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?
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.
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.
A work related injury can be anything from a cut or a broken bone through to death from an injury. Workplace injuries include:
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.
When injured at work there is a process which should be followed to ensure that all parties involved fulfil their obligations.
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.
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.
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.
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 claim for compensation.
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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