If you've injured yourself on the job and need time off to recover, you may be experiencing some financial strain due to the reduction in income and mounting medical costs. Fortunately, in Australia employers must legally hold insurance covering their employees to prepare them for situations such as these. This means that you can make a claim for workers compensation to assist you as you recover.
What do I need to do before making a workers compensation claim?
- Visit your GP and provide as many details as possible about your work-related incident. Be sure to clearly state to your doctor that you are seeing them for a workplace injury and will be putting in a claim for WorkCover. Any time needed off work for recovery will need to be covered by a WorkCover certificate which you can ask your GP to supply to you.
- Be mindful of exactly what you say to WorkCover throughout the workers compensation claims process. Remember, WorkCover are insurance agents and it is in their best interest to minimize the payout to you so make sure to explain how the injury occurred at work. You should be mindful of how you conduct yourself during the claim process. WorkCover investigators can conduct surveillance on your movements and activities to try and disprove your claim. If in doubt at any point in the WorkCover process seek legal advice.
- Be prepared that your initial workers compensation claim through WorkCover may be denied. If your claim is rejected by WorkCover there is still the possibility of a viable claim. You should first go through the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service to dispute the denial. This is also a good time to seek legal advice.
- Be aware of time limitations. There are strict legal time limitations in the workers compensation claims process. A claim must be made as soon as possible and while you are still employed with your employer. You can still make a claim outside this, but it is important to seek legal advice if in doubt.
- Seek legal advice from Shine Lawyers. Each workers compensation claim is unique and the legal process will differ depending on the facts of each situation.
The workers compensation claim process:
You can undergo the workers compensation claims process even if your employer is uninsured
By law, employers need to have in place insurance to cover their employees. But the reality is some employers don’t have workers compensation insurance to help protect their employees’ interests. Employers can face hefty fines for not carrying the proper insurance cover.
Can my employer discriminate against me if I make a workers compensation claim?
In short, no they should not, but in some instances they do. If you have been injured at work your first concern is to get the treatment you need to get your life back on track. You shouldn’t have to worry that taking action will give them a bad reputation, it is in everyone’s best interest that you get yourself better.
If your employer is discriminating against you when you are off due to injury or for making a workers compensation claim, you have every right to legally seek assistance to rectify this. Always remember, if you've suffered an injury at work, you're entitled to make a workers' compensation claim. Taking the time to rest, heal and receive medical treatment on your doctor's advice is likely to be better for you in the long run for everyone.
Remember, your workers compensation claim is against your employer's insurance policy, not personally against your employer.
Shine Lawyers – Workers Compensation Claim Experts
If you are suffering from a work-related injury, we can help you to right wrong and get you back on track. Our expert team of workers compensation claim lawyers know the ins and outs of this particularly difficult area of the law. If you have been involved in a workplace incident and you are not able to work and meet your financial obligations please call us today for a free, no-obligations chat.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: March 23, 2020.