Workers Compensation Payout Guide

Have you been injured at work? Has your workplace injury left you with a permanent impairment? Unsure of your next steps? You may be entitled to workers compensation claim. Read our guide to find out if you're eligible.
What is Workers Compensation?

All Queensland workers should be afforded a safe workplace with the ability to leave work as they arrive – uninjured and well. The workers compensation scheme is in place to ensure that injured workers have access to the right compensation to get them back on their feet and ideally back to work. By law each workplace should have insurance policies in place to pay compensation to cover workplace accidents.

Compensation payouts can cover unexpected and ongoing out-of-pocket medical costs, lost wages due to time off work, and rehabilitation costs if needed. Compensation payouts can also be made to families of employees in the event a worker dies whilst undertaking their job.

Talk with an experienced workers compensation lawyer to learn more.

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What Injuries Can You Make a Claim For?

A claim can be made if you have been injured at work or have developed a work-related disease or illness, at times you can also claim for injuries if accidents occur on your journey to and from work. The types of injuries you may sustain in a workplace accident could improve over time or can result in a permanent impairment. The types of injuries you can make claims for include:

Physical Injuries
These can include injuries such as lacerations, fractures, burns, blindness, industrial deafness
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Psychiatric/Psychological Disorders
These include psychological injuries such as anxiety or depression and PTSD.
Diseases
These include infectious diseases, cancer and contact dermatitis.
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Work-Related Respiratory Diseases
This includes injuries such as asbestosis, silicosis, mesothelioma and occupational asthma.
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Death From Any Injuries or Diseases
Injuries or diseases resulting in death.
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You may also be able to claim compensation if your work environment makes your pre-existing injuries or diseases deteriorate or flare up. Injuries including cancers, strokes, asthma, and heart conditions are often made worse by employment.

Do I Have a Case?
Being injured at work or developing a long-term illness due to your work can be a shock to yourself and your family. The stress of recovery, coupled with financial stresses may make you feel overwhelmed. Our personal injury lawyers know the law and they will help to minimise your stress when making a claim.

You can take control of your situation and with the right legal advice you can ensure your legal rights are protected. The following five steps will help you to make a claim for compensation:

1. Seek medical assistance. Be sure to let your doctor know that you injured yourself at work. Your doctor will issue you with a workers compensation medical certificate.

2. Report your incident and any injuries sustained to your employer. Be sure to give your employer your workers compensation medical certificate.

3. Keep copies of all your documents. Lodge your forms and claim with your employer as soon as possible.

4. Seek legal advice. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will ensure all your legal rights are protected and you gain the maximum compensation needed.

5. Lodge your claim. This is done through Workcover Queensland, you can lodge your own claim or your employer may lodge the claim on your behalf.

Time limits apply, including making a common law claim, so it’s very important to lodge your claim as soon as possible and seek legal advice.
How are Workers Compensation Payouts Calculated?
When you make a claim for workers compensation, the amount of weekly benefits that you are entitled to depends on a number of factors. These include the date of your injury, the type of injury or permanent impairment sustained, the length of time that you need take off work and whether you are employed under an industrial award.
The following are the types of claims you may be able to make - the avenue you take is dependent on the severity of your injuries or permanent impairment and the overall impact to your life.
WorkCover Benefts or Statutory Benefits for:
• Medical and rehabilitation expenses
• Wage benefits
• Lump sum compensation
Common Law Damages For:
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of income, past and future earning abilities
• Medical and rehabilitation expenses – including future medical needs due to your injury
• Paid care and assistance
• Loss of past and future superannuation benefits
You May Also Be Able to Make Other Personal Injury Claims:
• If you have are involved in an accident whilst traveling to or from your workplace and you become injured, you may be able to make a workers compensation claim and a motor vehicle accident claim.
• You may also be able to make a Superannuation/ TPD Insurance claim if you are unable to return to work as a result of a workplace injury or illness.
1
Medical Expenses
After you have been injured you will likely incur medical expenses that you didn’t foresee, these expenses could run into the future and in the worst-case scenario could last a lifetime if you suffer a permanent impairment. Medical expenses that can be covered include:
• Treatment by a registered medical or allied health practitioner (doctor, physiotherapist, dentist, etc.)
• Any medical items that are needed as you recover, like dressings and medicines
• Hire of equipment like crutches and wheelchairs
• Return to work services that support your recovery
• Travel expenses related to your treatment.

You will receive compensation for all out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, WorkCover will only cover set fees for all charges.
2
Permanent Impairment Benefit
A permanent impairment is when you injure yourself and your injuries stay the same over time and there is no likelihood of you making a full recovery even with the help of rehabilitation or treatment. The most common permanent impairment injuries include: spinal cord injury, amputation, disfigurement, severe mental illnesses, or permanent loss of movement.

In order to claim for a permanent impairment benefit you will need to have the degree of permanent impairment (DPI) assessed by:
• An audiologist for industrial deafness
• A medical assessment tribunal for a psychiatric or psychological injury
• A doctor for any other injury.

Any worker suffering a work injury is entitled to request an assessment to determine whether they are entitled to a lump sum compensation payment due to their permanent impairment. Additional compensation claims may be possible.
3
Claim For Damages
You may be able to claim for damages, commonly known as a ‘common law claim’. If you pursue a common law claim, you will be able to sue your employer for:
• Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life
• Past and future loss of income and superannuation contributions
• Past and future extra expenses (including medical, allied health/rehabilitation and pharmaceutical expenses, travel expenses, care, assistance, aids and equipment).

To bring about a common law claim you must show that:
• You were injured at work, and;
• Your employer (or a co-worker or other agent of the employer) was negligent, and;
• The employer’s negligence caused your work injury.

Pursuing a common law claim is highly complex and can impact your entitlements under different compensation schemes. Given the complexity of these claims and to ensure your legal rights are protected we recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible. There are also strict time limits to pursue a common law claim.
4
Accept the Workers Compensation Claim Offer or Claim Damages
If your claim for workers' compensation is accepted by WorkCover, you can choose to either accept or reject the compensation offered. If you are dissatisfied with the workers' compensation offered, you can file a claim for damages in court against your employer.
How Much Will My Workers Compensation Claim Settle For?
Whether you claim for a lump sum payment due to the degree of permanent impairment, weekly benefits or pursue a common law claim, every claim is different and the amount of compensation you may receive depends on many factors. Because of these factors it’s impossible to estimate your compensation without taking a detailed look into your claim and assessment.

The amount of compensation you may receive will be determined by calculating the monetary value of your injuries and their impact on your quality of life and your ability to earn an income now and into the future.
Lodge A "No Win No Fee" Claim
If you suffer injuries while at work, you don't have to worry about the whole process of making your claim or the legal fees involved. Here at Smith's Lawyers, we offer free consultation services for injured workers looking to kickstart their claims. As mentioned before, we also have a no-win no fee, no catch policy.
Get in touch with us to give yourself the best opportunity to receive the maximum compensation possible for your claim.
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