- September 5, 2016
- Posted by: Seymour Furlong
- Category: Uncategorised
If you are injured at work in Queensland, then you are legally entitled to make a statutory claim with your workers compensation insurer.
All employers in Queensland are required to have in place, for all employees, workers compensation insurance. Even if the employer has failed in their obligations to take out such insurance, an employee still has a right to access worker’s compensation by contacting WorkCover Queensland.
If an accident or injury is caused by the negligence of the employer, co-worker, or other party then the injured worker may also have a right to bring a common law claim against the worker’s compensation insurer.
It is important for all injured workers to know what their rights are. It is too often the case that some injured workers, particularly in the initial few months after the accident, receive support from WorkCover Queensland or the relevant insurer. This includes the payment of medical expenses, lost wages and other associated expenses.
However once this initial period is over the worker’s compensation claim is then closed and the injured worker is left with the ongoing effects of the injury but no further rights to make a claim.
Under the terms of the WorkCover legislation an injured worker must make an irrevocable election, in some cases, to either accept a lump sum payment from the insurer or to pursue a common law claim.
It may seem attractive to an injured worker to accept a lump sum payment particularly if they are not working. However if they do this they are in most cases closing the door on their rights to bring a common law claim.
A common law claim includes not only compensation for general damages, past income losses and expenses but also and most importantly includes allowances for future expenses and future losses.
Any lump sum offer which an injured person receives is based purely on the WorkCover assessment which is given by the WorkCover doctor at the time the offer is made. It is in no way a true reflection on what the injured workers likely losses are to be in the future.
In almost every case, if an injured person does have prospects of succeeding in a common law claim, in proving negligence against the employer or other person or entity responsible for the event which caused the injury, then the worker should look at pursing their common law rights.
Who can bring a claim?
In Queensland a claim can be bought by either full or part-time employees, casual employees, self-employed workers, volunteers and also work experience participants in certain circumstances.