If you have injured yourself at work, suffer a work related injury or had an accident on your way to or from work, you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation.
Who can claim work injury compensation?
The Workers’ Compensation scheme covers anyone employed under a contract of service, regardless of their tax paying status. A worker can include a person working under an ABN, subject to certain conditions including:
- Casual and permanent employees
- Full-time and part-time employees
- Some sub-contractors or self-employed workers (if most of your work is for one organisation or you are treated by an organisation in a similar way to an employee)
What types of workplace injuries can I claim compensation for?
Work injuries can be both physical and stress-related such as depression and anxiety.
Some of the physical injuries you can claim compensation for include:
Amputations, fractures, bran injuries, burning, scarring, strain or sprain, eye injuries, internal injuries, chemical exposure, electrocution and neck or back injuries.
Speaking to a work accident lawyer can help ensure you are claiming exactly what you are entitled to. Depending on whether your employer is at fault, you may be entitled to make a Common Law Claim as well as submitting a Statutory Benefits Claim which are both explained in more detail below.
Understanding work accident compensation
Do I have a Statutory Benefits Claim?
Anybody injured at work can apply for Workers’ Compensation regardless of whom or what caused the injury. Some people don’t realise that you can make a claim irrespective of whether there is fault on the part of your employer. You can make a claim for loss of wages, medical and rehabilitation expenses and a lump sum compensation for permanent impairment. Your application for Workers’ Compensation must be made within 6 months from the date of the injury.
Do I have a Common Law Claim?
If your injury was caused by the negligence of your employer than you may have a Common Law claim as well as a statutory benefits claim. Most injured workers have a Common Law claim because almost all workplace injuries are preventable. Generally you will proceed with a common law claim after you stop receiving your statutory benefits.
Once your injuries are stable and stationary, you will then receive a Notice of Assessment providing you a percentage of work related impairment and a lump sum offer. The compensation payable in a Common Law claim is often many times higher than lump sum payments of compensation offered under the statutory benefits scheme, so it is in your best interests to make Common Law Claim. A Common Law claim must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the injury.
Should I accept the lump sum payment or submit a Common Law Claim?
In most cases you cannot accept an offer of lump sum compensation and make a Common Law claim. If you are made an offer of lump sum compensation you should contact us immediately before making any decision about the offer. Accepting the lump sum offer may result in you losing all of your rights to make a Common law claim and to a larger payment of compensation.
Injured workers often get anxious about proceeding with a Common Law claim, as they worry it could have a negative effect on their employment, but please keep in mind that employers have insurance for these situations.
How do I claim?
The claim is started by sending a Notice of Claim for Damages to WorkCover. WorkCover then has 6 months to investigate the Workers’ Compensation claim before making a decision about liability. The next step is to attend a settlement conference where the claim is usually settled. It is highly unlikely that your case will end up in court.