Workplace Accidents

Workplace Accidents

If you have been injured at work, you are almost certainly entitled to make a claim for workers’ compensation.

Bennett & Philp represents workers injured in workplace accidents including those involving ladders and scaffolding, roadworks, unsafe construction sites, forklifts, electric shock, industrial explosions, unsafe equipment, unsafe lifting practices, burns, slips and falls, toxic substances, and unsafe mining practices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I need a law firm like Bennett & Philp?

    You can claim workers’ compensation benefits, without legal representation – but unless your likely award of damages is exceptionally minor (e.g. if you only had pain for a few weeks and no more), it will be worthwhile engaging experienced workplace lawyers to advise and represent you.

    If you have suffered injuries from a work related incident you will:

    • want expert and personally relevant advice about your prospects of success and whether your claim is worth pursuing;
    • want detailed advice about how much you can claim;
    • need our expert workers’ compensation lawyers to provide you with a preliminary advice of what your claim is worth when taking into account pain and suffering, loss of income and superannuation entitlements, medical expenses and rehabilitation expenses, etc;
    • need our expert workers’ compensation lawyers to advise you on the process involved in proceeding with a workers’ compensation claim;
    • want experienced lawyers to relieve the stress and burden involved in initiating and running your claim professionally and efficiently;
    • want a law firm who knows how to properly liaise with WorkCover Queensland and the workers’ compensation self-insurers to ensure that you are adequately compensated and your interests are protected.

     

    What this means for you is that your legal fees are kept to a reasonable level and you receive the maximum damages award.

  • Am I eligible to make a claim?

    A workers’ compensation claim covers injuries and accidents caused by the negligence of an employer or co-worker or any other third party who you or your employer deals with.

    An injury is defined as a personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment and for physical injuries your employment must be a significant contributing factor to the injury.  For psychological injuries (other than those caused by a workplace physical injury) your employment must be the major significant contributing factor to the injury.

    Situations where you may have a claim:

    • Work injuries include:
      • injuries which occur at or as a result of work and during work hours;
      • diseases or pre-existing medical conditions that have been aggravated by work;
      • injuries suffered while traveling as part of work;
      • loss of dependency claims as a result of the death of a worker.
    • Workplace injuries include:
      • physical injuries;
      • psychiatric disorders;
      • psychological disorders;
      • aggravation of pre-existing medical and psychological conditions; or
      • death from an injury or disease.
    • You are eligible to make a claim if you are a:
      • casual or permanent employee;
      • full-time or part-time employee;
      • self-employed worker (in certain situations).
    • If you are not regarded as a worker, you may have other entitlements to make a claim under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld).
    • If you work for a labour hire company, you will have a potential claim against your actual employer (the labour hire agency) as well as the host employer (the employer to whom you have been placed and where you carried out your work when injured).
    • If a worker is killed in a workplace accident or dies from injuries suffered in a workplace accident, his or her dependent spouse/de facto or children may have a claim for dependency.
    • There are special rules determining who is qualified to claim in these circumstances and claims can extend to de-facto spouses and their children.
    • If you qualify, there will be special benefits available immediately from WorkCover which may be of great assistance to you in what will be a very difficult time.
    • Additionally, depending on the circumstances of the death or injury, you may also be entitled to make a common law claim claim for damages which may be for a substantial sum of money.
  • What do I do after I have been injured?

    Steps to making a workers’ compensation (statutory) claim:

    • Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, as time limits do apply. Try to take photographs with your smartphone and obtain as many witness statements as possible.
    • The entitlement to compensation arises on the day you are assessed by a qualified medical practitioner – see a doctor as soon as you can after sustaining injury.
    • Obtain a workers’ compensation medical certificate from your doctor that refers to the time away from work because of the injury.
    • Start a claim with the workers’ compensation insurer by completing an “Application for Compensation” claim form by: (a) completing and lodging a claim online at www.workcoverqld.com.au; (b) ask your doctor to lodge a claim for you, or (c) lodge a claim over the telephone by contacting WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 1285.
    • The workers’ compensation insurer will then make a decision within 20 days as to whether your claim has been accepted or rejected.
    • You may be asked to attend a medical appointment with a WorkCover doctor – it is important that you attend this appointment.
    • The workers’ compensation insurer also has the right to ask you to provide a statement and any other proof of the injury and its cause. You should seek our expert advice before giving the workers’ compensation insurer any statement either in writing or by phone.

