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Permanent Impairment Claims and WorkCover


If you have been injured at work, or as a result of work, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation under Queensland or Western Australia law.

Under the WorkCover scheme, injuries are usually assessed for the degree of permanent impairment of an individual. It’s important to obtain expert legal advice prior to any WorkCover impairment assessment, because failing to put forward a strong case at this assessment can severely impact your ability to maximise your entitlements.

If you are looking to make a WorkCover impairment claim, seek legal advice from an expert as soon as possible after your injury to ensure your rights are looked after.

Learn more about the process for bringing a compensation claim with Shine Lawyers through the video below.


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Common Questions

Permanent impairment is an injury that doesn’t resolve or improve with medical treatment. Any worker who suffers from a workplace injury is entitled to a permanent impairment assessment. If a worker suffers an injury in the workplace or because of work-related activities, they may be unable to perform certain functions ever again.

A work-related injury or disease may result in a temporary or permanent impairment, which results in:

  • Loss of efficient use of part of the body, or
  • Loss of part of the body

As part of bringing about a claim for workers compensation in Queensland, you will have to be assessed in relation to your permanent impairment with WorkCover. This is often referred to as a permanent impairment assessment.

The assessment is a medical decision made by an independent doctor, and is usually expressed as a percentage in order to calculate offers of lump sum compensation. Seeking expert legal help as soon as possible following your injury, and most certainly prior to this assessment, is important to ensure the full scope and scale of your injuries are recognised, and that your case is positioned strongly to maximise your entitlements.

When it comes to getting compensation for your injuries through the legal system, there are strict regulations that govern your ability to make a claim.

Under Queensland law, if you have suffered an injury at work or because of work, there are two types of claims:

  • Statutory claims
  • Common law claims

Your ability to make a claim under statutory or common law claims really depends on the facts of your situation and the laws in your specific state. No two claims are the same, so it’s best to seek legal help from a lawyer so they can advise you on your rights and entitlements as soon as possible.

If you make a claim through the WorkCover system there are many steps involved. You may have to provide a statement or attend a WorkCover impairment assessment, among other things. It’s very important you seek legal help before any of the abovementioned, so you can put a strong case forward to maximise your entitlements and ensure the full scope and breadth of your injuries are taken into account by WorkCover.

Depending on the nature of your injuries and your specific situation, WorkCover can ask you to make a statement about the circumstances of the injury. Deciding whether or not to give a statement is a very complex issue and there is no obligation for you to provide a statement.

Seeking legal help before making a statement is always a good idea. An investigator who has requested you provide a statement will always respect a request for you to consult a legal advisor before doing so.

If you have suffered a significant injury that’s likely to have long-term effects, it can be particularly important to provide a statement to WorkCover, but only in the presence of an expert lawyer. Without doing so, you run the risk of presenting a case that doesn’t take into account all the facts of the situation.

Some words which can be included in a statement, which may appear to be harmless, can cause serious complications further on in the case that will restrict your right to further compensation. For example, if you’ve suffered a major injury, and in describing your injury you stated “it is possible that I may have been distracted”, this might be used later on by WorkCover as the basis of an allegation of contributory negligence.

Seeking legal help prior to the impairment assessment is very important. Without doing so you may not be putting a strong case forward to WorkCover that takes into account the long-term effects of your injury. Once the assessment takes place, it can be very hard to then go back and present a stronger case.

As part of bringing about a workplace injury claim in Queensland, you will have to be assessed in relation to your permanent impairment with WorkCover. This is often referred to as a permanent impairment assessment.

The assessment is a medical decision made by an independent doctor, and is usually expressed as a percentage in order to calculate offers of lump sum compensation.

It’s important to seek expert legal help as soon as possible following your injury, and most certainly prior to this assessment, to ensure the full scope and scale of your injuries are recognised, and that your case is positioned strongly to maximise your entitlements.

The amount of compensation you can claim really depends on the facts of your particular situation. Once you have consulted a legal expert and they have discussed your situation, you should be able to get a good idea of your rights and entitlements and how much you can expect to receive in compensation.

How long an impairment claim for compensation might take depends on many factors. It depends how complicated your injuries are, your medical condition and how long it takes for your injuries to stabilise.

Once a lawyer knows the ins and outs of your case, they should be able to give you a good idea as to the timeframes involved.

Shine Lawyers operate on a No Win No Fee basis for all WorkCover compensation claims across Australia, which means you will only pay our legal fees if we win your case at the end.

The legal costs themselves depend on the amount of work required to resolve your claim and this is different depending on your circumstances and the complexity of your case.

Shine Lawyers have offices in the following locations in Queensland and WA. As part of our service offering, home or hospital appointments can be arranged at your convenience.

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