How do I make a claim if I am injured at work?
The rules relating to the making of a claim are very strict. You need to comply with same in order to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. If you are injured at work you must report the accident and injury to your employer as soon as possible and also complete a register of injuries book which your employer must have available for you. If you need time off work as a result of your injury then you need to provide your employer with a WorkCover medical certificate provided by your treating doctor. If your injury is likely to cause you to be off work for longer than 12 weeks or if you will require medical treatment which costs more than $7,500 then you will need to complete and lodge with your employer a Workers Compensation Claim Form. Generally this should be done as soon as possible following the accident and at the very latest within six months of the injury occurring.
What can I claim if I am injured at work?
If injured at work you may make a claim for compensation under a number of different headings. Firstly you are entitled to claim weekly benefits of compensation for periods that you are off work. This may or may not be your actual loss of wages but rather statutory benefits payable for periods of absence. If you are able to work but on restricted duties or restricted hours you are entitled to be paid make up pay. You are also entitled to have all your reasonable medical treatment expenses paid. This would include seeing your local doctor, a specialist, any physiotherapy or rehabilitation required as well as medication and travel expenses incurred in going to and from your doctors. It may also be the case that you are entitled to recover a separate lump sum of compensation for the injury which you have sustained if you can establish that the injury results in a whole person impairment of at least 11%. For a psychological injury however the degree of impairment must be 15% or more before compensation can be claimed under this heading. There may also be an entitlement to claim for the cost of home care if the injury sustained restricts or prevents the worker from undertaking domestic duties around the home. However, in order to recover home care services the degree of impairment resulting from the injury must be at least 15%.
Does it cost a lot to bring a workers compensation claim?
The answer is, no. In fact it should not cost the worker anything at all. When Brydens Lawyers act for an injured worker an application is made to WorkCover Independent Review Office for a grant of legal funding. If legal funding is granted then this will cover all of the worker’s legal costs. Therefore, for a statutory workers compensation claim there will be no costs payable by the injured worker. All of the fees for Brydens Lawyers are paid by WorkCover.
Will my job be at risk if I make a workers compensation claim?
It is unlawful for an employer to take any action as against an injured worker if that worker makes a workers compensation claim. In our experience the making of a workers compensation claim does not put a worker’s employment at risk. Most employers are reasonable and understand that they carry insurance to cover their workers in the event that they are injured. What does pose a risk to the worker’s continuing employment is if the injured person cannot return to work due to the injury for a lengthy period of time. The employer is obliged to keep that worker’s job open for a reasonable period of time but cannot be expected to keep the job open forever. If a worker is absent from employment for a lengthy period of time by reason of their injury then it is not unreasonable for the employer to terminate the worker’s employment.