Fall Injury Compensation

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If you've suffered a fall injury in Queensland and you believe it was due to someone else's fault or negligence, it's important to know your rights and entitlements to compensation.

This guide aims to provide you with all the essential information about your rights to compensation, common causes and types of these injuries, the process for lodging a claim, frequently asked questions, and time limits for making a claim specific to Queensland. 

Smith's Lawyers team of personal injury claim experts offers free initial advice and no-obligation appointments at home, in the hospital, in-office, or via phone. All claims have no upfront costs or risks of being left out of pocket under our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. We operate Queensland-wide.

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Understanding Your Rights after a Fall Injury in Queensland

Falls are Australia’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation and death. If you're a victim of an injury due to someone else's negligence, you have certain rights to compensation, as the financial burden for these injuries can be considerable and often affects both the injured individual and their family members. These rights broadly cater to various situations, such as car and road accidents, workplace accidents, or accidents in public places.

Let's shed some light on some of the key compensation schemes available in Queensland: 

  • Car and road accidents: You may be eligible to file a claim through the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claims scheme if you've been injured on the road.
  • Workplace Accidents: If you've suffered a fall at work, two types of claims can be made. Firstly, statutory claims can be made via WorkCover Queensland or your employer’s insurance, and this applies regardless of who was at fault. Secondly, if your employer was negligent, you may pursue a common law claim.
  • Public place accidents: A public liability claim is for accidents that occur in a public place. You can make a common law claim against the public liability insurer of the premises.

Understanding your entitlements can be empowering in such distressing situations. However, each claim procedure holds its complexities. It is advantageous to seek legal advice to help navigate through the process smoothly.

What is a Fall Injury?

A "fall injury" is defined as an injury caused by an accidental or sudden plunge, often, but not always, from a height Consequences can range from minor scrapes and sprains to significant medical conditions or in the harshest cases, even fatality. These injuries are very common in Australia and are the leading cause of unintentional injury in older Australians

Therefore, it is vital to ensure stringent safety norms and preventive measures are in place, especially in high-risk areas such as workplaces, roads, and public spaces in. This is an integral part of preventing fall accidents in the first place or at least mitigating their outcomes should they occur. In circumstances where these safety measures are not upheld by the liable party, and this negligence causes your injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Common Causes of Fall Injuries

In Australia, falls account for a staggering 43% of injury-admitted patients and are the primary reason for injury-related hospitalisation. They are often serious injuries that lead to broken or fractured bones, bruises, lacerations, and even internal bleeding. Such injuries can be caused by numerous varied circumstances. 

Some of the most common causes include: 

  • Slipping, Tripping, or Stumbling: Uneven surfaces, loose floorboards, or wet floors often lead to slips and trips. Slip and fall accident injuries are among the most common of these injuries. 
  • Falling from Heights: Falls from ladders, stairs, or any elevated area in the workplace are common, especially in construction and maintenance jobs.
  • Unsecured Rugs or Carpets: These can easily cause someone to trip and fall, leading to potential injuries.
  • Improper Training: Without proper training to navigate work environments, employees are at higher risk of experiencing a fall injury.
  • Poor Lighting: Insufficient lighting can hide potential hazards, increasing the risk of trips and falls.
  • Lack of Protective Equipment: Safety gear is essential to prevent fall accidents, especially in high-risk occupations. A lack of such equipment significantly elevates the potential for such injuries.
Common Types of Fall Injuries

Here are the most common types of these injuries: 

  • Fractures and breaks: More than 50% of hospital admissions due to fall injuries result in a fracture. From a simple arm fracture to more serious spinal cord injuries, these are common outcomes when you take a tumble. 
  • Head injuries: A substantial fall can lead to traumatic head injuries. Ranging from mild concussions to severe and life-challenging brain injuries, quick and adequate medical attention is crucial.
  • Strains and sprains: These injuries were the most common claim lodgements in 2022-23. Overstretching or overusing muscles and ligaments during a fall can cause these injuries. They are especially common in the ankles, wrists, and knees.
  • Cuts and abrasions: These are typical in the road or public place falls, where rough surfaces or materials can cause damage to the skin.
  • Dislocation injuries: A forceful impact during a fall can dislocate bones, especially in the shoulder. This injury can be extremely painful and requires prompt medical attention.
Workers Most at Risk of Fall Injuries

Falls are among the most common causes of serious injuries at work. Several sectors in particular have been identified as high-risk for fall accidents.

