Workcover Claims - Workplace Negligence
Workers Compensation Injury Claims
Being injured on the job doesn't automatically qualify you for Workers Compensation. Workers who are full-time, part-time or temporary employees are entitled to claim. If you are a contractor or a freelancer you may have entitlements and will need to seek advice.
To obtain WorkCover benefits (or 'Workers Comp') you must be classified as a 'worker' under the legislation. If you are unsure we strongly suggest you seek free legal advice. If you are classified as a worker and injured then your entitlements can include weekly payments for time off work (loss of earnings or a percentage of loss of earnings), payment of agreed medical expenses and potentially a lump sum payment for an permanent impairment. In certain circumstances you can consider a common law (negligence) claim which could supply financial compensation for the genuine loss and compensation rather that the statutory (lower) amount available under the Workers Compensation Claim Legislation.
If you do not meet both criteria (being a worker and suffering an injury) you may still be entitled to claim from the insurance company or statutory body involved. If you are denied benefits you may have appeal rights and we strongly suggest you obtain immediate legal advice.
If you are a worker who suffers an injury you are entitled to statutory benefits including:
- Weekly payments for time off work towards loss of earnings.
- Payment of agreed and authorised medical expenses; and
- A possible lump sum for any permanent impairment if the accident happened at work or travelling to or from work.
Once a WorkCover claim has been lodged on your behalf and accepted by either WorkCover or the insurer they will then pay your loss of earnings or percentage thereof at the agreed rate. The rate can vary and also if your earnings include items such as commission, overtime, etc. you may well not be entitled to payment of these aspects of your earnings.
See also: Hoops and hurdles
In most cases, the amount of damages which flows from this type of claim is far greater than the lump sum which WorkCover may offer you under the statutory benefits scheme.
The WorkCover system is complex and many variables apply in considering whether it is more favourable for a claimant to attempt to bring a damages claim under WorkCover or outside WorkCover. That is why you require the assistance of a expert such as those at Legal Compensation.
Here are some situations where claims outside the WorkCover system can occur:
- Genuine sub-contractors are outside the statutory WorkCover scheme. They get no statutory benefits and any claim for damages is treated as a common law claim unless they hold their own Workers Compensation Insurance.
- If you work for a labour hire agency you are entitled to statutory benefits but a damages claim is usually made as a common law claim against the host employer at the time.
- If you are injured by the negligence of another organisation working at the same place, you are entitled to statutory benefits but a common law claim may be possible against that other organisation for their negligence.
- If you are injured by faulty equipment, a claim for negligence or breach of warranty may possibly be made against the supplier of the equipment for the injury sustained.
There are potential advantages and disadvantages of being outside the WorkCover system that need to be considered and evaluated depending on the facts of each individual case. The first thing you should do is seek legal advice.
The workers compensation laws clearly favours employers and disadvantages employees by making it difficult to obtain fair compensation for their workplace injury and by protecting employers interests. This has also unfairly been added to by individual State Governments introducing unfair thresholds and limits to claims, irrespective of fault or negligence.
Because of the unfair nature of the legislation and the different issues that need to be considered you really do require the assistance of a specialist in workplace injury compensation. It is important to remember that time limits apply.
Advice is completely free so seek legal advice. To make an online enquiry - click here
WorkCover or the insurer may also offer you a lump sum payment once your injuries have stabilised if there is a permanent aspect to the injury, this is a statutory benefits under the scheme. You do not need to prove negligence or fault for the injury occurring to claim these benefits. The size of any lump sum paid is based on the level of the permanent impairment which has been sustained. This will normally require to be assessed by an appropriately qualified medical specialist is assessed medically and depends on the nature and extent of your injury.
As an alternative to any lump sum payment which WorkCover or the insurer may offer, you could be entitled to elect to sue your employer's insurer or WorkCover for negligence and claim damages (in some cases you may actually be able to do both). To succeed in a common law claim you must be able to establish that your workpalce injury was due (at least partially) to a fault in the workplace (i.e. negligence) and you must satisfy other specific liability and threshold criteria.
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Your injury may vary, minor to severe
Below is a list of common injuries:Head injury, or brain injury, back injury, whiplash injury, shoulder injury, broken bones including nose, arm, leg, finger or toe fractures including fractured shoulder, arm, leg or finger, loss of limb I.e the loss of a leg or arm, loss of finger, thumb or toe, wrist injury or hand injury and there are many more...
Free Legal Advice
- Find out everything you are entitled to claim for
- Find out what compensation payout you may receive in your particular State or Territory
- Find out how to lodge a compensation claim and how the claims process works
- Ensure you get the maximum payout possible. If you have an offer from WorkCover we can advise you if the offer is an acceptable amount
- Find out if you qualify for a 'No Win No Fee' arrangement
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