Our WCB Lawyers in Smithers, BC Can Help You Navigate the WorkSafeBC Process

Sarj Gosal and the lawyers at Gosal & Company have successfully represented clients with their WorkSafeBC/WCB workplace injury claims in Smithers, BC and throughout BC and Canada since 1998.  The WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC provide consultation appointments over the telephone to discuss how they can assist you with your WorkSafeBC claim.  Gosal & Company provides full legal services and assistance for WorkSafeBC/WCB cases in Smithers, BC.  Our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC assist injured workers with managing their WorkSafeBC claims, reopening WorkSafeBC (“WSBC”) claims, and with Review Division (“RD”) and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (“WCAT”) appeals.

Our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC assist injured workers with navigating their workplace injury and WorkSafeBC/WCB claim.  The WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC also assist injured workers with understanding the WCB process and decision letters that are issued.

WCB (operating under the name WorkSafeBC since 2005) is a body that operates like an insurance company.  After over 30 years of handling WCB/WorkSafeBC workplace injury cases in Smithers, BC, Sarj Gosal and the lawyers at Gosal & Company have found that WSBC’s goal is to minimize the number, nature, and extent of claims that are accepted, along with the duration and amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Many workers in Smithers, BC hire our WorkSafeBC/WCB lawyers when they are no longer able to deal with the complexities of the WCB claims and appeals system and/or demands made by employees (such as Case Managers) at WorkSafeBC.  Unfortunately, some injured workers contact our WCB/WorkSafeBC lawyers in Smithers, BC when it is too late and after all available avenues of compensation entitlement have been exhausted and when important appeal deadlines have passed.  It is prudent that you promptly seek legal advice from Gosal & Company and our experienced WCB lawyers for your workplace injury so that we can advise you on what to expect and watch out for as your WorkSafeBC claim progresses.

Understanding the WCB Claims and Appeals Process

The WorkSafeBC/WCB claims and appeals process can be overwhelming.  In Smithers, BC, the first step to pursuing benefits for a workplace injury is to file a WCB/WorkSafeBC claim as soon you can.

The following is a brief overview of the process with WorkSafeBC/WCB appeals with our WBC lawyers in Smithers, BC.

The decision-making level: Insights into the Board’s Process

WCB/WorkSafeBC (also referred to as “the Board”) makes initial decisions for a worker’s workplace injury and aims to deny compensation entitlement.  You should expect to communicate with various decision-makers from the Board at WSBC.  An Entitlement Office or Case Manager will (sometimes passively) gather information that WCB/the Board requires in order to adjudicate your claim or application.  These individuals at WCB/WorkSafeBC will decide what, if any, medical conditions will be accepted under your workplace injury claim and what type of compensation, if any, you could be entitled to as a result.  Your claim may be referred to various departments at WCB/the Board. Calculating the actual amount of your award requires specialized knowledge that the WorkSafeBC lawyers in Smithers, BC, possess.

The Wage Rate Unit calculates the short-term and long-term wage rate on your claim.  This figure is important as your future compensation entitlement will be calculated based on the wage rate.  Long Term Disability Services (formerly known as the Disability Awards department) determines the calculation of the permanent disability that resulted from your workplace injury.  This amount is calculated by reviewing medical evidence of your condition.  You may be required to attend an assessment as part of the process.  You may also be found entitled to assistance in returning to work or retraining in an alternate occupation.  If so, your file may be referred to Vocational Rehabilitation Services and a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant may be assigned to your WorkSafeBC claim to create a plan or provide alternate assistance.

Important Terms in WCB Board Decision Letters Explained

Our WSBC lawyers in Smithers, BC would like you to be aware of the following list for important terms WorkSafeBC/WCB includes in their decision letters:

  • Your claim has been accepted for…
    • If you have developed multiple physical injuries and/or psychological injuries due to your workplace injury, you can conclude that they are not accepted under your claim unless they are formally and explicitly accepted by WorkSafeBC in a formal decision letter.
  • No other conditions (temporary or permanent) are accepted.
    • If your conditions from your workplace injury have not been accepted as permanent, you will not be considered for a disability award.
  • No limitations or restrictions are accepted.
  • Your file will not be referred to Long Term Disability Services.
  • Your condition has resolved.
    • This means that WCB/WorkSafeBC essentially considers your condition “healed”.
  • It is not anticipated that you will experience any permanent impairment…
  • You have been deemed fit to return to work without restrictions.
  • “There is no convincing evidence of…”

These terms, in various combinations, may limit your WCB/WorkSafeBC compensation entitlement.  You will have 90 calendar days to appeal the Board’s decision to the Review Division.  The WorkSafeBC lawyers in Smithers, BC can help you determine if you should proceed with the claims appeals process.

