WorkCover lawyers in Victoria
If you’ve suffered an injury at work and if you’ve lodged a WorkCover claim (or perhaps you’re thinking of doing so), you may have considered hiring a lawyer to help you.
We (Michael and Peter) are both lawyers, but we realise we might not be the best fit for everyone, so we created this page to help you find a lawyer that’s right for you.
On this page you’ll find the following:
- Tips for choosing a WorkCover lawyer.
- Tips to help you figure out whether you actually need a lawyer in the first place for your WorkCover matter.
Tips to finding the right injury lawyer for you in Victoria
Choosing a lawyer after a work injury can be a difficult task.
Here’s some more tips to help point you in the right direction.
Only hire a specialist work injury lawyer
Don’t hire a generalist lawyer.
Because the law relating to work injuries in Victoria can be complex and you want someone that specialises in this area of law.
If you needed a heart operation you’d want to see a heart surgeon rather than a general practitioner.
And it’s the same with work injury matters.
Find a specialist rather than someone that handles work injury and WorkCover matters just from time to time.
Bigger doesn’t mean better
Most times, a big law firm will offer you no better service or results than a smaller or small firm.
You’ll find that many of the people that are running smaller firms have spent time working for one of the larger firms.
Don’t choose a lawyer based on advertising alone.
Just because a lawyer or law firm has regular ads on TV doesn’t mean they’re the right lawyer for you.
Any lawyer can buy a nice looking TV ad.
Get a referral from a lawyer that you might know
If you’ve dealt with a lawyer before that doesn’t handle work injury matters, you could ask them whether they could refer you to someone.
Ask family or friends
Perhaps you know someone that has hired a work injury lawyer before.
Would they hire the lawyer they worked with again? That might be a good start.
Contact several lawyers and discuss your matter with them
It’s not a bad idea to contact a few different lawyers and have a chat with them.
See which one’s you like. Ask them for their opinions on your matter.
It shouldn’t cost you anything (other than time) to do this as most lawyers will offer a free first appointment.
What does a WorkCover lawyer actually do for you?
This list will give you a general idea about what a work injury lawyer can do for you.
- Initial appointment with you to obtain the facts about your matter
- Provide education to you about the law relating to Victorian work injuries.
- Obtain medical material in support – this includes medical material both from your treating medication practitioners and medico-legal doctors.
- Obtain financial material – this includes tax and pay material.
- Obtain other material in support.
- Analyse the relevant legal issues.
- Enter into negotiations with WorkCover’s lawyers.
- Issue court proceedings and prepare the matter for hearing and
- Run the matter in court.
The job of a lawyer is to get you the most compensation they can, and ensure you get all of the medical treatment you need.
Unfortunately a lawyer can’t fix your injury. They are not doctors (for the most part).
The only thing they are able to do is obtain compensation for you.
When might you not need a lawyer for a work injury?
Keep in mind though that you won’t always need a lawyer in every circumstance.
If you intend to pursue lump sum compensation then I’d recommend you have a lawyer.
This is because navigating the system requires someone that knows what they’re doing – someone that has been there before.
And achieving a decent result depends upon having someone that knows what they’re doing.
You’re able to fix your own car, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you might not get very far.
And it’s the same with pursuing lump sum compensation.
If you don’t want to pursue lump sum compensation, you could still hire a lawyer to assist you – there’s nothing wrong with that and many lawyers will be happy to help you.
But if all you intend to pursue is the payment of medical and like expenses and/or weekly payments, provided that things go smoothly that’s something that a person can handle themselves.
However if things don’t go smoothly and, for example, the WorkCover insurer makes a decision to say terminate your entitlement to weekly payments, or not pay for a particular type of medical treatment that you need – it’s a good idea to at least speak to a lawyer and get some guidance even if you don’t intend to hire them.
If you want to read more about this topic, you can do so here.
Is a WorkCover lawyer the same as a WorkCover solicitor?
In Victoria, yes, they are exactly the same thing. Some people may call themselves lawyers, while others may call themselves solicitors.
There are WorkCover barristers in Victoria which are different.
WorkCover lawyers and solicitors will sometimes engage barristers in WorkCover matters for specific tasks, for example: mediation, conferences, drafting specific documents, court work.