Call 1300 366 441 for a free first interview. Ask about our No Win No Fee OR Expenses* fee policy.

Our approach to fighting a WorkCover workers compensation claim

The approach of our workers' compensation lawyers is based around achieving the best compensation result possible for our clients. We know how difficult it can be for injured workers dealing with the consequences of injury so we listen to you and let you tell your story. Next, we advise you on the legal strategy we intend to pursue on your behalf. It will be a clear plan for success so that you know exactly what we are trying to achieve.

At this point we encourage you to ask questions. Put us on notice. It is only when we work as a team that we achieve the best results. You will then be given a clear account of fees and costs and left with a fee proposal to take away to consider.

Our philosophy on workers compensation injury claims is to put our best foot forward, thoroughly prepare your case including doing the research in consultation with the best barristers, and then front the WorkCover agent’s lawyer to communicate a clear ultimatum: "This is our case and this is what we want."

Why do we succeed where other injury lawyers fail?

It is well understood that serious injuries typically attract large compensation payouts, but do you need to go to court, and what is the best way to win your case? Ross Inglis from personal injury law firm Ryan Carlisle Thomas explains what you need to know.

We approach negotiations with WorkCover and their agents as if we were going to court, using the best barristers who have years of experience, and with a clear picture in mind of the compensation range we want to secure on your behalf.

Most of our claims are settled long before going to court. If we do not get a fair settlement, only then do we go to court. That’s why our approach – tested for over 45 years and in more than 70,000 injury compensation cases – works.

Accredited Personal Injury Law Specialist - a leader in our field

We are recognised by the Law Institute of Victoria as having accredited personal injury law specialists on staff. This is the highest professional level of recognition and accreditation within the legal profession and marks us a leader in our field.

Why choose a LIV Accredited Specialist?

  • a minimum of five years' full-time practical experience and a minimum of three years' experience in their area of specialisation
  • high degree of professional development 
  • a comprehensive examination
  • accreditation renewal every three years.

Our values as a firm

Choosing the right WorkCover compensation lawyer when you have been injured at work is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

You need someone you can trust to win you the best compensation result with a minimum of fees and expenses, while supporting you every step of the way.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas has a history of genuine struggle for justice and seeking improvements to employment and workplace safety conditions for the benefit of working people. Our team of workplace injury lawyers has won many landmark WorkCover cases and large compensation payouts and has fought against discrimination and unfair dismissals.

So, when you need to make a stand, let us stand with you.

Start a WorkCover legal enquiry with us - first steps and fees

For information on how to contact Ryan Carlisle Thomas, fees, and what to expect at your first meeting, see Start a legal enquiry.

Workers Compensation And WorkCover Claims FAQs

Should I see a lawyer about my WorkCover claim?+

There are many obstacles that can stand between you and the WorkCover benefits you are entitled to. Just understanding how best to fill in an injury report can have far-reaching consequences should your injury turn out to have complications in the longer run.

It is also sensible to recognise that the Victorian WorkCover Authority is not in the business of fighting for your rights to proper benefits. It is a government-run insurance scheme that has a vested interested in protecting the premiums it levies on companies and organisations in Victoria. Knowing how the system works is critical to claiming the full benefits and compensation that is available. It makes sense to consult with an experienced workplace injury lawyer who will stand by you.

My employer wishes to attend my medical appointments with me. Is this OK?+

There is absolutely no reason why your employer should be attending with you at medical appointments. You have an entitlement to refuse them access and you should use that entitlement should you wish. In some cases it may be appropriate for a return to work agent to attend a doctor's appointment with you if there is a real prospect that you may be able to return to work in the near future and you are comfortable with the agent attending. If in doubt don't consent to anyone attending your medical appointments with you.

If the injury has just occurred or if you have just had surgery because of the workplace accident some time will need to go by before a claim for lump sum compensation can be lodged. Patience is required, but your lawyer should keep you briefed on its progress.

Can I appeal if WorkCover ceases my weekly benefits?+

Your payments can be suspended or terminated in certain circumstances. The WorkCover insurer will often make this decision on the basis that they allege you did not make every reasonable effort to participate in rehabilitation, retraining and return to work plans.

However, you can appeal WorkCover’s decision.

Is superannuation counted as income?+

Your employer will be required to also pay superannuation if you have received 52 weeks or more of weekly payments and continue to receive them.

Should I cancel or suspend my Facebook account when making a common law claim?+

Yes. Facebook - along with other social media sites - is becoming popular in a growing number of injury cases that go to court, for all the wrong reasons.

We are finding that lawyers opposing us are requesting access to a client's Facebook pages as part of the pre-trial access to relevant evidence. Although often this material is accessible to anyone who has some technical ability with the internet.

Those innocent photos you posted enjoying a BBQ with some friends could be turning up in court, as lawyers use the pictures to cast doubt on your testimony and on the seriousness of your injury.

