MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS WORKCOVER SOUTH AUSTRALIA

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1 MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS WORKCOVER SOUTH AUSTRALIA

2 02 MAURICE BLACKBURN YOU RE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. If you are hurt, injured, or are facing an unfair situation, you and your family shouldn t have to suffer. That s why we never stand back when bad things happen to good people. At Maurice Blackburn we believe that the law should serve everyone. Who you are or where you re from, it doesn t matter. You re worth fighting for. Maurice Blackburn was born from one man s belief in making a difference to people s lives. Nearly 100 years on these values remain a powerful influence on everything we do. We exist to fight for your rights. For what you deserve. When life isn t fair we ll help you to fight for everything you re entitled to. Because at Maurice Blackburn, we fight for fair.

3 03 WORKCOVER If you suffer from an injury, illness or disease arising out of, or in the course of employment, you can claim compensation under the WorkCover scheme. Accessing your WorkCover entitlements can be a very complicated process. If you are injured, you should seek advice to guide you through the WorkCover claims process. If you are injured at your workplace in South Australia, you can claim compensation from your employer and its workers compensation insurer. Employers are required to have an insurance policy to cover injured workers, including part-time workers, casual workers and in many circumstances subcontractors such as owner/drivers and agency nurses. You can claim compensation for the aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation, deterioration or recurrence of injuries, illnesses or disease provided employment is a significant contributing factor. Injuries including cancers, strokes, asthma, heart conditions and degenerative conditions are often aggravated or exacerbated by employment. As long as you can show some relationship between your employment and the injury, you may be able to claim compensation. Contact Maurice Blackburn for further advice. How do I claim compensation? To claim compensation, you should: 1 Report your injury to your employer as soon as you become aware of it, 2 Complete a WorkCover claim form and give this to your employer 3 Get a medical practitioner to issue a WorkCover First medical certificate Make sure to keep copies of the claim form and medical certificate and give the originals to your employer as soon as possible. Make sure they sign the form and date it on the day you provide it to them. The Insurer must make a decision to accept or reject your claim within a reasonable time. You may be asked to attend a doctor s appointment by the Insurer or claims agent and you must comply with that request. You are entitled to seek legal assistance in relation to questions the workers compensation insurer or claims agent may have of you in relation to their investigations. What expenses are covered? If your workers compensation claim is accepted, your workers compensation insurer should pay all reasonable expenses for medical, hospital, and ambulance services where required.

4 04 MAURICE BLACKBURN You are also entitled to compensation for loss of wages and an amount of expenses can be allocated for vocational rehabilitation where necessary. If your claim is not accepted, it s important to seek legal advice. It may be possible to challenge the decision, and if this is successful, you will be reimbursed for payments you have made that relate to your claim. You may also be able to recover an amount for legal costs associated with challenging the decision of the workers compensation insurer. In two recent workers compensation cases, we secured our clients over seven times the initial settlement offer. John Salanitri Workers Compensation Principal Lump sum claims You may be eligible to claim a lump sum payment where you have sustained a permanent impairment. Before doing this, you will be required to be assessed by a specialist. The specialist will assess your injury and this will translate into a financial amount. The amount you are entitled to in respect of your lump sum settlement is set out in a table that varies each year. You should seek legal advice if you want information relating to what these amounts currently are. It is important to note that you don t have to accept the insurance company doctor s assessment of your injury and you are entitled to be examined by another independent specialist before settling your claim. The amount you can receive by way of a lump sum compensation will vary for each case it depends on your injuries and any residual disability. Our experts can assist you through the process and ensure you get everything you re entitled to.

