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NSW Workers Compensation Claims

Workers who are injured in New South Wales with a New South Wales employer, or with a connection to New South Wales, are able to make a claim for statutory benefits under the New South Wales Workers’ Compensation Scheme.

Payments are made according to the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Workplace Injury Management Act 1998. Three separate schemes exist for workers’ compensation throughout New South Wales.

These are for:

  1. Police, Fire and Ambulance personnel, volunteer bush fire fighters and emergency service volunteers.
  2. Coa lminers.
  3. All other workers.

Most workers within New South Wales fall under category 3 above. The law has been substantially altered since June 2012. Benefits available under the Act are now roughly grouped under 5 categories:

  1. Weekly payments of workers’ compensation.
  2. Payment of medical expenses.
  3. Payment of permanent impairment lump sums.
  4. Death benefits.
  5. Work injury damages claims (common law claims).

Weekly payments of worker’s compensation are paid based on a formula that exists under the Act and paid under “Entitlement Periods”.

The duration of the weekly benefits is linked to the permanent impairment amount. Most permanent impairment amounts cannot be ascertained for many months or even years after the work injury.

The Workers Compensation Commission has jurisdiction to order weekly payments of worker’s compensation up to 2½ years from the date of the accident. In order to receive weekly benefits you must obtain a “Certificate of Capacity” from your general practitioner and have that Certificate forwarded to your employer and to the insurer.

If you do not obtain a Certificate of Capacity the insurer will not pay you weekly payments of worker’s compensation.

The insurer is obliged to pay your medical expenses that are reasonably necessary and pre-approved by the insurer.

If there is a dispute about the payment of medical expenses you have rights to prosecute the matter before the NSW Workers Compensation Commission. Additionally, all pharmaceutical and physiotherapy expenses are paid provided that those expenses are reasonably necessary.

Travel expenses are also paid at the rate of $0.55/km both to and from the treating doctor, physiotherapist or other treatment provider.

A lump sum payment is made under Section 66 of the Act once your medical condition has stabilised. The amount of the whole person impairment is calculated with reference to the American Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment 5th Edition together with the NSW WorkCover Guides for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

Assessments of this nature are conducted by a specialist doctor and a claim served on the insurance company once you have reached maximum medical improvement, that is after your condition has stabilised. The insurer will then arrange for you to be assessed by one of their doctors and make an offer of settlement. If the offer is insufficient the claim can then be forwarded to the NSW Workers Compensation Commission for determination.

Please note a 10% whole person impairment threshold exists in respect of payment of a lump sum claim under Section 66 of the Act. You are also only entitled to one lump sum claim for permanent impairment. The 10% threshold, and the one claim rule, does not apply to police, fire and ambulance personnel and does not apply to coalminers . The lump sum payable under Section 66 of the Act is determined by the date of your injury and by certain tables issued under legislation. The benefits for lump sum amounts have increased substantially for injuries received on and from the 5th August 2015.

Normally most people need a solicitor to prosecute this type of claim. If you are able to demonstrate a level of whole person impairment of 15% or above, and you can show employer negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim for “work injury damages” which is a claim for the economic losses that you have sustained as a result of your injury.

This claim for economic loss is not limited by the time limits for the payment of weekly benefits, but rather can be calculated through to retirement age. The claim for wages includes net wages loss together with any losses of superannuation.

In the unfortunate circumstance that a worker receives fatal injuries during the course of employment benefits exist for the surviving spouse and the surviving children. In addition funeral expenses are also met by the worker’s compensation insurer. The lump sum payable for a worker who dies after the 5th August 2015 is $750,000.00.

This amount will be indexed on the 1st April and 1st October each year. In the event that there is a time delay between the date of the injury and the date of the worker’s death it is sometimes feasible to pursue a lump sum claim under Section 66 of the Act for the deceased worker and also receive the lump sum for the death benefit under Section 25 of the Act.

The lump sum death benefit is apportioned between the dependents depending on the basis of their dependency.

Insurers commonly examine death benefit claims very closely, particularly if the injury that causes the worker’s death does not have a clear cut origin, or has an ambiguous connection to employment, e.g. a heart attack. Specialist legal advice is required at that time in order to properly marshal and present the evidence before the Commission to make sure the proper death benefit is payable.

Attwood Marshall have experience in presenting and successfully prosecuting these claims.

If a worker has a level of whole person impairment of 15% or above, and the employer is negligent in the circumstances of the injury, the worker may elect to prosecute a common law damages claim.

