How long your workers compensation or WorkCover lasts, depends on the severity of your injury and the type of claim you make, however, there are limits.
Injured workers who make a statutory WorkCover claim are entitled to receive weekly payments from WorkCover while they are unable to work. These payments will stop:
1. When you return to work: Payments stop once you are able to return to work full-time or once the injury has settled and you have been assessed for permanent impairment;
2. After 5 years: If you have been unable to return to work at all, weekly payments will stop after 5 years unless your permanent impairment is greater than 20% and you have been assessed as being unable to work indefinitely;
3. When you reach the maximum total weekly compensation limit. The current limit for compensation payable as weekly payments is $103,100. Once you have received this maximum amount of compensation you cannot get further compensation for the same injury or injuries arising from the same incident; or
4. At retirement age: Payments will usually stop if you reach Commonwealth retirement age.
Making a common law claim is a long and complex process which has a prescribed time frame of 9 months to reach a Compulsory Conference with WorkCover. This can sometimes take longer if the matter is complicated by injury or fault.
If you matter cannot be resolved at the Conference, you can elect to progress the matter to Court. If your claim proceeds to court, the process will be even longer.
The process starts with the lodgement of a Notice of Claim for damages by your solicitor. WorkCover then has 6 months to investigate the matter and issue their liability response. Within 3 months of that response, the parties must agree to convene a Compulsory Conference to attempt to resolve the matter.
If your injury or treatment changes, you may need to delay your claim until your condition stabilises.
For most personal injury claims, a legal action must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the injury. If you miss this deadline, you will lose the right to claim compensation.
However, depending on where your injury occurred or who you are claiming against, specific pre-court procedures may apply which may have much shorter time limits. If you miss these time limits you may lose your right to claim unless you can provide good reason for delaying and why you should be allowed to proceed with your claim.
Those aged under 18 will typically have until they are 21 to start the claims process.
In addition, getting accurate records such as CCTV or reliable witness statements for example may be difficult if starting a claim several years after the incident.
In summary, it’s best to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible to ensure you understand your rights and the required evidence to make a strong claim can be gathered. View time limit information article for more detail.
Seek legal advice ASAP as some processes need to be started much sooner. Talk to our expert personal injury lawyers based in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast. Call us on 1800 266 801 or start a live chat.
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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