers

ZAPARAS Lawyers

Visit Zaparas Lawyers Website>>

goog-lawyer2Please contact our beloved, good-looking (hey girls!), down to earth, warm, empathic but “kick-ass” Managing Associate – Lawyer John Typaldos. The most compassionate and ethical lawyer we have ever met!

IMG_2198 (2)

TGB

Visit website>>
goog-lawyer2Contact: Mal Byrnes
South Australia

tipBeware of UNION-affiliated lawyers

Disgraced personal injury lawyers

warning bad lawyer ahead

Fined workers compensation lawyers

Lawyers or law firms to avoid

bad-lawyers

Below is a list of workers compensation specialists who work for the defense side – that is, they defend the greedy workcover insurers (and employers), and should therefore best be avoided by injured workers! We’re not saying they are bad lawyers, immoral or whatever, but they do defend the insurers (and employers).

Workers’ Compensation Law Specialists to avoid by injured workers for obvious reasons include:

 

Other

We regularly publish cases involving bad lawyers. You can find them by searching under the tag or category “lawyer”.

 

Do you know of a good, caring non-shark lawyer or law firm specialised in workcover injuries? Please share them!

 

213 Responses to “Decent lawyers”

  1. HI i have a serious back injury from a workplace accident but after 8 yrs on the w/c roundabout in march we finally had a day at county court when my barrister said i should drop my claim for lost and future earnings and w/c will agree to a certicate for serious injury or we could possibly lose the case,so i agreed,but they have refused to settle and now i must wait another 12-18 mths for my case to return to court,i believe this was a mistake on my part from bad advice,
    is it possible to still have a claim for earnings on top of a claim for damages,as my legal team say i can not but they have misled me from day 1 and if i win my case will all the legal costs be settled by the insurance parties or will it be deducted from my settlement
    as my legal costs are already about 65K and god only knows what the final figure will be as they tell me that it will run for about 4-5 days in the vic county court
    so if i can i would like to direct my lawyers to reinstate my loss of earnings claim because the issueing of the serious injury cert was just a dirty tactic to get me to drop the wages claim, any opinions or precidents would be greatly appreciated.

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    • @Andrew – There are 2 main categories of damages sought in a common law claim:

      1. Pain and suffering, or general damages – this is compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured and will continue to endure, and your loss of enjoyment of life;

      2. Past loss of earnings and future loss of earning capacity (aka ecomonic loss) – compensation for wages lost because you have been unable to work, and/or are unable to work into the future.

      Even where your injury was caused by your employer or another person’s fault, you do not automatically have the right to sue for damages. You must first establish that you have suffered a serious injury.

      I think this is perhaps where you are confused with the advise given by your lawyers/barrister.

      To qualify for serious injury in Victoria you must either suffer from 30% whole body permanent impairment or more (WPI), or you can try and obtain a serious injury certificate in court using the narrative/qualitative test.

      Read more: http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/05/common-law-damages-claim-and-duty-of-care-of-the-employer/

      http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/05/how-are-damages-calculated/

      http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/08/qualifying-for-serious-injury-in-victoria-using-the-narrative-test/

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      workcovervictim3 December 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm
      • yes i understand the difference, and i have been to court and the court issued the serious injury certificate, but to get w/c to agree to the serious injury certificate i had to agree 30 minutes before we went into court to only claim for damages only and drop the claim for loss of earnings,i dont trust my legal firm as
        this was only brought to my attention 1 hr before we were due to proceed with my case, and i had no time to think or research ,or get another opinion which to me was under handed as my barrister had them to agree to pay part of their fees,25k,they made sure that they got paid as if we went ahead and lost they would have been out of pocket because i have a no win/no fee contract, i think they are putting there financial interests above my claim, and when i ask about such issues all i am told is you let us worry about the fees,? so since i have the serious injury certificate and they then said after offering a zero settlement,i advised my lawyer to book the court and only then they told me that the defendants rang them and told my lawyer not to book the court and ask if i would settle for 80k witch would have left me with only 15k after costs,witch i declined but this offer was over a phone call at the last minute and not in writing,so i am very suspicious about the whole handling of my case
        and i would like your advice as to weather i can still claim for loss of earnings,seeing that they are only stalling and only issued the serious injury certificate as a ploy to get me to drop the claim for lost earnings, as they are only offering to cover the legal costs , i therefore want to reinstate my claim for loss of earnings, but my lawyers do communicate or listen to what i have to say they just talk over the top of me and complicate a simple question and only confuse me further, this has been going for 8 years and 4 months to date and no sign of getting a court date in the next year,? this must be a record ?

