Sustaining a severe injury can be a challenging and life-altering experience, affecting everything from your daily routine to your financial situation and emotional health. This is especially true if you obtained a serious injury at work.
If you have received a serious injury, compensation can play a large role in your recovery, helping you to gain control back over your life. For work-related injuries, there is a chance that you can claim with WorkCover Queensland. Read more to learn how GC Law can help you understand your eligibility and entitlements.
What Is A Serious Injury?
Also known as ‘critical injuries’, a serious injury is defined by significant physical or mental trauma. They are typically serious enough for you to be taken straight to hospital and often have a permanent impact on your life. This could involve the need for continuous treatment and care.
Serious injuries include, but aren’t limited to:
- Back, neck and spinal injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Nerve injury
- Loss of vision or altered vision
- Psychiatric injury (injuries that impact your mood, feelings, thoughts or behaviour)
- Burn injury to more than 30% of the body
It is a common misconception that serious work injuries only occur during your working hours. Instead, a work-related serious injury can also happen on your lunch break, when you are doing something that is a direct result of work, or even on the road going to or from work. It can even be an injury that has appeared because of your previous work environment. For most people, this is joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries.
Am I Eligible for a Serious Injury Compensation Claim With WorkCover?
If you’ve experienced a serious injury in the workplace, you may be eligible for compensation with WorkCover Queensland (or a self-insurer). To make a successful claim for a work-related serious injury, you will need to prove the following:
- Your employer was negligent
- Your employer was a significant contributing factor to your injury
- The injury is considered a serious injury
Every serious injury claim is different and depends on your own individual circumstances. Because of this, different criteria may be applied for injuries such as:
- Psychological injuries: not all injuries are eligible for compensation, such as those caused by ‘reasonable management action’ (for example, a demotion or transfer)
- Industrial deafness: you must have been diagnosed and have worked in the loud environment for five or more years
- Injuries during travel to and from work, and scheduled breaks: to be eligible, you must be travelling between your home and workplace (or one workplace to another) without any major deviations or delays. If it is outside of this journey, your employment must be a significant contributing factor.
- Aggravated injuries or ongoing injuries: This includes having ongoing symptoms from an injury you have claimed for prior, even if that claim is now closed.
- Work-related diseases: This includes respiratory diseases.
- Death caused by a work-related event: This includes illnesses like mesothelioma or malignant skin cancer.
If you have experienced any of these injuries, our team at GC Law can help you to understand your eligibility for compensation based on your individual circumstances.
What Compensation Can I Claim For A Serious Injury?
Experiencing a life-altering serious injury can be a worrying and uncertain time. We understand that your challenges go beyond your injury, impacting your mental health, lifestyle, relationships and ability to earn an income. At GC Law, we are here to champion your needs and get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
The compensation you receive for a serious injury is dependent on your individual circumstances, such as your type of injury and the accident itself. Some possible areas that you could get compensation for include but are not limited to:
- Treatment and rehabilitation
- Loss of income
- Home & yard modifications
- Care expenses, such as support worker services
- Psychological support
To know what you could be compensated for, is best to speak to one of our team members for individualised advice.
How Long After A Serious Injury Can I Claim?
Time limits apply when making a serious injury claim. In many cases, you can claim for a serious injury up to 6 months of knowing your compensation entitlement.
However, this time can vary depending on your injury and accident. We recommend that you reach out to our legal team as soon as practically possible to ensure that you receive the right compensation. This should be after you have prioritised your health and sought advice regarding your injuries.
How To Make A Serious Injury Compensation Claim
If you have sustained a serious injury relating to work, your claim is governed by WorkCover (or a self-insurer, depending on your organisation’s insurer). The steps to getting compensation are as follows:
Seek Medical Attention
After your accident, your health should be the priority. Seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital immediately. They will help to guide you through your initial treatment. It is also important to note that WorkCover can only provide support from the date your doctor first assessed your injury.
Get A Work Capacity Certificate
A work capacity certificate is essential for a serious injury compensation claim with WorkCover. It includes information such as your diagnosis, work capacity and required treatment. You can get a work capacity certificate through your treating doctor.
Let Your Employer Know
It is important that you inform your employer of your accident as soon as you can. You should also give your employer a copy of your work capacity certificate and let them know of your claim.
Make A Claim With WorkCover (Or A Self-Insurer)
There are several ways that you can make a claim with WorkCover. This could be online, over the phone, through the post or with fax. A WorkCover team member will then assess and gather the information they need to make a decision. This includes potentially speaking to your employer, doctor, and any witnesses to the incident.
Receive A Decision
Typically, WorkCover will let you know of their decision within 20 days or less. However, this can sometimes take longer in complex cases. If they are unable to come to a decision, they will let you know and provide it to you in writing.
If your claim is accepted, WorkCover will work with you to ensure that you are being paid in the way that best suits your circumstances. They will also help you with other treatment expenses related to your claim and guide you through the process of returning to work.
Do I need a lawyer?
Our team at GC Law can provide you with a free consultation today to discuss your bicycle injury compensation claim. Get in touch with our Gold Coast Compensation lawyers today for a free consultation and speak with a qualified injury lawyers Gold Coast who can explain your options.