I work "for myself" in the "gig economy". Am I covered by WorkCover?+

A lot more bike riders are delivering food for firms like Deliveroo. Other people drive for firms like Uber. As more people are employed in what has become known as the “gig economy”, so too have injury queries risen. In terms of basic entitlements such as medical costs and payments for loss of earnings while you are unable to work, you are covered under the WorkCover system. At least that's ordinarily how you should be covered. Sometimes, however, there's a dispute about whether these riders and drivers should be properly be considered employees of the company that they're working for. We can provide you with advice about whether you are a “worker” that is entitled to WorkCover from the business that pays you.

For more information, see Are Uber Eats and Deliveroo riders covered if injured?

What happens to my employment after I have been on weekly payments for 52 weeks?+

A common misconception is that if a worker has not returned to full pre-injury hours and duties, they can automatically be sacked. While you may not have the WorkCover legislation protection described above after 52 weeks, it is unlawful for your employer to ‘automatically’ sack you on the basis that you have not returned to your full hours and duties.

If your employer tells you that they have terminated your employment it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. There are strict time limits – as short as 21 days – to take some actions under Fair Work legislation. Under WorkCover legislation, your employer must offer you suitable work for the first 52 weeks after your injury. This may mean reduced hours, working with regular breaks, lifting limits or not doing certain tasks. Many workers get back to their full duties and hours, while some can only ever do partial hours or modified/light duties.

After 52 weeks this protection is no longer available, and an employer no longer has an obligation under WorkCover legislation to provide you with any duties or hours if you cannot return to your full duties and hours, however, you would still get paid WorkCover weekly payments and medical benefits.

Does my annual leave continue to accrue while on WorkCover benefits?+
 

Yes. In Victoria, injured workers who remain employed and on weekly payments, will accrue annual leave as if they were working normally. For more information see: Annual leave now accrues while on WorkCover payments.

I am paid cash in hand. Am I covered if injured?+

Many people who are paid cash in hand while working and are then injured, ask us if they are still covered by WorkCover. The short answer is, yes. And that’s unequivocal.

WorkCover Victoria will accept your claim for income replacement and assistance with medical bills, regardless of the manner in which you have been paid for your work.

For further information see: If I am paid cash in hand, am I covered by WorkCover if injured?

Does making a claim for lump sum compensation affect my weekly benefits and medical expenses claims?+

No. Lump sum claims and common law claims do not curtail any rights to claim ongoing living and medical and like expenses, they remain open. It one of the big advantages of the system. Common law lump sums will affect your entitlement to weekly payments if you receive a lump sum for loss of earnings. We will advise you whether you are better off on weekly payments or taking a lump sum for loss of earnings.

If I am sexually harassed in the workplace is it covered by WorkCover?+

Victorian workplaces are regulated by both State and Federal anti-discrimination laws which are designed to prevent sexual harassment occurring and ensuring that victims have avenues for obtaining compensation from perpetrators and, in some instances, their employers and other entities.

For more information see: Workplace sexual harassment – what are your legal avenues for redress? or visit the Employment Law section of our website.

I've spoken to other people with similar injuries to get a sense of how much I may be entitled to. But they differ a lot. Why?+

Each case is different and the fact that you have a similar or identical injury to another person does not mean that you are entitled to the same amount of compensation. For example, two people could lose their right index finger in a workplace accident. The common law (lump sum) entitlements that each of these people may have could vary greatly depending upon their age, circumstances of the accident, ability to work in the future, their interests outside of work and their willingness to pursue the matter to Court.

I've heard that my lawyer can't do conciliation conferences. Is this true?+

With the permission of the employer or insurance agent, a worker is allowed a legal representative to attend at a conciliation conference on their behalf.

If your lawyer is not attending your conciliation conferences or is not organizing appropriate assistance through WorkCover Assist or Union Assist then you should be asking yourself how interested your lawyer is in your case and whether they are just interested in obtaining lump sum compensation.

I'm worried that my WorkCover claim will take years before it is decided. Do they always drag on?+

Medical expenses and weekly payments are covered immediately upon the claim being accepted, which is usually decided within 30 days of being lodged. The time that it may take to obtain the lump sum compensation that you deserve varies from case to case. There is no fixed amount of time that applies in every case. The main complicating factor for most cases is the issue of "stabilization".

If the injury has just occurred or if you have just had surgery because of the workplace accident some time will need to go by before a claim for lump sum compensation can be lodged. Patience is required, but your lawyer should keep you briefed on its progress.

My employer says that I have to trust in WorkCover and that they are on my side. Should I?+

There are good claims agents and bad claims agents but ultimately they all work for an insurer. Their job is to save the insurance company money. If you are lucky you will have a good claims manager who will do their best within the WorkCover scheme to look after you. Many will not and you should ensure that you have legal advice throughout the life of your claim.

Call 1300 366 441, email us at enquiries@rctlaw.com.au or find us at an office near you for free advice on WorkCover and workers compensation injury claims.

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