Legal Representation

By Gerald

The article that I am sending is and should be very interesting to anyone with any intellectual capacity to understand the difference between the system in the U.S. as opposed to the system that is supposed to be in Canada.Of course like everything else workers are told, everything that the Government and WCB tells workers is a lie. In the U.S. the system is based on an Adversarial system (the worker or legal counsel has the burden of proof) which obviously requires Legal Counsel to represent workers. Lawyers representing workers in the U.S. only get paid if they win the case and if they win, they are paid disbursements and costs by the defendant which is the insurance company (WCB) who is acting on behalf of the employer.

In Canada, the historic agreement resulted in what is referred to as an Inquiry system where the burden of proof is supposed to be on WCB both for and against who are supposed to be a neutral party who has by statute the exclusive jurisdiction to gather the evidence thus placing the entire burden of proof, both for and against on WCB resulting in no burden of proof on either the worker or the employer. Being that WCB is supposed to be a neutral body who has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and gather the evidence, there would be no need to have Legal Counsel, however what is supposed to be is not what is happening. Workers in Canada for some odd illegal reasoning being forced into an Adversarial system where workers have the entire burden of proof and having WCB and the Appeals Commission representing employers.

This becomes very evident especially in Judicial Reviews where a worker either represents themselves or has to incur significant debt to hire a lawyer. Both WCB Legal counsel and the Appeals Legal Counsel work together against the worker with both being paid out of the accident fund and if they lose, costs and disbursements are paid to the worker or Legal Counsel out of the accident fund as opposed to the worker who if they lose must pay their Legal Counsel and also must pay the costs and disbursements of both the WCB and the Appeals Commission. If witnesses are required, the cost of witnesses are borne entirely by a worker and if WCB and the Appeals Commission require witnesses, the cost is taken out of the accident fund. Seems that the Government believes this is a fair system but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not a fair system when a worker does not have a hope in hell of beating WCB and the Appeals Commission when their legal costs come out of their own pockets and WCB and the Appeals Commission’s costs come out of the accident fund that is funded by tax payers who subsidize the the accident fund by having to pay to support workers whose claims and benefits have been illegally denied. The Government must rethink the whole purpose of having workers compensation when workers have to fight for benefits that they are entitled to.

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