The Initial Level of Appeal: Navigating the Review Division

Once you have appealed (filed a “request for review”) a Board decision, you will be given the opportunity to prepare and submit a written submission in support of your appeal.  A Review Officer will be assigned to review the Board decision that you have appealed, your written submission, and relevant law and policy.  Following that, the Review Officer may either: confirm the Board’s decision, vary the Board’s decision (either in full or in part), or refer your file back to the Board for further investigation and a new decision. 

As the RD is internal to WSBC, many appeals are denied at this stage.  If your appeal is denied by the Review Division, you may need to proceed to the next level of appeal, the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT).  RD appeals take approximately 150 days to complete.

You will have 30 calendar days to file a Notice of Appeal to WCAT for most Review Division decisions.   Vocational Rehabilitation decisions, commutation decisions, and extension of time decisions cannot be appealed to WCAT.  Our WCB/WorkSafeBC lawyers in Smithers, BC, can assist you with your appeal to WCAT.

WCAT: The Second and Final Level of WCB Appeals

WCAT is the second and final level of appeal, and decisions are made by a one-person Panel, known as the Vice Chair.  The Vice Chair may allow, partially allow, or deny your appeal.  The Vice Chair may also return your file back to the Board at WSBC for further investigation and a new decision.

WCAT appeals are primarily conducted in one of two ways: by written submissions or by oral hearing.  If your appeal is proceeding by way of written submissions, the Vice Chair will review your written argument, as well as any evidence, before issuing a decision. 

If your appeal is proceeding by way of oral hearing, you will present your argument and evidence in the form of sworn testimony in front of the Vice Chair, typically via videoconference. 

WCAT is separate and independent from WCB/WorkSafeBC.  If you have supportive medical evidence, your appeal may have a higher chance of success at WCAT than at the Review Division.  WCAT decisions are generally considered final and conclusive, and cannot be appealed.  WCAT appeals typically take approximately 180 days to complete.

Why Choose Our Smithers WorkSafeBC Lawyers?

At Gosal & Company, our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC concentrate on WorkSafeBC claims and appeals.  Since 1993, Mr. Gosal has represented over 5,000 individuals who have suffered a workplace injury.  In serving as a successful WCB/WorkSafeBC lawyer in Smithers, BC, Mr. Gosal has been qualified as an expert witness regarding workers’ compensation matters in the BC Supreme Court.  In seeking a WCB/WorkSafeBC lawyer in Smithers, BC, experience matters and is important.  Gosal & Company provides you with a team of very capable, knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC.

Do I need to Hire WCB (WorkSafeBC) Lawyers from Smithers, BC?

WCB/WorkSafeBC is, essentially, your employer’s insurance company.  The goal of WSBC is to limit the number of claims accepted as well as your compensation for your workplace injury, whenever and wherever possible.  Our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC, can provide you with legal services to navigate the complex and stressful WCB claims and appeals process.

Our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC can advise you on which decision letters may need to be appealed and why you need to appeal them.  The language used in WCB/WorkSafeBC decision letters is purposefully complex or vague, as it is designed to limit compensation entitlement under your WCB claim.  Our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC can also assist you with gathering evidence in order to increase your chances of a successful appeal at the Review Division and/or WCAT.  Additional medical evidence can also assist with obtaining acceptance of additional conditions, which may result in an increase in your compensation entitlement.

If you have been in a workplace injury in Smithers, BC, and are unsure of what is going on regarding your WCB claim, you should contact our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC for assistance.  Regrettably, we are often contacted by injured workers in Smithers, BC with WCB/WorkSafeBC cases who have failed to appeal important decisions within the applicable appeal deadlines (noted above).  Unfortunately, we have to then advise these injured workers that they waited too long to consult with our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC.  To protect your legal rights after a workplace injury, be pro-active and call our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC today.  We can help you with your WCB workplace injury case.

How Do I Hire a WCB Lawyer in Smithers, BC From Gosal & Company?

To receive legal assistance from Gosal & Company’s WCB/WorkSafeBC lawyers in Smithers, BC, it is as easy as picking up the phone and calling our office at (604) 591-8187.  You can also send a private and confidential message to Gosal & Company using our contact form ,or you can send an email to our WCB lawyers in Smithers, BC at info@gosalandcompany.com.  Our WSBC lawyers are here to assist you with navigating the complexities of the WCB claims and appeals process, so that you can focus on recovering from your workplace injury.

Contact our WCB (WorkSafeBC) Lawyers Serving Smithers, BC Today:

Telephone: (604) 591-8187

Fax: (604) 591-8126

Email: info@gosalandcompany.com

Request a free consultation