In Queensland if you suffer an injury at work, you will be entitled to compensation.
The first thing that you should do, if you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of your workplace is to ensure that you report the injury or illness to a person of authority at your workplace. It is also important to obtain a WorkCover medical certificate.
There are two types of compensation:
- Statutory Compensation - you simply fill out papers and lodge them with the insurer (usually WorkCover Queensland however for large employers there may be a “self insurer”). The statutory insurer is required by law to cover you for lost wages and medical expenses and help rehabilitate you. In appropriate cases WorkCover will help get you back to work. You may be entitled to lump sum compensation under the legislation and we can assist you with that.
- A Common Law damages claim - employers owe very strict duties to employees to provide and maintain a safe system of work. If the injury has occurred as a result of a failure by the employer to do so, you will be entitled to proceed with a damages claim.
A damages claim usually results in far greater compensation than the statutory compensation. You are entitled to claim for damages for pain and suffering, loss of income (past and future), medical expenses and out of pocket expenses.
Lump Sum Compensation - Beware
It is imperative that you not accept lump sum compensation without obtaining legal advice. In the majority of cases, if you accept the lump sum compensation from WorkCover QLD (or the employer as self insurer) you will lose your right to bring a damages claim.
If your injury exceeds a certain threshold, you will be entitled to accept the lump sum offer and also bring a damages claim. This option is reserved for the very serious cases.
In some cases it is appropriate to seek a review of the initial offer of lump sum compensation made and we can guide you through that process.
Time limits apply
Strict time limits apply to bringing a claim so we recommend that you speak with one of our experienced injury lawyers as soon as possible.