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Injured at Work but Employer Doesn’t Have Workers Compensation Insurance

Being injured at work is something that can happen to employees. When this happens you want to know that your employer has sufficient insurance cover to protect your income and to pay for any necessary medical treatment. But what if you have been injured and your employer does not have workers compensation insurance? Will your employer be able to cover any associated costs of your work related injury?

What happens after making a claim through WorkCover if your employer is not insured?

WorkCover claim consultant

WorkCover exists to ensure that no matter what happens, and no matter what level of insurance your employer has, you will be protected. In Queensland, an employer has an obligation to be insured for every worker. If they are not insured, and a worker is injured, the worker may claim as usual from WorkCover.

  • WorkCover will pay compensation and damages to the injured worker, but will then recover from the employer any amounts that it has paid to the worker.
  • WorkCover may also recover a penalty amount of up to 50% of the amount paid, in addition to the unpaid insurance premium that the employer has failed to take out.
Example: Ross has started at his new workplace and has been there for a week when he cuts his hand due to improper signage on a machine. His employer had not finalised the paperwork and had failed to insure for Ross. Ross makes a claim through WorkCover, and is paid for the three weeks he is off work, in addition to his medical expenses. WorkCover then recovers their payments from his employer.

The usual process that is followed in Queensland when an employee is injured is that the worker makes a claim through WorkCover. The employer’s insurance will then step in and cover the cost paid by WorkCover. In the event that the employer does not have insurance, the worker can still claim as usual, it is just that WorkCover will recover their payments directly from the employer. Find out more on how you can start a claim through WorkCover if you are located in Brisbane, Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast.

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

What is a work related injury?

A work related injury can be anything from a cut or a broken bone through to death from an injury. Workplace injuries include:

Broken bone due to work injury
  • Diseases
  • Cuts, sprains, fractures, and broken bones
  • Industrial deafness and tinnitus
  • Injury sustained while travelling to or from work
  • Injury suffered while on a break from work, or away from work (such as a lunch break)
  • A psychiatric disorder such as depression or anxiety
  • Aggravation of a pre-existing condition, such as back problems
  • Death which is sustained due to an injury, illness, disease, or from the aggravation of a disease or illness

If you have suffered a work related injury then you may be entitled to claim for workers’ compensation. If your employer does not have workers compensation insurance you can still make a claim, but it will be through WorkCover Queensland.

Making a claim through WorkCover Queensland

When injured at work there is a process which should be followed to ensure that all parties involved fulfil their obligations.

  • Once you have notified your employer they should ensure that you and everyone else is safe, before making sure your receive appropriate medical treatment.
  • You need to get a medical certificate for workers’ compensation, after which time you can lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland.
  • Depending on the nature of the incident, your employer may need to report the incident to Workplace Health and Safety.

Your employer needs to pay you in full for the day of work when the injury was sustained. This payment must not come from your sick leave, or from any other entitlement payment.

How WorkCover claims are processed

WorkCover claim file

Once you have submitted your claim to WorkCover it will be assessed. You will have the opportunity to provide information to WorkCover and give them a full account of how your claim will proceed. It may take up to 20 business days to make an assessment of your claim, but so long as you have provided full, accurate, and honest information about your claim WorkCover can make a decision promptly.

  • WorkCover needs to get information from you, your employer, your doctor, and any other witnesses so that they can make a full assessment of your injury
  • Even if your employer does not have insurance you will still be able to make a full WorkCover claim for your injury

If your claim is accepted, your employer needs to make the first payment of weekly compensation. After this, WorkCover will manage all further weekly compensation payments.

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

Injured at work?

If you have been injured at work due to your employer’s negligence, it may be possible to make a claim for personal injury. Your WorkCover payments are designed to protect your income and provide for any medical expenses that you incur, but if you have suffered loss beyond income and medical expenses then it is possible to pursue a compensation claim for pain and suffering.

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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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