If you have been injured at work or contracted an illness at work, you may be entitled to compensation.
We know your rights under NSW workers compensation legislation including exempt workers (Police, Paramedics, Fire Fighters and Coal Miners) and Commonwealth workers covered by Comcare.
You should always get independent legal advice as the insurer will not provide this service and may not advise you of all of your entitlements. At The Law Office of Conrad Curry we listen, we care and we will strive to get you the outcome you deserve. We have the knowledge and experience to be able to guide you through your claim effortlessly.
The current NSW Workers compensation scheme aims at getting you back to work as soon as possible. Unfortunately, insurers can at times be relentless in insisting you go back to work, sometimes too soon. Our solicitors can assist you through this challenging time.
We will answer your questions, such as:
Will the insurer help me return to work?
Yes. If you need rehabilitation or other assistance to return to work, the insurer will provide this as long as it is “reasonable and necessary”.
If you cannot do your previous duties, but can still work, your employer needs to provide you with suitable duties. If suitable duties cannot be provided in most cases you remain on weekly payments.
What if I cannot return to work at all?
If your independent doctor/s believe that you will never be able return to any type of work, whilst this is very upsetting it is important to discuss the reasons why with your doctor/s to ensure you understand the whole picture. If you have trouble coping with the news, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist. You need as much support as you can get at such a difficult time.
What are my obligations?
Above all else, do not resign or accept a redundancy without seeking legal advice. We know how stressful the situation can be, but ceasing your employment voluntarily could negatively affect your claim.
If you are able to work, ensure you make reasonable efforts to return to work and co-operate with reasonable return to work programs. This includes participating in a meeting with the insurer and your GP (and sometimes your employer) with the intention of developing a return to work plan. If you feel your GP is being pressured by the insurer/employer, request to speak with your GP alone and explain your concerns – you and your GP determine when you’re ready to return to work.
Importantly, communicate regularly with your independent medical practitioners (that is doctors you chose, not those that the insurer/employer has chosen for you).
How are weekly payments calculated?
If you are a worker covered by NSW legislation your weekly payments depend on how bad your injury is and the length of time off work. It is calculated as a percentage of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, usually based as an average of the twelve months before your injury. Weekly payments for exempt workers and Comcare workers are calculated differently.
During the first 13 weeks, the amount of your weekly payments are based on whichever is less:
- 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings, minus the value of any deductible amount if you have no capacity for work, or your current weekly earnings if you have capacity to work.
- The maximum weekly compensation amount ($2,128.50) minus the value of any deductible amount if you have no capacity for work, or any current weekly earnings and the value of any deductible amount if you have capacity for work.
A summary of how weekly payments are calculated beyond 13 weeks is available at https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/claiming-compensation/workers-compensation-claims/weekly-payments
Do I have to pay legal fees?
No. Injured workers covered by the NSW workers compensation scheme can apply for a grant of legal assistance funding from the Work Cover Independent Review Office (“WIRO”). Once your grant is approved, WIRO pays your legal fees and disbursements. WIRO is not available for exempt workers or those covered by Comcare.
I think my employer was negligent, can I sue them?
You may be able to sue your employer for negligence, if your work injury has been caused or made worse by the actions of your employer, a co-worker(s) or for example an unsafe system of work, an unsafe workplace or faulty machinery.
Whether or not you can sue for damages will also depend on:
- The date of your injury
- Whether your injury is assessed as 15% or more Whole Person Impairment
- The existence and degree of negligence by another party
- The place where the injury occurred
- Who the claim is against
It is very important to get legal advice as soon as possible if you think your injury or illness was caused by negligence as strict time limits apply.
We put your recovery first.
Workers Compensation can be complex, so we’re here to help with:
- A simple explanation of the legislation and your entitlements
- Guidance to help you achieve the best treatment possible
- Applications for legal funding to WIRO
- Dispute resolute or Court proceedings