They are as follows:

  • Roofers: Known for working at significant heights, roofers are particularly vulnerable to fall accidents. Potential hazards such as unsteady footing, changing weather conditions, and the inherent risks of climbing ladders add to their risk.
  • Construction Workers: Being mostly involved in tasks requiring them to operate at various heights, construction workers run a high risk of fall injuries. This industry also had the third-highest number of claim lodgements in the 2022-23 period. 
  • Logistics Workers in Warehouses: These workers frequently operate heavy machinery, lift heavy loads, and navigate across possibly slippery or uneven surfaces, causing them to be more susceptible to falls.
  • Solar Panel Installers: Due to the nature of their work, which often takes place on rooftops or high structures, solar panel installers can also be at a heightened risk of falls. Falls may be due to unsteady footing, improper use of harnessing equipment, or the complexity of their tasks. 
  • Painters & Decorators: Frequently operating on ladders, painters and decorators encounter risks of slipping or falling, attributable to factors such as unstable ladders, wet surfaces, or over-reaching.
  • Window Cleaners: Employed to clean windows of high-rise buildings, these workers are constantly exposed to the risk of unsecured equipment or sudden shifts in weather, resulting in falls.

Regardless of your profession, if you’ve suffered from a workplace accident resulting in an injury, you may be eligible to make a fall injury claim. Smith’s Lawyers team of experts in personal injury claims are here to guide you through the process.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Understanding the Compensation Claims Process

It's critical to first seek advice from a medical professional who can diagnose and document your injury. Following this, fall claims can prove to be complex. We aim here to break down the general steps involved when seeking compensation for an injury caused by someone else's negligence in Queensland. 

Below is an outline of the steps involved: 

1. Seek Free Initial Legal Advice

The first step is to get in touch with a law firm that specialises in compensation claims for injuries. Such a firm will have the necessary expertise and understanding of the complexities of Queensland law and can confirm your legal options, including eligibility to make a claim.

2. Engage A Personal Injury Lawyer

After an initial phone assessment, the next stage is a no-obligation consultation to explain the process and client agreement in more detail and to gather initial key information relating to your accident and injury to help assess your case and your injury and identify the liable party. The client agreement will also be explained so you can understand the terms under which the personal injury law operates. Smith’s Lawyers runs all claims risk-free with no upfront costs.

3. Gather Evidence To Build Your Case

Once your compensation matter is opened, you will be allocated a personal injury lawyer who will start gathering the required evidence to build a strong case and to determine liability. This may include medical reports, accident reports, witness statements, CCTV or dashcam footage or documentation of any loss of earnings due to your injury. Further down the track, when your injuries have settled, your law firm may arrange for independent medical assessments such as occupational therapy assessment to assess your ability to work, long-term recovery prospects and so on.

4. File Your Claim

Your personal injury solicitor will lodge a notice of claim and negotiate on your behalf with the liable parties, typically with their insurance companies (or their legal representatives), such as the CTP insurer of the at-fault party for car and road accidents or WorkCover Qld for workplace accidents. 

5. Negotiate With The At-Fault Party's Insurer

Negotiations with the insurance company aim to reach a fair settlement that covers your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Most cases are settled out of court in a compulsory conference, an office-based meeting involving yourself, your personal injury solicitor and a barrister they have engaged in leading the negotiations along with the legal representatives of the at-fault party's insurer. 

In the unlikely event that a settlement cannot be negotiated out of court, proceedings can proceed to court. In most ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case is unsuccessful in court. Smith’s Lawyers No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise protects you from this risk and means you can not be out of pocket.

6. Settlement Payment

If your claim is successful, you will receive a lump-sum tax-free compensation settlement. The amount received will depend on different factors, including the severity of your injury, any impact on your earning capacity, and any medical expenses incurred. Legal fees are charged for the work completed only if there is a successful outcome.

Seek expert advice ASAP: Remember, each case is unique, and the process can vary based on the specifics. It's suggested to seek professional legal advice and have your case reviewed by an expert team to guide you in this journey. Smith's Lawyers are experts in personal injury claims and offer a Queensland-wide service with free initial advice to get you started in your claim process.

What Evidence Do I Need To Support My Fall Injury Claim?

Preparing for a slip and fall claim means gathering crucial evidence. An integral part of the compensation claim process involves building a compelling case that accurately represents your circumstances and supports your entitlement to compensation. 

Here are the essentials: 

  • Medical Reports: You'll need to provide documentation of your injuries. This may include medical reports from your doctor, hospital discharge summaries, and specialist opinions.
  • Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to your fall incident, their statements could be invaluable. They can provide an unbiased account of the events leading up to and following your fall.
  • Photographic Evidence: It could be beneficial to get photos of the scene where you fell, especially if there are visible hazards or risks.
  • Earnings Records: To claim for lost earnings, you'll need to provide pay slips or salary statements that demonstrate your typical income before and following the injury.
  • Records of Expenses: Keep detailed records of any out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, including travel costs to medical appointments and prescriptions.

