ACCforum: How To Appeal High Court Decision? - ACCforum

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

How To Appeal High Court Decision?

#1 User is offline   Kiwee 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 0
  • Joined: 14-September 03

Posted 20 November 2005 - 04:41 PM

I had an appeal dismissed at district court level recently. Was told by my lawyer that I have 21 days to appeal - how do I go about appealing the decision myself?
Just the paperwork part at the moment, i know appealing acc decision they send you the paperwork to appeal, but court has not done that in this case. My lawyer will start the paperwork for $$$'s right away...
I have 21 days from nov4 i think...maybe less...
Then I have to go into the nitty gritty of how i am actually gonna try and overturn the judges decision...should be fun!
Thanks for any help
kiwee
0

#2 User is offline   Hatikva 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 12-June 05
  • LocationWop Wops

Posted 20 November 2005 - 05:23 PM

Can you apply for legal aide?

If so, that may be a factor in applying for a delay in the decision making process...

Just a thought. Also, is there a community law group down your way ..?? I think there is a do-it-yourself law site in NZ that I found one day when I was trolling about on the net... worth searching for "district court decision" or self help law or some such ...

here's one resource

http://www.howtolaw.co.nz/

Also the following .. courts ...

http://www.courts.govt.nz/pubs/

You've probably already found these... Citizens Advice Bureau may also be useful.
0

#3 User is offline   Kiwee 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 0
  • Joined: 14-September 03

Posted 21 November 2005 - 12:13 AM

maybe this shouldbe part of my reply

SECONDARY TRAUMATIZATION OF WORK-RELATED REHABILITATION CLIENTS

http://wcbcanada.com/modules.php?op=modloa...e=article&sid=6

Many health professionals hold the belief that individuals involved in personal injury
suits/Workers' Compensation claims exaggerate their pain and disability due to the
potential for secondary gain, e.g., social attention, work avoidance, or financial
compensation. This phenomena has been termed "compensation neurosis", although a
review of the literature shows little justification for the term's continued use (Solomon
198. This article outlines the worker's response to the impact of such widely held
beliefs.

Some of the doubts about claimants stem, in part, from an influential paper in the
early 1960's by Dr. H. Miller, a British neurologist, who argued that accident claimants
dliberately exaggerate or deceive in order to substantiate their claims. As evidence,
he cited that fact that once their claims are settled 90% of these people returned to
their former or similar jobs. Follow up studies, however, have failed to replicate these
findings (Kelly, 1975; Oddy et al, 1978; Tarsh & Royston, 1985). It is no longer
justifiable then, for people in the field to claim that it is well known that patients with
such symptoms immediately return to work after their claim has been settled.

Nonetheless, and notwithstanding these studies, the majority of claimants attending
my office for neuropsychological and/or psychotherapeutic services report all too often
disconcerting or critical comments, delays in the medical and psychological
assessments, repetitious evaluations, delays in reaching settlements, symptom
minimization or denial, and perceived lack of empathy for their conditions. The
following comments relate to rehabilitation patients attending for clinical psychological
services on referral from a wide variety of vocational rehabilitation agencies and
personnel. The comments to follow do not, and should not be interpreted to, reflect
any one particular agency or person or persons.

My practice involves the assessment and treatment of sexual victims (as well as offenders)
and a wide array of rehabilitation clients including those who
have suffered brain and other physical injuries, and/or psychological distress
producing, amongst a number of effects, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and
adjustment disorders.

Early in 1995 one of my clients who had sustained a horrific mill accident with brain
and multiple other injuries was perusing my office library when he came across a book
entitled "I Can't Get Over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors" by Aphrodite Matsakis,
Ph.D., a specialist in post-traumatic stress disorder. The book is designed primarily for
victims of crime, rape, sexual abuse, family violence, natural catastrophes, and
vehicular accidents; not suffering from these particular traumas, my client readily
identified with the symptoms outlined in Chapter 4's "The Three Levels of
Victimization". This insight not only led to fruitful discussions thereafter but to a better
appreciation of the impact the rehabilitation system, has, at times, on the clients it
serves. With Dr. Matsakis' approval I am using her secondary victimization as a
template for discussing the effects of re-traumatization by the rehabilitation system on
its clients.

