Written by Peter CarterMay 11, 2016
Not reporting difficulties
A lot of people feel the need to ‘soldier on’ when they face an injury at work. That’s very admirable but can be problematic not only for your health but also your claim. Failing to report your initial injury or problems doing tasks can create many problems when making a claim. Without any official records, claims can turn into a nasty he-said she-said spat, which might diminish your prospects of success. Even if the accident is not serious, it s still important to report it. Don’t forget to take photos as well as witness names for evidence purposes. Consider taking time off when unable to persist, as needed.
Not listening to medical professionals
Stretches or exercises – as requested by your physio or doctor – may seem like homework but in the long run they can make a world of a difference. Following doctors orders shows that you will do what you have to do to recover from the trauma. This will not only help you to recover from your injuries, but will assist the veracity of any claim. Your worker’s compensation may be reduced or damages in a negligence claim lowered, for ignoring your doctor’s advice.
If a WorkCover claim is rejected, that doesn’t mean that it’s over. After the decision is made you have 20 business days to appeal the rejection with the Workers’ Compensation Regulator and then a further appeal lies to Queensland Industrial Commission.
Not getting legal advice
This is probably one of the most common mistakes people make. Too many people do not seek legal advice when accepting a lump sum from an insurer or in deciding whether or not to appeal. Many unfortunately accept a lot less than what you should be receiving. They mistakenly think WorkCover has their best interest at heart. It is also important for you to explore legal options if you think your employer could have done something different or done a little more, to prevent the injury. In such cases you may be entitled to substantial damages. Injury law is complex – be sure to speak to an expert.
Not acting quickly enough
Don’t put off calling an injury expert for help. Time limits as short as six months apply in the injury compensation environment. The most important drop-dead date is usually 3 years after the accident, but it can be sooner. It takes no time at all to make a call.
The biggest claimant mistake – by far – is saying different things to different people about how the accident occurred and about the injuries, symptoms, treatment etc. Make notes about the accident quickly and ensure any incident report is accurate. Get witness names and photos. See a lawyer early to help get clear in your own head exactly what happened and in what order. Your lawyer will prepare a written record that you can refer to from time to time and forms the basis. Always give the same account of what happened.
If you need further advice about injury compensation claims or have any questions please call us on 07 3210 3437.