The difficulty of getting back on your feet after an injury is something that many people are unfortunately familiar with.
While we can’t do anything about accidents that happen or injuries incurred during them, there is something you can do once they have happened to minimise the impact on your life: get medical treatment as soon as possible.
However, the cost of medical treatment is naturally going to be a concern especially after you have run out of sick leave and have to dig into your savings to fund your recovery. This brings us to the question: How can you reduce your out-of-pocket costs after experiencing an injury at work?
Make a workers’ compensation claim
If you are injured at work, your employer is required by law to hold workers compensation insurance (usually through Workcover Queensland). This insurance policy exists to cover you if you’re injured – it doesn’t matter who’s fault it was.
You are able to immediately make a workers’ compensation claim to:
- be paid compensation for your time off work; and
- have your medical treatment funded in full.
This is an easy process. The first step to making a claim is seeing a doctor (your local GP is fine) and asking for a workers compensation medical certificate. Your doctor can usually then lodge your claim for you on the spot.
The workers’ compensation insurer is required to also reimburse your receipts for your reasonable injury-related expenses, so it is important to keep copies of your records to substantiate the claims.
If the workers’ compensation insurer is Workcover Queensland, there is a convenient app known as Worker Assist that allows injured workers to simply upload photographs of receipts, track payments, and manage appointments.
Make any other available insurance claim
Whether or not you make a workers’ compensation claim for your injury, you may have an additional insurance policy to claim on. For example: private health insurance, life insurance, or potentially salary continuation insurance or temporary disability insurance through your superannuation.
If your payments from your workers compensation claim have ceased but you are still injured and unable to work, you may be entitled to receive benefits from Centrelink on a disability support pension.
Enlist the services of a personal injury lawyer
When the course of action above fails to work for whatever reason, you can phone one of Roche Legal’s personal injury lawyers for free initial advice. Knowing your rights and entitlements early can be invaluable, especially when strict time limits apply which could prevent you from making a claim later.
If your workers compensation claim is rejected or closed and you find yourself in a situation where you’re unable to work and medical bills keep piling up, a lawyer can potentially help you recover your costs by:
- representing you in making an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Regulator to have the workers’ compensation insurer overturn their decision (or if your appeal to the regulator fails, a further appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission); or
- if the workplace accident causing injury was not your fault, a personal injury lawyer could assist you in making a common law claim (resulting in substantially higher damages/compensation paid to you).
Dealing with a workplace accident can be difficult extremely difficult to manage on physical, emotional, and financial levels. The out-of-pocket expenses in particular can feel crippling. Following the tips in this guide and seeking free initial advice from a lawyer will help protect yourself financially so that the impact the injury has on your future is kept to a minimum.
Roche Legal’s team comprises some of the best personal injury lawyers in Brisbane that can help you seek restitution in the event of a workplace accident. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!