THE TRAUMATIC EVENT

Matsakis defines victimization as occurring on three levels: the traumatic event
itself (e.g. the work-related injury), secondary wounding experiences, and acceptance
of the victim label. In Level I the victim has their basic assumptions about themselves,
human nature, and the nature of the world shattered. In keeping with post traumatic
stress or adjustment disorders the trauma may produce significant psychological
distress including confusion, depression, anxiety, distrust and the like. The worker's
assumption about personal invulnerability is shattered, as well as the notion that the
world is orderly and meaningful, or that the worker is basically good and strong. The
loss of invulnerability may, in turn, produce a loss of sense of safety, together with the
fear of further injury or other harm. Those familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
will recognize that these feelings of vulnerability may well develop into a sense of
doom or a foreshortened sense of future. Social withdrawal, impaired frustration
tolerance and unwelcome dependency feelings are also common outcomes with injured
workers.

Being traumatized in the workplace often leads to loss of self image, memory
impairment, and concomitant feelings of helplessness and powerlessness. Many, by
virtue of their injury, are forced into dependency roles with a host of rehabilitation
personnel, physicians, psychologists, adjudicators, adjusters, and job placement
officers. For the vast majority of rehabilitation clients this represents a marked shift
from their previous sense of being able to "take care of business" in independent
fashion. Many claimants find it very difficult to accept their "neediness" as normal to
their circumstances.

The trauma-produced regression to dependency leads many, though not all,
claimants to want to be cared for and to have assurances. Consider how difficult it is,
then, to hear rehabilitation personnel question their integrity, or otherwise portray or
present an uncaring response to their needs. The reaction of the caregiver is, then,
particularly troubling when the claimant does not want to be in the "one down" or
"child" position in the first place. Some claimants by-pass the human caregiver
altogether and turn to alcohol or other potentially addictive substances; one's ability to
self-medicate is predictable, less frightening and less humiliating than turning to other
people for help, particularly so if the caregiver is perceived to be unsympathetic.
Social isolation is common with PTSD or adjustment disorders. With the
work-related claimant the isolation may reflect the initial period of physical
recuperation, changes in physical appearance or presentation, a change of self-image,
embarrassment over not working, and general loss of self-esteem. This dynamic runs
counter to the aforementioned dependency dynamic.

One's rage and anger can be turned against oneself or against others who either
contributed to the injury or to those agencies which have failed to mete out "justice"
when one has been carelessly harmed. Claimants like to think that when they have
sustained a significant trauma "justice" will be done and that those who brought about
their trauma, if identifiable, will be disciplined. In many cases, those employers or
fellow employees who are morally culpable seem to slip through the net and, for all the
claimant knows, continue to work without punishment or fear of same. This, needless
to say, can be a source of significant frustration and anger to the worker, compounded
by the worker's difficulty in securing documents relevant to their injury, and the
prohibition against taking legal action (in many jurisdictions).

More salient, in my view, is the "secondary wounding" defined by Dr. Matsakis (p.
80). She defines secondary wounding as emotional injury inflicted by anyone from
strangers to family and friends or helping professionals who, through callousness or
ignorance, do more harm than good. Instead of providing a sense of support the
aforementioned individuals or caregivers contribute to a sense of shame for having
been traumatized in the first place, or for even asking for help. Matsakis cites several
poignant examples which mirror comments my clients have made, i.e., "You weren't
hurt enough to be entitled to benefits" or "It happened weeks (or months or years)
ago. You should be over it by now". The effect of this minimizing may create
additional reporting of trauma, and provide an invitation to the worker to report a
higher frequency/severity of symptoms than otherwise might exist to receive
"validation".