For a common law damages claim to succeed you must demonstrate that you have a level of whole person impairment of 15% or above and you must have received that lump sum payment under Section 66 of the Act. There is then a lengthy pre-court procedure involved of serving Particulars, serving a Pre-filing Statement and thereafter attending a mediation before commencing court proceedings. The system is designed for matters to settle before they are commenced by way of a District Court Statement of Claim.

Commonly an insurer will make an insufficient offer at stages prior to the issuing of court proceedings and so in most circumstances it is necessary to enter the matter in the Court List in order to obtain a reasonable offer of settlement from the insurance company.

The only damages payable under New South Wales law for a work injury damages claim are economic loss damages, i.e. past and future wage loss and past and future superannuation loss. There are no damages payable for non-economic loss (pain and suffering), medical expenses, or domestic care. Payment of those benefits are restricted to the statutory compensation scheme.

Most work injury damages claims are prosecuted with the assistance of an expert’s report on liability. This means engaging the services of an expert, e.g. engineer or ergonomic or safety expert to provide a report on the unsafe symptoms of work that contributed to your injury.

The work injury damages system is a front-end loaded system, i.e. all of your evidence should be in and served before or with the Pre-filing Statement.

Once a work injury damages claim for damages is settled all rights to compensation under the Act cease. It is therefore important that all surgery is completed and you have fully recovered from that surgery before attempting to negotiate a resolution of a work injury damages claim. Damages are not taxable. Legal costs are partially covered by scale costs available under the Workers Compensation Regulation. The scale amount of costs does not normally cover all of the solicitor/client costs in prosecuting these types of claims.

Most workers’ compensation claims prosecuted under New South Wales law have their legal costs covered by the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) under the Independent Legal Assistance and Review Service (ILARS) Scheme. ILARS pays an injured worker’s legal and associated costs of making a claim for compensation and provides funding for representation before the NSW Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Attwood Marshall Lawyers are fully accredited with ILARS to provide representation in NSW workers compensation matters. A solicitor must hold ILARS accreditation in order to receive funding under the scheme. If your solicitor is not accredited with ILARS they cannot claim your legal costs through the ILARS system.

ILARS provide funding to represent cases for:

  1. Weekly payments;
  2. Medical treatment expenses;
  3. Claims for lump sum payments for permanent impairment;
  4. Return to work issues; and
  5. Appeals from decisions of the Workers Compensation Commission.

For police officers, paramedics and fire fighters together with bush fire fighters and emergency service volunteers and coal miners, costs are paid by the workers’ compensation insurer upon successful completion of the matter.

These claims are essentially conducted by solicitors on a “no win no fee” retainer. Attwood Marshall Lawyers also represent clients on this basis. The benefits payable under the Act for police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, bush fire fighters and emergency service volunteers are more generous than those available to ordinary workers under New South Wales law.

Coal miners are covered by their own separate scheme for cases litigated before the District Court. In those cases provided the claim is successful legal costs are also paid by coal miners’ insurance.

If you have suffered an injury at work, or on your way to work, our experienced team can help you on your road to recovery.

Contact Compensation Law Department Manager, Kelli Costin, direct line 07 5506 8220 or for more information or to book an appointment for a free initial consultation.

All our personal injury lawyers across the Gold Coast, Kingscliff and Brisbane work on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis to give you the confidence and assurance that we are on your side.

“What our clients say about us!”

My husband passed away immediately before Christmas 2019- everything was closed- I needed advice urgently. Contacted Attwood Marshall, was able to speak to a solicitor (out of hours) and received the information I needed. Thank you - excellent service!
Merryl K
We were very happy with the current service. Rachel was polite and friendly and made us feel secure in knowing she was there when we required help. We also appreciated Jess Kimpton's advice prior to handing us over to Rachel.
P & G Cowden
Finally we would again like to place on record our sincere appreciation for all of your conveyancing services. From our initial meeting, and then via the steady flow of emails and phone calls, we were kept fully informed every step of the way. To us as the client, that was very reassuring. We believe that you managed the whole process with professionalism and in a timely manner. You are a credit to the Organisation.
D & J Arbon
I have had dealings with Attwood Marshall for approaching a couple of decades now and have always found the service from your firm to be first class
J Barrett
All aspects of April's service to me was exemplary, professional & timely.
Your services were above and beyond excellent, super efficient and followups were outstanding even after hours, thank you Rachel.
G Hayward
No improvement needed. Rachel was excellent.

She worked in my best interest and when at times I was stressed she explained everything to me that I could understand.