     

    Common Law Claims: Lodging a Notice of Claim for Damages form is an important step in starting a common law (negligence) claim against your employer. We strongly recommend you seek our legal assistance before taking that step.

    If you need help with any stage of the workers’ compensation claim process, please contact our expert work injury lawyers for easy-to-understand, personalised, obligation free advice.

  • What do I do now that the workers' compensation insurer has made me a lump sum offer?

    It is extremely important that you do not respond to a Notice of Assessment from the workers’ compensation insurer until you have sought expert legal advice. Accepting a lump sum offer without legal advice from our expert compensation lawyers may affect your rights to receive a greater level of compensation.

    Your workers’ compensation benefits. If the workers’ compensation insurer accepts your claim, it has an obligation to provide weekly benefits to you and/or pay for authorised medical and rehabilitation expenses until your injury is assessed as being “stable and stationary.”

    The workers’ compensation insurer may assist with payment of the following:

    • Weekly compensation for lost wages;
    • Medical, surgical and hospital expenses;
    • Rehabilitation expenses, and
    • Traveling expenses.

     

    The workers’ compensation insurer is only required to pay the cost of reasonable medical treatment.

    When compensation ceases. your entitlement to weekly compensation (i.e. lost wages) will eventually cease when you:

    • recover from your injuries and you return to work;
    • receive a Notice of Assessment from the workers’ compensation insurer confirming your injuries are stable, or
    • have been receiving weekly compensation payments for an extended period of time.

     

    Injury Assessment. once the workers’ compensation insurer has determined that your injuries are stable and stationary, it will arrange for you to be assessed for permanent impairment. For physical injuries this assessment is generally carried out by a medical practitioner.

    For a psychiatric or psychological injury, the assessment will be carried out by a Medical Assessment Tribunal.

    Contact the expert work injury lawyers at Bennett & Philp in Brisbane for assistance with properly responding to a Notice of Assessment.

  • Important time limits

    6 months after injury to lodge a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

    Under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld), a claim for weekly payments and medical expenses is generally only valid if lodged within six months of the injury occurring or for injuries suffered over a period of time, within six months of your first seeking medical treatment for you injuries.

    If a claim is lodged outside the 6 month time period, then a claim may still be lodged if you are able to give the workers’ compensation insurer reasonable cause for the delay in making your application.

    3 years to lodge a compliant Notice of Claim for Damages.

    A compliant Notice of Claim for Damages (i.e. common law claim form) must be lodged within 3 years from the date of the injury or for an injury sustained over a period of time, from when the events causing your injury first started.

    Pre-court procedures take time, so we recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as you can.

  • How long will it take to finalise my claim?

    Depending on the severity of your injuries, it may take between 6 to 18 months to resolve and finalise your claim.

    The time taken for a settlement to be reached will depend on the severity of your injuries.

    If your injuries are minor and you make a speedy recovery, then your claim will likely be settled relatively quickly. If you take longer to recover from your injuries, then it is important to wait until your injuries settle or stabilise, to better determine the long term nature of the impact of your injuries.

    One of our expert work injury lawyers will be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the likely duration of your claim.

  • Will I have to go to Court?

    The WorkCover pre-proceedings process needs to take place before Court proceedings can be commenced.

    In our experience, approximately 70% of all common law claims are resolved without the need to commence Court proceedings.

    Even if Court proceedings have started, you only have a less than 5% chance of actually proceeding to a Court trial.

    It is much more likely that your claim will settle informally with the workers’ compensation insurer through negotiations which take place throughout the duration of your claim.

