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What do you need to know about having an injury at work?

Have you been injured at work? You may be entitled to apply for workers’ compensation benefits.

Who is entitled to workers’ compensation?

You will be entitled to claim for workers’ compensation benefits if:-

  1. you are a worker within the meaning of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, including contractors in some situations;
  2. you sustain injury during the course of work;
  3. the injury occurred in Queensland or the location of employment is within Queensland; and
  4. you are a subcontractor, and you have a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

What injuries can you claim for?

The types of injuries that you may claim for include:-

  1. injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents which happen while you are on your way to and from work, regardless of whose fault; and
  2. diseases, physical and psychological injury, and aggravation of health status which are due to your accident.

When to lodge a claim if you have sustained an injury at work?

It is necessary to report the incident to your employer immediately. If it’s not possible because of the injury you have sustained, ask a co-worker or someone else to do it for you.

A weekly salary compensation plus medical expenses claim may be requested from an employer, if the claim was filed within six months of occurrence of the accident. However, in dealing with WorkCover ensure that 28 days do not lapse between the time of the occurrence of the injury and filing the claim otherwise the claim may not be granted without a ‘reasonable excuse for the delay’.

With a “Common Law Damages” claim, legal action must be commenced within three (3) years of the incident. There are instances where extensions can be granted, however, in this case, you need to urgently contact McNamara Law to protect your interests.

How to lodge a worker’s compensation claim?

A Worker’s Compensation claim form is available for download from www.worksafe.qld.gov.au  or we can prepare the form for you.

You may also ask your General Practitioner or employer to lodge a claim form for you or call WorkCover on 1300 362 128.

A medical certificate must be attached to an application for workers’ compensation. Upon examination of the injury, the doctor’s findings will determine your entitlement for compensation. Finding a competent and qualified medical practitioner is very important.

The employer must be kept informed of the course of action taken by you.

Copies of all documents lodged with WorkCover must be kept by you. The date when the application is lodged with WorkCover must also be noted. McNamara Law can help you with this process and also ensure that you have all the necessary information and documents for lodging a Worker’s Compensation claim.

How long does the claim take?

WorkCover is expected to respond to your application within 20 business days to accept or reject your claim for any injuries. There are instances where you may be requested to set up an appointment with a Doctor of WorkCover’s choice for further medical investigation.

If your employer offers an amount of money so that you do not lodge a workers’ application, DO NOT accept this payment as it is illegal. In these circumstances, contact McNamara Law promptly.

How much will you be paid if the claim is approved?

You are entitled to “Weekly Payments”. The information below will give you an indication of what WorkCover may pay you following the initial payment:

  1. For the first 26 weeks following injury usually 85% of your normal earnings; and
  2. After the first 26 weeks up to 2 years following injury usually 75% of your normal earnings.

After 2 years the payments are significantly reduced, however in some circumstances the payments may remain at 75%.

What medical expenses does WorkCover pay?

Only the expenses relevant to medical treatment for your injury sustained will be covered by WorkCover. For treatment such as surgery, physiotherapy, psychological counselling or chiropractic, further approval must be sought. McNamara Law will be able to assist you with this process, particularly if WorkCover attempt to decline funding for treatment.

If you have suffered from injury at work and need assistance with your WorkCover claim, contact one of our injury lawyers on 1300 285 888.

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