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What are your rights after suffering an injury at work?

by adminJune 16, 2020


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In Australia, injury at work claims can be made in a number of ways depending on an individual’s injuries and how they came about. Millner and Knight have experts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

What are your rights if you have suffered an injury at work?

If you are deemed an eligible/insured worker, you may be entitled to make a statutory claim or a common law claim to cover or recover your financial losses.

1. Statutory claims

Usually, only minor injury claims fall under statutory law.

Under statutory law, compensation is designed to bridge the gap between injury and recovery. Generally, statutory claims made against an insurer to supplement a person’s wages and medical bills while they are unable to work or work in the same capacity. Once a person has recovered, payments stop, they return to work and the case is closed.

Generally, under statutory law, there is no option to make a claim for any future damages.

2. Common law claims

Generally, all no-fault injury claims which meet a required threshold fall under common law.

Under common law, compensation is designed to put a plaintiff in a position they were in before having an accident and are often in the form of a lump sum.

Under common law, anyone who has been injured or harmed due to someone else negligence is entitled to be compensated. This means that if an individual can not prove that somebody else was wholly or at least partially at fault, they may not be able to recover damages. However, under statutory law, individuals in many instances can still make a claim, even if they were at fault for the accident which caused their injuries.

Navigating the legal system can be a difficult task. For free and impartial advice talk to our work injury lawyers on 1800 106 107. All calls are free and without obligation.

How to make an injury at work claim?

Compensation can be claimed by yourself or with the help of a legal representative via no win no fee.

In most cases, minor claims which fall under statute law do not require legal representation unless a dispute arises. To make a statutory claim, you simply need to liaise with the insurer and follow their protocol.

Any type of claim which falls outside of the above is most commonly pursued by plaintiffs with the help of a solicitor. Common law claims can be complex and require a deep understanding of both prior cases and regulations imposed by statute.

How long do claims take?

Again, this depends whether an individual is making a statutory claim for compensation or a common law claim. Generally, claims made under statutory law are paid almost instantly and may come on the form of a one-off help payment or weekly benefits, such as wage replacement.

Common law claims generally take anywhere between 1 and 3 years to settle. An insurer will generally not pay out until a plaintiff’s injuries have fully healed.

Who can claim after suffering an injury at work?

Claimants may include but are not limited to:

  • Employees under the WorkSafe regulated system
  • Workers injured in no-fault accidents in all states and territories
  • Employees injured under the WorkCover system
  • Workers injured in at-fault accidents in some states and territories
  • Employees injured travelling to and from their place of work
  • FIFO workers injured on remote sites
  • Construction workers injured on building sites
  • Production and line workers inured in warehouses and yards
  • Employees injured under the Comcare system
  • Office workers injured in an office environment

There may be several other instances that give rise to a claim.

How much compensation can an individual claim?

Under statutory law, a claimant may be eligible to claim up to 85% of their normal income until they return to work. Under common law, there are numerous heads of damage, however, the bulk of a claim is made up of economic loss and non-economic loss.

Non-economic loss

Non-economic loss refers to compensation to make up for any pain and suffering. There are numerous Acts in each state and territory that impose several limits on the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive for non-economic loss arising from personal injury or death.

Economic loss

Economic loss refers to lost income whether that be past or future lost earnings, medical expenses, travel coats or care.

Did you know that we have developed an industry-leading tool that can accurately calculate the amount owed to individuals for different types of accident and injuries?

Facts about weekly benefits and lump sum compensation for work injuries

Employees who have suffered an injury at work may have the option to make both types of claims simultaneously or separately.

Work injury compensation is a little simpler in the fact that a plaintiff can only make a common law claim of they can prove employer negligence.

Statutory WorkSafe or WorkCover weekly payments are often paid without any resistance, however, in some cases, employees find it difficult accessing their entitlements. More often though problems and disputes arise after a claim is accepted such as;

  • Employees being pressured to return to work to soon
  • weekly payments being cut-off early
  • unfair dismissal

If you’re having trouble accessing your entitlements it’s best to speak with an expert.

Do you need to make an injury at work claim?

If you believe that you or a loved one is entitled to compensation for an injury at work but wondering where to start, speak to the experts at Millner and Knight. We can quickly help you understand your rights and entitlements along with providing you with free and impartial advice on what to do next.

To speak with a member of our team who specialises in cases like yours call 1800 106 107. All calls are free, confidential and there will be no pressure to proceed with things after our initial conversation.