A workplace psychological injury claim is when a claim is made under the workers compensation scheme, whereby an injured person can receive benefits for a psychological injury that was sustained at work (known as statutory compensation).
In some circumstances a work-related psychological injury may progress past this statutory phase and onto a common law claim for damages against the employer who is responsible for the injury.
If you have suffered a psychological injury at work, in certain circumstances, you may be entitled to receive statutory workers compensation – if you have developed this psychological condition as a result of your employment.
You must lodge an application for compensation within 6 months from the date you first consulted a medical practitioner for treatment of your psychological condition. If an application is not lodged within this time it may be rejected on the basis of being out of time.
Workplace Psychological Injury Compensation Claim Process Brisbane
In order to establish an entitlement to such compensation you must prove that your psychological injury arose out of your employment, and, that it did not arise out of ‘reasonable management action, taken in a reasonable way’ by your employer. Consideration of the actions of your employer requires examination on a global basis. The law recognises that the employer is not required to achieve perfection in every action it takes.
Psychological injury examples that may be deemed to be reasonable management action, taken in a reasonable way include:
- Action taken to transfer, demote, discipline, redeploy, retrench or dismiss a worker;
- A decision not to award or provide promotion.
If your claim for compensation is rejected there are several avenues available to appeal this decision. Strict time limitations do apply so it is important you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Calculating Workplace Psychological Injury Compensation in Brisbane
If your claim for compensation is accepted you will be entitled to receive the following compensation associated with your injury:
- Payment of medical and rehabilitation expenses;
- Reimbursement for travelling expenses to attend medical and rehabilitation appointments;
- Reimbursement for medications;
- Wages lost during any period that you are incapacitated for work by reason of your psychological symptoms.
Once your claim for compensation is finalised you may be entitled to pursue a common law claim for damages against your employer.
To be successful in this type of claim you will need to prove that your psychological injury was caused by your employer’s negligence. You will need to prove:
- That your employer knew that you were likely to suffer a psychological injury; and
- They failed to take additional steps to prevent your psychological injury from occurring.
Once this has been established the focus of the claim will then shift to how much compensation you should be awarded as a result of your injury and the permanent impairment attributable to such an injury.
Under a common law claim for damages you may recover damages for the following:
- Pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life;
- Past economic loss calculated by the amount you would have received for wages, superannuation, overtime, bonuses etc.
- Past special damages to include any amounts you are out of pocket for medical appointments, rehabilitation, pharmaceuticals, travel and miscellaneous expenses;
- Future economic loss calculated by the amount you are likely to lose in wages, superannuation, overtime, promotional opportunity, and loss of competitiveness;
- Future special damages for the expenses you are likely to outlay in the future for medical appointments, rehabilitation, travel, pharmaceuticals and miscellaneous expenses once settlement has occurred.
To commence a common law claim you must lodge a Notice of Claim for Damages with WorkCover Qld (or the relevant self-insurer). Once your Notice is deemed complaint by WorkCover (or the relevant self- insurer) the insurer has 6 months within which to conduct their investigations to fully inform themselves of the circumstances of how your injury occurred.
At the end of this 6-month period they will provide you with a written response as to whether they are going to accept or deny liability (on behalf of the employer) for how your injury occurred.
A settlement conference in which the parties attempt to resolve your matter, also known as a compulsory conference, must be held within 3 months of the insurer providing you with their response on liability unless the parties agree to adjourn the conference to a later date.
There are strict time limitations associated with workplace psychological injuries so you should speak with one of our expert lawyers immediately.
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