SECONDARY WOUNDING AND EXPERIENCES

Secondary wounding is considered to occur when the institutions or caregivers, to
whom the worker turns for assistance, respond with disbelief, denial, discounting,
blame, stigmatization, and denial or delay of assistance. In the case of the
work-related trauma survivor, the caregiver or others may deny or disbelieve the extent
of the person's trauma or its meaning to the worker and its impact on their life or that
of his family. For example, a client of mine has, amongst a host of other injury-related
difficulties, been unable to kiss his wife. The caregivers he spoke with regarded this as
of no great significance, as it was unrelated to his employability-yet it has significant
meaning for him on a marital-sexual level.

Stigmatization is said to occur when others, either inside or out of the system, are
critical of the worker for normal reactions to the trauma. This can take different forms
including misinterpretation of the worker's distress as a sign of pre-existing
psychological problems or moral or mental deficiency. In other cases one or more
caregivers may imply or make an outright statement that the worker's symptoms reflect
a desire for financial gain, attention, unwarranted sympathy, or work avoidance.
In other cases workers are arbitrarily deprived of much needed services or they
have to make repeated submissions and multiple applications for the services, or the
services have been provided but the costs for the services, having been paid by the
worker, are either delayed in their reimbursement or refused altogether. For some
workers the secondary wounding experiences are described as more painful and
devastating than the original trauma.

Further in Chapter 4 of her book Dr. Matsakis identifies six specific types of
secondary wounding responses: denial and disbelief, discounting, blaming the victim,
ignorance, generalization, and cruelty. These wounding responses are well identified in
the sexual abuse survivor literature but, to my knowledge, inadequately identified in
the rehabilitation literature, if at all. Empathic caregivers will help their clients identify
these six types of secondary wounding responses, and help the worker recapture their
sense of self which includes health on the one hand and identification of the sources of
oppression in the system on the other.

The worker may also be assisted in acquiring or exercising assertiveness vis a vis
refusing to accept (if that is the worker's position) the "common wisdom" of the agency,
medical or psychological staff about their condition and vis a vis insisting on being
heard as to what is happening in the worker's medical, emotional, familial, and
vocational or academic experience-in other words, to allow the worker to see
him/herself in a collaborative role as an expert about their condition, along with other
experts, who have training and experience in a particular field but who do not and
cannot claim to have the day to day experience of the injured worker.

In cases of sexual assault it is typically the offender, or an insensitive family
member, police officer, or mental health provider (fortunately these types of
occurrences are less frequent with increasing education regarding victim psychology)
who engages in secondary wounding. Within the vocational rehabilitation realm, denial
and disbelief more commonly come from rehabilitation, medical, and/or psychological
personnel. Some such personnel express denial or disbelief, not that the worker had a
trauma (which is difficult to deny given the abundance of records), but the worker's
phenomenology, or their statements as to what is occurring in terms of their current
physical/psychological status or ability to return to work.

Workers who are already in a dependent state, find such disbelief or discounting
troubling, and worry, at times, that perhaps they are "weak" or are exaggerating their
circumstances. Sometimes they abandon their own experiences (the end result of
invalidation) and attempt to adopt the viewpoint of the caregiver. This cognitive shift,
while productive for the minority of malingerers, is counterproductive in the general
case. In one recent case a fire-fighter, whose parents were alcoholic, was traumatized
when an elderly alcoholic male was burned to death in a house fire. After the fire the
other firefighters commented that "no loss..he was just another alcoholic". This trauma
not only reactivated issues related to his growing up in an alcoholic home but also the
insensitivity at the loss of human life, even if alcoholic human life. He was told by
rehabilitation staff, however, that he was not definitely not traumatized and should
return to work, even though be satisfied criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Blaming the victim is the third of the secondary wounding responses. Such
woundings that I am familiar with include statements that the worker should not have
taken the job in the first place or should have quit when he saw that his place of work
was dangerous. Ignorance is yet another type of secondary wounding response. In
one case an electrocution survivor was advised by a rehabilitation consultant to
consider taking a job working on high power lines. Needless to say, the worker was
incredulous that such a recommendation might be made. Generalization is yet another
wounding response which seems endemic to the rehabilitation system. I have had
many workers state that they feel dehumanized by the label of "rehabilitation
claimant". It seemed that no matter what they did or said their conduct was
considered only in that light - the label comes to define the worker, not the worker's
own history and hopes for the future.

