NSW Workers Compensation: What can Littles Lawyers help you with

Your claim is approved, you are getting paid your weekly benefits and your treatment is being looked after by the insurer and they have appointed a rehabilitation provider to assist you with return-to-work goals, so why do you need a lawyer you may ask?  

There are many other things that a lawyer can help and advise you on. For example: 

• Has the insurer been paying your weekly benefits amount correctly?  

• Has the insurer calculated your PIAWE (pre-injury average weekly earnings) correctly? 

• Do you get along with your rehab provider? Did you know you can nominate your own rehab provider?  

• Has the insurer explained to you that you may be entitled to lump sum compensation, which is in addition to your weekly benefits and treatment expenses? 

• Are there other types of treatment expenses you may be entitled to? 

• Could you be entitled to a common law (work injury damages) claim? What are the criteria?  

The most common reason for an injured worker to retain a lawyer is to investigate his/her entitlement to lump sum permanent impairment compensation. From our experience, many injured workers are not aware that they may be entitled to lump sum compensation, in addition to weekly benefits and treatment expenses. If you have sustained a workplace injury which left you with permanent impairment (could be physically, psychologically, or both), then you may be eligible to lump sum compensation as long as you meet the threshold level of impairment.  

Another common reason why injured workers retain lawyers is to challenge the insurer’s decision to dispute liability. The insurer may dispute liability for your entire claim, or an aspect of your claim. We have had clients whereby liability for the claim has been accepted, however the proposed surgery treatment has been denied by the insurer. In these circumstances, we highly recommend that you contact Littles Lawyers so we can advise you on your review rights.  

The insurer in their dispute notice must include an internal review form which you may complete if you want to seek an internal review of the declinature decision. However, what the insurer don’t tell you is that, without additional supporting medical evidence, it is unlikely the insurer will withdraw their initial declinature decision. Therefore, it is in your best interest to contact Littles Lawyers so we can review the dispute notice, your medical file and then advise you and/or obtain further medical evidence on your behalf to support your claim. It takes a lot more than “I disagree with the insurer’s declinature decision” for the insurer to withdraw their original decision and on many occasions, they will maintain their decision and you will have to refer the dispute to the Personal Injury Commission for determination. To prepare your application before the Commission, there are a lot of work that needs to be done and evidence to be obtained.  

The NSW Workers Compensation Scheme is a complex system and therefore we highly recommend you seek legal advice. The Head of our NSW team, Jessica Cheung is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law specializing in workplace injuries. If you believe you have sustained a work-related injury and would like professional legal, reach out to Jessica and her team for a confidential discussion at no costs to you.   

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