When you’ve sustained an injury in the workplace, you need to remember that legal protections such as workers’ compensation claims can help you get the medical treatment and financial assistance you need.
If your medical practitioner advises you to take time off work you will usually be entitled to weekly payments of compensation, and payment of your reasonable medical expenses.
What to consider before making a Workers’ Compensation Claim
1. Provide as many details of your workplace injury as you can.
When you inform your GP of your workplace injury, they’ll take a history and note what happened to you. It’s crucial to take this opportunity to provide your doctor with accurate details of the incident, even if those details seem unimportant at the time.
If there are any issues about the cause of your injury at a later date, your GP may need to know exactly how the work injury happened.
If you need any time off work, you should also ask your doctor for a WorkCover certificate.
2. Be careful of making statements.
Don’t make a statement to a WorkCover investigator.
You have no legal obligation to do so. We have seen honest workers who had work place accidents, have trouble getting their claims accepted after they have provided statements, as they haven’t appreciated the significance of the document they are signing. Always, get advice.
3. Know what to do if your workers’ compensation claim is rejected.
If your claim is rejected, you should dispute the decision.
At first instance, you will go to the conciliation service (which is free). If this fails to resolve the dispute, you will then have the option of going to court.
It’s very important to seek legal advice about your claim’s merits rather than simply give up just because you’re worried about the ramifications or legal costs of challenging a rejection of your claim. Your quality of life could depend on being persistent. Again speak with an expert and always get advice.
4. Realise that a workers’ compensation claim won’t work against you.
Some injured employees feel guilty or anxious about making a workers’ compensation claim.
They worry that taking action will give them a bad reputation, cause their employer to reduce their work hours, or cost them their jobs. If your employer is discriminating against you in such a way, remember that the law can assist you.
The fact is that if you’ve suffered an injury at work, you’re entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim. Taking the time to rest, heal and receive medical treatment on your doctor’s advice is likely to be better for you in the long run. You only have one life to live and you are entitled to living it to the best of your ability in a safe work environment.
5. Know that your employer is insured for workplace injury.
We spend a lot of time at work, so injuries do occur in the workplace. As a result, the law requires employers to have WorkCover insurance or insurer.
This is a no-fault scheme, so in making a workers’ compensation claim, you’re not saying your employer is to blame; you’re simply saying that you’ve been injured at or from work and you need time off or cover for medical expenses to recover, or both.
Again, your employer’s insurance covers these requirements–it doesn’t come out of your employer’s pocket. So don’t feel as if you’re making a fuss or someone making you feel that way. It’s the law and that’s it.
6. Make your claim as soon as possible.
If you need time off or cover for medical expenses, or both, you should make a WorkCover claim as soon as you can.
You will then have to see an independent medical practitioner, who will give the insurance company or self-insured employer their medical opinion (rather than provide you with treatment or advice).
The practitioner will also provide a report for insurance purposes. Make sure you keep all documentation safe or electronic copies for reference if needed later.
7. Seek legal advice.
If you suffer an injury at work, seek legal advice at the earliest possible opportunity. Castle Compensation Partners offer a FREE assessment for all clients. Every client will speak with a lawyer regarding if they have or don’t have a case. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
It’s best to seek advice even if WorkCover accepts your claim, because you may be entitled to other rights to substantial compensation. This may be in the form of a no-fault lump sum for a permanent injury; compensation for your pain, suffering and permanent loss of income; or disablement benefits under your superannuation policy.
Whatever WorkCover’s assessment of your claim, call our office to find out whether you’re entitled to anything else.
Castle Compensation Partners has been helping Queensland employees receive their workplace injury entitlements for many years. We know how much financial and emotional stress a slip and fall accident at work can cause you and your family. We are fully committed to help you mitigate that stress. Talk to our panel of compensation lawyers to equip you with the correct information during difficult situation and claim compensation for any losses you have sustained.
We offer a No Win, No Fee legal service, which means you will be charged with legal fees only if your case is successful. Castle Compensation Partners guarantees you that you will not be alone in this journey. Your interests and your protection are our top priority, and we will ensure to provide you the right information and the right course of action to build your case. We can also help you with your WorkCover claims, and emotional- and psychological-based injury at work.
Let us help you with your worker compensation problem. Contact us today to get a free, no-obligation assessment.