The short answer is no. The smart answer is yes. While it is not a mandatory requirement to get legal advice to lodge a claim, lawyers do the heavy lifting when it comes to managing the paperwork and processes. First things first, what exactly is a compensation lawyer? A compensation lawyer guides you through the process toward getting compensation for your injury. Whether the injury occurred at work or is the result of a car accident, a lawyer who works with these types of cases on a daily basis has an in-depth understanding of how to navigate the legal system and get the best possible financial outcome for your individual case. The second most common follow-up question to this is ‘how much will it set me back though’? And rightfully so, finances can be an added stressor under any circumstances, but Gouldson are proudly a 100% no win, no fee firm.
Can I settle my worker’s compensation case without a lawyer?
Yes. But, if you are considering the risk versus reward at all, it is likely not in your best interests to do so. Legal terms, jargon, and contracts are all well-known for being confusing and frustrating and while Google has come a long way, you do not want to be resting the outcome of your entire settlement in the hands of a search engine. Having legal counsel in your corner puts you on a level playing field against an insurance company that has big budgets and all the time in the world to spend making things harder for you. Being made aware of your right to appeal a decision by the insurer is a common part of the legal process that most people do not realise they have access to without the assistance of an expert compensation lawyer.
What is the difference between a worker’s comp claim and a work injury damages claim?
Worker’s compensation is a “no fault” system, as opposed to a work injury damages claim, whereby a claimant is required to prove that the injury they sustained resulted from the employer’s negligence.
In a workers compensation claim, an injured worker is entitled to have a portion of his/her wages paid for the period of incapacity, and the costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, and in some cases retraining. Once the medical treatment has concluded, and if the worker has sustained a permanent injury, he/she will be entitled to be assessed for the level of permanent impairment and an offer of lump sum compensation if appropriate for the injury.
However, entitlements in a work injury damages claim are much broader and extend to damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, recovery of all wages and superannuation contributions lost, future medical expenses, future loss of income and superannuation contributions, and interest on all pas losses. In order to claim, it needs to be proven that the losses set out above were caused as a result of the injury and that the employer was negligently responsible for the injury occurring.
What expenses are covered and what benefits am I entitled to?
In your workers’ compensation claim, your personal injury lawyer can assist to ensure all medical treatment and medication expenses, rehabilitation costs, in certain cases retraining expenses, and loss of wages are recovered as part of your claim and provide advice regarding your potential entitlement to a lump sum compensation payment at the conclusion of your claim.
In terms of the work injury damages claim, the real beauty of having a great personal injury lawyer in your corner is doing everything possible to make the claim process as simple for you as possible, navigating the complex steps along the way, keeping the insurer and their legal representative honest, gathering the best evidence to maximise your claim for damages, and then calculating your entitlements under the various heads of damages available. These figures are not arbitrary figures and instead require detailed consideration of the evidence, lateral thinking, and planning to ensure you get the maximum possible amount for your damages claim.
As a team of compensation lawyers who deal with the claims process on a daily basis, there is no doubt about it, if you are looking for the positive outcome that you deserve, Gouldson can help with a free case review to help get you started on the right foot.