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        • @Andrew
          On reading your posts it I think you may have misinterpreted much of lawyers actions. It appears to me that your barrister acted prudently to protect you from the risk of a financially harsh adverse cost order against you in the SIC proceedings and also adverting the need for a hearing (and the legal cost to you associated with it) to obtain the Serious Injury Certificate for pain & suffering.

          It is quite difficult to obtain a SIC for economic loss as proving the requite 40% loss in future earning is much harder than people think. As a consequence, most SIC applications are for pain & suffering only. In addition, if you are successful in a common law damages claim for economic loss you have to pay back Workcover the total amount of the weekly payments you have received to date under the no-fault Workcover scheme. This often makes a claim for economic loss financial unviable to pursue anyway.

          Your barrister advised you that you could lose at your SIC hearing aka there was a high risk to you in proceeding with the application. If there was little prospect of success in the SIC application for economic loss then your lawyers cannot, under their professional rules and under their obligations to the court, continue to pursue it. In addition they have an obligation to protect you from an adverse cost order against you.

          If you are unsuccessful in either one or both of your applications for a serious injury certificates, you have to pay Workcover’s legal costs. As in any legal proceedings, if you are unsuccessful you have to pay the other side’s costs. YOU have to pay any cost order against you out of your own pocket; your no win no fee lawyer does not foot the bill for this for you. No win no fee only relates to your lawyers costs not the other parties costs awarded against YOU. In addition there are now additional punitive cost penalties imposed on applicants in SIC proceedings for bringing a proceeding for a SIC that had no reasonable prospect of success. Yes your lawyers would be out of pocket for their fees if you had lost, but you would be facing a potentially financially crushing cost order against YOU. All legal proceedings involve risk and no win no fee arrangements do not remove the risk to you if you should lose.

          Likewise, it sounds as if you barrister acted in your best interest in managing to obtain some defrayment of your legal costs in the SIC application matter. There is no “right” to costs by you if your case resolves in your favour before the hearing. The fact that your barrister got Workcover to stump up $25K towards your costs says that your barrister did a pretty good job of negotiating and driving a hard bargain with Workcover to agree to this. Your barrister has reduced the legal costs that YOU will have to cover out of any future settlement monies you receive. He saved you $25K.

          If the negotiated resolution of the SIC proceedings was that Workcover would agree to grant you a SIC for pain & suffering only on the basis that you withdraw the application for a SIC for economic loss, then that is the terms of the settlement of the proceedings. You cannot go back later and make an application for a SIC for economic loss.

          It is normal and routine for offers to settle to be made and for proceedings to be settled even within minutes of the hearing commencing. The courts expect parties to attempt to negotiate right up to the minute before the hearing starts and continue to negotiate a resolution behind the scene whilst the matter is being heard. It is typical for most legal matters to settle “on the court step”.

          Being granted a Serious Injury Certificate is only a determination that your injury has met the threshold of being classed as serious enough to be granted the right to bring a common law damages claim for negligence, if and only if, your injury was the result of negligence. Being granted a SIC is NOT a finding on causation of the injury or that there was negligence. It is not unusual for common law damages claims to be defend on the basis that the injury is not even work related and/or not as a result of negligence. Hence in these cases the defence lawyers will make an initial offer of ZERO. What they are saying is that they are of the belief that the plaintiff’s injury is not as a result of negligence. And they are prepared to defend the action on that basis. That is not them saying that you are not injured or that it’s not work caused, its only the defence saying that their assessment of the merits of the case is that they are of the belief that the plaintiff’s injuries are not the result of negligence and thus they do not believe the plaintiff’s action for damages for negligence has any prospect of success.

          However, given that there is still costs to the defence to proceed to trial even if they are successful, its sounds as if they offered you $80k subsequently basically to settle the matter and “get rid of it”. Likewise negotiations between your lawyer and the defence done informally over the phone is perfectly normal. Just as your lawyer advising you over the phone of any offer made is normal.

