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Workers Compensation Lawyers Sydney

Accidents happen in the workplace and our team at Garling & Co specialise in helping people like you claim the workers compensation they deserve. Our expert workers comp lawyers have over 20 years of experience and are Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury Law.

Even if you’re a sub-contractor or worker who’s deemed to be employed, our team will assist you if there’s a claim to be made on your behalf.

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5-Star Client Rating

You’ll receive outstanding service. We maintain a 5-star client rating.

Free Case Assessments

We provide confidential, free case assessments.

Industry Experts

We’re industry experts with over 20 years of experience.

No Win No Fee

You won’t be required to pay any fees until we win your case.

5-Star Client Rating

You’ll receive outstanding service. We maintain a 5-star client rating.

Free Case Assessments

We provide confidential, free case assessments.

Industry Experts

We’re industry experts with over 20 years of experience.

No Win No Fee

You won’t be required to pay any fees until we win your case.

We specialise in Workers Compensation Claims

Why choose us for your workers compensation claim?

At Garling & Co, we’re here to take you through the process honestly, without leaving you in the dark. Before anything begins, our team will help you determine if you have a workers compensation claim and explain what’s required to make one. We’ll let you know exactly what kind of compensation you’re entitled to and if successful, how long the claim will take.

With Garling & Co, you’ll have expertise on your side. We offer:

  • Outstanding service, with a 5-start client rating
  • Confidential, free case assessments
  • Legal costs and disbursements paid by WIRO
  • A team of industry experts, with over 20 years experience
  • Award winning compensation lawyers

What are the benefits of a successful workers compensation claim?

While the claims process may seem overwhelming, our specialist workers comp lawyers won’t stop fighting to protect you and your family’s future. If you’re eligible for workers compensation in NSW, the benefits may include:

  • Your reasonable and necessary medical expenses
  • Payment of weekly compensation if you cannot work
  • Work Injury Damages if the whole person impairment resulting from the injury is at least 15%
  • Lump-sum benefits if you have suffered a whole person permanent impairment as a result of your injuries

We win our clients the workers compensation payments they deserve

Handling workers compensation claims can be complex and requires the upmost expertise to ensure success.

The team at Garling & Co has built a reputation on winning clients the workers compensation payments they deserve. Take a look at our proven track record in winning our clients huge workers compensation claims.

Claims Case Studies

Would you like assistance with your claim?

Complete our free, no obligation confidential case assessment form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

Alternatively, we are available to talk through phone and email. Please contact our experienced workers compensation lawyers to find out how we can help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1/ What is workers compensation?

All employers are required by law to have workers compensation insurance. This insurance provides compensation to employees who get injured at work. The benefits available to injured employees under workers compensation are determined by the Workers Compensation Act (NSW 1987) and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act (NSW 1998).

The acts also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both the injured worker and the employer to ensure the injured worker receives their benefits and assistance to recover and return safely to work.

2/ What is SIRA, and what is their function?

SIRA is the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (the old Workcover) and is a statutory authority and is therefore under the control of the NSW State Government. Its primary objective is to regulate and oversee the Workers Compensation system in NSW.

SIRA collects all workers compensation premiums, and they are responsible for the payment of workers compensation benefits. It appoints scheme agents (insurance companies such as QBE, Employers Mutual, GIO, etc.) to act as claims handlers on behalf of SIRA. These scheme agents work as claims handling agents on behalf of SIRA. Any benefits which are paid by the scheme are paid by the NSW government, not the scheme agent.

SIRA has a supervisory role over the scheme agents and regularly reviews claims to ensure the scheme agents are correctly applying the law.

3/ What is WIRO?

The NSW Government established the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) in 2012.

WIRO’s primary function is to assist workers with complaints and disputes with insurers quickly, fairly, and justly.

You should contact WIRO on 13 9476 or https://wiro.nsw.gov.au/contact-us for any assistance in dealing with the insurance company handling your claim.

WIRO has also established the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS. This service provides free and independent legal advice to injured workers. Your lawyer obtains approval from ILARS for funding to proceed with your claim, much like legal aid.

4/ What are employee’s obligations to report injuries?

If you get injured at work, you must notify your employer as soon as possible of any injury and record it in the register of injuries.

