If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to benefits through WorkCover Queensland for loss of wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Importantly, you may also be able to claim damages if your injuries were caused as a result of negligence by your employer. For example, the negligence may involve an unsafe system of work, unsafe equipment, or an unsafe work environment. It can also cover the negligent actions of a co-worker. You may even be able to claim damages if you suffered injuries on someone else’s premises.
There are, however, time restrictions for lodging an application for WorkCover benefits. It is important to note if there has been negligence on behalf of your employer, you may be able to obtain more compensation via a Common Law claim than through the usual statutory process. We are able to assist you with your application. You need to contact us as soon as possible so we may protect your legal rights and discuss your entitlements.
Most of our compensation claims can be run under our “No Win/No Fee” policy. In other words, you will only need to pay our professional fees if there is a judgment or settlement in your favour.
What is a WorkCover Claim and who can seek compensation?
Workplace injuries can range from catastrophic to strains and sprains, including repetitive strain injury (RSI).
If you’ve been injured at work, due to the negligence of an employer or co-worker, our lawyers can help you obtain all the workers’ compensation benefits and damages to which you are legally entitled.
We can help with advice about:
- Entitlement to damages claims
- Lump sum compensation entitlements
- Payout offers you may have received
- Making WorkCover Queensland claims
- Rejected compensation claims
- Terminated compensation benefits
As an injured worker, you have two options for compensation in Queensland – a statutory claim or a common law claim.
Under a statutory claim, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who or what caused the work-related injury within 6 months of the injury*. Benefits under this ‘no fault’ system may include hospital and medical expenses, lost wages, travelling expenses, rehabilitation treatment or a lump sum compensation payment for permanent impairment.
*If the 6 months has passed contact your Lawyer to discuss your options.
Common Law Claims
Most claimants start with a statutory claim and move on to a common law claim, if their employer is at fault.
Common law claims must be lodged within three years from the date of the injury, and damages can include payments for past and future loss of income, treatment and other expenses, and pain and suffering.
Your employer is insured for the cost of these claims by WorkCover Queensland; or some large employers have their own self insurance.
If negligence by other parties has contributed to your injuries, as in the case of an accident caused by faulty equipment supplied by a third party, they may be required to contribute to your damages claim.
However, if you contributed to your own injuries, for example, by not following safety instructions, the amount of damages may be reduced.
Most importantly, you should obtain advice from our lawyers before signing any documentation or responding to any settlement offer from the other party, or you may lose your right to claim damages.
You should contact us as soon as possible after the injury, because strict time limits apply for making a claim.
We want you to understand the legal process – Step By Step
Most cases settle before they get to court. The reason is simple. We assess each case very thoroughly, and we only advise clients to pursue compensation or damages when there is a clear likelihood of a successful outcome. While each claim is unique, the process will generally follow the below distinct stages:
You tell us exactly what has happened to you. We review the details of the incident and tell you if your case has good prospects for success or if it does not. There are no costs to you for this advice, and you are under no obligation to proceed with legal action. Should you choose to make a claim, we submit a Notice of Claim to the other party notifying them of your intention to pursue a claim and the circumstances of your case within one month of the initial consultation.
The insurer investigates your claim to determine if they will accept liability in full or in part, or will deny that they are liable for your injuries. We continue to obtain updates from you in relation to your injuries, treatment, requirement for assistance, the status of your employment and so on. In some cases, it is appropriate for your lawyer to liaise with the insurer to ensure that they assist you in obtaining rehabilitation for your injuries.
We compile evidence to assist in proving your claim to the insurer, including medical, taxation, financial and employment records. We may also obtain expert medical reports depending on the nature of your injuries; and you may be required to attend medical examinations with specialists of the insurer’s choosing. Reports from experts in other fields that relate to your case may also be sought at this stage.
We give you an assessment of the amount you can reasonably expect as a settlement and, with your authorisation, we submit an opening offer to the insurer to commence settlement negotiations. Generally, settlements will be reached through these negotiations. Out-of-court settlements are usually in everyone’s best interest because they can resolve the claim faster, and with much less expense, than if the claim proceeds to trial. If a settlement can’t be achieved, we lodge court proceedings on your behalf in the appropriate court.
Once your claim has been successfully settled or judgement has been given in a court, we arrange for you to receive the funds to which you are entitled, and arrange for payment of your legal fees. Should the claim not be successful, our lawyer does not charge you for legal fees or disbursements.
The actual time taken for a negotiated settlement to be reached will depend on the facts and complexity of your case. Claims that go to the courts will take longer and be subject to the schedules of the court.
What to do Next?
If you would like to make a work place accident enquiry, please call 1300 QLD LAW or complete the form below and one of our work place accident Lawyers will be in touch.
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