The above-described wounding responses are highly troubling to the workers I have
spoken with. One of the difficulties, of course, is that the worker cannot determine
whether the wounding response arises from a desire on the part of the caregiver to
cause psychic pain, or ignorance, generalization, or some other distancing mechanism
on the part of the caregiver. Matsakis conjectures that this type of psychological
revictimization can reflect difficulties with intimacy, or a general numbing found
throughout society making it difficult for people to empathize with each other's pain,
even within their own families.

ACCEPTANCE OF THE VICTIM LABEL

The third of the three levels of victimization involves victim thinking. Again, victim
thinking is well identified in the sexual abuse literature but is unexplored in the
rehabilitation literature. Victim thinking may include chronic and persistent thoughts of
helplessness, betrayal, guilt, self blame, and self-stigmatization. More specific
examples might include the following: "I shouldn't expect too much good to happen
from here on in", "I can do nothing to make my life better", "No one will hire me as an
injured worker", "I am always going to feel this way", "I am going to have to be extra
competent in order to compensate for my shortcomings", "I am afraid to try something
new in case I make a mistake", "When people look at me they will know that I am
different", "It would have been better off had I died during the accident", "People are
either for me or against me", and "I am never going to get over what happened to me".

This, needless to say, is not an exhaustive list but serves to illustrate the kind of
thinking that injured workers may experience.
While victim thinking may represent an adaptive response initializing to secondary
wounding experiences, in the long run, victim thinking may make it difficult to
experience full vocational rehabilitation. If the worker exhibits victim thinking he/she
needs to be reminded that the original trauma and/or the secondary wounding
experiences may have initially created a need for defensive, victim thinking. At the
same time, the worker needs to be reminded that victim mentality, while possibly
serving short term interests, does not serve long term rehabilitative interests, and
doesn't fit the current situation at present. To position themselves on a positive
rehabilitative track, injured workers need to assertively confront those who engage in
seondary wounding, and make their own cognitive shifts, i.e. abandon perfectionistic
thinking (both with respect to themselves and to their caregivers), accept that they are
having personal difficulties, avoid "all or nothing" thinking, and terminate maladaptive
survival tactics (i.e. passive-dependency, withdrawal, inappropriate anger, etc.).
Cognitive-behavioural strategies may be beneficial in this regard. What is important is
that the worker be validated, and helped to reclaim his/her view of self as one with not
only a past, but a future in some meaningful role.

In sum, secondary wounding, rather than spurring the claimant, on to a
rehabilitative "fast tract", engenders cynicism, doubt, betrayal, and distrust of the
"system". Moreover, just as some caregivers generalize their experience with a small
minority of malingerers to the whole claimant population, worker-claimants themselves
may generalize their doubts about the system to all who participate in it. This dynamic
predictably delays the rehabilitative process and, from my experience, leads to
additional and unnecessary evaluations and re-evaluations and nauseam until the
worker literally gives up in despair and fantasizes exiting the system by going on
financial assistance or in extreme situations, via suicide. (Parenthetically, I would
estimate that 50% of my rehabilitation clients have actively contemplated suicide at
one time or another, not as a reflection of the initial trauma but as an outcome of
secondary wounding).

