Written by Peter CarterNovember 28, 2017
No one wants to get injured at work. But sometimes accidents happen – especially if you’re working in a high-risk industry. So what should you do if you’ve sustained an injury in the course of your job?
What constitutes a workplace injury?
There are a range of injuries, illnesses and conditions that may be claimed for if they were sustained at – or in the course of – your employment. These include:
- Physical injuries such as cuts, fractures, burns or industrial deafness
- Psychiatric or psychological disorders like depression or anxiety
- Diseases such as asbestosis or Q-fever
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
- Death from an injury or disease.
What can I claim for if I’ve been injured at work?
You can apply for compensation to help you cover costs like time off work, medical bills, and bills for carers.
Additionally, if you feel your employer has breached their duty of care, and that contributed to your workplace injury or illness, you may be able to initiate a common law claim for negligence. This type of compensation usually involves seeking advice from a lawyer specialising in workers’ compensation, and may include damages for things like pain and suffering, lost wages, economic loss, future wages or costs, and expenses for medical, pharmaceutical, and caring services (including any hours family and friends spend caring for you).
What do I have to do to claim Workers’ Compensation?
We’ve outlined step-by-step instructions to follow if you sustain an injury or illness in the course of your employment, so you can ensure you’re set up for the best possible outcomes both financially and for your health.
Even if you want to make a common law claim, you must first go through this process.
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible after it occurs
- Visit a doctor for a full injury assessment and obtain a work capacity medical certificate
- Complete the WorkCover QLD claim application form, and notify Workplace Health and Safety QLD of the incident if necessary. You can access all the required forms online through WorkCover QLD.
- Once completed, provide the WorkCover application form and your medical certificate to your employer.
It’s important to let WorkCover know if your condition changes to avoid issues like overpayment or underpayment.
What time do limits apply when reporting an incident?
Different time frames are relevant, depending on whether you’re just looking to apply for WorkCover, or want to make a claim under common law.
WorkCover claim time frames:
- Reporting the incident to your employer – as soon as possible after your injury
- Obtaining a work capacity medical certificate – as soon as possible after your injury
- Completing your application for WorkCover and returning it to your employer – as soon as possible after your injury
Common law claim time frames:
- Lodge a Notice of Claim for Damages – workers generally have up to 3 years from the date of the injury to lodge a Notice of Claim (NOC).
- Once received, WorkCover has 6 months to investigate the incident and reach a conclusion on whether the employer is liable for the injury.
For more information on your rights after a workplace injury, feel free to contact our team. They can help you understand what you may be entitled to if you’ve been injured at work, and may be able to assist you through the claiming process.