Workers compensation claim entitlements
The Electrical Trades Union of WA refers work injury compensation claims to Turner Freeman Lawyers, who represents injured workers on a ‘No Win-No Fee‘ basis.
Here is a snap shot of some the work injury claims Turner Freeman has resolved for ETU Members.
Although we can’t give you member’s names or details of their employers, we can give you an idea of the sorts of outcomes that are available under the WA Workers Compensation System.
Hip and lower back injury
ETU’s member’s case which involved a dispute over whether an insurer for a major electrical construction contractor, was liable for a hip and lower back injury the member sustained at work.
When the member came to Turner Freeman the insurer had deferred a making a decision on liability, pending the provision of further medical reports from insurance company doctors.
Turner Freeman pursued an application to the WorkCover Tribunal on the issue of liability. In negotiations which occurred straight after proceedings were commenced, the member’s claim was resolved with the payment of a settlement amount of $95,000 net tax free.
Turner Freeman recovered 85% of the member’s legal costs from the insurer.
By settling his claim, the member ended up with a lump sum settlement payment and did not need to incur the expense and risk of having to proceed in proceedings before WorkCover.
The result Turner Freeman secured in this case was the best possible outcome, particularly since the member went on to a job elsewhere, where he is still employed today.
Injured worker residing overseas or interstate
ETU Member’s case which involved a claim for the reinstatement of his weekly payments of compensation, that stopped after the member failed to comply with WorkCover regulations.
WorkCover regulations require injured workers who live overseas or interstate to submit signed declarations as proof of their ongoing incapacity every three months.
A signed declaration of incapacity must also be provided by the injured worker’s treating doctor. The declarations of incapacity from an injured worker and his/her doctor must be made on a prescribed WorkCover Form 6.
With large numbers of workers being brought in from interstate and overseas, many of whom have no awareness of their legal rights when they get hurt on the job, find themselves without compensation if they fail to submit Form 6 declarations of incapacity.
Section 69 of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 allows insurance companies to halt payments of compensation to injured workers who live overseas or interstate, who do not submit Form 6 Declarations every three months.
The member’s claim was complicated by the fact he had returned to his place of residence overseas and pursuing his case would have meant incurring the expense of returning to Australia to appear in Court.
Despite this obstacle, Turner Freeman pursued an application to the WorkCover Tribunal for the reinstatement of the member’s weekly payments of compensation.
The claim was resolved an informal basis with the payment of a settlement amount to the member of $105,000 net tax free.
Turner Freeman recovered all of the member’s legal costs from the insurer so the member did not have to contribute to his legal fees.
By settling his claim, Turner Freeman ensured the member ended up with a lump sum settlement payment without him having to incur the expense of returning to Australia to argue his case in Court.
Disputed shoulder injury claim
ETU Member’s case, which involved a dispute with a Power Supply Company on whether a shoulder injury was related.
The insurer for the employer disputed the member had suffered an injury at work and vigorously defended the claim.
The member’s case was difficult. In addition to denying liability for the claim there was a very real prospect the employer was going to dismiss the member because hospital records suggested the injury was not work related.
In spite of the challenge, Turner Freeman was able to secure a settlement amount close to $52,000 net tax free.
Turner Freeman also recovered all of the member’s legal costs from the insurer so the member did not have to fork out anything for legal fees.
After settling the claim, the member was able to move on and undertake retraining for work in an entirely different role.