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01. Report the injury to your employer
Every employer, by law is required to have an injury book or accident register you can fill in. If your workplace doesn’t have one, you can provide your employer written details of your injury; this can be done in person, by email or by letter. Make sure you keep a copy of any written notice for your own records. It is very important that you notify your employer in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury, or your claim may be potentially rejected.
02. Visit your doctor
After suffering a work-related injury, the first step is to visit your doctor for treatment. Even if you think your injury is only minor, sometimes the true extent of an injury only becomes apparent over time, so it is very important to explain the circumstances and everything that happened to you. At this consultation the doctor will issue a "Certificate of Capacity". This certificate is important for submitting your workers’ compensation claim.
03. Complete and submit your claim form
Complete the workers’ compensation claim form, attach your certificate of capacity to the form, and submit it to your employer. Be sure to also keep a copy of the completed form and certificate for your own records.
Lodging a claim should happen within 6 months of your injury, but don’t be discouraged if you’ve missed this timeframe. It can be extended under certian circumstances.
Types of workplace compensation
There are three separate and distinct forms of compensation that may be available as follows:
- Weekly compensation payments during any incapacity for work.
- Payment of reasonably necessary medical expenses by the insurance company, including travelling expenses to and from such treatment.
- Lump sum compensation for impairment to your person arising from those injuries, which needs to be determined by a suitably qualified doctor.
Who can claim?
Anyone who has sustained an injury as a result of work.
The lodgement of any workers compensation claim should be made promptly as there are time limits that for such claims to be made. Accordingly it is vital that you report the injury promptly and lodge any claim for compensation as soon as possible.
It is vital that you seek and obtain early legal advice in respect of the lodgement of these documents. Failure to do so will inevitably lead to future difficulties.
What will it cost?
We don’t charge you anything for our work, we are paid by the Workers Compensation Independant Review Office (WIRO).
We don’t even ask you to pay for the expenses, we cover those too until we are reimbursed by WIRO at the end.
Accordingly you will not be out of pocket at any stage.
How will it affect my employer?
Workers compensation insurance is compulsory. Your employer pays it so that if you are injured you are covered. The effect of any such claim is minimal on your employer and is no different in effect to you claiming on your own home or car insurance if your home is robbed or if your car is involved in an accident.
I would like to claim compensation but am reluctant to see lawyers
Claiming compensation can be stressful and worrying for some people. Not only do you have to cope with the physical pain from your injuries but people are usually placed under severe financial hardship by the inaction of insurers who do not pay compensation promptly or reliably.
As a specialist firm, we protect your interests and prevent insurance companies from failing in their obligations to you. If you fail to obtain good legal advice from a specialist in the field you could put yourself at a significant disadvantage. After all the insurance company always use specialist lawyers, so why shouldn’t you.
These days, common law claims against employers in negligence are very limited. That is because the Government has passed laws which say that no matter how guilty your employer was, you are only entitled to bring a negligence (Work Injury Damages) claim if you are assessed as having 15% or greater Whole Person Impairment (WPI)
Even if you qualify your damages are restricted to past and future wage loss. But at least this gives you some means of recovering the difference between what you are receiving on workers compensation and what you would be earning if still working.
However you are required to give up all your future Workers Compensation rights including the rights to medical expenses. So the decision to go ahead with a negligence (Work Injury Damages) claim is a difficult one that we would need to discuss with you in depth.
The only way we can overcome this hurdle is if your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party other than your employer.
This is one area where a specialist firm like ours can make a big difference. We have had people come to us whose solicitors have told them there is no more that can be done for them only to find out from us that they are eligible to claim substantial lump sum compensation from third parties.