  • Where weekly payments are being claimed you must supply a WorkCover Medical Certificate of Capacity from a registered medical practitioner and;
  • Permit your medical practitioner to release information to the insurer and participate and cooperate in any injury management plan and return to work plan

All injuries sustained in the course of employment must be reported as soon as possible. Failure to report an injury within 6 months from the accident will prevent you from being able to claim unless there is a reasonable excuse.

Failure to report an injury within 3 years prevents you from claiming unless the injury resulted in the death or serious injury of the worker.

5/ What happens at a Conciliation/Arbitration Conference?

If the matter is unable to be resolved at the telephone conference, the Arbitrator will list the matter for a Conciliation/Arbitration hearing.  The Conciliation/Arbitration is appointed at a time that is suitable to the Arbitrator and both lawyers.  This usually occurs within 1 to 2 months following the telephone conference or can be longer if no dates are available.

You are required to attend the Conciliation/Arbitration hearing.

In attendance will be the independent Arbitrator appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission, your lawyer and barrister (if necessary), the insurer or their lawyer, and any witnesses that may be necessary.

This is a face to face meeting in a conference room.  It is informal and is a chance to discuss the matter between the parties before the Arbitrator makes a decision.  The conference has two phases: –

  1. Conciliation phase:

The first is the conciliation phase, where the Arbitrator summarises the dispute and holds informal discussions with the parties about the dispute.  They discuss whether there is any room to negotiate an agreement that is acceptable to all.  This is an informal process and involves a general discussion about the claim.  Often the matter can be resolved during the conciliation phase.

  1. Arbitration phase:

If the conciliation phase is unsuccessful, then the matter proceeds immediately to the Arbitration phase.  Arbitration is like a mini court.  The proceedings are recorded but remain relatively informal.  The Arbitrator will outline the issues in dispute and, if necessary, take any evidence from witnesses.  Evidence is usually only required in exceptional circumstances and where the Arbitrator requires clarification from the witness statements previously provided.  The Lawyers are then requested to make closing comments about the decision that the Arbitrator should make.  The Arbitrator will then make a decision immediately or can take up to 21 days from the date of the Arbitration conference to make a written decision about the dispute.

Can I appeal the Arbitrator’s decision?

Yes, you can appeal the Arbitrator’s decision if you satisfy the following: –

  1. You must lodge an appeal within 28 days of the date of the Arbitrator’s decision.
  2. An appeal cannot be made unless the amount of compensation at issue is at least $5,000.00 or at least 20% of the amount awarded in the decision; and
  3. There must be some unfairness, error, or failure to provide adequate reasons on behalf of the Arbitrator for an appeal to proceed.

6/ What is non-economic loss?

Non-Economic loss is the payment of a lump sum amount of compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

The payment of a lump sum amount is only made to those who have sustained severe injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

An independent medical assessor must assess you as having greater than 10% whole person impairment to receive any compensation for non-economic loss.

You firstly try to agree with the CTP insurer that you exceed the 10% whole person impairment threshold. If you are unable to agree with the insurer, an application is made to DRS, who appoints an independent medical assessor who will review your medical records and examine you to determine your percentage of whole person impairment.

If you are assessed as having a permanent impairment greater than 10%, then you are entitled to claim non-economic loss if your assessment is 10% or less than you are not entitled to any compensation for non-economic loss.

The percentage WPI does not determine how much compensation you receive only that you reach the threshold to be entitled to claim such compensation.

The maximum payment for 100% of the most extreme case of non-economic loss is currently $565,000. You, however, only receive a proportion of that amount having regard to the seriousness of your injuries compared to the seriousness of a most extreme case. Usually, most awards of non-economic loss are between $150,000 and $250,000.

7/ What can I expect at Medico-Legal Examinations?

You will be asked to attend medical examinations by your law and the insurance company.

The purpose of the medical examination is for a suitably qualified doctor to provide an opinion concerning your injury in respect of the following:

  • What injury or medical condition you have as a result of the injury.
  • The cause of that injury or medical condition.
  • If an accident or the nature of your work has aggravated an underlying condition.
  • The prognosis for your injury is, what is likely to happen in the furture?
  • Your ability to work as a result of the injury.
  • An assessment of the percentage of whole person impairment.

The examination is intended to be independent, honest, and impartial, as possible.

The examination can be arranged by usually one of the three parties to a legal case as follows:

  1. Your solicitor
  2. The insurance company or its solicitor
  3. An independent body such as the Workers Compensation Commission or the Motor Accidents Authority

Before attending a doctor, you should make sure you know who has arranged the examination, and if you are unsure, you should ask your lawyer.

