Workplace Injuries

WorkCover is a “no fault” statutory workers compensation scheme. If you have sustained an injury at work, you may be entitled to:
• Weekly payments;
• Medical and like expenses;
• A lump sum payment for permanent impairment.
Weekly Payments of Compensation
• Payments paid during your incapacity and are calculated based on your pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE). Your PIAWE is calculated on your base wage and depending on when your claim is made, can include overtime and allowances for a limited period up to a maximum of $2,220.00*
*As of 1 July 2017 indexed annually.
• Rates of payment depend on your capacity for work and will reduce over time initially being 95% of your PIAWE for 13 weeks however you may also be entitled to make up pay from your employer.
Medical Expenses
• Reasonable expenses incurred to assist in your recovery including treatment or rehabilitation from doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, hospital, ambulance service, etc.
Lump Sum Permanent Impairment Claim
• Depending on our level of impairment, a “no fault” lump sum payment may be payable, the amount of which is calculated depending on your date of injury and impairment percentage.
Common law
A worker who suffers an injury in the course of their employment may have a right to bring a Common Law claim for damages. This involves suing your employer or another party for economic loss and pain and suffering.
Any Common Law claim must be commenced within six years of the date of the event given rise to the injury. To bring a common law claim for damages a worker must establish:
• There was negligence on behalf of the employer (or some 3rd party); and
• The worker has suffered a “serious injury”.
A damages claim seeks compensation for:
• Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life; and
• Economic loss past, present and future.
Negligence will usually fall within one (or more) of three categories:
• An unsafe system of work;
• Unsafe or defective equipment/workplace;
• Careless or unsafe actions or practices of fellow workers.
“Serious injury” is defined as follows:
• An impairment of 30% or more pursuant to the American Medical Association Guide to Permanent Impairment (“deemed serious injury”); or
• Pursuant to the narrative test (“the narrative test”).
These procedures are very complicated and you should urgently speak with us to discuss your rights as strict time limits apply.
Sharon was born and bred in Warrnambool. She completed her Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at Deakin University in Warrnambool in March 2016 and was admitted in November 2016. She began working in the legal industry 20 years ago as a junior and then as a personal injury assistant. Sharon then joined Tony and Pat to form Brown McComish Solicitors in April 2005 as the office manager and now as a solicitor. Sharon mainly works on conveyancing and property matters and has extensive knowledge in sale and purchase of land, transfer of commercial leases, 173 agreements, subdivisions and general property law matters. Sharon has an advanced working knowledge of personal injury litigation and legislation having worked as a personal injury assistant for 15 years before becoming a solicitor. She also practices in family law and drafts wills and powers of attorney. She is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. Sharon’s crowning achievements are her two daughters who brighten the office when they visit. Her office hours are 9:00am to 3:30pm Tuesday to Friday.
Matt grew up and completed school in Casterton in Victoria’s south west. He completed a Bachelor of Laws at Deakin University in Warrnambool in 2017 and was admitted to the Supreme Court in March 2018. While studying Matt worked in hospitality before obtaining a position at Brown McComish Solicitors in March 2017. After he was admitted Matt then joined the team as a solicitor working closely with Pat McComish on Magistrates’ Court criminal and personal injury matters as well as VOCAT and intervention orders. He is also a member of the Law Institute of Victoria. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.
Pat hails from Belfast Northern Ireland where he studied at Christian Brothers Secondary School before moving to Australia in the 1980s. Pat’s interest in personal injury law was influenced by his own personal experiences. Before becoming a solicitor Pat had a variety of manual occupations including but not limited to taxi driver, a painter and decorator at Lord’s Cricket Ground and a security guard. After suffering a workplace injury as a porter in 1988 Pat gained an intimate appreciation of the battles of injured workers during his own struggle for compensation. He returned to complete his secondary education at Box Hill studying part-time as a means to self-improvement but it was his crippling back injury that provided the motivation for a career in law. After realising that his injury would prevent him from a life of manual work he enrolled at Melbourne University where he went to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and History) and then switching to also complete a Bachelor of Laws. He was admitted to the Supreme Court in 2000. Pat joined Tony as a founding partner of Brown McComish Solicitors in 2005. He maintains a strong empathy for his personal injury clients and is widely known for successfully representing Irish victims of sexual and institutional abuse throughout Australia under the Irish Redress Board Scheme. He is one of the most experienced lawyers in Australia with assisting Irish victims of abuse and he intends to use his experience with the upcoming Australian National Redress Scheme. He is also a proficient advocate in indictable and summary crime having represented clients from pleas in the Magistrates’ Court to trials in the Supreme Court and everything in between. He is a current member of the Victoria Legal Aid summary and indictable crime panels. Pat is always willing to pass on his knowledge and personal experiences to new practitioners and students. This compelled him to become a seasonal lecturer and tutor at Deakin University in Warrnambool focussing on criminal procedure. In his spare time Pat enjoys fishing, watching as much soccer as humanely possible, particularly Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. His office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday.

Pat McComish