Get a WorkCover claim analysis before lodging a claim (Vic only)
The first step in pursuing WorkCover is to fill out and lodge a WorkCover claim form.
The claim form is a legal document.
So when filling it out, you need to take your time and ensure it is completely accurate and water tight.
If you’re not careful, anything you write on the claim form can be used by the insurer to reject your claim.
This can mean that you will then need to go to conciliation (which can add 4 weeks or more).
And if the matter doesn’t resolve at conciliation (most rejected claims don’t resolve there), you’ll need to appeal the matter further which could add 6 months or more.
All the while if you can’t work, you’re not getting any income from WorkCover or medical expenses paid.
Even if your claim is accepted initially, what you write on the claim form can be used by the other side (WorkCover or their lawyers) at any time during the life of your claim.
This is more common than you’d think.
I’ve been involved in cases where someone has been cross examined for hours by a barrister over something they wrote on the initial claim form.
Here’s a couple of examples:
Say for example on the claim form you write ‘no’ in the section where it asks whether you’ve had any previous injuries.
You might have written ‘no’ simply because you figured that the shoulder injury you had ten years ago wasn’t relevant.
Something as simple as this may be used against you by WorkCover or their lawyers.
You only get one shot at getting the claim form right
For these reasons, it’s important that you take your time when filling out the claim form.
Really consider your answers and make sure everything is completely accurate.
You can use our material here and here to assist you.
However, no matter how much in depth material we provide helping people to lodge their claims, experience tells us that there’s really no replacing tailored-to-you-situation legal advice.
If you need help, you can use our simple online claim review service.
Here’s how it works:
- We’ll have a chat on the phone and discuss your situation.
- We’ll complete a draft claim form for you and send it to you to review.
- If it’s accurate, you can lodge the claim form (or we can lodge it on your behalf).
No cost and confidential
There is no cost for this service.
If you ask us to perform a claim form review, you won’t receive a bill from us out of nowhere that you weren’t expecting (before we bill any client of ours, we enter into an agreement so the client and us know what to expect).
The reason we offer this service for free is because we realise that some people may want us to assist them moving forward with their WorkCover matter.
However, we offer this service without expectation or obligation.
You can get help from us and have nothing further to do with us, ever.
You won’t receive a call every second day from us following you up and pestering you to sign on as a client.
Because we realise that even if someone doesn’t need our help now, if we do a good job for them, at some point in the future they may need our help and they may remember us.
…or they may refer a colleague or a family member or a friend to us for help.
All we ask in return is for you to just remember us if we do a good job for you.
You can use another lawyer
You certainly don’t need to use us to review your claim form before it gets lodged.
But if you’re even a little bit uncertain about how to fill the claim form out, or what to write, then you should at least get some legal advice from a lawyer.
And there are thousands of WorkCover lawyers in Victoria that you can call.
Some of them will be happy to assist you without cost and help you complete the claim form.
Others may push for you to sign a cost agreement at the first appointment.
So choose carefully (you can read this article if you need help choosing a lawyer).
The lawyer you want is the one that is willing to help you first, and themselves second. Find that lawyer.
If you want to use our no cost claim review service, either:
Email: [email protected]
Call: 1800 746 442
Michael & Peter (Founders of the Work Injury Site)
PS: Remember, you don’t need to get advice regarding your claim form if you’re confident you know what you’re doing. There are some people who complete and lodge the claim forms themselves.
However if you do have any doubt about what to write on the form, you should speak to a lawyer. We can help you, but it doesn’t need to be us. There are plenty of good lawyers out there who can help you.