Workers Compensation & WorkCover Claims
Each State and Territory in Australia has a system to compensate an injured worker when they are injured at work. Worker’s compensation only pays for a part of your real losses. In some States of Australia, you may be entitled to a common law claim for your injuries. These claims are very large in comparison to workers compensation and may result in awards on many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Because of the complication of overlapping legislation you are best advised to talk to a personal injury lawyer or solicitor today as time limits apply to all claims.
If you live in Queensland and suffer an injury at work then you may be entitled to claim workers compensation. The main Queensland workers compensation insurer in is WorkCover Queensland. It is compulsory for employers to hold workers compensation insurance to protect their business and the worker from the expenses and losses that arise from workplace accidents.
Workers compensation claims can cover your wages in case you need time off to recover and reimburse you for expenses such as the cost of medical treatment and you may be reimbursed for other related expenses or losses. This workers compensation insurer WorkCover QLD pays your workers compensation and not your employer.
Workers compensation claims are necessary to support the worker and compensate them for losses and expenses and it is your legal right to be reimbursed for these. Your injury may lead to all sorts of other expenses or losses, and you may be able to claim these through Workers Compensation and reimbursements may include:
- Loss of earnings
- Hospital expenses (reasonable)
- Medical expenses (reasonable)
- Travel expenses (reasonable)
- Rehabilitation expenses I.e. physiotherapy etc
- Lump sum payment
Under workers comp laws, if your injury is serious and has caused a permanent impairment I.e. an injury that has stabilised and is never likely to recover fully, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment. The workers comp insurer has your permanent injury assessed and measured in the form of a percentage. You may then be issued with a Notice of Assessment and may be offered a lump sum payment. When this happens you must seek legal advice BEFORE signing or accepting any offer. If you sign this paperwork, you may lose all future rights to claim.
For example if your injury is permanent and as a result of an employers’ negligence, you may be entitled to a common law claim. This is a separate claim available outside of workers compensation and legal representation is required. A common law claim is a much larger claim as it takes into account your future economic losses and awards you for your pain and suffering.
Examples of permanent injuries submitted through workers comp may include:
- Loss of a finger, toe, limb etc
- Back injury or spinal injury (bulging discs, prolapsed discs, nerve compression, paralysis)
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Head injury (bleed to the brain, swelling to the brain)
- Shoulder injury (tears)
If you suffer an injury at work you must make sure you follow the correct procedures. First report the incident to your employer, your employer should have all the necessary paperwork to process a Worker’s compensation claim through WorkCover Queensland.
The next step is to seek medical attention. This is very important so your injury can be properly assessed. Even if you believe your injury is not serious or permanent it is still recommended that you seek proper medical attention. An aspect of an injury can be easily overlooked and quite often an injury can have a long term impact on your health and you need to discuss the necessary precautions. It is also very important to document all medical assessments to support your claim for QLD workers compensation.