In Queensland, if you’ve been injured at work during the course of your employment, you’re generally able to make a workers’ compensation claim.
Sounds daunting, and possibly, like a lot of hard work – but it doesn’t need to be.
We’ll walk you through the workers’ compensation claims process and the steps you’ll need to take to start your claim.
Queensland’s statutory workers’ compensation scheme
Queensland provides a no-fault scheme, meaning an injured worker is entitled to statutory compensation regardless of whether it’s the worker’s or the employer’s fault that the injury occurred. Compensation may include payment for lost wages, medical/rehabilitation expenses, and reasonable travel costs. This is known as the Statutory Compensation Benefits phase.
Additionally, if the injury results from the employer’s or third-party negligence, the worker may be eligible to claim for damages in a common law action. This is known as the Common Law Damages phase and requires you to prove your injuries occurred because of negligence. This is the process we’ll explain in this post.
4 Steps to make a common law claim for damages
Here’s what you’ll need to do to lodge a claim:
1: Report your injury to your employer
You must immediately notify your employer of your injury, if possible. They have a duty of care to ensure your safety and the safety of fellow workers and are required by law to log the details of the incident to investigate.
2: Visit your doctor to assess your injury
You must also visit a doctor and have your injury assessed and treated. If you’re unable to work, your doctor will give you a work capacity certificate during your visit, which is required as part of the claims process.
3: Submit your workers’ compensation claim form
Whether you need to claim for time off work or simply compensation for the medical expenses you incur, you’ll still need to lodge a workers’ compensation claim form. You can find one at your doctor’s, post office, or by contacting WorkCover.
Lodge your completed claim form with your employer and attach the details, certificate of work capacity (if relevant) and invoices relating to your medical treatment to support your claim, as soon as possible.
4: Commence a Common Law claim
If you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible to claim against your employer for common damages. This is where you’ll need to lodge a Notice of Claim for Damages with WorkCover Qld (or the relevant self-insurer), so they can investigate.
You could self-represent or you could talk to a professional workers’ compensation lawyer to advise and act on your behalf. Often, proving fault is not straight forward and may require an expert’s guidance to ensure every possible angle is looked at and every possibility considered before you can proceed with a Common Law claim.
How is a Common Law claim calculated?
Working with a lawyer specialising in workers’ compensation might produce a better settlement, as we’ll calculate:
- loss of income and superannuation benefits while off work
- out of pocket medical expenses (past and future)
- any rehabilitation and pharmaceutical expenses (prescriptions, pain medication)
- pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life due to your injuries
- any past and future care and assistance you may need.
Get in touch to explore your options
Unfortunately, there are strict time limitations that apply to a workers’ compensation claim, so it’s important you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
You can get in touch with one of our friendly experts for your free case review for a better understanding of your situation and eligibility to claim.