          Also be aware that there is no pot of gold in common law damages actions. Juries in Victoria are notoriously ungenerous and unreliable. If your matter proceeds to trial unless you are quadriplegic with an acquired brain injury or you injury occurred in extremely horrific circumstances you are not going to receive pain & suffering damages of $300k-500k ($500k is the maximum that can be awarded in VIC). You may be looking at in the 100k’s. But your own legal costs that you will have to bare out of this judgement will be significantly higher than the $65k you have already clocked up. Your barristers fees alone for a 5 day trial will be $100k or more.

          If you win your common law damages action then the other side will pay your legal costs. HOWEVER, the legal costs that are award to the successful party only ever cover about max 60% of your actual legal fees and costs. The remaining 40% you will have to pay your lawyer and will come out of your settlement. In addition, if you are successful, the costs award will only be for your legal costs in relation to the common law damages trial. It will not cover any past legal fees that you already owe your lawyer in relation to the serious injury certificate proceedings etc (e.g. the $65k that you already owe).

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          • thank you for the feed back you have made it clear to understand,as my lawyers only baffle me.
            this issue of a cost order against me if i lose,how will that affect me as i am on a d,s,p and have no prospect of being able to work, and i have no assetts as i have lost my home and i dont even have any super ,as i had to access my super for financial hardship, and i have no money in the bank,i live off the measly amount of pention that i recieve and that is barely enough to get by.
            as for workcover payments for wages i have received not one cent as they rejected my claim from day 1 and i only received a measly 11% impairment payment as i was only dagnosed with a muscular strain, because they tried to stave me out from my entitlements and would not pay for me to have xrays, which 3years later i finally found a clinic that bulk billed xrays and they showed what i suspected i had 3 lower disc heniations,
            i believe the fact that they offered 80k unofficially that i have a strong case my offer to settle was for 185k which i think is to low but fair considering what it will cost to go to court i think they will not settle to the morning of the hearing,so far i still have no date , but have been told 12-18 mths
            but reading about other stories of injured workers on here i dont hold much hope of success ,even if i win i have lost ?
            once the case is settled and i have a judgement that it is a work place injury will this be a precedent for my super tpd payment as it has so far been refused on the grounds of the workcovers rejection of my claim,or will i have to go to court and give that to the lawyers also ?
            it seems to me that the only person getting compensated for my injury are the lawyers and doctors,
            workcover / it does not work and it does not cover they should just scrap the whole scheme and save injured workers the added insult to injury then put the money to provide rehab services to injured workers ,as there is no compensation,and let the lawyers and ime,s do some real work instead of ripping off injured workers like parasites.
            if i knew 8 years ago what i know now i would never of put in a claim
            and i would have gone to work and done as little as possible
            so much for a honest days work for a honest days pay,

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        • @Andrew, if you are really unsure, seek a second opinion. Most legal firms offer a 30min free consultation, or a community legal team may be able to help you get your head around the jargon. I settled for a sum that was unfair, because it was offered, I needed the money to clear out accumulated debt and wasn’t given the option to calculate what they were offering. 10k against 54k, and now they wont pay anymore wages, and they have been knocking back treatment since…

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  2. was wondering what people think of CMC Lawyers? Was referred to by a friend. Thanks

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  3. Anyone had any dealings with Maurice and Blackburn or any of the bigger firms?

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    • Yes I have had dealings with MB lawyers and they charge like a wounded bull.I would not go back I sacked them went with a private guy who did a great job, service excellent and a quarter of the price.

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  4. Porsche47 I think with these large solicitor firms it all depends more on the individual you get allocated who handles you case as to who is better rather than overall firm itself.
    I was first with Maurice Blackburn and the person I got was useless and I found Maurice Blackburn to be very political I didn’t think much of them at all. I changed to Nowicki Carbone who I have found to be great.
    Maurice Blackburn and Slatter Gordon do appear to have clear preference for people who are union members.
    Probably depends also on what you need a workcover lawyer for. SOme are only interested in handling common law claims.
    Meet with a few firms and go with the one you feel the most comfortable with.