5 05 WORKCOVER Weekly payment claims Employed under contract of employment Industrial award Note In most cases if you re employed under a contract of employment you will receive your average wage for the preceding 12 months for the first 13 weeks of incapacity and thereafter you will then receive a reduced rate of payments after that time (after July this will change). Calculating your weekly payments of compensation when you are employed under an industrial award can be a more complicated prcess as it involves the careful interpretation of the relevant industrial instrument(s). Importantly the mandatory reduction to wages that applies to those employed under a contract of employment after 13 weeks of payments, does not apply to those employed under an industrial award. Your wage however may still be lawfully varied. In any case weekly payments of compensation cannot exceed the statutory maximum, an amount that is indexed each year. If you have enquiries about your rate of weekly payments and do not think you are getting paid adequately you should seek legal advice from Maurice Blackburn. Death claims If a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury, illness or disease, the dependants of the worker are able to claim compensation. A lump sum may be payable where a family is wholly or partially dependent on the deceased. If the death is due to the fault of the employer or any other person, a dependant may also be entitled to bring a common law claim seeking damages. The amount you are entitled to in respect of your death claim is set out in a table that varies each year. You should seek legal advice if you want information relating to what these amounts currently are. Can I sue? The law relating to accessing common law damages is complicated and can be difficult to understand. Generally in South Australia Common Law claims against employers are not available, however claims against third parties may be. A further step is to have your whole person impairment assessed by a specialist. If the specialist certifies that your whole person impairment is greater than 5% you can recover a lump sum for that disability. If you believe your injuries are due to your employer s or some other person s fault then you should seek advice from Maurice Blackburn immediately. Bringing a common law claim will affect your compensation entitlements and this should also be carefully considered in relation to your own personal financial situation. Medical examinations do I have to attend? Failure to attend medical examinations can result in your weekly payments being suspended or terminated.

6 06 MAURICE BLACKBURN FAQS about WorkCover After the accident If your claim is initially rejected and you have to seek Centrelink assistance, you will have to repay these benefits or an amount of these benefits if your claim is accepted at a later date. This amount should be determined prior to the finalisation of your claim and you shook seek assistance in relation to this if necessary. Where your claim is accepted by your workers compensation insurer, you will still be entitled to your sick or annual leave entitlements. Your successful claim for compensation should not effect these entitlements and if you think you are being mistreated in this regard you should seek advice. You should know You are entitled to treatment from a treating general practitioner of your choice. Your workers compensation insurer must pay the reasonable costs of travelling for purposes of receiving medical treatment. If you are claiming taxi expenses, they should be approved by your workers compensation insurer first. If you use your car you should record the kilometres travelled and submit the details to the insurer for payment. You should keep a record of all attempts to return to work or retraining. This will be useful in protecting your rights. You should keep a general diary of the impact the injury has on your social and family activities, and ability to participate in any sporting activities and hobbies. Your workers compensation insurer has a legal obligation to provide you with copies of any medical reports obtained or commissioned by them in relation to your claim. If you are in receipt of weekly payments and intend to be away interstate or overseas for an extended period of time you must forward on a decelaration to your workers compensation insurer notifying them of this and evidencing your incapacity. If your employer closes down or becomes insolvent, your entitlements will not be affected. In some circumstances, you may become a direct payee of your insurer instead of your employer. Weekly payments must be paid in accordance with your usual pay period. If this does not occur you should first liaise with your insurer to determine the cause of the problem and if this becomes an ongoing issue seek further legal assistance to enforce compliance. Protecting your rights is our business Accessing your entitlements under the South Australian workers compensation legislation can be a very complicated process. The benefits you are entitled to can vary greatly depending on when you were injured. If you are injured and have lodged a claim, you should seek legal advice. Maurice Blackburn helps people every day with workers compensation claims and we can guide you through the claims process. At Maurice Blackburn, we are committed to getting a fair outcome for our clients so you can get on with your life without disadvantage. Our expert workers compensation lawyers provide a free first consultation and will fight to ensure you receive the best possible outcome. We recognise that the compensation you receive is vital to ensuring quality of life for you and your family. If you would like to make an appointment please call From the very beginning, we fought for the rights of ordinary people. We continue this tradition today.

7 CONTACT US If you are considering legal action or want to fight for your rights, get in touch and we can assess what you need or arrange for a meeting with one of our lawyers. For most practice areas, your first consultation is free (business hours) mauriceblackburn.com.au WorkCover Road Accident Injuries Medical Negligence Asbestos Diseases Superannuation & Insurance Claims Public Liability Faulty Products Comcare Financial Advice Disputes Class Actions Social Justice Feel free to drop into our Adelaide office: Adelaide (08) King William Street Adelaide SA 5000

8 Maurice Blackburn is a leading Australian law firm certified to the international ISO 9001:2008 quality standard. Information correct at 1 July This brochure is a general guide to dealing with WorkCover claims and is not a substitute for professional advice in this area. Maurice Blackburn is proud to be carbon neutral (see our website for details). This brochure is printed on ecostar Silk. Made with 100% certified post consumer waste fibre, it is produced with a carbon neutral manufacturing process and has been made in a facility that operates under the ISO Environmental Management System. MB4184_SAWC 04/15

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