WORKPLACE ACCIDENT CLAIMS GOLD COAST
What do I do if I’ve been injured at work?
If you have sustained an injury in the workplace (as a result of work or during work activities) there are a number of things you need to do as strict time limits apply. These include the following:
- Notify your employer immediately;
- Seek medical treatment as soon as possible as your medical records will be vital evidence to your claim. The doctor will also be required to complete a workers’ compensation medical certificate. Often if you advise your treating doctor that you wish to make a workers’ compensation claim they will have Application form available at their rooms;
- Lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland as soon as possible. You can do this via telephone, online at the WorkCover Queensland website or by completing a physical claim form.
Am I entitled to bring a workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation (or statutory benefits as it is commonly referred to) can include weekly payments, medical and rehabilitation expenses and impairment lump sum and can be provided irrespective of who was at fault.
However, for your injury to be considered it must meet the following requirements:
- Your injury or illness is work-related;
- Your employer has workers compensation insurance (it is compulsory for employers to have this type of insurance);
- You are an employee of the organisation you intend to make a claim against (or were one at the time of the injury).
The Workers’ Compensation Scheme covers the following types of workers:
- Casual and permanent employees;
- Full time and part-time employees;
- Some self-employed workers; and
- People deemed to be workers within the scope of the Scheme (incl. jurors, work experience students and some volunteers).
What is required for a workers’ compensation claim?
Injuries covered by the Workers’ Compensation Scheme in Queensland include:
- Diseases caused by work (such as lung diseases);
- Diseases or pre-existing conditions made worse by work;
- Injuries suffered while in the workplace or traveling for work (you may also be entitled to other compensation if this is the case); and
- Work-related illnesses (such as stress, anxiety from work).
A work injury does not have to be just physical. It can also include psychological conditions or stress-related conditions where you are suffering from symptoms such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.
What are the time limits associated with bringing a claim?
In most cases a workers’ compensation claim must be lodged within 6 months. However, you may lose certain entitlements if your claim is not lodged within 20 business day of sustaining the injury.
In Queensland most personal injury claims have a statutory limitation period of 3 years.
Due to these strict time limits, we recommend you seek legal advice immediately to avoid having your claim barred or missing out on some of your entitlements.
What is a common law claim?
Generally, if you have sustained a workplace injury you will be entitled to workers’ compensation (or what is commonly referred to as statutory benefits) irrespective of fault or responsibility.
However, in some circumstances you may also be entitled to what’s known as a common law claim.
A common law claim is a claim against your employer (and their insurer) seeking damages for a work injury sustained in circumstances where you can establish that your employer was negligent or in breach of an express or implied term of your contract of employment, and their negligence or breach caused your injury.
Common law damages may include compensation for the following:
- pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
- past and future loss of income and superannuation contributions
- past and future special expenses (including medical, allied health/rehabilitation and pharmaceutical expenses, travel expenses, aids and equipment);
- paid care and assistance; and
- in very limited circumstances damages can be awarded for gratuitous care and assistance you have received.
Common law claims can be very complex so it is important to seek urgent legal advice should you believe you are entitled to a common law claim.
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Can I lose my job if I make a claim?
There are strict laws in place to protect you from being sacked before you have lodged a workers compensation claim. So please don’t be concerned about making a claim and losing your job.
How much will a workers’ compensation claim cost?
For all workers’ compensations claims, we work on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis. You will only pay our legal fees where your claim is successful. The amount of your legal fees will depend on the amount of work required to resolve your claim.
Call us today to discuss your entitlement to making a workers’ compensation claim on (07) 56 270 321. Given the strict time limits in place it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.