If you are an employee* who is injured because of your work you have the right to make a workers’ compensation claim to cover your medical costs and lost wages. Your employer cannot force you to take paid or unpaid leave instead of lodging a workers compensation claim.
*NOTE: Independent contractors generally cannot make a workers’ compensation claim against the company that engages them. Although sometimes sub-contractors can be accepted as workers and need to contact Workcover to ascertain eligibility.
Yes, you can. No matter how far along you are in the claims process, it’s not too late to obtain independent legal advice. In fact, it is recommended that you do not sign anything or settle your Statutory claim with WorkCover until you get personalised advice from a lawyer. What they offer you may not be what your work injury claim is actually worth. A lawyer may be able to help you to get a more favourable outcome.
If WorkCover makes you a lump sum compensation offer because you are assessed as having a permanent impairment, you can choose to either:
However, your options may be more limited if you do not have grounds to bring a common law claim.
However, your options may be more limited if you do not have grounds to bring a common law claim. A common law claim is essentially suing your employer for negligence. Therefore, in order to bring this type of claim you must be able to prove that your injury resulted from some negligence on the part of your employer. This usually requires a complex analysis of the law and the circumstances of the incident. Therefore it is recommended that you obtain legal advice before making this decision. If your permanent impairment is assessed at less than 20%, once you commence a common law claim, you waive your entitlement to any lump sum offer made by WorkCover and you will not be able to accept it at a later time.
Yes. If you make a Workcover claim you have the right to return to your former position once you are able, and to be treated as equal to other employees. Your employer cannot threaten to demote you, or change your position at work or treat you less favourably than other workers simply because of your injury. In fact, research indicates that returning to work as soon as possible is good for your mental and physical health and wellbeing. You can return to work even before you are 100% recovered. Your employer may have to modify or reduce the work that you were doing before you were injured until you are back at full capacity.
No. Your employer cannot fire you or threaten to fire you for making a workers compensation claim or reporting a workplace injury. Injured workers are protected from unfair dismissal and discrimination by many state and federal laws. In Queensland, your employer cannot fire you within 12 months after you became injured, solely because you are not fit for your employment because of your workplace injury. Your employer must take reasonable steps to provide rehabilitation and suitable work duties that you are able to do. However, if your illness or incapacity is not because of a workplace injury and not the subject of a WorkCover claim then your employer may be able to let you go you if you are unable to do your job properly.
Remember -strict time limits apply. It is recommended that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to understand your rights and entitlements.
Smith's Lawyers are experts in work injury compensation and service clients Queensland wide from our Brisbane City and Gold Coast offices.
We offer a free case review, free initial home visits (in South East Queensland) and offer a truly risk-free promise, NO WIN. NO FEE. NO CATCH.
Get advice on your rights and entitlements today. Call our office on 1800 266 801, request a call back below or chat to us online via live chat.If you have been injured at work it is important to understand your legal rights and entitlements. The article below provides general information on rights for injured workers in Queensland. For advice specific to your situation, you should contact our expert team for a free case review on 1800 266 801, via live chat or contact form at the bottom of the page.
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