KEY TAKE OUTS:
- Suffering an injury at work puts you in an emotional and stressful situation.
- The time off work, the emotional rollercoaster of uncertainty, the time to go to medical appointments and generally dealing with the Insurer can be quite frankly exhausting.
- You don’t always have to fund your own workers compensation claim even if you are unsuccessful.
Some employers are great in supporting workers and work together with the Insurer to ensure they receive the best possible outcome. But sadly, there are cases of denied liability, treatment disputes, loss of wage disputes and disputes as to whether the worker is entitled to lump sum compensation.
You may have heard of WIRO which stands for Workcover Independent Review Office. WIRO was established in 2012 as part of the state government reforms. The name later changed to Workers Compensation Independent Review Office as a result of legislative which came into effective on 1 September 2015. The WIRO has many roles, but a key role they have is to issue grants of funding to workers to pay for their legal fees and disbursements and to gather evidence to bring a claim.
What this means is that you don’t have to fund your own workers compensation claim even if you are unsuccessful. However, in order to get a grant from WIRO we need to establish that you have a reasonable prospects of success.
So what happens after you get a grant from WIRO?
Once you have a successful grant, Coutts will gather your medical records and other evidence to support the claim. We take care to look at all aspects of your claim and ensure that you are bringing the best possible claim.
If the Insurer denies liability, we prepare an Application to Resolve a Dispute and file it with the Workers Compensation Commission. The Insurer will file a Reply and the matter will then be allocated for a teleconference for the parties to drill down on the dispute and come to any resolution.
We keep you up to date with the process of your claim.
Failing a resolution at that stage the matter is listed for Arbitration. Arbitration is where the matter is before an Arbitrator who is independently appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission and will review the materials and conduct a hearing of the matter for any oral evidence. Following the completion of the Arbitration the Arbitrator will then issue a Determination.
Coutts will be with you every step of the way to ensure you understand the process and maximise your compensation rights and benefits.
Once the matter is completed either from settling or by Arbitrator decision, we issue an account to WIRO for payment. This means you don’t have to pay us nor wait to be reimbursed for any legal expenses.
Workers Compensation claims require an understanding and experienced lawyer to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
ABOUT KARENA NICHOLLS:
Karena is a partner at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers and heads up the injury compensation (with extensive knowledge in personal injury) and employment law teams. She is passionate and dedicated to helping her clients understand their rights and obligations and advising them on the best course of action to achieve their desired outcomes. It is her practical and client-orientated approach which has attributed to her authentic reputation positioning her as a highly regarded compensation and employment lawyer.
For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:
This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.