In Queensland, there are two stages in a workers’ compensation claim. They are:-
i) statutory claim (no fault);
ii) common law claim.
What is an injury?
An injury can be physical or psychological in nature, or both.
What is a statutory claim?
A statutory claim is a no-fault based claim. Once WorkCover accepts your claim, it will pay for your rehabilitation and if you are unable to work, your wages. At this stage the issue of “fault” is not consided.
When do I have to lodge a statutory claim?
You have 6 months from date of injury assessed by the doctor.
It is important that once a work incident (which caused your injury) has occurred, you:-
i) report the incident to your employer;
ii) consult a medical practitioner;
iii) lodge your claim within 6 months.
I have stopped receiving benefits and payments from WorkCover.
Depending on the reason behind the cessation of payments, you may be entitled to request for an assessment for permanent impairment.
Once an assessment is completed and if an impairment is assessed as being more than 0%, WorkCover will make a lump sum offer.
In our experience a lump sum offer is normally much less than a common law claim, because it does not fully consider losses such as past and future out of pocket expenses, past and future loss of income etc.
I received a lump sum offer from WorkCover.
It is very important that you seek legal advice immediately before responding to that offer.
In most cases, accepting this lump sum offer will result in you forgoing your right to pursue compensation in a common law claim.
What is a common law claim?
After you receive a “Notice of Assessment” at the end of your statutory claim (and assuming you did not accept the lump sum offer), you shall be entitled to commence a common law claim.
A common law claim is where you seek compensation for losses you have and will incur in the future because of the negligence of your employer. In this type of claim the issue of “fault” is considered.
The amount of damages (compensation) at this stage is always higher compared to the lump sum offer made at the end of the statutory claim.
What are the time limits in a common law claim?
Generally it is 3 years from the date of injury. However if your injury occurred between 15 October 2013 and 30 January 2015, the time limit may effectively be shorter.
If in doubt please contact us immediately at 07 5665 6392.
*Please note that the above advice is general in nature and does not consider injuries which occur over a period of time. It is highly recommended that you seek professional legal advice regarding your individual circumstances. For a free initial consultation and case review, please feel free to contact us on 07 5665 6392.