If you are suffering severe stress in the workplace, you may be able to claim compensation depending on your circumstances and the facts of your particular situation.
Stress claims for compensation can be extremely challenging to litigate against. There are many legal requirements that need to be satisfied in order for the client to have a viable case. In order to submit a WorkCover claim for stress, it’s necessary for your legal team to demonstrate that you have suffered an ‘injury’ within the meaning of the WorkCover legislation. This means you cannot typically claim for experiencing stress as an emotion, but rather, you are suffering from a clinical medical condition.
The WorkCover stress claims legal process
WorkCover claims law falls under employment law, which is a broad area of law that focusses on most areas of the employer/employee relationship.
The image below illustrates the WorkCover stress claims process and how you can access compensation.
How stress claim compensation gets calculated
Depending on the nature of your stress claim, a monetary value is usually placed on the gap between your predicted life path before the stress condition, and your actual life path since.
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Common questions about WorkCover stress claims for compensation
When it comes to making a stress claim through WorkCover, in some cases the source of the stress is easily identifiable. For example, a policeman may be subjected to severe external stress in the course of their employment if they are threatened by an offender. Where the source of stress is external but encountered in the course of employment, and this stress has had a profound impact on the person’s life, then these claims are likely to be accepted by WorkCover.
Other claims that involve stress arising from internal circumstances within the workplace, for example interpersonal interactions or supervisory disputes, may also give you a good chance of making a claim through WorkCover. Illegal conduct such as sexual harassment, bullying or assault can cause severe stress and claims based on these actions can also be brought forward. It really depends on the facts of your particular situation and the laws governing the Australian state where the abuse took place.
In cases where the conduct that gives rise to the stress is more subtle, it can be difficult to establish a stress claim. Shine Lawyers are WorkCover claims experts and as part of our service can help you understand your rights under Australian law. As part of our service offering we undertake all WorkCover claims on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay any legal fees until we successfully resolve your claim.
A good indicator of whether you’re suffering from a medical condition and able to bring a stress claim, is whether you are receiving treatment for your condition. If you haven’t sought medical treatment for your stress condition, it can be hard to establish and prove your case under the law.
Seeking medical help and advice is very important. If you don’t do this as soon as possible, it can be much more difficult to get the proper treatment and help and may impact your claim for compensation.
It can be difficult for a court to decide which perception is correct which makes it challenging to to predict the likely outcome of court proceedings.
If your claim is rejected or disputed by WorkCover, there may be other avenues to compensation depending on the facts of your case. It might be possible to have your case referred to a medical panel. It’s important you seek expert legal help for your stress claim to ensure your rights are not compromised because of a dispute with WorkCover.
It’s important you seek expert legal advice before any WorkCover assessment and as soon as possible after your stress injury has occurred. It’s also important that you seek this legal advice before accepting any lump sum payment from an insurer.
The legal costs themselves will 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.
Most people making stress-related compensation legal claims choose not to act for themselves and instead engage an expert compensation lawyer. The best compensation lawyers can provide the knowledge and experience required to help guide a case to a successful outcome.
Why choose Shine
Meet the team
Shine Lawyers also has accredited specialists in personal injury law in Australia:
Stuart Le Grand, Melbourne
Ron Kramer, Fairfield
Susan Newman, Sydney
Zlatko Mackic, Liverpool
Jodie Willey, Brisbane
Kathryn Rayner, Townsville
Melissa O'Neill, Brisbane
Michelle Wright, Springwood
Roger Singh, Brisbane
Simon Morrison, Brisbane
Our compensation experts are in the following locations:
New South Wales
- Gold Coast
- Hervey Bay
- North Lakes
- Stones Corner
- Sunshine Coast
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