WCB Lawyers in Vancouver, BC – WorkSafeBC
Sarj Gosal and Gosal & Company have served as WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC since 1998. As well as successfully representing numerous clients as your WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, the law firm Gosal & Company has represented workers throughout British Columbia. Gosal & Company provides a free initial consultation with experienced WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, to help with your WorkSafeBC claims.
Gosal & Company provides full service legal services for WorkSafeBC/WCB cases in Vancouver, BC. Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC can assist you with Review Division appeals, Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (“WCAT”) appeals, claims management, and reopening of WCB claims in Vancouver, BC.
Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC can help you navigate the BC WCB process.
In our experience, WCB (operating under the name WorkSafeBC since 2005) is a body that operates like an insurance company. After over 28 years of handling WCB personal injury cases in Vancouver, BC, Gosal & Company has found that WCB’s goal is to minimize the number, nature, and extent of claims accepted, as well as minimize the duration and amount of compensation entitlement.
Many workers retain our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC when they are fed up with dealing with the complexities of the WCB appeals system and/or demands made by WCB employees. Unfortunately, many workers contact our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC after their avenues of appeal have been exhausted. It is prudent for you to seek legal advice from our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, as soon as possible after your claim has been processed so that we can advise you on what to expect and what to watch out for as your WCB claim progresses.
WCB Claims and the Appeals Process
Your first step to pursuing workers’ compensation benefits is to file a WorkSafeBC claim as soon as possible.
The following is a brief overview of the WCB appeals process from Gosal & Company law firm, your WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC.
The decision-making level: the Board
The Board makes the initial decision on a worker’s claim and aims to deny compensation entitlement. You should expect to communicate with various decision-makers from the Board at this stage. An Entitlement Officer or Case Manager will (sometimes passively) gather information that the Board requires in order to adjudicate your claim or application. These individuals will decide which, if any, medical conditions will be accepted under your claim and what type of compensation, if any, you could be entitled to as a result. Calculating the actual amount of your award usually requires specialized knowledge and, for this reason, your claim may be referred to other departments at the Board.
The Wage Rate Unit calculates the wage rate on your claim. The figure is important as your future compensation entitlement will be calculated based on your wage rate. Long Term Disability Services (formerly known as the Disability Awards department) determines and calculates the amount of your permanent disability award by reviewing medical evidence of your condition. Please note that you may be required to attend an assessment. If you are found entitled to assistance in returning to work, your file may be referred to Vocational Rehabilitation Services and a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant may be assigned to create a return-to-work plan for you.
Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, want you to be aware of the following important list of terms found in many Board decision letters:
- Your claim has been accepted for…
- If you have multiple physical and/or psychological injuries due to your workplace injury, you can consider that they are not accepted under your claim unless they are formally and explicitly accepted by WCB in a formal decision letter.
- No other condition (temporary or permanent) is accepted
- If your conditions have not been accepted as permanent, you will not be considered for a disability award.
- Only “chronic pain” has been accepted.
- This means that the Board has quantified your disability as 2.5% out of 100% and that any and all objective signs of medical disability will be ignored.
- No limitations or restrictions are accepted.
- Your file will not be referred to Long Term Disability Services.
- Your condition has resolved.
- 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…”
- You have a pre-existing condition/no aggravation of your pre-existing condition is accepted.
- Your file was reviewed by our Medical Advisor…I have accepted the Medical Advisor’s opinion…your claim is denied.
These are just some examples of terms (in varying combinations) that should set off alarm bells, as they indicate that the Board is preparing to limit your compensation entitlement, as well as the parameters of your WorkSafeBC claim.
You will have 90 days to request a review of (appeal) a Board decision to the Review Division. Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, can assist you with your request for review.
The initial level of appeal: the Review Division
Once a request for review of a Board decision has been filed, you will have the opportunity to prepare and submit a written submission in support of your appeal. A Review Officer will be assigned to review the 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, make changes to the Board’s decision, or vary the Board’s decision. In some cases, the Review Officer may refer your file back to the Board for further investigation and a new decision.
As the Review Division is part of the Board, only an internal review is conducted, which results in the denial of many appeals at this stage. Most appeals will need to proceed to the next level of appeal – WCAT.
You will have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal to WCAT. Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, can assist you with your WCAT appeal.
The second and final level of appeal: WCAT
WCAT is the final level of appeal and decisions are made by a one-person Panel or Vice Chair. The Panel may allow, partially allow, or deny your appeal. The Panel may also return your file back to the Board for further investigation and a new decision.
WCAT appeals are conducted in one of two ways: by written submissions or by oral hearing. If your appeal is proceeding by way of written submissions, the Panel will review your written argument and any evidence before issuing a decision. If your appeal is proceeding by way of an oral hearing, you will present your argument and evidence in the form of sworn testimony in front of the Panel. Please note that, due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, all oral hearings are currently being held via videoconference.
WCAT is separate and independent from the Board. If you have supportive evidence, your appeal has a higher chance of success than at the Review Division. WCAT decisions are final and conclusive, and cannot be appealed.
Why Choose Our WCB Lawyers in Vancouver, BC?
At Gosal & Company, our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, concentrate on WorkSafeBC claims, cases, and appeals. Since 1993, Mr. Gosal has represented over 4,500 injured workers. In serving as a successful WCB lawyer in Vancouver, BC, Mr. Gosal has been qualified (and provided oral evidence) as an expert witness regarding workers’ compensation matters in the BC Supreme Court. In seeking a WCB lawyer in Vancouver, BC, experience counts and Gosal & Company provides you with very capable and experienced WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC.
Do I need to Hire WCB Lawyers from Vancouver, BC?
WCB is basically an insurance company (your employer’s insurance company). The goal of WCB is to (whenever and wherever possible) limit compensation. Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, can assist with legal services to navigate the complex and stressful WCB process.
Our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, can advise you on which decision letters to appeal and why you need to appeal. The language in WCB decision letters is constructed to limit your entitlement under your WCB claim.
If you are unsure of what is going on regarding your WCB claim in Vancouver, BC, or are confused about what WCB is doing with your case, you should be pro-active and contact our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC. Sadly, we are often contacted by injured workers with WCB cases in Vancouver, BC, who have failed to appeal important decisions regarding their claim. We advise these workers that, unfortunately, they waited until it was too late to consult with our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC. To protect your legal rights, be pro-active and call our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, today. We can help you with your WCB personal injury case.
How Do I Hire a WCB Lawyer in Vancouver, BC, from Gosal & Company?
To receive assistance from Gosal & Company’s WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, it is as easy as picking up the phone and calling our office at (604) 591-8187. In the alternative, you can send a private and confidential message using our contact form or an email to our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC: email@example.com.
Contact our WCB lawyers in Vancouver, BC, today:
Telephone: (604) 591-8187
Fax: (604) 591-8126