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    • Dont use the Union allocated lawyer or no win no fee lawyer.
      Union preferred lawyers are like bulkbilling medical centres – looking for everyday simple claims to give a constant drip of income for minimal effort, with a protracted outcome studded by correspondece generated billable hours and a small settlement to cover costs.
      Think about it .
      If you are suing your workplace, then other coworkers are implicit – they will seek Union advocacy…there will be a conflict of interest…

      In my experience, union linked law firms have a very pedestrian and budget approach with no strong representation by inexperienced lawyer/paralegal. Don’t go there. /

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    • i started with slater and gordon here in morwell, i found them completly useless , then went to maurice blackburn in traralgon ,
      who promised the world and delivered nothing !!! so beware

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      • Yes I used Slater & Gordon and I sacked them last year as well. Just found out yesterday that I have no claim for pain and suffering as the lawyer for SG did not register it in time with the NSW WC change’s, actually 12 days late & to top it off I’m getting pineappled from WC, WCC. It’s pathedic, the honest one’s with a injury get pineappled

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      • Were you dealing directly with a lawyer at MB traralgon or a paralegal ?

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  5. yeah this is a referral from the union that I belong too. Someone else also recommended Galbaly and O’Bryan….. I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment and this seems so big and such a big step, but on the other side I’m kinda stuck with this injury years on and most probably will forever.

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  6. Hi,
    Does anyone know of any good workers comp lawyers in Perth WA?
    Thanks…

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  7. Important, very important.

    Nowhere on this site regarding lawyers have I seen this:

    Upon visiting a lawyer and before signing anything ask the lawyer will he/she indemnify you from costs should you lose your common law case.

    This without anything else is VIP…….ie: if you lose your case for some unforeseen reason…and it happens, you will be slugged substantial costs from the opposition such as WORKCOVER.

    A lawyer can and often will indemnify you if your case is strong…..or if they are confident of winning so…

    ASK the Question before you sign anything and ensure indemnity is in any legal document you sign with your lawyers fee agreement..

    It could well save you your house or anything you own as WORKCOVER are relentless generally when perusing monies when judgements are in their favour.

    There are many excellent lawyers around….shop yourself around…don’t be scared to ask hard questions….I’m not a fan of no win no pay firms who market themselves only as no win no pay lawyers myself but that’s my personal choice…they tend to possibly not give the best service or outcome is my experience. Not all but generally speaking….

    Good luck to all.

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    • @Legal Stuff – thanks for reminding us of this important issue. We do have a decent write up on no win no fee agreements (and also one on deeds of release), but perhaps we ought to add this information on this page for ease of reference.

      Updated at 8:15PM: we have now created a dedicated page to Legal Costs (in the top menu, under Useful Stuff and next to Decent Lawyers)

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      workcovervictim3 May 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm
      • I really don’t understand why they “Work Cover” have to make every thing so hard, surely they understand that the money they fork out on legals could be better spent on helping the workers… Why rip pff the injured, especially when there is medical evidence to support the claims…

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        • Victoria’s work safety authority is paying lawyers millions of dollars in confidential bonuses to minimise payouts in compensation cases brought by alleged victims of workplace accidents.

          In at least one case, a firm representing the authority received more than $1 million in bonuses over 12 months on top of legal fees.

          The bonuses are paid out by WorkSafe Victoria, which receives its funding from fees paid by Victorian businesses. The bonus scheme has provoked debate inside the legal community because of the potential it will encourage firms to cut corners in order to maximise their bonus payouts, or devise other strategies that may not be in the best interest of victims or the scheme.

          But defenders of the bonus system say it encourages lawyers to deal with cases more efficiently and prevents rorting of the state’s workers’ compensation scheme.
          Advertisement

          Leaked files from law firm Lander & Rogers reveal that it has made about $5 million in WorkSafe bonuses over five years by minimising payouts to alleged Victorian victims of workplace accidents. The biggest yearly bonus payout to the firm was $1.2 million in 2010.

          The leaked files also show that the legal firm encourages its lawyers to offer ”entertainment” to WorkSafe Victoria executives at the tennis, musicals and barristers’ functions. A well-placed source said that at least two senior WorkSafe staff had attended events paid for by the Melbourne firm.

          The leaked Lander & Rogers files show one strategy proposed by the firm involves creating closer ties, or becoming ”relationship partners” with lawyers representing workplace accident victims via ”targeted plaintiff firm strategies”.

