Knowledge base

Fractured Skull Compensation

Fractured skull compensation claim

Skull fractures are breaks in the bone which surrounds your brain, often caused by blunt force trauma caused by direct blows to the head. Symptoms of a skull fracture include pain, symptoms of brain damage, bleeding in the injured area and bruising behind the ears or around the eyes. If you have suffered a fractured skull due to an accident at work or in public, you may be able to sustain a claim for compensation.

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Can I claim compensation for a fractured skull?

Generally, if you have suffered a fractured skull 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.

Negligence by another person can occur in many situations. For example, at work, if your employer fails to implement policy and procedure to prevent injury, they may be liable to pay compensation for an injury caused at work. Injuries can also occur in public places, which may give rise to grounds for a public liability claim. It is important that you prove this negligence to succeed in a claim as no compensation is payable if you have been injured and it cannot be proven that someone else is responsible.

I fractured my skull at work- can I claim compensation?

Hard hat to prevent fractured skull

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

Employers must provide proper and adequate means for employees to carry out their work. This includes:

  • Maintaining a safe workplace; and
  • Providing employees with adequate training, supervision, and instruction.

If you have sustained a fractured skull while at work because your employer has neglected to provide a safe workplace, you may be able to sue for personal injury compensation. It is important that you seek expert legal advice to understand your rights.

Bill is a retail worker. At the store where he works, he is often required to climb a ladder in order to stock tall shelves. It is store policy that Bill cannot use the ladder after the floor has been cleaned as it becomes slippery and can be dangerous. Bill chooses to ignore this policy and cleans the floor shortly before climbing a ladder to retrieve some stock from a tall shelf. The ladder loses its footing and Bill falls, fracturing his skull. Bill cannot likely claim compensation from his employer as his employer provided a safe workplace with procedures in place to help prevent injury.
Fractured skull caused by fall when stacking shelves
If Bill’s employer had not implemented policy in relation to using the ladder, they may be liable to pay compensation for failing to provide Bill with adequate instruction.

Professions at risk of skull fractures 

Professions with higher incidence of skull fractures are those which require climbing or immense physical activity including:

  • Construction workers and tradesmen and women
  • Warehouse workers
  • Sportsmen and women
  • Window cleaners

I fractured my skull in a road accident - can I claim compensation?

If you suffer a fractured skull 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: Sarah is driving to work one morning when an elderly man disobeys a stop sign and smashes right into the back of her motor vehicle. Sarah is thrown from the vehicle on impact, and lands 10 metres from the car. Sarah fractures her skull and breaks 2 ribs. Sarah can likely sustain a claim for compensation under the negligent driver’s CTP insurance as she has been injured due to his negligent behaviour.

I fractured my skull in a public place - can I claim compensation?

Slip and fall while grocery shopping

If you have fractured your skull in a public place due to the negligence of another person or organisation, you may have a claim for public liability compensation.
To succeed in such a 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.

Gathering evidence to support a public liability claim is often difficult and the above is only a basic overview of the legal requirements to claim public liability compensation. We strongly suggest you consult with an experienced lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Example: Susan is walking through a shopping mall carrying her grocery bags. Despite walking normally, she slips and tumbles over, fracturing her skull in the process. Susan realises later that a janitor had only just finished cleaning the floor. As the facility is a public place and Susan has sustained an injury, she may be able to sustain a claim for public liability compensation. If the Janitor had put up a sign indicating that the floor was slippery due to cleaning, Susan may not be able to sustain a claim for public liability compensation.

Common causes of skull fractures

Car accident as a common cause of fractured skull

Skull fractures can occur in a variety of situations. Car accidents and falling from heights at work or at home are primary causes.

How much compensation for a fractured skull?

The compensation payable to you will depend on the nature of your injury and the extent to which it has impacted your 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.

Depending on the nature of your injury, compensation may or may not be available. If you think you may have a claim for compensation or if you need help to understand your rights, you should seek expert legal advice.

What time limits apply to my claim?

Time limits that apply to start a fractured skull 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 a 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.

Strict time limits apply - seek legal advice ASAP - In most circumstances, the time limit to start a compensation claim is 3 years from the date of incident. Some processes need to be started much sooner. Call us on 1800 266 801 or start a live chat.


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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.

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