Know Your Rights with Workplace Accidents

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If you have been injured at work, you may be entitled to benefits through WorkCover for loss of wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Importantly, you may also be able to claim damages if your injuries were caused as a result of negligence by your employer. For example, the negligence may involve an unsafe system of work, unsafe equipment, or an unsafe work environment. It can also cover the negligent actions of a co-worker. You may even be able to claim damages if you suffered injuries on someone else’s premises.

There are however time restrictions for lodging an application for WorkCover benefits. It is important to note if there has been negligence on behalf of your employer, you may be able to obtain more compensation via a Common Law claim than through the usual statutory process.

There are, however, time restrictions for lodging an application for WorkCover benefits or a Common Law WorkCover claim. We are able to assist you with your application. You need to contact us as soon as possible so we may protect your legal rights and discuss your entitlements.

    Has WorkCover accepted your claim?YesNo

    What is a motor vehicle injury and who can claim?

    Motor vehicle injuries include those incurred with the involvement of a bus, bike, train, motorcycle, car, truck or other motor vehicle.

    If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another person, a Lawyers can help you obtain all the compensation and damages to which you are legally entitled.

    We can help if you are:

    • A pedestrian injured by a vehicle
    • A cyclist injured by a vehicle
    • Suffering a whiplash injury as a result of a vehicle accident
    • Injured while driving a vehicle
    • Injured while being a passenger in a vehicle
    • Injured in a motor vehicle accident involving livestock on the road
    • Injured on public transport

     

    If the ‘at-fault’ vehicle is identified and negligence can be established, your claim can be made against the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of that vehicle. Everyone who registers a motor vehicle in Queensland must have CTP insurance, and all motor vehicle owners are liable for personal injury claims made against them by other road users.

    If an ‘at-fault’ vehicle cannot be identified, is unregistered, or not covered by CTP insurance, your claim can be made against the state government, as the Nominal Defendant. There are strict time limits for this so please ensure you contact a Lawyer immediately.

    If you were partly at fault, you can still claim but the compensation you are entitled to may be reduced.

    Most importantly, you should obtain advice from a Lawyer before signing any documentation or responding to any settlement offer from the other party, or you may lose your right to claim damages.

    You should contact us as soon as possible after the injury, because strict time limits apply for making a claim.

    No win, no fee

    ‘No win, no fee’ means you will only be charged a fee once the claim is settled in your favour.
    Costs

    Most of our compensation claims can be run under our “No Win/No Fee” policy. In other words, you will only need to pay our professional fees if there is a judgement or settlement in your favour.

    The process for compensation in queensland
    As an injured worker, there are two types of claims. Firstly the statutory claim and then, in some circumstances, a common law claim. You must have lodged a statutory claim before you can make a common law claim. It is best to get in contact with us early in the statutory claim so that we can help you make important decisions, and to ensure your legal rights to proceed with the common law claim are protected.

    Statutory Claims

    Under a statutory claim, you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who or what caused the work-related injury within 6 months of the injury*. Benefits under this ‘no fault’ system may include hospital and medical expenses, lost wages, travelling expenses, rehabilitation treatment or a lump sum compensation payment for permanent impairment.

    *If the 6 months has passed contact your Lawyer to discuss your options.

    Common Law Claims

    Most claimants start with a statutory claim and move on to a common law claim, if their employer is at fault. Common law claims must be lodged within three years from the date of the injury, and damages can include payments for past and future loss of income, treatment and other expenses, and pain and suffering. Your employer is insured for the
cost of these claims by WorkCover Queensland; or some large employers have their own self insurance. If negligence by other parties has contributed to your injuries, as in the case of an accident caused by faulty equipment supplied by a third party, they may be required to contribute to your damages claim. However, if you contributed to your own injuries, for example, by not following safety instructions, the amount of damages may be reduced. Most importantly, you should obtain advice from The Lawyer before signing any documentation or responding to any settlement offer from the other party, or you may lose your right to claim damages. You should contact us as soon as possible after the injury, because strict time limits apply for making a claim.

    We want you to understand the legal process, step by step.

    While each claim is unique, the process will generally follow the below distinct stages:
    Stage
    1
    You tell us exactly what has happened to you. We review the details of the incident and tell you if your case has good prospects for success or if it does not. There are no costs to you for this advice, and you are under no obligation to proceed with legal action. Should you choose to make a claim, we submit a Notice of Claim to the other party notifying them of your intention to pursue a claim and the circumstances of your case within one month of the initial consultation.
    Stage
    2
    The insurer investigates your claim to determine if they will accept liability in full or in part, or will deny that they are liable for your injuries. We continue to obtain updates from you in relation to your injuries, treatment, requirement for assistance, the status of your employment and so on. In some cases, it is appropriate for The Lawyer to liaise with the insurer to ensure that they assist you in obtaining rehabilitation for your injuries.
    Stage
    3
    We compile evidence to assist in proving your claim to the insurer, including medical, taxation, nancial and employment records. We may also obtain expert medical reports depending on the nature of your injuries; and you may be required to attend medical examinations with specialists of the insurer’s choosing. Reports from experts in other elds that relate to your case may also be sought at this stage.
    Stage
    4
    We give you an assessment of the amount you can reasonably expect as a settlement and, with your authorisation, we submit an opening offer to the insurer to commence settlement negotiations. Generally, settlements will be reached through these negotiations. Out-of court settlements
are usually in everyone’s best interest because they can resolve the claim faster, and with much less expense, than if the claim proceeds to trial. If a settlement can’t be achieved, we lodge court proceedings on your behalf in the appropriate court.
    Stage
    5

    Once your claim has been successfully settled or judgement has been given in a court, we arrange for you to receive the funds to which you are entitled, and arrange for payment of your legal fees. Should the claim not be successful, The Lawyer does not charge you for legal fees or disbursements.

    The actual time taken for a negotiated settlement to be reached will depend on the facts and complexity of your case. Claims that go to the courts will take longer and be subject to the schedules of the court.

    Most cases settle before they get to court. The reason is simple. We assess each case very thoroughly, and we only advise clients to pursue compensation or damages when there is a clear likelihood of a successful outcome.

    CASE STUDIES

    Louise is 37 years old and works in a nursing home.
    Louise was involved in a workplace accident which resulted in her sustaining a shoulder and back injury. She required transportation to hospital where her injuries were treated. The doctor diagnosed that she was unlikely to return to work for several months and there was the possibility that surgery may be required in the future.

    With a young family to support Louise rang a Lawyer to discuss the circumstances of the accident. It was identified that the employer failed to maintain a safe work environment which caused Louise’s injury. Following this, a specialised Workplace Injury lawyer called Louise to discuss her situation further and arrange a time to meet for her initial no obligation consultation.

    After the consultation it was agreed that the Lawyer would commence working on her case to ensure she was fairly compensated. Louise underwent medical examinations, physiotherapy and lastly surgery on the injured shoulder. Fortunately, Louise was able to participate in a Return To Work Program and eventually returned to work on a full time basis but was unable to perform any overtime. As a result of this inability to take on overtime she was overlooked for a promotion.

    Several months later Louise was still having difficulties performing at work with her injuries so she decided to undertake a TAFE course securing a new employment position that was less strenuous. With the change of employment Louise was able to continue full time work in her new role.

    The claim continued against her former employer resulting in a large compensation being awarded.

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