Knowledge base

Back Injury Compensation

Back injuries are the most common cause of back pain and can frequently occur when you use when you use your back muscles in such activities as lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous physical activity. Minor back injuries can also occur from excessive twisting of the spine or tripping.

Loading cart and heavy lifting as cause of back injury

Can I claim compensation for a back injury?

Generally, if you have suffered a back injury which results from the careless action or negligence of another person, you may be able to sustain a claim for compensation. It is typically the insurance company of the person at fault who will pay a compensation claim to you, rather than the person at fault themselves.  

Injured? Get expert advice now: Smith's are Queensland's only 100% risk-free injury compensation lawyers. Insist on our 'No Win. No Fee. No Catch' ® promise. Check your rights with no risk or obligations now and talk direct to our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith. Call 1800 266 801 OR  check if you can claim

I injured my back at work- can I claim compensation?

If you have sustained a back injury at work, whether it is because of unsafe work conditions or otherwise, you may be able to sustain a claim for compensation. Common causes of back injury at work include:

  • Lifting or carrying heavy objects;
  • Slipping; and
  • Falling from ladders or other heights.

If you have sustained a back injury while at work, it is important that you seek injury compensation legal assistance as soon as possible to be sure that you understand your rights.

Unpacking boxes and stacking shelves
Example: Jim was unpacking boxes in a warehouse as part of his job for a large fruit company. Once he had finished unpacking all of the pears from his boxes into larger cartons in the warehouse refridgerator, Jim decided he’d pack down the boxes to make it easier to carry them to the recycling bin. After he’d packed each box down, Jim bent down to pick up all of the boxes, losing his balance as he lent over. Jim slipped onto the floor, falling hard onto his lower back.

I injured my back in a road accident - can I claim compensation?

If you suffer an injury in a motor vehicle and you are not at fault, you may be able to make a claim under compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme for compensation. As there are time limits within which injured persons may make a claim, you should see an experienced lawyer who can guide you through the various claim restrictions and help maximise the claim payable to you.

Example: Jim is driving to work and is stuck in heavy traffic. While stopped at a traffic light, a driver who is clearly using his mobile phone while driving, does not see that the traffic light is red. The driver rams straight into the rear of Jim’s vehicle at a high speed, thrusting Jim’s body forward and causing severe whiplash.

I injured my back in a public place- can I claim compensation?

Back injury sustained at the supermarket

If your back injury has occurred in a public place due to the negligence of another person or organisation, you may have a public liability claim. To succeed in a public liability claim you will need to abide by statutory time limits and ensure you can identify the at fault person or organisation. Injuries which occur at work, during medical procedures or in a car accident, among other things, are not covered by public liability.

Professions at risk of back injuries

Professions with higher incidence of back injury are those which require lifting or frequent bending, including:

  • Construction workers
  • Nursing home workers and nurses
  • Warehouse workers
  • Dentists and surgeons
  • Landscapes and gardeners
  • Cable and telephone line installers
  • Carpet installers and cleaners
  • Airport baggage handlers

Common causes of back injury

Back injuries can occur in a variety of situations. Heavy lifting or failure to take appropriate safety precautions when carrying large items is a primary cause. In addition, workers are often injured due to accidental slipping or tripping and prolonged bending over.

How much compensation for a back injury?

Calculating compensation for back injury

The compensation payable to you will depend on the nature of the back injury and the extent to which it has impacted your regular daily life. There are many factors a court will consider when reviewing your claim for compensation, including:

  • Any loss and enjoyment of life you have experienced due to the injury;
  • Any lost past and future earnings;
  • Out of pocket expenses paid for home and nursing care; and
  • The expense of your hospital rehabilitation process.

What time limits apply to my back injury claim?

  • If you are injured at work: Statutory worker’s compensation claims in Queensland must be filed within 6 months from the date of the accident or the date you become aware of your injury. If you intend to sue your employer for negligence, you must request an assessment of permanent impairment from the workers’ compensation insurer within 2.5 years of the injury.
  • If you are injured in an motor vehicle accident: Pre-court procedures require you to serve an official Notice of Claim on the party you believe to be at fault within 9 months of the injury, or within 1 month of your consultation with a solicitor in relation to your claim, whichever occurs first.
  • If your injuries are the subject of a public liability claim: If you are making a claim against an occupier, property owner or public authority, you must serve an official Notice of Claim on the party you believe to be at fault within 9 months of the injury, or within 1 month of your consultation with a solicitor in relation to your claim, whichever is first.
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Understand your rights- chat with our Principal lawyer

Check if you may have a claim in 60 seconds or less and request a free & no-obligation call back from our Principal Greg Smith now. You can also contact our offices in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast and discuss your rights with our expert injury lawyers.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

Next steps — get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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