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Claiming against QLD Workcover

If you have been injured in the workplace you may have grounds to make a worker’s compensation claim with WorkCover Qld.

WorkCover Queensland is a Queensland government scheme and is one of the largest insurance scheme providers for worker’s compensation in Queensland.

What does WorkCover Cover?

If you have been injured in the workplace there are two types of claims that you can make. One type of claim is referred to as a statutory no-fault claim and the other type of claim is referred to as a common law damages claim for negligence.  A worker can pursue both statutory no-fault benefits and common law damages if the facts of the case justify this.

What do statutory no-fault benefits mean?

The vast majority of workplace injury claims are lodged with WorkCover Queensland. (Unless your employer is self-insured which would then mean you have to lodge your claim with your employer’s insurer.)

A no-fault statutory scheme essentially means that regardless of who was at fault for causing the worker’s injury, a worker can still apply to have access to payments and / or benefits from WorkCover Queensland.

WorkCover pays statutory benefits in the form of either payments and / or benefits. For example, an injured worker may have access to weekly payments intended to replace the income the injured worker has lost as a result of their accident. Workers may have access to appropriate lump sum payments for any permanent impairment they have sustained. WorkCover benefits may also pay for any hospital or medical expenses that the worker has had to pay as a result of their injury.

Once a worker’s injury becomes stable and stationary, a worker can request that their injury be assessed for an impairment and if an impairment is attributed to the injury then a lump sum offer is made to the worker.  If the injured worker accepts a lump sum payment for the injury they sustained at work and if there impairment is assessed below 20%, then the worker will be barred from brining a common law damages claim.   That is why it is very important to very carefully consider any lump sum offer made by WorkCover. We strongly encourage that you speak to an accredited personal injury law expert before accepting any offer so that your rights are protected.

What are common law damages for?

A common law claim essentially involves the injured worker suing their employer for negligence or failing to provide a safe system of work.  An employer is responsible for the conduct of co-workers and hence if you are injured as a result of the negligence of a co-worker then you also may have a common law damages claim against your employer.

The process involved in a common law claim against an employer is quite different to the process involved in a statutory no-fault claim process.  Further, a damages claim can only be commenced after a statutory claim has finalized and a worker has been assessed for permanent impairment and a notice of assessment issued.

If the circumstances of your case justify pursuing a common law claim for damages there are a number of matters your lawyer will focus on determining including:

  1. If your injury was sustained on or after 15 October 2013, has the worker sustained greater than a 5% degree of permanent impairment?
  2. Did the employer owe you a duty of care?
  3. Did your employer breach their duty of care?
  4. Did this breach cause the worker to suffer a personal injury?
  5. What is the amount of damages to the employer?
  6. Did the worker contribute towards their injury? If so, by how much?

What to do?

Speak to your:

  • Doctor or another medical professional, such as a physiotherapist; and
  • Employer; and
  • Accredited personal injury specialist lawyer

about when, how and why you injured yourself.

Write an incident report detailing when, how and why you injured yourself.

Document in your diary your symptoms post-injury so that you can recall and clearly communicate your symptoms.

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