Knowledge base

Does Workers Compensation Pay for Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering is compensated at the statutory level by way of a lump sum payment. This payment is based upon your work-related impairment and is intended to compensate you for the overall effect your injury has had on your life and can incorporate:

Loss of enjoyment of life due to injury

  • any actual pain and suffering experienced
  • future pain and suffering you will experience as a result of the injury
  • loss of enjoyment of your life
  • any inability to participate in pre-injury recreational activities, hobbies or sports.

Simply experiencing literal pain and suffering as a result of your injury, will not necessarily entitle you to this payment. There must be an assessment of a permanent injury as a result of your workplace injury.

The amount you will receive is calculated by reference to the percentage of impairment assessed at a medical review of your injury. WorkCover will require you to be assessed by a medical professional to determine your level of permanent impairment so that they can make you a lump sum offer.

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How is pain and suffering compensation calculated for workers compensation claims at common law?

Estimating compensation after injury

At Common Law, General damages are calculated by reference to the legislation under which they are claimed. For workers compensation claims, claimants are allocated an Injury Scale Value (ISV) of between 0 to 100. The Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulations contain a table which allocates a range ISV values corresponding to a particular injury.

The amount of ISV is applied to Schedule 12 of the Regulations to determine the amount of General Damages applicable to the ISV assessment. The amount for each ISV can vary upon the date of your accident. For example, if you are assessed to have an ISV of 20, and you were injured after between 01/07/2014 and 30/06/2015 your general damages would currently be $35,400.00. If you were injured from 01/07/2015 onwards and assessed with an ISV of 20, you would receive $36,250.00. The amount of ISV is reviewed regularly.

Pain and suffering compensation generally makes up a substantial part of any damages award and for claimants who are unemployed, stay-at-home parents or retirees this may make up the bulk of their damages award. However, where a claimant is gainfully employed at the time of their injury, the largest component of compensation will usually be for lost future earning potential.

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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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