Work compensation

Work related injuries

1800 305 568
At Maurice Blackburn we know that claiming workers’ compensation can be a complicated and involved process. We have a team of expert workplace injury lawyers that specialise in WorkCover and workplace injuries claims and will help you to make a claim.

If you have had an accident or your health and wellbeing have been affected in the workplace, you may be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim. This includes any injuries happening at, or as a result of work, any pre-existing injuries, illness or disease worsened in the workplace.

If you have suffered a personal injury or illness in the workplace, the first thing you should do is to promptly report it to your employer, you should then complete a WorkCover claim form and obtain a WorkCover medical certificate. Make sure you keep copies of both for yourself prior to providing original copies to your employer. In some states it is best to also lodge the claim with the insurer.

Workers’ compensation laws and entitlements vary between states and territories. Some people who work for some large companies or Commonwealth Government agencies are covered by Federal laws, commonly known as Comcare. People employed in the armed services have a separate military compensation scheme. Seafarers are covered by a scheme known as Seacare. Whatever the name and whatever law you’re covered by, our lawyers are able to advise you of your legal rights.

Time limits apply and delays may mean you may not be able to claim. Prompt expert legal advice is essential.

In many states and territories in addition to workers' compensation entitlements, workers injured in unsafe workplaces can bring claims for additional sums of money to compensate for past and future losses. These are known as common law damages claims and again different laws apply from state-to-state. Our lawyers can also advise about common law damages claims.

We have Queensland offices in Brisbane, Browns Plains, Caboolture, Cairns, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Mackay, Rockhampton, Strathpine, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, and Townsville. Contact us today for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I claim compensation?

If you suffer from an injury, illness or disease as a result of, or in the course of employment, you can claim workers’ compensation.

What types of workers are covered?

You can claim from your state workers’ compensation authority if you are injured at work, including part-time workers, casual workers and in many circumstances subcontractors such as an owner/drivers or agency nurses.

If you are an injured Commonwealth Government employee, or an injured employee of a large national company, you can claim under the Federal Comcare scheme.

What types of injuries can I claim?

The compensation and benefits you are entitled to can vary greatly depending on the seriousness of your injury and law under which you’re covered.

As well as workplace accidents, you may also be able to claim compensation for a recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing injuries or disease impacted by your work. Injuries including cancers, strokes, asthma, heart conditions and degenerative conditions are often made worse by employment.

In some states you may be able claim for injuries sustained during a normal recess, such as lunchtime or morning and afternoon tea breaks. As long as you can show some relationship between your employment and the injury, you may be able to claim compensation.

How long do I have to claim?

Time limits vary under the different state and Federal laws. It’s important to report your injury to your work and the workers’ compensation authority that covers you as soon as possible – and usually within 30 days – of becoming aware of the injury. This includes completing a claim form and getting a medical certificate. The actual legal process may take up to several years, especially if you have to wait for injuries to stabilise. It’s important you talk with a lawyer if you’re unsure about the amount of time you have to claim, even if it has been more than 30 days since you were injured.

How much will I get?

We can't tell how much you will get without your specific information. However, you may receive payments that are equal to a percentage of your weekly earnings, along with payment for all reasonable medical and associated expenses. Additional lump sums are also potentially available.

Can I claim a lump sum?

You can usually claim a lump sum for permanent impairment. Generally these claims can be made once your injury has stabilised. The lump sum amount will depend on your impairment level, date of injury, and the law that applies to you.

Can I claim for the death of a family member?

If a worker dies as a result of a work-related injury, illness or disease, the dependants of the worker are able to claim a compensation lump sum. In some states pensions or other periodic benefits for infants and students are also available. If the death is the fault of the employer or any other person, a dependant may also be entitled to bring a common law claim seeking damages in some states. It is important to seek legal advice about this.

What expenses are covered and benefits am I entitled to?

All reasonable:

  • medical
  • hospital
  • nursing
  • personal and household
  • occupational, and
  • rehabilitation

are covered by workers’ compensation.

Expenses such as doctors, chemists, physiotherapy and chiropractic bills are also covered.

Your workers’ compensation authority may also approve payment for attendant care, modifications to a home or car, home help and transportation costs.

Can I sue for damages under common law?

Depending on the state in which your injury occurred, you may be able to sue for additional compensation under common law if your injuries are the fault of your employer or any other person. These claims can be made even if the injury may have been partly your fault. Successful claims result in lump sums being payable.

Common law claims usually include money being claimed for:

  • pain and suffering
  • past and future medical expenses
  • past loss of earnings
  • future loss of earnings or loss of earning capacity, and
  • past and future loss of Superannuation contributions.

Time limits and complicated rules apply in states where common law claims are available so it is essential to speak to an expert lawyer.

Can I also claim income protection through my super?

Yes, you can claim if you have taken out income protection that’s part of your superannuation policy. Also, if you're forced out of your trade or job due to the injury, you may be entitled to a superannuation lump sum. We are experts in this area. It’s important to talk with a lawyer about how best to do this.

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