INJURED AT WORK?
A “worker” who suffers an “injury” arising out of or in the course of employment may be entitled to compensation.
A workplace injury can include:
- Gradual process injuries;
- Stress/anxiety injuries:
- Industrial Deafness;
- Diseases contracted in the course of employment*;
- A recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, exacerbation or deterioration of any pre-existing injury or disease*;
- Heart attack or stroke injury*
*where work has been a significant contributing factor
A worker who sustains a workplace injury may have a statutory entitlement to compensation pursuant to WorkCover no fault scheme and common law damages where serious injury and negligence can be established.
What are my entitlements?
WorkCover is a “no fault” statutory workers compensation scheme. If you have sustained an injury at work, you may be entitled to:
- Weekly payments;
- Medical and like expenses;
- A lump sum payment for permanent impairment.
Weekly Payments of Compensation
- Payments paid during your incapacity and are calculated based on your pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE). Your PIAWE is calculated on your base wage and depending on when your claim is made, can include overtime and allowances for a limited period up to a maximum of $2,220.00*
*As of 1 July 2017 indexed annually.
- