If you have suffered an injury related to work, you may be entitled to WorkCover compensation. To make a claim, you will have to complete the Worker’s Injury Claim Form which can be found here.
The WorkCover insurer will process your claim form and determine whether they are liable for the injuries listed on the form. We encourage anyone who is filling out a claim to note anything and everything that hurts at the time of the injury. It does not matter if it is a bruise or an ache – no injury is too minor.
If you have any questions regarding lodging a claim form, please call Gordon Legal on 9603 3000 to speak to a friendly staff member who can step you through the process.
Why is it important to list all your injuries?
If you later endeavor to have an additional injury accepted, despite the legislation including any injuries that occur in the course of recovery treatment and any secondary and sequalae injuries as injuries which should be accepted, these injuries are likely to be rejected by the insurer.
It is important because if you need to add an injury after the claim has been accepted, the insurer will often reject the additional injury on the grounds that it was known and not claimed at the time the original claim form was lodged.
Generally, the insurer will then require you to lodge an additional claim form for the additional injury which is frustrating for you who is trying to access medical treatment to recover from your injury. Alternatively, you will need to dispute the decision of the insurer to reject the additional injury by lodging a request for conciliation with the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (ACCS). Disputing the decision at the ACCS will not cost you, but the delay and frustration in having to fund your own treatment for the injury while waiting for the additional injury to be accepted is very frustrating and the delay in treatment can delay recovery and place further financial pressure on the worker.
Case Study: Stephanie the Sports Teacher
Stephanie works as a sports teacher at a high school. Whilst refereeing a game of netball, Stephanie was pushed to the ground and fell on her hands and knees. She also twisted her ankle severely. At the time of injury, Stephanie also noticed a lot of pain in her hand but decided not to note that injury on her WorkCover claim form as her ankle injury needed immediate medical attention and was the greatest source of her pain. When Stephanie went to the hospital to see whether her ankle was broken, she reported to the nurse that she had a lot of pain in her hand also.
Ankle improves and hand injury worsens
WorkCover eventually accepted Stephanie’s claim for her ankle injury and agreed to pay for medical and like expenses, as well as paying weekly payments. However, six months later, the pain in Stephanie’s hand intensified. It became unbearable for her to drive a car, cook or even hold a pen.
Stephanie’s general practitioner eventually referred her to see a hand therapist. Her hand therapist then asked the WorkCover insurer for permission to see a surgeon to review Stephanie’s severe hand pain, but the insurer rejected the request on the basis that the hand injury was not listed in the initial WorkCover claim form.
A common pain
This is a common occurrence where in the midst of suffering from severe pain as a result of some sort of injury, a person will only list the injuries which need immediate attention, or is the injury the person foresees as requiring medical treatment. Despite the WorkCover legislation including any injuries that occur in the course of recovery treatment and any secondary injuries, Stephanie will likely need to go to conciliation or court to get the insurer to accept her claim as her hand injury was not listed on her initial claim form.
The insurer will often object to additional injuries being added as they will need to pay more money in the form of weekly payments and medical expenses. Further, by not adding all her injuries, the process will likely be drawn out for Stephanie.
A lot of people end up in this kind of situation – and understandably it can be quite stressful. Let our expert Workers Compensation lawyers help you with your WorkCover claim so you can focus on your recovery. Our lawyers have decades of experience in handling difficult cases and understand the unique nature of this kind of work. Call us on 9603 3000 to speak to one of our lawyers today.