          Lawyers who support the incentive scheme argue it encourages law firms to deal with cases in a fair and timely fashion.

          They say that maintaining professional relationships with plaintiff firms also leads to fairer outcomes by reducing legal hostilities that can lead to unnecessary litigation.

          In defending the bonus scheme, a WorkSafe spokesman said that the extra payouts were offered because the fees defence firms get paid for handling WorkSafe cases ”are significantly less than standard commercial rates”. ”Performance incentives are designed to preserve and protect the interests of the scheme and the amount paid in [bonuses in] 2012-13 represents 0.3 per cent of the total benefits paid to injured Victorian workers last year,” the spokesman said.

          Internal Lander & Rogers figures from 2011 show its WorkSafe department made almost $4 million in profit, most of which is later distributed to the firm’s partners. The law firm’s WorkSafe lawyers also generated bigger profit margins – up to 35 per cent – than lawyers from any other section of Lander & Rogers.

          The WorkSafe spokesman also said the bonuses were only awarded if law firms ”meet a range of performance criteria, which includes achieving a timely outcome for injured workers’ claims for compensation and reducing the use of the courts”. WorkSafe declined to answer questions on the total in bonuses it paid law firms or how many gifts WorkSafe staff received.

          ”WorkSafe adheres to the criteria set out in the gifts, benefits and hospitality policy framework 2012 issued by the Public Sector Standards Commissioner and expects all employees to comply with the policy,” the spokesman said.

          In response to questions about its bonuses and gift-giving policy, a Lander & Rogers spokesman said: ”Like other firms who provide legal services to WorkSafe, Lander & Rogers is eligible to receive performance incentives where it meets certain criteria, which include helping to ensure timely resolution of injured workers’ claims.

          ”We maintain professional working relationships with all plaintiff firms and other stakeholders in the workers compensation scheme and always work in the best interest of WorkSafe.”

          The law firm threatened Fairfax Media with legal action if it published details from its leaked files.

          In other developments linked to the management of WorkSafe cases, it is understood that some defence firms have reduced the hiring of private detectives who conduct surveillance on allegedly injured workers. The practice of conducting surveillance on workers has recently drawn the ire of several Victorian judges because it is viewed as expensive and intrusive.

          But several lawyers who spoke to Fairfax Media said that surveillance was a critical tool to prevent rorting.

          Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/worksafe-pays-law-firms-bonuses-to-minimise-victims-payouts-20131225-2zwrt.html#ixzz33G57S7FF

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          • I bet this is happening in New South Wale as well, I’ve been to 6 specialists that i see on a regular basis in the last 2yrs referred by my doctor and have all said the same about my injury & seen 2 from work cover for 1 visit each 20 mins worth & they say nothing wrong with me and work cover and commission give the ruling to work cover.. i was totally confused but now I no why…the system all over Australia is a joke

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        • I’ve been going for 4 half years, got nocked over by over head crane snapped clean in half my MCL, ACL & had 13 tears in my miniscus , had get graphs from left leg, & some metal , 4 op’s & lumbur blocks later it’s revealed I have servere case CRPS..I’ve seen 18 specialist all up, I was sent to 2 by GIO & 1 WCC (5%) for permanent assessment I recieved 13% , 15% , 5%. Now in saying that I was sent to 2 from my side 1 61% , 2 47%. What I can’t understand is why WCC sent me to a heart surgeon for permanent impairment & yes he’s the one gave me 5% & to kick me why I’m down the 3 them said never return to any type work. My legal side tried get the 5% report squashed but WCC have accepted it…. The system is a joke, I’ve worked my bum off for 22 years 16 with last company 110k yr 4 on 4 off shift to loose my life style, meds. everyday, sore & pain 24/7, lost / sold bout 70g worth assets to pay my house and family bills etc, and now looks like I’m going to lose my house now just to get told by 3 doctors that have known me for big 20 mins sorry no compensation for you and no going to work either.. What type of rorting is that from these grubs

