Ask a lawyer at Arnold Thomas & Becker If you’ve been injured and need compensation, we believe it’s important that you have access to expert legal advice. That’s why you can talk directly to one of our lawyers when you call us. It is also why we’ve created this page for our lawyers to answer some of your legal questions online. One of our lawyers will respond to one question related to Personal Injury claims, so ask yours now. If your question is urgent, please call us on 1300 333 300 to talk to a lawyer directly. Workers Compensation FAQs WHY DO I NEED EXPERT WORK INJURY LAWYERS TO REPRESENT ME? WorkCover will not give you independent legal advice regarding your WorkCover claim. In our experience, WorkCover often does not pay your maximum entitlement to compensation to weekly payments, medical expenses and lump sums. In order to claim damages for pain and suffering and lost wages, you will need work injury lawyers in Melbourne to represent you. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM INJURED AT WORK? You should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Usually, you must notify your employer within 30 days of your accident. You should also arrange an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. In order to claim compensation for weekly payments or medical expenses, you should complete a Worker’s Injury Claim Form and give it to your employer together with a Certificate of Capacity from your doctor. It would also be best if you contact one of our compensation lawyers on 1300 333 300 to obtain advice to protect your rights. WHAT IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH A DECISION MADE BY MY WORKCOVER INSURER? If the insurer refuses or ceases to pay you compensation, you should refer the dispute to the Accident Compensation and Conciliation Service (ACCS). This is a free service. You normally only have 60 days from the date of the decision to refer your dispute to the ACCS. However, extensions are available. If the matter does not resolve after the conciliation, you should seek legal advice from a compensation lawyer at our office concerning referring the matter to court. WHAT IF I AM INJURED TRAVELLING TO WORK? If you are injured on your way to or from work, your injury will not usually be covered under the WorkCover system. However, you are entitled to compensation from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC). Road Accidents/TAC Claim FAQs WHY DO I NEED A TAC LAWYER? The TAC will not give you independent legal advice regarding your TAC claim. In our experience, the TAC and the TAC lawyer often do not pay your maximum entitlement to compensation to income benefits, medical expenses and lump sums. In order to claim damages for pain and suffering and lost wages, you will need a TAC lawyer in Melbourne to represent you. HOW DO I MAKE A TAC CLAIM? You should report your claim to the TAC as soon as possible by calling them. You normally must lodge your claim within 12 months of the accident. Generally, you will be required to report the accident to the police before your claim can be accepted. In order to claim compensation for weekly payments or medical expenses, you should also obtain a TAC Certificate of Capacity from your doctor. You should contact us to obtain advice as to the best way to protect your rights. WHAT IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH A DECISION MADE BY THE TAC? If the TAC refuses or ceases to pay you compensation, a review must be sought within 12 months. An application can be lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). You should seek legal advice from us concerning referring the matter to VCAT. Arnold Thomas & Becker act assertively when it comes to protecting your rights. WHAT IF I AM INJURED IN A TRANSPORT ACCIDENT IN THE COURSE OF WORK? If you are involved in a transport accident while working, you will be entitled to compensation under the WorkCover system. However, you may also have common law rights to further compensation under the Transport Accident scheme. You should contact us for advice as to how this works. However, if you are injured on your way to or from work, your injury will usually be covered with the TAC. HOW IS LUMP SUM COMPENSATION FOR PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT CALCULATED? The Accident Compensation Act 1985 requires Independent Impairment Assessors to apply the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th Edition when assessing the level of permanent impairment of a transport accident victim. A Whole Person Impairment percentage is calculated and then used to determine the amount of lump-sum compensation payable to the injured claimant. WHAT IF THE TRANSPORT ACCIDENT WAS MY FAULT? Even if you were at fault in a transport accident, you will still have potential entitlements to the ‘no-fault’ benefits which can include weekly compensation for lost earnings, reimbursement of medical expenses and a lump sum amount of compensation for permanent impairment. You should seek legal advice from us concerning these entitlements and so that we might take your further instructions regarding the circumstances of the accident and whether a common law claim to sue another party might be possible. Medical Negligence FAQs WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE? Failing to warn of risks associated with particular treatmentsFailing to diagnoseDelayed diagnosis of a medical conditionMisdiagnosis of a medical conditionDelayed or insufficient treatmentSurgical errors CAN I MAKE A MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CLAIM? Not every injury which occurs while a patient is under the care of a health professional will be negligent and sound in damages. The patient will need to prove, among other things, that the health professional’s conduct fell below a reasonable standard of care appropriate to the particular circumstances. TO WHAT EXTENT DO I HAVE TO BE INJURED BEFORE I CAN MAKE A CLAIM? In Victoria, an injured patient is entitled to make a claim for damages for pain and suffering provided he or she is assessed by a medical practitioner as having (or exceeding) a threshold level of permanent impairment (injury) as set out by law. It is possible to proceed with a claim for loss of earnings, out of pocket expenses and costs of care even if a permanent level of impairment cannot be proven. HOW IS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE PROVED? One essential element to be proved in a medical negligence claim is that the negligence of the health professional was the cause of or contributed to your injuries. I’M SCARED OF GOING TO COURT. CAN I STILL MAKE A CLAIM? It is our experience at Arnold, Thomas & Becker that a large proportion of our client’s claims settle at mediation and never reach trial. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee this outcome however we will do our very best to settle your matter as early as possible.