If you have suffered an injury or illness at work or because of your work, you may be entitled to make a workers compensation claim.
When it comes to workers compensation law in Queensland, there are two types of claims:
- Statutory compensation claims (no fault needs to be established)
- Common law compensation claims (fault or negligence on behalf of employer must be established)
Shine Lawyers are expert statutory and common law claims lawyers that can help you start a claim. It’s important to seek expert legal help as soon as possible following an injury at work, ideally before any permanent impairment assessment - to make sure your rights are protected.
Learn more about the process for bringing a compensation claim with Shine Lawyers through the video below:
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Common questions about Statutory Workers Compensation Claims
In Queensland, workers compensation is a type of insurance that is compulsory for all employers. It ensures that any employee who suffers an injury at work or because of work is able to be compensated for what has happened to them.
The provider of accident insurance for all work related injuries in Queensland is typically WorkCover Queensland, with the exception of self-insurers.
If you have suffered an injury at work or because of work, it’s always best to seek legal help as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected, and to maximise your entitlements.
Depending on the nature of your case, you may have either a statutory claim, or a statutory claim and a common law claim. In order to establish which type of claim you should bring about, it’s always best to speak to a lawyer who can assess the facts of your particular situation.
If you have been injured at work, it can have a profound impact on your life. It’s important that you seek expert legal help as soon as possible following your injury to address the many technicalities and complexities of your case so that your entitlements can be maximised.
When it comes to statutory claims in Queensland, it doesn’t matter who was at fault for causing the injury at work. Compensation is paid to the injured worker regardless of who was at fault.
As part of the statutory claims process, you should always seek legal help as soon as possible following your injury to give yourself the best chance at maximising your entitlements.
Compensation can come in the form of:
- Weekly payments as income replacement
- Lump sums for permanent impairment
- Compensation for hospital and medical expenses.
If your claim is accepted by WorkCover in Queensland, they will pay you weekly benefits. The amount of this benefit is calculated as a percentage of your wage. You can usually claim up to 85% of your normal earnings for the first six months, and up to 75% of your normal earnings for up to five years, or until your injuries are deemed stable and stationary.
Once your injury is deemed stable and stationary which means it’s unlikely you will improve with further medical treatment), you will be referred for a medical assessment by a doctor on a WorkCover approved panel. It’s strongly recommended that you seek expert legal help prior to this assessment, so as to allow adequate time to strongly position your case.
If your claim is for a psychological injury, you will be medically assessed by the medical assessment tribunal MAT). The MAT is usually a panel of two or three doctors who specialise in the injury you have obtained.
Once you have been to the MAT, or to an independent examination, you will be provided with a notice of assessment NOA) and an offer of lump sum compensation.
At this present moment you have 20 business days to choose to accept this offer or you can claim common law damages. If you’re injuries occurred between 15/10/2013 to 30/01/2015, the law in Queensland means you typically have to have your injuries assessed as having greater than 5% permanent impairment. If your injury occurred during this period and was assessed as less than 5%, or if you disagree with the impairment assessment you have been given, you can apply to have the report reviewed by another medical practitioner or the MAT.
It is of critical importance to remember however, you have 20 business days from receipt of the Notice of Assessment to make this decision. Legislation surrounding the impairment threshold in Queensland is currently being reviewed and it’s possible that lower degrees of impairment will be able to make a claim as a result.
It is strongly recommended you consult with an expert lawyer who can position your case strongly to maximise your entitlements and ensure you get the right compensation for your injuries.
WorkCover, or the relevant self-insurer, typically pay for the cost of medical treatment they consider is reasonable. You must have prior approval from WorkCover or the relevant self-insurer before undergoing this treatment.
It’s important you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible following your injury so they can ensure you get the right advice for your situation.
When it comes to common law claims, it does matter who is at fault for causing the injury and negligence must be established against the employer. Not only this, but if you were injured between 15/10/2013 – 30/01/2015, you’ll only be entitled to make a common law claim if you are assessed as having a physical and/or psychological impairment of greater than 5%. This impairment threshold in Queensland is currently being reviewed, and it is possible that lower degrees of impairment will be able to make a claim as a result.
Under Queensland law, in order to progress a common law claim, a statutory claim must also be lodged and accepted by WorkCover or the relevant self-insurer.
Compensation for common law claims can be obtained for:
- Past and future loss of earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering
- Medical and hospital expenses
- And many other things specific to your case.
As part of the common law claims process, you should always seek expert legal help as soon as possible following your injury. The technicalities and complexities that can arise in a case require vast knowledge of the legal system, and when it comes to positioning your case in a way that maximises your entitlements – seeking the help of a lawyer is often the best way to proceed.
Under the Queensland WorkCover scheme, all employers are required to insure their staff against accidents.
You are generally protected by WorkCover if you are:
- A casual or permanent employee
- A full-time or part-time employee
- A self-employed worker in some cases)
- A person deemed to be a worker juniors, work experience students and some volunteers)
Injuries and illness covered by the scheme include:
- Injuries suffered at work, because of work, or during work activities
- Diseases caused by work
- Diseases or pre-existing conditions made worse by work
- Injuries suffered while travelling for work
- Injuries suffered while receiving treatment for a separate work injury.
As part of our service, Shine Lawyers provide most workers compensation claims on a No Win No Fee guarantee, which means you won’t have to pay our legal fees unless we win your claim at the end.
The legal fees themselves are determined by the amount of work required to successfully resolve your claim. Once a lawyer knows the facts of your particular situation, they should be able to provide a good indication of the fees that are likely to be involved.
Once you have made a claim with WorkCover, it is allocated to a WorkCover claims manager and you will be provided with a claim number. WorkCover should make contact with you and your employer within three days of making your claim.
Before WorkCover make a decision, they will give you the opportunity to provide them with more information about the incident and your injury. WorkCover will also make contact with your employer to notify them that a claim has been made and confirm with them further information such as wage and salary advice.
WorkCover consider particular information when they decide a claim.
This information includes whether:
- Your claim was made within the time limits
- You were employed at the time of the injury by an employer who is not self-insured
- You are considered to be a worker
- Your injury was caused by a work-related event and you were injured because of, or in the course of employment and if the employment significantly contributed to your injury.
WorkCover will collect information from you, your employer, witnesses to the incident, your doctor and other doctors of WorkCover’s choice.
Before any of this happens, and in the immediate aftermath of your injury, it’s important you seek expert legal advice that can help you to position your case strongly.
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.
- Gold Coast
- Hervey Bay
- North Lakes
- Stones Corner
- Sunshine Coast
Shine Lawyers have expert No Win No Fee lawyers that can help you determine your rights and bring forward a claim on your behalf.
The below links contain further information regarding your legal options.
Shine Lawyers also have accredited specialists in personal injury law in Queensland:
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