  • The compensation calculator

    There are many variables which impact on the amount of compensation you can receive, however it largely depends on:

    • the severity of your injuries and the impact those injuries have on your life and your ability to work;
    • any previous injuries or pre-existing medical conditions that have been aggravated by the accident (including psychological conditions);
    • your age, your loss of earnings and likely loss of earnings in the future;
    • your out of pocket expenses;
    • the amount of care you need or may need, and
    • any future expenses incurred as a result of your injuries sustained in your work-related accident.
  • I was injured at work - what should I do?

    Any injuries suffered at work should be reported to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurer as soon as possible, as time limits do apply.

    The sooner a Workers’ compensation claim is lodged, the better. A worker can lodge a claim up to 6 months after the date of injury. If a claim is lodged after the 6 month period has expired, then the claim may still be lodged if you are able to give WorkCover reasons for the delay in making your claim.

    Contact us to find out whether you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation. We can advise you about your specific circumstances.

  • What will WorkCover pay for?

    WorkCover may assist with payment of the following:

    • Weekly compensation for lost wages;
    • Medical, surgical and hospital expenses;
    • Rehabilitation expenses, and
    • Travelling expenses.

     

    Call us to find out more about your potential entitlements.

  • Who is eligible to make a claim?

    If you have been injured at work or because of your work, you may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits from the workers’ compensation insurer (usually WorkCover Queensland). Injuries can happen at work, travelling to and from work or while on a break at work.

    Examples of injuries include physical injuries, psychiatric or psychological disorders, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or death from an injury or disease.

    Contact us to find out more about your entitlements.

  • What should I do if I receive a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover?

    If you have been injured at work and those injuries are assessed for permanent impairment, a Notice of Assessment will be issued to you which will include an offer of lump sum compensation. It is extremely important that you urgently seek legal advice immediately after you receive a Notice of Assessment from the workers’ compensation insurer and before you respond to the insurer regarding the Notice of Assessment.

    You may lose your right to claim common law damages (i.e. compensation) if you accept any offers of lump sum compensation made by the workers’ compensation insurer which accompany the Notice of Assessment.

    Contact us to discuss your specific circumstances and to obtain legal advice.

  • Death claims

    If a worker is killed in a workplace accident, his or her dependent spouse/defacto and children may have a claim for compensation. Strict time limits apply so we recommend that you discuss your situation with us as soon as possible. You may miss out on important benefits or may miss out on your claim entirely if you do not take immediate action.

    Contact us today to find out whether you or a family member is eligible to make a claim.

  • How much will I get if I make a claim?

    You can be assessed to receive damages for:

    • pain and suffering and permanent impairment;
    • lost earnings/income;
    • medical, hospital, rehabilitation and other costs;
    • loss of occupational superannuation benefits whilst you are off work; and
    • future loss of earnings/impairment of earning capacity caused by the injuries up to your anticipated retirement age.

     

    Your damages are generally tax free.

    Contact us today to find out more about your potential claim for damages.

For more than 30 years, the expert workers’  compensation lawyers at Bennett & Philp have represented workers injured through all types of accidents including those involving ladders and scaffolding, roadworks, unsafe construction sites, forklifts, electric shock, industrial explosions, unsafe equipment, unsafe lifting practices, burns, slips and falls, toxic substances, and unsafe mining practices.
 

No Win No Fee

We provide access to justice and compensation. If you engage our services, you will only need to pay our professional fees if there is a judgment or settlement in your favour.

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Want More Information? 

Work is an essential part of your life whether you are a blue collar or white collar worker.  If you have suffered an injury at work, your ability to provide for yourself and your family could be severely affected.

You are legally entitled to commence a workers’ compensation claim if you have been injured at work, travelling for work or while travelling to and from work, and have suffered either physically or emotionally as a result.

It is compulsory for Queensland employers to hold suitable workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Our work injury lawyers can provide you with reliable, experienced advice if you:

  • want to know if you have a claim for compensation;
  • have received a Notice of Assessment and associated offer of lump sum compensation;
  • have had your compensation claim rejected due to a technicality, and
  • have had your weekly benefits ceased due to closure of your workers’ compensation claim.
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Expert personal injury advice

Contact us today for a personalised obligation-free advice regarding your particular circumstance.

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