If you have been injured at work and made a workers compensation claim, you will eventually learn that your weekly benefits are not going to be paid forever. Eventually, the workers compensation insurer (usually Workcover Queensland) will close out your claim by sending you to an independent medical examination (or for psychiatric injuries – to the Medical Assessment Tribunal) for the purpose of a permanent impairment assessment. After the examination, you will be issued a notice of assessment. If your impairment score is assessed at greater than 0%, the notice of assessment will include a lump sum offer of compensation.
If you accept the lump sum offer, your matter will be closed and you will never be able to make a further claim for damages (generally known as a ‘common law claim’). So it is important to understand what you may be missing out on before you accept. At Roche Legal, our solicitors provide free advice over the phone as to whether you should take the offer or not.
Note: If your injury is assessed as 0%, you still have the option to dispute this and make a common law claim.
If you choose to ignore or reject the lump sum offer contained in your Notice of Assessment, you may be eligible to make a common law claim for damages provided you can prove that your workplace was negligent in some way and that negligence caused or contributed to your injuries.
Common Law Claim Pay Out Figures
Published statistics from Workcover Queensland suggest that the average pay out for a common law claim is currently around $168,836.00.
Actual settlements from recent common law claims made by clients of Roche Legal who were originally assessed with injuries causing less than a 5% degree of permanent impairment (DPI):
Your potential common law pay out depends on many factors including your age, your occupation, whether you require ongoing medical treatment, and your future working capacity. Roche Legal will also arrange for you to undergo a further IME for a comprehensive re-assessment of your injuries to better understand your symptoms.
Making a common law claim is not a straight forward process and we strongly believe that you should never attempt to represent yourself. There are certain elements you must prove in order to make a successful common law claim. The main element is that you can establish that your injury was caused by the negligence of another party or the negligence of your employer generally.
Some workers falsely think that their own carelessness at work caused the injury and choose to take the lump sum offer and not pursue a greater common law claim. If this is you, it would pay to speak to us before making a decision – it would cost you nothing and you could have a lot to gain.