Unfortunately, around 25,000 Queenslanders get seriously injured at work each year. When you’re injured at work (or on the way to or from work), you are thrust into a different world beyond your control. To recover and return to a normal life, you have few options other than to rely on the advice from your doctor and be patient and persistent with your rehabilitation. During your recovery, you will probably receive different and conflicting information from your doctor, workplace insurer, your employer, or even your super fund.
This wave of information can be pretty overwhelming, so it’s understandable how the daunting process can turn people off from wanting to make a workers’ compensation claim. However, regardless of who’s fault the injury is, one of the first and best things you can do is file for a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so means that you will not have to be out of pocket for any medical expenses at the very least. And if the injury was not your fault, it is the first step you can take to get justice.
The claims process to have your medical expenses funded is relatively easy – and for this, most people don’t need to rely on a lawyer to assist them. However, if you have lost or will lose more than just medical expenses, the claims process is much more complex. Having an experienced compensation lawyer to help you navigate through the complexities is essential. Statistics suggest that using a lawyer results in your compensation pay-out being around 10 times higher on average than if you didn’t use a lawyer.
If you’re curious to know the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim after sustaining a workplace injury, read on. This is our step-by-step guide to help you understand what you’re entitled to, how to make a Workcover claim, and more. Let’s take a look!
What Compensation Am I Entitled To?
When you get injured at work, you can suffer from physical, mental, and traumatic stress. With that being said, your health and well-being have been impacted, and you’ll need to take time off from work to recover. This can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re the main provider for the household.
With that being said, you are entitled to the following compensations to help you recover from the injury:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation services
- Weekly benefits for loss of income
- Lump-sum compensation for future loss of income
- Lump-sum compensation for other loss (such as requiring paid assistance around the home)
However, you should know that these benefits and claims processes will differ by state. For this reason, it’s best to speak to a workers compensation lawyer to know exactly what benefits you’re entitled to during this time. Roche Legal only provide legal advice for Queensland workplace accidents.
How Do I Make a Claim?
Making a workers’ compensation claim can be pretty daunting, especially when you’re already suffering from physical and mental distress due to workplace injury. However, the process is easy. The most important thing to remember is that you have only 6 months from the date of the injury or incident to make your claim.
Below are the key steps to help you submit a workers’ compensation claim:
1. Report Your Injury to Your Employer Immediately
Every employer is required to have an accident register or injury book you can fill up. If your workplace doesn’t have one by chance, you can still give written details to your employer regarding your injury. When you do this, ensure you have your own copy and submit it as soon as possible after the injury. If possible, on the same day. If you are not able to do this, we recommend asking a co-worker to help report it for you.
2. Go to Your Doctor
After suffering from a work-related illness or injury, you will likely need to visit your doctor immediately for treatment. Whatever the injury may be, even if it’s minor, know that the extent of the injury could worsen over time, so getting treatment right away can help you recover faster.
3. Obtain a Workers’ Compensation Certificate of Capacity
When you see your doctor, you should ask them to provide you with a Workers’ Compensation Certificate of Capacity. Here, your doctor will state a detailed diagnosis of your injury and your capacity to work. This is one of the most important documents you need urgently, because your weekly benefits will be paid from the date listed on your certificate. If you delay obtaining this, it could cost you thousands.
4. Ask for a Workers’ Compensation Form
Right after you report your injury, your employer should give you this form. If they don’t provide you with a form, you can get one from your doctor, compensation lawyer, or WorkCover Queensland.
Note: Most employers are insured by WorkCover Queensland, but some larger employers are not. In this case, your employer should tell you who the correct insurer is to obtain their relevant claim form.
5. Complete and Submit Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Form
Finally, after you’ve completed your claim form and attached your capacity certificate, you can then submit your claim to Workcover or to your employer to submit it on your behalf. (You should ensure that you keep a copy of the completed form and certificate with you, and put it in a safe place. We recommend getting a manila folder to start keeping paperwork together early – there is probably going to be a lot of it, and everything will be useful to substantiate your claim.)
Workcover should be notified of your claim within six months of your injury, but don’t give up if you missed the timeframe. Several reasons may have caused a reasonable delay for your claim, so if you need help extending the time limitation, call us at Roche Legal for assistance.
6. Get Legal Advice
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can take a toll on your physical and mental health, especially after going through a work-related accident. But with the help of a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer, you can breeze through the process and claim what’s rightfully yours. Once you have an accepted Workers Compensation claim, you are on the right path to being entitled to make a further common law claim for damages where injured victims are entitled to a much greater amount of compensation.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to navigate the common law claim stage yourself.
The Bottom Line: Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Can Be Daunting, But You Can Do It With Help From The Right People!
How Can We Help You?
If you’re looking for workers’ compensation lawyers in Brisbane, Roche Legal is here for you.
Our team of compensation and legal health lawyers offer a no win, no fee service, ensuring that you get the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Learn more about how we can help you today!