Workers' Compensation Claims
If you or someone that you know has been injured at work or when travelling to and from work, you may be entitled to Worker’s compensation. Workers' Compensation is an insurance scheme run by WorkCover that is there to help workers who are injured during the course of their work, get back on their feet.
Because Workers' Compensation is no different to most insurance schemes, it's not unusual for injured workers to get a little confused about how it all works.
How it Works
Basically, it's like this. There are two types of claims:
- Statutory (no-fault) claims;
- Common law claims
All claims in Queensland have to first start as statutory (no-fault) claims.
The first of which is the Statutory claim where you hold no blame against your employer for the injury and WorkCover may, if the ducks line up, offer you a single settlement figure.
The other option, again if the ducks line up, is choosing a common law claim. This is where you look to hold your employer to account and in doing so, commence legal action. This doesn't necessarily mean you're going to court as most Workers' Compensation claims are successfully negotiated between your lawyers and the lawyers acting for the insurance company (WorkCover)
Now, like most things, because you will be dealing with an insurance company that aren't in the business of maximising your entitlements, it's a good idea to get legal advice as early as you can so you don't make any decisions that may adversely impact you down the track. Remember, the insurer that will be running your claim will have a team of lawyers working for them and won't be in a position to offer you independent legal advice.
Another thing to remember is that it's not your employer who will pay for your compensation claim, but rather the insurance company.
Most importantly, very strict time limits apply to making a Workers' Compensation claim in Queensland, so you have to act promptly.
Basically, the requirements stipulated by the Workers Compensation scheme are as follows:
- You became injured at work, as a result of performing work activities
- You contracted some type of illness or disease caused by work
- You already had a diseases or another type of health conditions that was made worse because of your work
- You were injured traveling for work
- You sustained injuries while you were receiving medical treatment for a different work injury
When most people think about work injuries, they invariably think of physical injuries, but stress-related conditions can be considered as well.
Here is a list of probably the most typical types of compensation cases:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Back injuries
- Slipped disc injuries
- Arm/ Hand/Finger injuries
- Leg/Foot/Toe injuries
- Neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head injuries
- Face injuries
- Eye injuries
- Brain injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Death dependency
- Heart attacks
- Chemical exposure
- Asbestos exposure
- Industrial asthma and other lung conditions
- Infectious conditions
- Industrial Deafness
- Asbestos compensation
- Occupational asthma
- Industrial accidents
- Stress claims
- Psychological problems.
Very Important Steps
If you have suffered an injury at work, it is vitally important that you do the following things as early as you can:
- Report your injury to your employer;
- See a Doctor because you're going to need medical evidence that links your injury to your work. This is vitally important because your right to compensation starts on the day you see your Doctor. In other words, if you leave this too late, it may impact upon you financially.
- Get legal advice because it will help you in better understanding your legal rights, as well as minimise the risk of you doing something that may have a negative impact on things down the track.
- Lodge a claim with your employer's insurer
What to do Now
Choosing the best legal help for your circumstance is really important. The relationship you will share with this lawyer can potentially be a long and close one. You need to feel both confident and comfortable during this time.
How long does this all take?
This is a difficult question to answer because a significant part of a claim is dependent upon the nature of the accident, the seriousness of your injury or injuries and the treatment that you're receiving for them.
How will I pay for the legal fees?
No Win No Fee means that you do not pay for professional fees unless your case is successful.