Sole Trader's Workers Compensation

29/10/2021

Sole Trader

  1. How does workers’ compensation for sole traders work?

Workers’ compensation is an insurance scheme that provides compensation to those who suffer an injury as a result of their work.

Whether or not a sole trader is entitled to access benefits under the Victorian workers’ compensation scheme will depend on their particular circumstances.

What needs to be considered is whether the sole trader is covered by a Workcover insurance policy. This might be a policy taken out by the sole trader themselves or a policy held by the company that the sole trader is contracting their services to.

What also needs to be taken into account, is the nature of the relationship between the sole trader and the company they are performing work for. Relevant considerations include the proportion of work done by the sole trader for that company, who provides the equipment to be used to complete the work, who sets the hours of work and who directs the manner in which the work is to be performed.

  1. What expenses can be covered under workers’ compensation for sole traders?

If a sole trader has an accepted workers’ compensation claim they might be able to claim the following expenses and entitlements:

  • Weekly payments for time off work
    • Under the Victorian workers’ compensation scheme, a worker is entitled to weekly payments of compensation for up to 130 weeks. That entitlement is available if the worker is unfit to perform the duties they were performing prior to their injury.
  • Reimbursement of medical expenses
    • A worker is entitled to be reimbursed for the reasonable cost of the medical expenses they have incurred as a result of their injury.
    • This can include the cost of physiotherapy treatment, general practitioner visits, medication and surgery.
  • Lump sum compensation for permanent impairment
    • If a worker suffers permanent impairment as a result of a work related injury, they might be entitled to lump sum compensation
    • The amount of compensation the worker is entitled to, will depend on the percentage of impairment they have suffered in accordance with a set of medical guidelines called the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
  • Damages if their injury occurred due to the negligence of another
    • If a worker has suffered their injury as a result of the fault or negligence of another person or company, they might be entitled to claim compensation for their pain and suffering, and loss of income.
    • First, the worker must demonstrate that they have suffered a serious injury under the law. This requires to worker to establish that the consequences that their injury has had on their lives are very considerable when compared with others.
  1. How long does it take to settle a compensation claim?

A worker who has an accepted workers compensation claim, will be entitled to access compensation by way of weekly payments and medical expenses within approximately 6 weeks of lodging their claim.

Lump sum compensation can be obtained after 12 months has passed from the date of the worker’s injury depending on whether their injury has stabilised.

However, each case is different. The time taken to resolve a compensation claim will be influenced by many factors including the ongoing need for significant treatment required by the worker.

  1. Where can I find the best lawyers near me?

Gordon Legal’s workers’ compensation lawyers have extensive experience in representing injured workers across any industry.

We are able to meet you in person, speak to you on the telephone or by video call. 

We pride ourselves on our ability to support you and keep you informed throughout the workers’ compensation claim process and will take all the steps required to ensure that your entitlements are maximised.

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