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          • Dear Troy, if the IME’s are shorter than 45 minutes in duration, contest them on these grounds. This clearly contravenes Work-safe policy that states a IME should at least be 45 minutes. Easier said than done(Believe me on this) Complain to the case-manager when you get no response, complain to case-managers superiors, when you dont get a response, tell the ACCS when you dont get a response, then complain to the courts about the dr shopped/clearly rorted reports that fly in the face of common-sense and the majority of your supportive reports.Write to IBAC regarding the matter, it is their job to monitor government agencies and hold them accountable. Document every attempt and outcome/response.I will pray for a miracle because no-one should have their home taken off them because of a unjust system. Maybe get legal advice on going to ACA or other media outlets. If I saw your story I would cry. You have lost your health and quality of life. Where is the natural justice our court system is meant to based on. You seem to have nothing left to lose. Dont give in please.Write back if you need any support/ advise. Dijana

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            Dijana. Milovanovic December 6, 2014 at 9:57 am
  8. Can anyone please advise as I am in NSW was injured (spinal) with 24%WPI with more to come approx. go to 30-32%WPI. My injury was mid 2009 and it will be 5 years in 1 weeks time. With the new legislation stating that those over 20% WPI and 5 years in the claims system and have been assessed at no work as totally incapacitated should I be entitled to the 80% of pre injury wages as opposed to the stat rate which is the minimum in NSW. The difference is double basically so if anyone has gone through the new wage system please advise.

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    • Ian: you don’t yet rate as seriously injured if your WPI is 24% and hence the extension is not available. Have you had a lump sum payment? What about negligence in the workplace?
      These are often the best avenues for big injuries. I am a lawyer in NSW. Email me if you want to chat.

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      • Hi ian, i was wondering if i could email you with some advice please, im new to this & not sure how to find your details etc. thanks kindly troy

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      • Hi. I was employed for 19 months on permanent position by a Council under “Local Government State” award. Soon after I started working, I realised bullying activity by my colleagues. I also came across the fact that, they used to bully my predecessor too and he was sacked by my employer. When a serious bullying event occurred after 3 months of my employment, I reported the incident to the General Manager. He called meeting between myself and accused party and also a witness. Bullies denied my accusations and witness also turned to their side. Hence my allegations wasn’t proved. I also reported this incident to Work Cover but I never got reply from them till date.
        Bullying didn’t stop there and I had to report another incident after some time. My employer called third party mediation meeting where again the accused party denied the allegations.
        I also came across two serious incidents where I was threatened for life by my colleagues and I have proof to support my claim this time without any witness. Unfortunately I didn’t report them to the management or Work Cover.
        Now by this time, it seem clear that my employer made his mind and wanted to get rid of my by means of restructuring of organisation. It was said many times that I’ll go and they will have one particular local candidate in my position. My employer made my position redundant and created new role with similar duties but just lower than mine and lowered required qualification. I applied for the role eventhough it was at lower grade as I moved my family from City to this small town for long term objective. I was interviewed and I wasn’t selected for the role. Now the selected candidate is the same local guy who my colleague discussed earlier that would get the job. So every body knew about the outcome months before selection. I’m much more qualified ( two masters) and selected candidate doesn’t even got diploma degree but I was told that he performed better than me in interview. Also in the selection panel 2 out of 3 person were biased against me. I complained to anti-corruption body about his corrupt activity and provided them proof in the past.
        Now I want to know, What actions I can take out of the following:
        (1) sue my employer for breach of contract and not providing me safe work place. I can prove bullying and also life threat incidents
        (2) I’ve been suffering from GERD (acid reflux condition caused by tension). I couldn’t get sleep at nights and it was recorded in my meeting with doctors and my complain to Work Cover.
        I didn’t report life threatening incident to Work Cover when it happened otherwise I could have received some compensation. As Work Cover didn’t act in first incident, I believed they will not act again and hence I didn’t report it to them.
        Can I do something about it now? (I can prove life threats were given to me)
        (3) Now I’m also a union member. I have been reporting every single incident to my union and it’s evident that they didn’t act and save my work place rights. They could have obtained restraining order from court to stop my employer from making me redundant but they didn’t do it and because of them I’m jobless now. Can I take any action against my union?

        For above questions, I would like to know if you can take up my case and get me justice. Preferably on “No Win No Fee basis?”

        I can be reached on William.cruz35@yahoo.com.au

        thanks.