Calculating Your Compensation Amount

The amount of compensation varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Nature and severity of the injury: The more severe the injury, the greater the potential compensation. This often considers physical pain, mental trauma, and the future implications of such injuries.
  • Medical expenses: This covers all your immediate and future medical bills, including surgeries, therapies, medications, and any other required medical procedures.
  • Loss of earnings: If your injury causes you to miss work or impacts your ability to earn, this is factored into your compensation.
  • Impairment of life quality: If your injury has a lasting impact that changes the way you live your life substantially, you may be entitled to higher compensation.
  • Dependency claims: If your loved ones were financially dependent on you, they might be eligible to claim compensation.

It is important to note that the same injury does not always result in a set payout amount. This is because circumstances vary vastly among individuals, thus affecting the compensation amount. 

Consider, for example, a 30-year-old construction worker and a 70-year-old retiree, both suffering from the same injury. 

The impact of the injury on the construction worker's ability to work will be far greater, leading to a higher slip and fall claim. On the other hand, the retiree might receive less because his income wouldn't be as significantly affected.

These considerations demonstrate why it’s crucial to have skilled representation from a law firm. This can help ensure your fall claim accurately reflects the full impact of your injury, and that you receive all the compensation you're entitled to.

Time Limits for Fall Injury Claims

There is generally a time limit of three years from the date of injury to make a compensation claim. This includes cases involved in road, workplace, or public liability incidents. More details are provided below.

For work-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have six months to lodge your claim with WorkCover. The six-month period begins whenever the incident takes place, either when you are injured or after a doctor has made their assessment. 
  • You have three years to commence legal proceedings for a common law claim. If your employer or a third party caused or contributed to your injury, this can be run alongside a standard WorkCover claim.

For motor vehicle-related injuries in Queensland:

  • You have 9 months from the date of the accident or when injuries first became apparent to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim Form (known as a 'NOAC') with the Compulsory Third Party Insurer (CTP Insurer). A “reasonable excuse for delay” can be provided outside the 9 months but must be within 3 years of the accident, or you will be barred from making a claim. 
  • Or, you have 1 month from when you first consult with a lawyer about the possibility of making a claim to lodge the form. When running a claim with Smith’s Lawyers, your appointed solicitor will help you complete and submit this form.  Note: This time limit is the earlier of the two (1 month vs 9 months), so if you have spoken to a lawyer about your potential claim, you must lodge the NOAC within 1 month.
  • Where the motor vehicle at fault cannot be identified (such as in a hit and run), or the vehicle was unregistered, you have 3 months from the date of the accident to lodge a Notice of Accident Claim form with the Nominal Defendant. For these claims, if you have missed the 3-month period, a reasonable excuse can be provided, but it must be provided within the standard 9-month limit; otherwise, you will be barred from making a claim.
  • After the Notice of Claim Form is lodged, you have 3 years from the date of the accident/injury to start legal proceedings.

These limits can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, such as exceptional delays in discovering the injury or if the injured party was under 18 at the time of the accident. For those under 18, the time limit begins when they reach adulthood.

At Smith's Lawyers, we offer free and no-obligation case reviews to aid you in understanding your legal rights after an injury. Operating on a No Win, No Fee, No Catch® basis, we aim to provide risk-free legal assistance and advocate for your right to proper compensation.

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How can fall injuries impact the ability to work?

Fall injuries can lead to severe health complications, thereby hampering your ability to execute duties as per usual. For instance, you might find difficulties in standing for prolonged periods, lifting heavy objects, or even concentrating on tasks; all these can directly affect your work performance or even your career progression. 

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How long does it take to process a fall compensation claim in Queensland?

The processing time for this type of injury compensation claim in Queensland typically ranges from a few months to over a year. The duration depends on the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, and the efficiency of the insurance provider or responsible entity. However, most claims are resolved within 12 to 18 months.

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Can I make a claim if I'm partially at fault for the fall injury?

You may still be able to make a claim for a fall injury even if you are partially at fault. However, it's important to remember that the compensation you might receive can be reduced, depending on the extent to which you were at fault.

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Are there any upfront costs or risks?

No; our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise at Smith’s Lawyers means there are no upfront costs, and you can never be left out of pocket as a result of the claim. Typically with ‘no win, no fee’ agreements, you could still be liable for the other side's legal costs if your case goes to court and is unsuccessful. In the unlikely event that your case goes to court and you are unsuccessful, we'll cover the costs - so you won't pay a cent to us or anyone else.

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Get expert advice today

To check your compensation entitlements, request a free case review with our expert lawyers. We can explain your options to PTSD Compensation claims so you are clear on your rights during this difficult time.

Take our 2-minute free claim check

Fill in the form below to find out if you have a claim.

Last updated:
March 1, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.