Summary

Your employer is under a duty to provide you with safe systems of work and to ensure your health and safety at work. Your employer may also be responsible for the negligent acts of co-workers which cause you injury.

In Queensland, you have the following options:

  1. Statutory claims:. a ‘no fault ‘ claim for WorkCover payments. This may include compensation for wages cost, medical treatment and rehabilitation costs. All claims made in Queensland first need to be lodged as statutory (no-fault) claims.
  1. Common law claims: (where the employee seeks common law action for compensation through the courts) – this is usually a far bigger claim and is in addition to the statutory claim for WorkCover benefits but it does require you to prove that the employer was at fault.

Things to do immediately if you have been injured at work

To make a successful claim, it’s important to do three things:

  1. Report your injury to your employer immediately.
  2. Visit a qualified medical practitioner as soon as possible. You’ll need medical evidence to prove your injury is work related.
  3. Lodge a claim with your employer’s insurer.

You should obtain legal advice before signing any documentation from WorkCover, otherwise you might lose your right to claim damages. We will guide you through the WorkCover legal process and carefully explain the options available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a claim for compensation?

Yes. If you have been injured at work you will be entitled to workers compensation under the statutory scheme irrespective of whose fault it was. In addition you may be able to file a common law claim if you can show fault on the employer’s part.

However, please note you may not be entitled to worker’s compensation if you were injured travelling to or from work. Depending on the circumstances, you might still be entitled to compensation if a vehicle was involved.

You may also be entitled to workers compensation if you were travelling because of work e.g. between worksites.

Who Can I bring the claim against?

You can bring the claim against your employer but your employer’s insurer will be responsible for paying you compensation if you are successful with your claim.

How do I know if my employer has workers compensation insurance?

All employers in Queensland are required by law to have workers compensation insurance.

What can I claim compensation for?

  1. A Workers Compensation claim:

May include a lump sum or sums for permanent impairment, and weekly payments for lost wages, medical treatment costs, and rehabilitation costs.

  1. A Common law claim:

If the injury was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of past income
  • Loss of future income earning capacity
  • Medical and hospital expenses
  • Rehabilitation Costs
  • Travelling expenses
  • Cost of return to work services

What has to be proven for my claim to be successful?

  1. Workers Compensation Claim – You have to prove:
    • you were employed at the time of the injury by the employer; and
    • you were a ‘worker’ in the legal sense; and
    • the accident happened because of or during the course of your employment but not whose fault it was; and
    • you suffered an injury or illness as a consequence; and
    • your claim was made within the time limits.
  1. Common Law Claim – You have to prove:
    • the accident happened; and
    • that your employer was at fault; and
    • you suffered an injury or illness as a consequence.

Are there any important time limits to bring a claim?

  1. No Fault Workers Compensation claim – In Queensland usually you have:
    • 30 days to notify your employer of your injury. It may be possible to get this extended but may affect the amount of compensation you get.
    • six months to lodge a workers compensation claim.
    • If you have been on workers compensation and then referred by WorkCover for a medical assessment to a WorkCover panel doctor or a medical assessment tribunal – you will be given a Notice of Assessment with an offer of a lump sum by way of compensation. You have 20 business days from the date of receipt of this Notice of assessment to accept this offer. If you decide not to then you may be able to make a claim for common law damages through the court provided you can prove the accident was the employer’s fault.
  1. Common Law claim – In Queensland, you need to make a claim within three (3) years from the date of the accident.

Are there any other limits to bringing a claim in Queensland?

Yes. You must have greater than 5% permanent impairment to make a common law claim if the accident happened on or after 15/10/2013 and before 31/01/2015. If you suffered an injury during this particular period and you were assessed as having less than 5% permanent impairment, then you can apply to have this assessment reviewed.

Who pays me the compensation?

Your employer’s insurance company pays your compensation if your claim is successful.

How much compensation can I claim?

This depends upon your individual circumstances. At ROCHE Legal we seek the maximum amount of compensation available for your situation.

How long does a claim for compensation take?

We strive to complete claims within two (2) years. It may settle earlier but this will depend on whether the insurer is prepared to offer an appropriate settlement.

Will my employer sack me if I make a claim?

Employers are not usually prepared to do this as there are laws in place to ensure this does not happen. However, your employer may not keep your job open if you cannot work anymore due to your injuries or illness.

Can I make a claim on behalf of the estate if the injured person passes away?

The law allows for a dependency claim to be made in the event of death. We can also help you determine if there are any death benefits provided for in the deceased’s superannuation fund and in the event the deceased had any life insurance cover.