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        • @Williams, sorry to read about your experiences and your current situation.
          Please note that we, aworkcovervictimsdiary, are NOT lawyers or a law firm. We’re simply a community blog, authored by injured workers for injured workers.
          I believe your best option is to seek legal advice in the first instance. Visit one or more personal injury lawyers, discuss what has happened and find out what your chances are for a successful ‘case’, such as a workcover claim (with Comcare). Initial consultations are free of charge. Do this ASAP as there are time limits on lodging a workcover claim. If you don’t know where to start, we highly recommend Shine Lawyers – in particularly John Typaldos (in Victoria) whose details are listed on the right hand side’s sidebar towards the bottom of the page.
          To be successful in lodging a workcover claim (for stress/bullying) you will have to prove you suffer from a diagnosable mental illness (so see a psychiatrist, psychologist) and that it was (predominantly) caused by your workplace.
          A good lawyer will be able to advise you what (if any) action you can take, whether a workcover claim, discrimination, unfair dismissal etc.
          Hope this helps.

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    • Hi everyone,

      I am looking for a decent and trustworthy solicitor in Sydney for my work compensation claim. I am currently working with Unions lawyers that unfortunately is not representing me as it is supposed to be.. Please can anyone suggest me any good work compensation lawyers in Sydney?

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  9. Hi. I was wondering if anyone can tell me if Arnold Thomas and Becker are decent for Workcover cases?

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  10. I agree with reference to avoiding larger firms such as Maurice Blackburn, Shine and Nowicki Cabone who just sold out to Slater & Gordon for 48 million. They hold secret monthly meetings with insurer solicitors and discuss who they can back into a settlement. They do this by telling you they won’t represent you if you don’t take an offer and want to go to court, then when you don’t comply to their bullying tactics they send you a large bill! There is no justice for workplace injury people; the legislation, the government & insurers ensure this. What makes it easier for them is the injured workers lack of money and vulnerability!

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  11. Hi and thanks!

    I had a injury at work but at the start i did went to my gp .. and provide me a sick leave…. when the pain was more seriuos , the gp provide me w another sick leave and some phisio … i did get better 1% but after a call from my boss rebember me that i was out of sick day leaves … anyhow i work for another 2 weeks … then i was terminated…. and after 2 weeks went to hospital for severe pain and walla …. Emergency back operation …. now they agree to use workcover ….i did call shine lawyers and i will have my meeting tomorrow…. i am poor no money on me…close to 3 months no work…. and reading and reading this type of big firms scare me….. i am not to familiar with the australia law…. i really need have a second opinion on this and i would love to have the contact of a small firm but honest and decent …. as a back up … i am realky strees and i dont now what to do !!!!!

    Any help would be very gratefully

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  12. hey guys does anyone have a recomendation for any SA lawyers to speak with. I have been on the spin cycle for 9 months with my employer an gallagher basset with ptsd and anxiety issues from driving unroadworthy trucks. Im past the point where mentally their only making me worse and after 9 months of them saying they cant find me a treating phsychiatrist my mother found one for me even though they apparently couldn’t get in with the same guy… its never ending and i swear they are just wanting me to snap.. over the last 6 months i have started drinking alcohol more often and smoking cannabis to eleveate some stress as my gp has now refused to see me saying she cant assist me futher and to go see the physciatrist for help, because i asked why she never renewed my anti depressants or even asked how they were going until i was getting shocks from the withdrawls from the meds and turned to drinking and smoking to mask my issues. So now i have no GP at this point a Psychiatrist appointment in 5days to answer their questions for the 3rd time stating i cannot return to the employer but in different wording and they now want me to sit a drug screening so they can bend me over again somehow… Can anyone help atall?? Again im in S.A and if anyone has any advice or referrals i;d greatly appreciate it.. Sorry to rant abit

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    • Hey Stuart

      I have been using Tina B @ TGB Lawyers. Tina has been very professional and they outline their costs very clearly.

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  13. Sure Troy
    what did you want to know?