Once the examination is complete, a report will be sent by the doctor who examined you to the person who has arranged the examination. That person will usually pay for the cost of the doctor’s report. The report is confidential. The report recipient does not need to provide a copy of the report to anyone else or even you.

The doctor you will see is usually a specialist in the area most relevant to the injury you have sustained, such as an Orthopedic Specialist for a knee or back injury. The doctor is also usually a consultant, which means they have generally retired from private practice. Typically, the doctor only prepares medico-legal reports and no longer treats any patients.

You are not seeing the doctor like his/her patient; the doctor is not able to give you advice about your medical problems. The doctor also cannot give you any treatment. Any advice about your condition or treatment should be obtained from your medical practitioners and not from a medico-legal doctor.

You should ensure you have the correct appointment date, time, and address. A failure to attend an appointment usually results in a cancellation fee of a few hundred dollars, which you will be required to pay.

If you need an interpreter, you should request one to be available.

You need to take with you all x-rays, scans, and all other tests that you have had relevant to your condition so the doctor can make a complete assessment.

The doctor will introduce himself and, by agreement, may allow you to have a friend or relative with you during the examination. That person should not interrupt or interfere with the examination.

The doctor will ask questions regarding the accident and the circumstances that caused it. He or she will ask you about your treatment and how the injury affects you now. He or she may ask you about your past medical history, employment history, and lifestyle.

The doctor will carry out a physical examination, both in respect of the injured parts of your body but also to other body parts as well.

If the doctor asks you to do something that will cause pain, then please mention this to the doctor. You are supposed to co-operate with the doctor; however, you do not need to be in pain.

If the doctor asks you a question that you do not wish to answer, then you may say so. If the doctor wants to examine you and you do not agree, you may also refuse. Any refusal, however, will be mentioned in the medical report.

The doctor should carry out the examination in a respectful manner and not hurt you.

Usually, a medico-legal examination takes between 30 minutes to 1 hour.   Some even shorter, depending on what the doctor is assessing.

The doctor will ask you questions which they consider relevant and will aim to let you go as soon as possible.

If you cancel an appointment within 24 hours, usually the Doctor will charge a non-attendance fee for which you may be responsible for payment.

8/ What happens when my claim is referred to an Approved Medical Specialist?

Disputes regarding the degree of permanent impairment or whether medical expenses are reasonable and necessary will be referred directly to an Approval Medical Specialist by the Registrar of the Workers Compensation Commission.

An Approved Medical Specialist (AMS) is a doctor who is a medical specialist with suitable experience and training by SIRA.  They are to provide an independent and unbiased assessment of the injuries.  There is a panel of doctors that the Workers Compensation Commission uses for these examinations, and one will be appointed to determine your claim for permanent impairment or medical expenses.

The Approved Medical Specialist is not appointed by the workers compensation insurer or by your lawyer; they are appointed independently.

The Workers Compensation Commission arranges the medical examination and will let your lawyer know the date and time of the assessment and the name of the approved medical specialist.  The examination will take place at the doctor’s practice, and a report will then be provided directly to the Workers Compensation Commission, usually within 21 days.  The report is checked for errors by the Commission, and if satisfied that it is correct, the report is provided to your lawyer.

The report will outline your level of whole person impairment, and the reasons for deciding the percentage WPI following the Medical Assessment Guidelines and or will outline whether medical treatment is reasonable and necessary.

Can I appeal the decision of the approved medical specialist?

Yes, an appeal can be made against the approved medical specialist but must be made within 28 days of receipt of the medical assessment.  You can only appeal on the following basis: –

  • The medical assessment was made based on some incorrect criteria
  • The medical assessment contained a demonstrable error
  • Your condition has deteriorated, and there is an increase in permanent impairment since your last examination.
  • You have additional relevant information that was not available to the approved medical specialist; or
  • A combination of the above.

Once an appeal is lodged with the Workers Compensation Commission, the matter is referred to an appeal panel consisting of 2 approved medical specialists and one Arbitrator.  The medical appeal panel reviews the documents and decides whether the matter can be: –

  • Determined on the papers
  • Whether new evidence should be allowed
  • Whether a further medical examination should take place

The Appeal Panel then makes a new decision which can confirm the prior determination or make any change they think is necessary.

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