An injury at work can turn your life upside down. It can derail your life in numerous ways, not only financially, but also in terms of your mobility and lifestyle. It may even undermine the stability of a family or relationship.
There is nothing we can do about your unfortunate accident, however we will do our utmost to help you reach a satisfactory outcome, be it statutory ‘Workers Compo’ or a common law claim. With this in mind, we present the following guide so you’ll know precisely what to do and where you stand on a range of injury compensation issues.
If you have prospects of proving negligence (ie fault) on the part of your employer you can claim for common law damages which take into account:
• Pain, suffering and loss of amenities of life;
• Past economic loss;
• Future economic loss and loss of earning capacity;
• Future medical, rehabilitation, pharmaceutical and traveling expenses.
It is very rare that these matters proceed to trial. Generally, in excess of 96% of matters settle without the need to go to trial.
In the event of a work or workplace injury:
• Seek medical attention.
• Report the injury to your employer ASAP. You have only 6 months to apply for compensation.
• If you wish to make a claim for injury compensation, ask your general practitioner for a Workers’ Compensation Medical Certificate.
• Accurately and truthfully fill in an Application for Compensation Form plus an Employment Declaration if you are claiming for lost wages.
• Supply all three original forms to WorkCover and copies to your employer.
You must cooperate with all persons involved and minimise the effects of your injury through appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Depending on the complexity of your claim, WorkCover will assess your claim (once your injuries have stabilised). They may delve deeper, and have your claim reviewed by a Medical Assessment Tribunal consisting of three qualified specialists. If your application is rejected, you have three months to appeal. Remember, even if you get knocked back by WorkCover, you can still apply for common law damages.
Take action now as strict time limits apply when seeking compensation.
You have only 6 months to lodge an application for compensation with WorkCover. However, lodging a statutory claim outside 6 months from the date of injury can also jeapardise any future common law claim. If your workplace accident occurred more than 6 months ago and you have not lodged a statutory claim with WorkCover you should contact us immediately to receive free legal advice.
Generally, in relation to accidents in Queensland you only have three years from the date of accident within which to issue proceedings in Court. Should you not issue proceedings within this time then you could lose your rights forever and be prevented from claiming.
Proceedings can not be issued in Court unless ‘pre-court’ procedures have been completed pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act.
If pre-court procedures have not been completed and the three year limitation period is drawing near a Notice of Claim form can be lodged. If this document is deemed ‘compliant’ by Workcover within the three year period the limitation period is then extended until 60 days after a compulsory conference is held.
If a Notice of Claim is not lodged and compliant within the three year period the action will be statute barred.
Also, whether within the three year limitation or not, a matter can be statute barred if proceedings are not filed and served within 60 days of the holding of a compulsory conference.
No Win No Fee
At Splatt Lawyers we acknowledge that many injured people become financially distressed as a result of an injury and may not be able to afford the up-front costs involved in running a claim for personal injuries.
We work on a No Win No Fee Basis, we will agree to act on a speculative basis after a careful assessment of the facts and circumstances of your case. To act on a speculative basis means that we undertake not to render an account for our professional costs unless and until the matter is successfully concluded in your favour.
For more information about our No Win No Fee policy click here.