In other cases the worker may turn his/her despair and anger outward against the
agency in an anti-social fashion, e.g., by damaging rehabilitation agency offices,
threatening caregivers, and the like. All of these events are a matter of record in the
province of British Columbia and, I have little doubt, exist in other provinces and states
as well.

The path out of this psychological cul de sac, in my view, would include, but not be
limited to, a clear expression of caregiver empathy and compassion (not cynical doubt)
for the worker, minimizing the number of medical and psychological evaluations needed
to determine the worker's vocational status, minimizing the number of personnel the
worker has to deal with (i.e., having the same personnel maintain the claimant's file
from start to finish; nothing is more discouraging than meeting with 5 or 6 different
rehabilitation coordinators or disability claims adjudicators in the course of one's
rehabilitation process), familiarity with the worker's file (not to be familiar with the file
prior to contact with the worker leads to the conclusion that the caregiver is
disinterested in the worker), and the simple courtesy of responding to correspondence
and telephone calls. I have encountered many workers who express frustration over
not hearing from caregivers and rehabilitation personnel in spite of repeated phone
calls and correspondence. I suspect that this goes to the issue of caseload numbers
and burn out, or possibly a reflection of the relative value placed on collaborative
recovery versus worker blame.

Overcoming the secondary wounding inflicted by ill-informed or burnt out caregivers
requires the worker to identify the secondary wounding experience and to distance
him/herself from the negative responses on both the emotional and the mental level.
This means learning not to react to the secondary wounding as "catastrophic" or
devastating, but directing the blame where it needs to go, i.e., on the secondary
wounder.

This type of distancing, in many cases, will require empathic support from family
and/or professional caregivers who are in a position to counter the insensitivity
epressed by those caregivers who may be hurried poorly trained, or simply burnt out.
A professional caregiver, in particular, may be helpful in identifying the negative
self-talk which may be generated by thoughtless comments on the part of
retraumatizing caregivers.

It is always important to maintain a keen sense of one's own worth, regardless of
one's physical or psychological disabilities, and regardless of blaming or negative
comments made by others. By affirming one's own worth as a person one is helped to
feel, at least to a certain degree, more in control of one's future and more objective,
and to regain a sense of self-efficacy and personal competency.

Workers, of course, can make their own contribution to facilitating the rehabilitative
process. With the help of rehabilitation personnel and/or mental health professionals
they can be invited to challenge their victim thinking and to acquire personally
meaningful ways of articulating their frustration with the "system". This will include
enhancement of self esteem, assertiveness training, depression and anger
management, and resolution of the initial trauma via psychotherapy.

Claimants can also facilitate the process by being prepared for their meetings,
having relevant documents, having their questions written down and rehearsed
(particularly in the case of memory impaired workers) and learning to exercise a
modicum of patience and tolerance for their caregivers who are, in many cases,
over-worked, generally unappreciated, and understaffed.


Gary W. Lea is a psychologist working in Kelowna, B.C.
0

#4 User is offline   Hatikva 

  • Newbie
  • Pip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 9
  • Joined: 12-June 05
  • LocationWop Wops

Posted 21 November 2005 - 09:18 AM

From the host website - a petition by Injured workers in Canada ..

Quote

Injured Workers Demand Justice



Introduction



This may not be the best way to start a united voice among injured workers but it is a start. I am putting my name at the end of this message in hopes that other injured workers and injured workers groups will also sign. This can also be signed by family, friends, medical personal, politicians and employers who have knowledge of the mistreatment of injured workers, by the corrupt practices of Workers Compensation Boards across Canada and the USA. Please pass this on to others who have taken abuse from uncaring Workers Compensation Boards, Politicians and medical personal, and will not accept this type of treatment it anymore. When complete, take this and present it to caseworkers, doctors, politicians etc. along with your personal information. By presenting this, to every person you are required to deal with, you create an ever growing voice, which will not be able to be ignored, by the people, who can make the changes to protect all injured workers.



Contributed by an injured worker.



