How to Navigate without a WCB Lawyer

Think hard before you hire a WCB lawyer

Workplace accidents can lead to the physical and emotional turmoil that significantly impacts an individual’s life. In some cases, workers may feel that the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has mishandled their claim, causing further hardship. This raises the question of whether hiring a WCB lawyer to sue the WCB is a viable option. In this article, we’ll explore the circumstances under which an individual can sue the WCB, the challenges of doing so, and alternative strategies to consider.

When Can You Sue the WCB?

Suing the WCB is feasible only in very specific situations. You cannot sue the Board for actions related to the injury claim itself. However, you are allowed to sue the WCB if the system wilfully or negligently caused you to suffer harm, be it physical or mental. Additionally, if the Appeals Commission commits a serious error concerning the administrative procedure, a court may be persuaded to hear the case.

The Challenges of Suing the WCB

While using the WCB might seem like an appealing option, there are significant challenges to consider. Judicial deference to tribunal determinations is on the rise, meaning courts are often hesitant to overrule the expertise that administrative tribunals (such as the WCB Appeals Commission) possess. This deference can result in courts prioritizing the tribunal’s decisions over the substantive merits of a case. Furthermore, the WCB has access to extensive taxpayer funds to defend its decisions, which can make suing them an uphill battle.

Understanding the Role of a WCB Lawyer

It’s important to recognize that a WCB lawyer primarily focuses on legal issues related to workers’ compensation claims. They can provide valuable advice and representation in complex cases, but hiring a WCB lawyer might not be necessary for every situation. Understanding when to engage a WCB lawyer and when to pursue alternative remedies is crucial for effectively addressing your concerns.

Alternative Remedies to Consider

Before pursuing legal action against the WCB, consider exhausting all administrative remedies. First, you may submit a Reconsideration Application, which allows you to present new evidence or challenge the decision based on perceived errors in law or fact. You could also contact the Office of the Ombudsman to address any procedural concerns or ensure the proper application of policies and procedures.
Another option is to seek assistance from a WCB advocate who specializes in claimant advocacy and appeal preparation and representation. Diplomatic negotiation with the Board can often be more successful and less costly/risky than hiring a WCB lawyer and filing a statement of claim against the government. WCB advocates can provide expert guidance and support, helping you navigate the complexities of the WCB appeals process.

Conclusion

In conclusion, hiring a WCB lawyer to sue the WCB should be considered only after all other avenues have been exhausted. While it is possible to sue the WCB in specific situations, the challenges of doing so are significant. Instead, explore alternative remedies, such as submitting a Reconsideration Application, contacting the Office of the Ombudsman, or working with a WCB advocate. These options can often be more effective and less costly, providing a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome. Understanding when to hire a WCB lawyer and when to pursue other solutions will help ensure the best possible outcome for your claim.

Call (780)-340-5727 to speak with our 541 Eagleson Wynd, Edmonton T6M 0Y4 team for free.
Ben Barfett

Ben Barfett

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training.

Ben Barfett

Ben Barfett

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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