Work injury lawyers in MelbourneWorkCover lawyer Melbourne graphic

Hi,

If you’ve been injured at work in or around Melbourne and you’ve lodged a WorkCover claim (or are thinking of doing so), you may be thinking of engaging a work injury lawyer to help you with that claim.

We (Michael and Peter) are both lawyers who represent injured Melbourne workers with their WorkCover matters.

But, we understand we might not be a perfect fit for everyone.

Which is why we’ve created this page – to help you find and choose a lawyer that’s the right fit for you.

This page will help you in the following ways:

  • Provide you with the names and contact information of lawyers
  • Tips to choosing a lawyer
  • What a good lawyer should do for you
  • Help you decide whether you actually need a lawyer – in some cases, you don’t!

7 tips to finding a good WorkCover lawyer

If you’ve decided you want to hire a lawyer for your WorkCover matter, choosing one to represent you is a critical but daunting task. There’s no shortage of them around. The decision shouldn’t be made on the basis of advertising alone.

Just because a lawyer has regular ads on the TV doesn’t mean they’re the right lawyer for you. Any lawyer can buy a nice looking TV ad.

So how do you find the ‘best’ lawyer for you and your case?

Here’s some tips that will help point you in the right direction.

Yes, it might involve a bit of time and effort on your part, but the decision you’re making will be crucial to the success of your case.

Don’t hire a generalist lawyer to handle your WorkCover case.

Only consider lawyers that specialise in WorkCover matters. Why is this important?

Because the law relating to WorkCover is too specialised for someone who doesn’t handle these cases regularly.

Don’t hire a family lawyer or a commercial lawyer to handle your WorkCover matter. Get someone that handles WorkCover cases day in, day out.

You wouldn’t want your family GP performing a heart operation on you, would you?

When an offer is made by WorkCover and you’re sitting at home sweating over whether to accept it or not, wondering whether it’s the best you’re likely to do, or whether it’s a fraction of what your case is really worth – you want someone who knows what they’re doing.

Not someone that dabbles.

Also, if you do hire someone who dabbles in WorkCover cases, it will might take them longer to do things in your case compared to a lawyer that is more experienced.

More time spent doing things may result in more costs that need to be paid by you.

Something to consider.

Get a referral from a lawyer that you know.

He or she may know someone who does handle WorkCover cases.

Ask a family member or friend who has hired a lawyer before.

Even if the lawyer doesn’t practice in WorkCover matters, they might be able to refer you to someone that does.

Don’t get fooled into thinking that bigger is better.

Don’t think that a lawyer from a big firm is better than a lawyer from a small firm.

Many times, a big firm will offer you no better service or results than a small firm.

Don’t be shy about speaking to several lawyers, if only on the phone.

Doesn’t it cost you?

No, it shouldn’t.

Remember that most personal injury lawyers offer a first interview free, so it will cost you nothing to speak to them for the first time. Interview the lawyer or lawyers you speak to.

Cold calls from law firms is not a good sign.

If a lawyer ever contacts you out of the blue after you’ve had an injury to get you to hire them, I’d suggest you run.

If your doctor refers you to a lawyer, that doesn’t mean you should hire that lawyer.

It might be that the lawyer is the doctors friend, or they’ve just seen a number of letters from the lawyer.

Lawyers regularly write to doctors asking for reports and medical records of their clients.

Here’s a list of lawyers in the Melbourne area (listed in no particular order):

These are firms that specialise in WorkCover and work injury matters.

A list of WorkCover lawyers in Melbourne

As mentioned, this list is in no particular order. And if a law firm is listed above, that does not mean that we endorse them – they are simply listed to assist you with your search.

Also please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive – there are other lawyers who specialise in work injury matters that are not on this list.

What will a lawyer actually do for you?

Here’s a list of the different tasks that your lawyer might need to do for you.

Every case is different, so some of these tasks might not be required in your case:

  • Initial interview/appointment with you to obtain the facts of the case.
  • Educate you about the law relating to WorkCover cases.
  • Obtain medical reports and clinical notes from your treating doctors and health providers.
  • Obtain accident reports.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Obtain tax and pay material.
  • Collect other evidence.
  • Analyse medical material to determine any gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Arrange for you to be assessed by medico legal specialist doctors (these are specialist doctors who don’t treat you – they just provide a report to be used in your case). Page 29
  • Analyse the legal issues, including contributory negligence.
  • Ensure the WorkCover insurer is paying your regular income payments correctly.
  • Ensure the WorkCover insurer is paying the reasonable costs of your medical treatment.
  • Enter into negotiations with WorkCover’s lawyers to settle your case.
  • If the case can’t be settled, issue court proceedings and prepare the matter for hearing.
  • Take the case to trial with a judge alone, or a judge and jury.
  • Analyse the judgement to determine whether there are grounds to appeal the case.

Bottom line: the job of a lawyer in a WorkCover case is to make sure you get the medical treatment you need, and to ethically get the most amount of money in your pocket possible. I realise that might sound grubby, but it’s the truth. Lawyer’s aren’t doctors. They can’t fix your injury. The only thing they can do is get you money to help compensate you.

Do you really need a lawyer in a work injury matter?

In short, no.

The truth is that you don’t need a lawyer for every WorkCover case.

So how do you know whether you don’t need one?

If you are going to pursue lump sum compensation then I’d recommend you hire a lawyer.

Why?

Because achieving the best result depends on having someone who knows what they’re doing.

Yes, you can do your own plumbing work in your home, but if you don’t know what you’re doing and you get things wrong – things can go wrong very badly.

But, in order to pursue lump sum compensation, you need to have an injury that persists.

If you have a minor injury that heals quickly and you get back to how you were before the injury, you’re not likely to be entitled to lump sum compensation.

That’s what the law in Victoria says.

You will still be entitled to the payment of medical expenses and income payments if you can’t work though. In cases like these where you don’t have an entitlement to lump sum compensation, there’s plenty of freely available information on our site and elsewhere to help you out.

Usually, the WorkCover insurer will tell you what information you need to give them. So if your WorkCover case is made up solely of you getting paid your medical expenses and some loss of income, then yes you can handle that yourself.

However if the sea gets rough, for example the WorkCover insurer make a decision that you disagree with – like terminating your entitlement to physiotherapy treatment – it might be a good idea to then hire a lawyer to help you contest that decision.

The truth is that if your case doesn’t have any lump sum potential, to many lawyers your case will be considered as secondary to those cases that do have lump sum potential. Why? Because lump sum cases are where lawyers make most of their money.