Took me through things step by step...... Rachel is a Remarkable Lady and I would have no hesitation recommending Rachel to anyone...
Nerelle S.
Dear Jeremy, I will be eternally grateful to you for all of your invaluable hard work and legal wisdom. Thank you for your professionalism, integrity, continued support and expertise. I really appreciate all of your efforts and would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for all the care and concern you have shown me, your analytical skills and for working tirelessly to ensure that the law worked in my favour. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate the amazing legal work you did on my behalf. Thanks for prioritizing me as a client and doing everything in your power to help me win my case. I feel privileged and graced to have you as my legal counsel. With deep appreciation and sincere regards, Deborah
As far as I'm concerned you have all been brilliant.

I have mostly been dealing with Romy Garrett and I can't fault her superb communication and organisational skills. Thank you Romy...

Also Angela Harry for the times I have phoned when Romy has not been there and Angela has known who I am the moment I give my name.

No areas that I think you can improve for me. It was a blessing finding Attwood Marshall Lawyers when I did!
Kim H.
Jess was absolutely brilliant. Managed to do the entire conveyance without one single phone call (and I'm deaf, and I'm overseas, so that was great).

I bought a house, and she managed the whole thing, without me even being in the country, sending all the documents electronically and settlement - everything! She made it easier to buy a house than to buy a pair of shoes!

ALWAYS got back to me on my questions quicker than lightning! Brilliant!
Colleen K.
To the world's best lawyers and people,

Wishing you all the very best over Christmas and a rewarding happy 2019 - you deserve it.

From a very satisfied person. I'm sure there are many like me, who speak very highly of you.
David H.
Hi Jess,

Thank you so very much for all your hard work and organisation on the selling of our apartment, I truly appreciated your help.

Whilst at times I felt anxious and stressed you did your very best to make sure all went well and we achieved the final result.

You are a great asset to Attwood Marshall, you do an amazing job.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year.

Thank you once again very much.

Kindest Regards
Jenny F.
You excelled beyond all expectations...Deb was so very real in acknowledging that this situation was difficult for me on a very personal level and her kindness, support and advise created in our short time of knowing each other a warm friendship. This to some may have been a simple procedure however, for me is was very difficult and Deb literally took charge of all matters to ensure that I would not have to be overly stressed in any way. She also gave further advise if other matters arose in the future, to assure me that she was there if I needed her.
Lorraine P
We were very happy with all the precise, informative information and help that Larisa gave us. Everyone we contacted in person by phone was pleasant, helpful and polite. As older people we appreciated that.
John and Moya R.
Dear Donna

When I rang to make an appointment about the estate of my late Husband, I was given Larisa Kapur, and what a wonderful team person you have. She understood my awful position which helped me, and has done everything legal to perfection. As I do not have family here on hand, they have been pleased with Larisa's help, telling me everything in a very simple way, but so understanding and very clear.

Another person who was always so bright and happy, as I certainly needed that help, was your front lady, Jeanette. Two lovely people who I will never forget.

Thank you for all your great staff.
Judy S.
Dear Jeff

Many, many thanks for your expertise and guidance during the last eleven months, which I have found, at times, extremely distressing. However, knowing that you were in my corner, made a huge difference. I will be only too happy to make use of your company’s services, should the need ever arise. I wish you all the best in the future.

- Andrea

P.S. I feel very settled and happy already in xxxxxxxxxxx all thanks to you.
Andrea F.
Dear Andrea,

I just want to say a big “Thank You” for all your hard work regarding the sale of my former home and purchase of my new unit, where I feel very “at home” already.

This year has been a difficult one for me, but with the help of you, Jeff and Jess, I have got through it and now look forward to enjoying a more peaceful life.

Thanks again
Andrea F.
"Larisa was excellent - friendly and professional with a solid knowledge of the law. It was great being able to go on Thursday night too without having to take time off work."
Anne D.
To Jeff and April Thank you for everything that you have to make our nightmare much easier to deal with. Sincere thanks
Daryl and Kathy R.
Its a good ending and we REALLY appreciate what you did for us. I know you pulled out all the stops for me and I don’t think we would have got the results without you doing so.
Joel H.
Thank you for all your time and assistance with this matter. I will be sure to recommend Attwood Marshall to any friends and colleagues about how detailed and professional you and your company is. Thanks again Mitch
Mitch A
I have always appreciated the service and concern for transactions from the 1970`s with Eric in Coolangatta office to the ladies at Kingscliff where I did my will recently. Thank you
Patricia M
Hi Jeremy
Thank you so much! Your patience and diligence helped me more than you know and I cannot imagine there being a better person to have put my faith in. Immediately I decided to give the claim fully over to you, I’ve made some excellent progress in letting go and moving forwards. Thank you!

