Workers compensation
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What to do if you've been injured in the workplace

If you've been injured in the workplace or if your psychological health has been affected by your work, you may be eligible to make a claim for workers’ compensation.

This applies to workers who have sustained injuries at—or as a result of—their job and includes any pre-existing injuries, illnesses or diseases that are worsened by the workplace.

We understand that claiming work compensation for injuries in the workplace can be a complicated and involved process—especially when you're sick or injured.

Our team of workers' compensation lawyers specialises in these claims, so they're familiar with what you're going through and understand your needs.

Why Maurice Blackburn?

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is committed to being Australia’s leading work-related injury law firm. We have exceptional expertise in this area of law, a strong history of successful cases and a full suite of legal services we can draw upon to help you in any circumstance.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and throughout Australia. Contact Maurice Blackburn for more information.

We offer 'no win, no fee'* arrangements for these types of cases, which means that you don't have to pay for our legal services if we don’t win.

 

All you need to know about workers' compensation

If you've had an accident or if your health and wellbeing have been affected in the workplace, you may be eligible to make a claim for workers’ compensation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for WorkCover or workers’ compensation?

You may be eligible to claim workers’ injury compensation if you've been injured at work or suffered from illness or disease as a result - or in the course of - your employment.

You may be eligible if:

  • you've had an accident at or as a result of work (which may include injuries sustained during a recess, such as lunchtime or morning and afternoon breaks)
  • your health and wellbeing have been affected in the workplace (more on work-related illnesses here)
  • a pre-existing injury or illness worsens in the workplace.

Depending on your state or territory, workers' compensation may be known as CTP, WorkCover, WorkSafe or the federal Comcare system (for employees of the Commonwealth and ACT governments and some large national companies). The compensation and benefits can vary greatly depending on your injury and on the law you’re covered by.

Did you know?

  • Workers' compensation schemes include part-time and casual workers and often include subcontractors.
  • Illnesses including cancer, strokes, asthma, heart conditions and degenerative conditions are often made worse by employment. This includes recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration.
  • You also can make a superannuation claim if income protection is part of your superannuation policy. If you're forced out of your trade or job due to the injury, you may be entitled to a superannuation lump sum.
  • You can claim a lump sum for permanent impairment, generally after the injury is stable and after 12 months have passed since the injury was sustained. The amount will depend on your injury, when it happened, and the law that covers your workers’ compensation.
  • If your injuries are at least partly the fault of your employer or someone else, you may be able to sue for more compensation under common law. These claims can include compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and lost superannuation contributions (both past and future), and inability to work.

What types of workers are covered under a workers’ compensation claim?

Workers' compensation schemes cover injured employees, including part-time and casual workers. In many cases subcontractors are also eligible to receive work injury compensation.

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 under workers’ compensation?

The benefits you may receive vary greatly depending on the seriousness of your injury and the law under which you're covered.

As well as workplace accidents, you may also be able to claim work injury compensation for a recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing injury or disease impacted by your work.

Injuries including cancers, strokes, asthmas, heart conditions and degenerative conditions are often made worse by employment. In some states you may be able to claim for injuries sustained during a normal recess, such as lunchtime or morning and afternoon tea breaks.

How long do I have to lodge my workers’ compensation claim?

Time limits vary under different state and federal laws.

It's important to report your workplace accident or aggravated injury to your work and workers' compensation authority that covers you as soon as possible - usually within 30 days - once you've become aware of your injury.

The actual legal process may take up to several years, especially if you have to wait for injuries to stabilise.

Be sure to make and retain copies of both the claim form and the medical certificate before you give the originals to your employer. Make sure your employer signs them, then lodge a copy of the claim form with the workers' compensation authority in your state.

Workers’ compensation laws and entitlements vary between states and territories and may be known as WorkCover, CTP or WorkSafe. Employees of the Commonwealth and ACT governments—and of some large national employers—are covered by the Comcare system.

Whichever system you’re covered by, if you’ve been injured at work, our expert work injury compensation lawyers will fight to protect your legal rights.

What kind of sum can I expect to receive for my workers’ compensation claim?

It’s our mission to ensure you get your full compensation payout to help you get back to being you as soon as possible. The amount will depend on your impairment level, date of injury, and the law that covers your worker's compensation.

You may receive payments that are equal to a percentage of your weekly earnings, along with payment for all reasonable medical and associated expenses. You can claim a lump sum in cases where the injury has caused permanent impairment.

A workers injury lawyer can help you assess your claim, based on the details surrounding your injury.

Can I claim workers’ compensation for the death of a family member?

You may be able to claim a workplace accident compensation lump sum along with a pension, if a family member on whom you are dependant dies as a result of a work-related injury, illness or disease.

You may also be entitled to bring a common law claim seeking damages in some states, if the death is the fault of the employer or any other person.

It is important to talk a work injuries lawyer to understand your rights.

What expenses are covered and benefits am I entitled to under my workers’ compensation claim?

All 'reasonable' expenses are covered by workers' compensation for services related to:

  • medical, hospital and nursing
  • personal and household
  • occupational
  • rehabilitation
  • ambulance services.

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 workers’ compensation damages under common law?

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, depending on the state in which your work injury occurred.

Successful workers’ compensation 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
  • past and future loss of superannuation contributions.

These claims can be made even if the work injury may have been partly your fault. Time limits and complicated rules apply in states where common law claims are available.

It is essential that you speak to an expert work injury lawyer to understand your rights.

Can I also claim income protection through my super with my workers’ compensation claim?

Yes, you can if you have taken out income protection that's part of your superannuation policy. You may also be entitled to a superannuation lump sum if you're forced out of your trade or job due to the injury.

It's important to talk with a work injury lawyer about how best to do this.

Do workers' compensation entitlements vary between states and territories?

Yes, workers’ compensation laws and entitlements vary between states and territories and may be known as WorkCover, CTP or WorkSafe. Employees of the Commonwealth and ACT governments—and of some large national employers—are covered by the Comcare system.

The compensation and benefits can vary greatly depending on your injury and on the law you’re covered by.

Whichever system you’re covered by, if you’ve been injured at work, our expert work injury compensation lawyers will fight to protect your legal rights.

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Our work injury lawyers are experienced in winning fair compensation for our clients on a no win, no fee basis.

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