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  14. I engaged Slater and Gordon to represent my injury but I am as innocent as some people in this site. Looking back.. I was so stressed out of my hand injury and very depressed and oftentimes very confused due to medication, and I guess I did not focus on learning what to say to my Lawyer. I regret not learning what I am entitled to claim from Work Cover and also from the Super Insurances which is many, including claiming for Income Protection after waiting for 90 days. There is so much to know.. to excercise our rights to claim. Ensure, to read the fine prints in your Insurance contacts.. I collected more from my Super TPD than what I recieved after my Lawyer, Medicare, Centrelink from WorkCover when I settled out of court. Make sure..that you are aware of all entitlements due. I am now in the middle of claiming my Income Protection that is inside my Super. I used a Lawyer again from Slater and Gordon to look after the claim, but the Insurer denied my claim. I lodged a complain to the Trustee of my Super..it took three months investigation. I waited for a response.. I send e-mail a couple of times to check on the progress of the investigation. I only deal with one person with my queries, but I maintain correspondence by e-mail so that I have a record of our communication. I icluded in my e – mail the Lawyer’s e-mail..to my IP messages. I guess it helped. No private insurer recognise lawyers in Insurance claim for Super and IP insurance claim. I learned. Please read as much as you can. Never be afraid to speak to your lawyers!

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    Virginia Reynolds December 9, 2014 at 7:38 pm
  15. Can anyone tell me if you need to pay back your weekly income payments out of your bulk settlement? My partner cannot work because of a hand injury, and we just met someone who had the same injury a few years back. He got his bulk payout, which is still tied up at the lawyers, and his payout sum was less all his medical expenses including surgeries and medication/rehab and wage payments made by the insurer.
    This doesn’t sound right, and I’m worried. They basically charged him for all of his expenses, I thought the employers insurer had to pay for all of those things?

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    • Dear Chris, yes that’s right with a common law case you usally have to pay back all the insurance has paid your lawyer should calculate this in your payout and should inform you.Sometimes they the insurer will wave this a condition of your settlement usually accompanied by a confidentiality clause were you sign and cannot ever discuss your case with nobody but your legal team.

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    • @Chris, have a read of http://aworkcovervictimsdiary.com/2013/05/how-are-damages-calculated/ which gives an overview of how settlements (for a common law damages claim) are calculated. While this article is for Victoria, most states compensation legislation operate in the same or similar way.
      When you go to court and are awarded a certain amount of compensation (if eligible – you need to be seriously injured AND prove negligence on the part of the employer), then all weekly payments you have received since the date of your accident are to be paid back (so they are deducted from your settlement monies). For many injured workers this can be 5-8 years worth of weekly pay! Any benefit you may have received from Centrelink also needs to be paid back, as well as any Medicare bills you may have incurred. You also need to pay back your initial lump sum for your total permanent impairment (WPI), which is deducted from your settlement. On top of that there are vicissitudes deducted (basically the chances that you’ll be run over by a bus!), sometimes up to 35% of your settlement.And don’t forget the legal fees (even in a no win no fee case they can easily go >K75-200).The list goes on (there is also potential for tax adjustments re weekly pay/economic loss).
      In effect for most seriously injured workers who receive for example let’s say a very rare huge compensation of 1 million dollars, ONLY about HALF of that goes in your pocket!
      If you settle the matter out of court (through mediation, etc) many injured workers may be ‘better off’, as the settlement monies awarded/negotiated are tax free (for one), the legal costs are not as high, and decent lawyers can negotiate for a certain amount of compensation PLUS KEEP (which means that no weekly pay is paid back). However all the above deductions are still factored into the ultimate ‘settlement’.
      For example, a very seriously injured worker who settles out of court for, let’s say around $ 550-600 thousand dollars, will in fact have ‘won’ a court verdict worth of well over $800 thousand dollars, and will keep around 450-500 in their pocket (netted) after legal fees deduction.

      With re to medical and like, it depends in which state you are located. The laws are different in every state. In Victoria however you don’t have to repay medical and like expenses, and after claiming a common law damages claim you still keep medical and like for life (but your weekly pay stops of course)
      For most injured workers however the sad reality is that the average payout (compensation) is (still) only around $80 to $100.000 dollars, that’s it, for LIFE.

      So for those who believe severely injured workers get ‘set up for life’ or win the ‘lottery’, think again! There is no such a thing as a fair compensation payout.

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      • Workcovervictim3,you are so right no payout is fair to the injuried worker.The only lucky worker out there is the one that doesn’t get hurt.

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read-before-u-commentThis is a statement pointing you to our seriously injured but esteemed and honourable Social Networking Sites Warning and our comment policy. A must read in the context of a very adversarial workcover system! Remember to mention in which state you reside if you seek advice.

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