Lenore M.
Dear Jeremy,
Thank you so much for all your hard work and support throughout my case. I truly appreciate all you have done for me and hope that you and your family enjoy the holiday season. Thank you again for everything, enjoy the holidays

Warm wishes,
Fiona C.
I am writing to commend one of your staff members, Amanda Smith. My mother and I recently met with Amanda to finalise enduring power of attorney and guardian documents. I was very pleased by the way Amanda handled our matter, and the way in which Amanda offered advice for our situation. Amanda was very professional, and ensured that we felt comfortable throughout the whole process. I will definitely be recommending the services of Amanda in our local community. Thank you, Amanda.
Brooke M
How would you rate your experience with us? Excellent Was it easy to contact the person acting for you? Yes What areas can we improve to give you better service? Nothing - Angela was brilliant at her job!
Julie B
What areas can we improve to give you better service? No areas to mention, Sarah was extremely helpful, and helped us navigate a property purchase in NSW which we had not done before.
Mary C
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you so much for yesterdays outcome, Rob and I really appreciate the way this was handled. The amount of compensation really surprised us as well as we had no expectations. I now feel confident to move forward and start with the treatments so I can put this all behind me. Please thank Zoe and Kevin Roche for their part too.
Jane L.
Your capacity to act in QLD and NSW and your knowledge of both jurisdictions is a real strength of the organisation in my view.
Kim A
To be honest the service was first class. Rachel provided me with a fantastic level of service, her attention to detail was great. Rachel also ensured my funds were transferred to my other account due to an issue with the original account details.
Craig A
Dear Ms Tolley Because of unexpected health set backs, am tardy writing this to you. However wanted to advise what professional and positive meetings I had with Ms Kapur. Her ability to strip stress from the dialogue of complicated legal terms and convert to understandable form. I so appreciated. Am not conversant with legalese. Additionally if I presented a difficult line of thought she displayed zero sense of disapproval or judgement. Rather, she may have proposed looking at topic from differing angle, and explained the reason for so doing. I regard myself as lucky to have met someone of Ms Kapur’s capabilities and warmth. Knew my best interests were her interests to work on my behalf. Hence I have knowledge and contentment that my documents are as they should be.
Janice C
Dear Jeff, I felt compelled to write and express my appreciation with regard to the way my recent litigation was undertaken by Rhiannon. Not only did she keep me informed of all the developments over the past eighteen months she was totally professional and polite at all times. I found it very refreshing at my mature age to be treated in such a respectful manner. I have nothing but praise for Rhiannon and wanted to congratulate both you and your wife for your efforts in raising such a grounded young lady.
Rhonda S
I found Larisa to be very helpful and was able to explain things easily in terms that I could understand. The process of preparing my Will was a lot easier than I thought it would be thanks to her. I also would like to make mention to the front office team, they also made you feel very welcome on arrival at the Robina Town Centre office.
Very helpful and was able to explain things easily in terms I could understand
Top marks to the Dream Team, Debbie and Angela and always a great welcome and service in reception from Jennifer and Kelli. I had anticipated a simple process for my legal matters, it became a very stressful situation. My matter was handled so well by an amazing team!
J Nicholson
Top marks to the Dream Team!
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you, Kevin and all the team at Attwood Marshall for all your help during the settlement process. It was much appreciated.

Kind regards,
Gregory L.
Dear Jeremy,
Thanks very much for this great outcome and for all your professional support. It has been a pleasure dealing with Attwood, everyone has been incredibly supportive, professional and great to work with, as I have found in the past.

Look after yourself and thanks.

All the Best

Kind Regards
Brian O.
Hi Jeremy,
Thank you very much for the prompt transfer of fund into Aaron's account. It has been a great journey dealing with you and Henry. We learned a lot along the way, and appreciated the guidance and advice presented to us. We wish you and Henry all the very best in your legal career and business.

Kind regards,
Michael and Aaron
Michael W.
Thank you Jeremy. I appreciate all the hard work & effort that yourself, the team have put into my case.
Jason H.
Hi Jeremy,
Thanks again for everything. It's still a bit surreal it's finally over! I'm very grateful to you, Rhiannon and Kevin for all of your patience, hard work and perseverance throughout the case. It was certainly frustrating at times but we got there in the end.

