What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides benefits to injured workers’ who have suffered an injury or have developed a medical condition in the course of, or as a result of, their employment. Work injury lawyers can advise on eligibility for workers’ compensation.
These work-related injuries might include suffering an injury at work on a specific day or developing a medical condition over a period of time due to the nature of the work performed.
Workers’ compensation is often referred to as WorkCover.
Workers’ compensation claims are managed by a number of insurance companies on behalf of the Victorian WorkCover Authority, also often referred to as WorkSafe.
Who qualifies for workers’ compensation?
In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, a worker must have suffered an injury due to their work or in the course of their work.
Is it worth getting a workers’ compensation lawyer?
If you have suffered from work-related injuries as a result of your work, it is important that you obtain advice from a work injury lawyer or a workers’ compensation lawyer in order to be fully informed about your rights and entitlements.
You should speak to a work injury lawyer early on, as there are strict time limits that apply if you wish to claim compensation for your injury.
How much compensation do you get for an injury at work?
There are different types of compensation you might be able to claim for your work injury, including lump-sum compensation.
You might be entitled to:
· reimbursement of the costs associated with your medical treatment
· a weekly payment if you are unable to do the job you were doing prior to your injury
· lump sum compensation if your injury is permanent
The amount of compensation that you might receive by way of a lump sum can be influenced by multiple factors including the severity of your injury and the effect that it has had on your life, your future need for treatment and your future ability to work.
What do you do if you are injured on the job?
Firstly, it is important that you consult your doctor for treatment advice. You should then report your injury to your employer in writing within 30 days of becoming aware of your injury. You should report your injury in writing, such as by filling out an incident report.
If you are likely to require medical treatment or time off work, then you should consider lodging a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ compensation claim form must be lodged with your employer as soon as practicable following your injury.
In order to claim weekly payments of compensation if you are unable to perform your normal job, you will require a Certificate of Capacity. This can be issued to you by your general practitioner or another treatment provider, and must also be provided to your employer with your claim form.
Will my employer or their workers’ compensation insurer offer me a settlement?
You can claim compensation through the workers’ compensation system through two separate claims: an Impairment Benefits Claim and a Common Law Claim for damages.
As part of an Impairment Benefits Claim, you may be awarded a lump sum, which corresponds to the degree of permanent physical or psychiatric impairment that you have suffered as a result of your work-related injury.
As part of a Common Law Claim, you may be awarded a lump sum to compensate you for your pain and suffering and your past and future loss of income caused by your injury.
Can you sue for injury on the job?
Yes. This is referred to as a Common Law Claim. In order to successfully sue your employer or another party for your injury you must be able to establish:
· That you have suffered a serious injury under the law
· That your employer or a third party was negligent in causing your injury
It is important to discuss your prospects of successfully pursuing a Common Law Claim with a specialist work injury lawyer or a workers’ compensation lawyer who will be able to discuss these legal requirements with you in detail and in relation to your specific circumstances.
What injuries can you be compensated for?
All types of injuries may be compensated under the workers’ compensation scheme if they were suffered due to or in the course of your employment. This can include:
· Muscular or soft tissue injuries
· Hearing loss
· Respiratory and infectious diseases
· Psychological conditions
Injuries that can be compensated are not limited to those suffered as a result of one particular workplace incident. You may be entitled to compensation for a work-related injury suffered gradually over a period of time as well that has caused pain and suffering.
How do I begin the workers’ compensation process?
The first step is to lodge a workers’ compensation claim form with your employer. You can access a Workers’ Injury Claim Form here. You can give your completed claim form to your employer by hand or by registered post.
If you are unable to perform the job you were doing prior to your injury, you should attach a Certificate of Capacity to your claim form.
How much time does this process usually take?
Once you lodge a workers’ compensation claim with your employer, they must forward your claim to their workers’ compensation insurer within 10 days. The insurer must then provide a written response to you within 28 days and either accept or reject your claim.
What to do if this information applies to you
At Gordon Legal, we understand that work injuries are a personal issue.
For personalised and individual advice, we offer consultations to discuss your matter.
Please call Gordon Legal on 1800 21 22 23 or our Geelong office on 1800 21 22 23 to speak with a member of our team.
Given the current environment, we are providing consultations over the phone or via video conferencing platforms.