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Work Injury Claims (Workers’ Compensation) – QLD

Statutory Benefits and Negligence Damages Claims

When you are injured on the job or on your way to or from work as a Queensland worker, you can apply for and receive workers' compensation benefits.

Often referred to as statutory compensation, the benefits usually paid consist of wages while off work, payment of approved medical assistance and rehabilitation. If your injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, you may be offered a lump sum payment as well.

If it can be established that your employer was negligent in causing your injury or illness, then you also have the right to claim common law damages.

Self-Insurers and WorkCover are required to assess and manage all statutory and negligence damages claims in accordance with the rules set out in the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

We can assist and advise you about:

  • Day to day statutory claim management advice;
  • Legal consequences of an impairment assessment and lump sum offer;
  • Disputing a decision to reject or cease an application for compensation;
  • Making a common law/negligence claim relating to a work injury.
 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Review to the Workers Compensation Regulator

If you disagree with a WorkCover insurer's decision about your claim, you have three months from the date of receipt of the decision (with written reasons of the decisions) to apply for a review to the Regulator.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Appeal to Qld Industrial Relations Commission/Court

If you disagree with a decision of the Regulator following a review application, you have 20 business days from date of the Workers' Compensation Regulators’ review decision, to file an Appeal to the Industrial Relations Commission.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Notice of Assessment and Lump Sum Offer

If your workplace injury leaves you with a permanent impairment, you are entitled to have your work injuries assessed for permanent impairment. If the doctors decide that you have an impairment, then the WorkCover insurer will issue a Notice of Assessment and you will be offered lump sum compensation.

Importantly, WorkCover and self insurers when they finalise or close your claim, do not automatically organise a permanent impairment assessment of your accepted injuries. If they do not, it can be arranged later.

When an assessment is done, you will receive a document called a Notice of Assessment. If you disagree with the Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI) set out in the Notice of Assessment, you can challenge the assessment. You have 20 business days from receipt of a Notice of Assessment to disagree with an impairment assessment. There are some options available when challenging a permanent impairment assessment, and we strongly suggest that you call us about the best option for you before your 20 days run out.

Once a final decision is made about your Degree of Permanent Impairment (DPI), a fresh Notice of Assessment will be issued. In the Notice, a lump sum offer of compensation will be made if you have a DPI finding. Some very important and complex decisions need to be made when you receive a Notice of Assessment. It is not just about accepting or rejecting any lump sum offer; it is also about deciding whether you want to pursue a common law negligence claim.

It is also very important that if you receive a Notice of Assessment that you DO NOT rely on any discussions or advice the WorkCover insurers' claims officers have given you. They are not practising compensation lawyers and for that reason are not allowed to provide legal advice. They are also employees of the insurer and have a very clear conflict of interest that also prohibits them from providing advice to an injured worker. Any discussion with a WorkCover claims representative about a permanent impairment assessment finding or a notice of assessment lump sum offer is a legal discussion.

We encourage everyone who has sustained a work injury to have his or her injury assessed for permanent impairment, so that a Notice of Assessment can be issued. It is the only way you can access all of your workers' compensation entitlements.

We also strongly recommend that every person who receives a Notice of Assessment immediately obtains legal advice before making any decisions about it.

We offer initial free consultations on any work injury enquiry.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.

Negligence or Common Law Claims

Not every work accident is because of employer negligence; but many are. Often you will not know exactly what it was that could and should have been done to prevent the workplace accident that hurt you.

If it can be established that an employer was negligent in causing your injury or illness, then you will succeed in a claim of common law damages. Typically, you have three years from date of a workplace injury to commence a common law claim for damages because of the negligence of your employer in causing your injury.

If you have an injury that was sustained over time, or you have a latent onset illness or disease like occupational cancer, an asbestos-related illness or even a cumulative injury like repetitive strain, you must commence the claim within one year of your medical diagnosis, or in some cases, the onset of initial symptoms.

If this is you, we would encourage you to seek immediate legal advice from very experienced workers' compensation lawyers, as over time injuries are complex and the time frames that apply are very tight. Not all personal injury compensation lawyers understand the arguments about extensions of limitation periods and the medical complexities about how a workplace can cause latent onset injuries and illnesses. We are experienced in latent onset disease, complex injuries and limitation period extensions and are able to assist.

Proving an employer is negligent is not an easy thing to do so it is advisable to seek legal advice and assistance in investigating and preparing a common law claim as soon as possible after the workplace injury. Rest assured that the employer and their insurer have already begun to investigate your potential claim before you have even fully recovered.

We offer initial free consultations on any workplace injury enquiry. We only work for and represent injured workers and can assist and advise you about:
• Claiming workers' compensation;
• Rejected or cancelled claims;
• Reviews and appeals;
• Medical assessment tribunal hearings;
• Permanent impairment assessments; and
• Common law negligence claims.

 

The above is general information only and not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on this information to make decisions but should seek expert legal advice about your specific circumstances.