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  • Writer's pictureEvan Sarinas

Essential Guide: Preparing for Your Workers' Compensation Consultation

Seeking early legal advice is crucial to obtain peace of mind and a favourable outcome following a workplace accident that has caused you to suffer injuries through no fault of your own.

 

An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you to understand your legal options and entitlements, answer your questions and provide you information on the legal process that lies ahead.

Personal Injury law is inherently complex, sensitive and personal by nature, and involves a high degree of trust. It’s important that you feel heard and comfortable with your legal advisor.


In this article, we have have collated a list of the key issues, question and essential documents that will be relevant for your initial personal injuries consultation, to help you mentally prepare for the appointment and achieve maximum get maximum benefit and value from the appointment.


Table of Contents



 

What to Consider Before the Appointment


Prior to your appointment, think about the qualities you are looking for in your Workers' Compensation Lawyer. Read through our informative blog on How to Choose the Right Compensation Lawyer in Townsville.


Once you have chosen the Workers' Compensation Lawyer you wish to consult with, make an appointment for an initial consultation to discuss your case confidentially.


The Lawyer will be considering 3 aspects to your case:


  • Liability - that is, legal responsibility or fault for the incident that caused your injuries);


  • Causation - whether there is a direct causal link between the incident and the employer's negligence and the injuries, loss and damage suffered as a result); and


  • Quantum - the likely amount of compensation that you might be entitled to, if you were successful in proving your case.


Importantly, to be entitled to compensation in Queensland for a work-related incident, you must successfully establish liability (negligence) by the Employer. If you cannot successfully prove liability, then there is no entitlement to compensation.

What to Bring to Your Appointment


If possible, bring the following documents and evidence with you to the appointment:


  1. Your photo ID to verify your identity and your Medicare and Private Health cards;

  2. Copies of your WorkCover documents, including your claim number, correspondence, application form, any medical/rehab documents and your Reasons for Decision / Notice of Assessment if you have received it;

  3. Photographs of the incident site (if applicable);

  4.  Your date of injury, or the date that you first had onset of symptoms or saw a medical provider (in the case of injuries sustained over a period of time);

  5. Copies of any statements you have provided about the incident;

  6. Copies of any relevant employer documents, such as work method statements, risk assessments, training and induction guides and the like;

  7. Copies of any radiology scans and medical reports about your injuries;

  8. An appropriate support person, such as your spouse or a trusted friend, if that will make you feel more comfortable during the appointment; and

  9. A soft pillow or other aids to help manage any painful symptoms during the appointment and keep you comfortable.


Questions to Expect During Your Appointment


During the initial consultation, it is critical that your Workers' Compensation Lawyer fully understands how the incident happened and why.


This way, the Lawyer can advise you accurately about your likely prospects of success on liability - that is, successfully proving that the Employer/Defendant was negligent and caused your injuries and loss.


Your Lawyer will ask you questions such as:


  1. A full, accurate and detailed step-by-step description of the circumstances leading up to the incident and what happened that caused your injury, including dates, times, exact work tasks and locations;

  2. Your views and insights how the employer may have breached its duty of care to you, causing the incident, based on your intimate knowledge of the workplace and system of work;

  3. A list of all injuries that you sustained in the incident, even ones that might have already resolved;

  4. A list of all symptoms, functional limitations and disabilities caused by the incident and how the injuries have impacted your life;

  5. The names of all treatment and rehabilitation providers you have seen;

  6. Details of all medications you are taking for the injuries;

  7. Particulars of any prior work injuries, prior compensation claims and pre-existing medical conditions/injuries that are relevant;

  8. Your employment history and details of your current earnings;

  9. Details of your time off work since the incident;

  10. Provide details of your out of pocket expenses from the incident;

  11. Details of any Centrelink, NDIS, NDII, Income Protection or other benefits you are receiving.


These interviews can generally take 1 to 3 hours, depending on the complexity of your case. Ensure that you have plenty of time, to make the most out of your appointment. Don't be afraid to take stretch breaks, or other short breaks, to stay comfortable and alert during the appointment.


Paperwork During Your Appointment


After taking your instructions about liability and quantum, your Lawyer will explain the general claim process for workers' compensation claims in Queensland, and offer guidance and advice about relevant issues for your unique case (for example, WorkCover Notice of Assessment Advice, Medical Causation Advice and Appeals to the Workers' Compensation Regulator).


Your Lawyer will also discuss the terms of their retainer, if they are able to represent you with your claim and will provide you with a copy of their Client Services Agreement and Privacy Authorities for you to complete and sign.


Don't be afraid to take the paperwork home for further consideration before you sign.


A trustworthy and ethical Lawyer will always ensure you are fully-informed before signing a Client Service Agreement, will honestly and happily answer your questions and will not pressure you to sign if you aren't ready.


What to Consider After the Appointment


After the appointment, consider whether you felt confident and comfortable with the Lawyer you saw.


Before committing to a Lawyer, it's essential to discuss fees and payment arrangements upfront. Enquire about the lawyer's fee structure, billing practices, and any additional costs or expenses associated with your case.  


Clarify whether the lawyer works on a conditional (ie no win, no fee) fee basis, hourly rate, or flat fee, and ensure you understand the terms of the retainer agreement.  


By establishing clear expectations regarding fees and payments, you can avoid any misunderstandings or disputes down the line.  


Before finalising your decision, carefully review the retainer agreement provided by the lawyer. Pay attention to the scope of representation, legal fees, payment terms, and any other relevant terms and conditions.  


If you have any concerns or questions about the agreement, don't hesitate to seek clarification from the lawyer. Make sure you're comfortable with the terms outlined in the retainer agreement before signing on the dotted line.  


Making Your Decision


After thorough research, meetings, and discussions, it's time to make your decision. Choose the compensation lawyer who best meets your needs, inspires confidence, and aligns with your goals and values.  


Trust in your judgement and intuition, and rest assured that you've taken the necessary steps to select the right legal representation for your case. 


Conclusion


Choosing the right compensation lawyer in Townsville is an important decision that can impact the outcome of your case.  


With the right lawyer by your side, you can pursue your compensation claim with confidence and peace of mind, entrusting your lawyer to fight on your behalf whilst you focus on your recovery.  


If you're ready to move forward, contact us today for your initial case consultation.

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