Hope you all had a fantastic holiday and wishing you all a wonderful 2017 (and be careful at the gym lol).
Dear Amanda, Meeting you at the Red Cross day was a joy. I want to thank you for the such positive experience you created in preparing my will, which you carried out with such professionalism, kindness, and loveliness. You made it easy and comfortable, and you gave me a full sense of ownership of the process especially at completion. I wish you all the best in your career and wish you blessings for a very happy life. Kind Regards,
Dear Jeff. I write to you as a client of Attwood Marshall since 2012, in which I made my will ,and at the time was handled at the time by Debbie Sage. I have now updated my will and this time It was handled by Amanda Smith. I Would like to commend these two ladies for their Professionalism, excellent customer skill and their ability to quickly handle the matter for me. As a retired Police Officer, I had many dealings with solicitors, lawyers and barristers, some were good and some really bad experiences especially in the courtroom. I have no doubt you set a high standard for the staff you employ at Attwood Marshall, but I feel that both Debbie and Amanda have worked well above that standard and would ask that they both be praised and recognised for their good work. I now intend to recommend these two ladies to our friends who may be in need of the services of your office.
Professionalism, excellent customer skill and their ability to quickly handle the matter for me.
For what we required our lawyer was excellent and informative. Amanda followed through by phone as well. It was a pleasure to see a neat and immaculate employee.
Ian T
Very satisfied with Amanda`s commitment to our overall circumstances. She explained some things we hadn't even thought about. We started using your services in 1998 and continued with wills and updating etc. We have been very happy with your services over the last 16 years - very professional!!
Robert & Gwen B
We have been very happy with your services over the last 16/14 years
Thanks Amanda. We all are very appreciative of what you and Richard have done for us. Things could have been very different without Richard’s expertise. Thanks again. Kind regards.
Dear Rhiannon, Jeremy Roche has just completed my litigation case with Alliance. I feel very fortunate that when I made the initial phone call to Attwood Marshall I was transferred to Jeremy. From that initial call Jeremy displayed excellent communication skills as he gave me a full lengthy explanation of the claim procedure, costs and possible outcomes. Following the initial contact I felt positive and reassured. Throughout the claim Jeremy has remained communicative and easily contactable. When there hasn't been any communication I didn't have to wonder if he was doing anything as he always was remaining very organised, in fact one step ahead of Alliance anticipating their next step. When alliance employed a solicitor Jeremy even supported her. When we encountered some private matters of mine Jeremy was very respectful and kept these private.
Compensation Law Client / I felt positive and reassured!
Jeremy, today I received the settlement payment for my w/c claim I would like to thank both yourself and Kevin for all your hard work but most of all you Jeremy for going that extra mile. You are indeed a wonderful young man and I would like you to know that the extra effort did not go unnoticed. I look forward to working with you on this next hurdle my superannuation claim.
Compensation Law Client / Changed my family`s life forever
Thank you, Jeremy. When you mentioned that your overarching intent as a firm is 'to help people', you've captured the very essence of my impression of yourselves from yesterday's meeting perfectly. I felt certain you're genuine and doing your job for the very right reasons. Sadly, many in your profession don't give this aspect the importance and priority it should have, so I'm very happy and grateful you've given me an opportunity to maximise my potential in helping Jason in this difficult situation. Have a great day! 🙂
Rosa S.
Hi Jeremy,
Once again you have delivered with exceptional professionalism. I honestly cannot thank you enough for what you have done for me and the manner and speed in which it was all handled. It has worked out really well, greatly appreciated! Thanks again Jeremy, will talk soon..

Daniel G.
Hi Jeremy, hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. Thanks for your help .I hope I don't go through that again, but if I do I will call you .Great work thanks once again.

Daniel S.
Hi Jeremy

My husband and I would like to sincerely thank you for all the hard and speedy work you had put into my compensation claim. You are a credit to your profession. We could not be more happy with the wonderful outcome. Would you also pass on our sincere thanks to Kevin. He certainly proved to be a valuable asset on the day of the conference and I was glad he was on my side.

I am now relieved that this is behind me and can really concentrate on getting myself fully recovered. Once again many thanks.

Warmest regards
Jeff & Chrissie P.
Hi Jeremy, Just giving you the bank details for the settlement money to be put into. Thank you so much for everything! You have been really helpful, I really appreciate it.
Hannah S.
Finally home, thanks Jeremy for getting me through this very difficult time, I feel like a weight is lifted and I can now get on with finding my new path in life – whatever it may be. You have been a great support and your legal advice has been spot on. Thanks also to Kevin, you both make a good team and your relationship was an asset to the case, I don’t believe that I could have achieved such a good result with anyone else, although I hope I never need you again (no offence).

Take care, all the best
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