Consider This


We are Canadians. We are injured workers.

Before our injuries we were considered honest, hard working, taxpaying citizens. We have / or want families who can depend on us to provide the basics required to make life good.


We have enjoyed/or want to enjoy the perks in which hard work and employment can provide. The ability to earn an income is the only way to make these perks available.


We all have one thing in common. We have been devastated financially and/or mentally by the corrupt practices and mandates of Workers Compensation Boards across twenty-­seven States in the USA and eleven Provinces in Canada. (This has been taken to the ultimate in despair, suicide.)


Our own elected politicians who, if they acknowledge these injustices, would have to admit collusion, which could involve human rights violations, have also ignored us. This is a well-known problem, which has been studied over and over. Every type of excuse has been given for not doing anything. The only reason for not correcting the known atrocities is the cost. It is easier to allow the devastation of injured workers to continue, than to do what is morally required.


Criminals are given more respect than injured workers. They do not have to worry about things as basic as food and education. They have access to basic needs like dental and eye glasses. They also have access to lawyers and bring forward costly and frivolous lawsuits. Our only crime is being injured while trying to make a living. We do not have affordable access to these most basic of human rights!

 
We are forced to depend on family, welfare and food banks to exist. The compensation boards have shuffled their responsibilities onto the taxpayer.


We believe that this mistreatment of an entire section of society must end. Politicians must take a stand and end the vile, corrupt treatment of injured workers by Workers Compensation Boards.

Simple Questions to ask yourself and others

Would you or any of your friends become a Liar and

Cheat should you become injured while at work?

If you answered no would you like to be accused of being that type of person?


If you had options to do otherwise, would you want to lose everything you had gained, previous to your injury?


If you had options to do otherwise, would you put financial and extra workload stress on your wife and family?

Would you feel good about going to friends, family, taxpayers etc. in order to provide food and money in order to just exist?

After being diagnosed by your doctor and specialists, would you like to have these diagnosis be ignored and replaced by those who may or may not be a medical doctor and has never physically seen you?

If you belonged to a group, which is thousands strong, and all across Canada and the USA, would you like to be ignored by or sent in circles by the people you elected to serve you?

Would you risk mental breakdown, financial ruin, and in to many cases suicide. This for the "remote chance" of receiving, a small inadequate pension?


And, another petition by the same group ...

Quote

We the undersigned request amendments to Canadian Law to protect the citizens of Canada, from poverty and financial ruin, by the negligent procedures of the Provincial Workers Compensation Boards.

We the undersigned, demand that all workers injured and having been found by way of appeal, eligible for compensation, to be permitted to claim all losses incurred as a direct result of the termination of their benefits by the Workers Compensation Board. All losses, shall be determined by a regular court of law, if there is a dispute in regards to claims of losses, and not by the Workers Compensation Board or its Boards of Appeal.

NOTE: Injured workers have been suffering severe financial losses as a direct result of claims that should never have been declined in the first place, however this tactic has become a very lucrative tactic by all WCB Boards in Canada

We the undersigned demand that all workers in Canada receive retroactive payments and full reinstatement of benefits until a consensus has been reached as submitted in the policy posted below.


The WCB should establish a policy that a Medical Advisor, when used, must reach agreement with the attending physician on matters of diagnosis, treatment plans, and on whether the injury prevents a return to work or modified duties.

Where consensus or agreement cannot be reached, an independent three member medical panel must assess the injured worker, in person, and their opinion will be final. The College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Canadian Medical Associations must be included in the process of setting up approved lists of physicians and specialists.

An injured worker's benefits may not be terminated until conflict in medical opinion is resolved.

We the undersigned find that if the above amendments cannot be included in the Workers Compensation Acts, that in its place the injured workers should immediately be given the right to sue for injury damages. This would include the right to sue for all injuries received from the date the Workers Compensation Act, removed the right for workers to sue for damages.


Sadly, Sounds familiar?
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users