Worker’s Compensation Claims

Types of Injuries

There are many types of physical and mental injuries and illnesses caused by a negligent employer including:-

  • Physical injuries such as repetitive strain injury, industrial disease, workplace illness, skin conditions, vibration white finger, tinnitus, manual handling incident, carpal tunnel syndrome, skin disease or cancer, burns, chemical exposure, amputations, paralyses and or quadriplegia, disfigurement and scarring, eye injuries, hearing problems, work-induced heart attacks and strokes, toxic exposure, broken bones, fractures, breaks, dislocations or injuries to back, head, brain, knee, neck or shoulders, electrocution injuries etc.

  • Mental illness caused by violence of another employee, harassment, abuse or discrimination and psychological injuries sustained in the form of work related stress, emotional trauma or psychiatric disabilities etc.

Statutory Claim

If you have suffered an injury during the course of your employment, irrespective of negligence or responsibility, you are entitled to statutory benefits from your employer’s insurer.

To initiate a statutory claim, you must report the accident to your employer and lodge your workers compensation claim with your employer’s Worker’s Compensation Insurer. While some employers are self-insured, in most cases the insurer will be WorkCover Queensland.

You must also seek medical assistance and obtain medical evidence to show that your injury is work related.

Under the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, a statutory claim entitles you to the following benefits:-

  • Weekly payments as income replacement;

  • Hospital and medical expenses.

  • Travelling expenses

  • Rehabilitation treatment and return to work services; and

  • Lump sums to compensate for permanent impairment

WorkCover will meet these costs until they establish your injury is stable and stationary, meaning the condition has reached maximum medical improvement and that suitable rehabilitation has been undertaken.

WorkCover will finalise your claim with an assessment of permanent impairment if you have suffered:

  • loss of efficient use of a part of your body; or

  • the loss of a part of your body.

If you have suffered a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to lump-sum compensation. WorkCover will have you assessed and offer you a lump sum compensation pay out. Accepting the offer will finalise your statutory claim and you will not receive any further benefits from WorkCover, including weekly benefits.

If you accept a lump sum offer for an injury that is assessed as being less than 20%, you will lose your rights to pursue a common law claim, absolutely.

While WorkCover will deal with you directly throughout the course of your statutory claim, we strongly recommend you telephone our office immediately after the accident to obtain legal advice specific to your circumstances. Please click here to submit an obligation free enquiry or call 1300 369 597 to arrange a free of charge consultation.

Common Law Claim

You can pursue a common law claim in the event that your were injured during the course of your employment and your employer was at fault or partially at fault.

Negligence can be established, for instance, if an injury was sustained as a result of inadequate training, unsafe premises, work place health and safety issues or building site safety issues.

Unlike the Statutory Claim, under a Common Law Claim you will also be able to recover the following damages:-

  • Pain and Suffering;

  • Past Economic Loss;

  • Past Loss of Superannuation Benefits

  • Future Economic Loss;

  • Future Loss of Superannuation Benefits;

  • Future Medical Expenses; and

  • Future Care and Assistance.

While your statutory claim must be finalised before proceeding with a common law claim, it is recommended you immediately engage a solicitor to represent you with these affairs to ensure your rights are protected.

Southern Gold Coast Lawyers will arrange for you to be assessed by our panel specialists for the purpose of obtaining medico-legal reports. Much like in the statutory claim, this report will provide a permanent impairment percentage however, such percentage will be in accordance with the scales of the Civil Liabilities Act 2002 and therefore legally appropriate.

Southern Gold Coast Lawyers will investigate your compensation claim and prepare a Notice of Claim for Damages, service of which will initiate common law proceedings.

Investigations will be undertaken into liability and quantum and Southern Gold Coast Lawyers, with a view to expedite common law claims as soon as reasonable practical, will then arrange a compulsory conference and negotiate settlement of your compensation claim.

As the circumstances and particulars of your accident will affect the prospects of success of a personal injury claim, we strongly recommend you telephone our office to obtain legal advice specific to your circumstances. Please click here to submit an obligation free enquiry or call 1300 369 597 to arrange a free of charge consultation.

Time Limits

An application for compensation made under the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 is only valid and enforceable if you submit the application within 6 months after the entitlement to compensation arises. This limitation applies to both statutory and common law claims.

As an injured worker, your ability to pursue a worker’s compensation claim against your employer is governed by the Statute of Limitations Act 1976. Upon reaching the limitation date, you will lose your rights to pursue a common law compensation claim, absolutely.

Queensland legislation allows 3 years from the date of the accident to bring a claim against WorkCover or your employer’s self insurer, noting also there are a number of regulations that must be met prior to the expiration of that limitation date.

As the circumstances and particulars of your accident will affect the prospects of success of a personal injury claim, we strongly recommend you telephone our office to obtain legal advice specific to your circumstances. Please click here to submit an obligation free enquiry or call 1300 369 597 to arrange a free of charge consultation.