In Queensland, any claim for compensation arising from an injury or disease that arises from work, must be made through the workers compensation scheme.
Under this scheme, all employers are required to have workers compensation insurance that covers their employees. When a claim is made, the insurer investigates the claim and pays you compensation calculated in accordance with statutory thresholds and sliding scales.
In limited circumstances where a workers compensation claim is accepted, you may also have you have grounds to pursue a common law claim against your employer which enables a court to award a greater variety of damages to compensate you for pain and suffering, economic loss, legal expenses and medical costs.
Who can make a Workers Compensation claim?
You can make a claim for workers’ compensation if you are:
- A “worker” as recognised by the scheme, and
- You suffer an injury or contract a disease as a result of your work.
You are covered by the workers compensation scheme as an employee whether you are casual permanent, full-time or part-time. The scheme also extends to some self employed individuals, volunteers, work experience students and jurors.
Injuries will be covered by workers compensation if they are suffered at work or as a result of work activities or arise from a pre-existing condition that was exacerbated by work. An injury can be due to a physical condition, psychological condition or disease such as mesothelioma or lung cancer.
What compensation is paid?
Worker’s compensation covers the following costs which arise as a result of your work-related injury:
- medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses,
- lost income,
- return to work services,
- travel expenses,
- compensation for any permanent impairment resulting from your injuries, and
- compensation for death.
What to do if you are injured at work
If you are injured at work, it is important that you take action straight away.
- First, report the injury to your employer as soon as you become aware of it.
- Seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. This will serve as evidence of when and how the injury occurred and the fact that it was work related.
- Lodge a claim with your employer’s workers compensation insurer.
Time limits for Workers Compensation claims
You generally have 6 months within which to make a claim for Workers Compensation. However, the sooner you get the process started, the better.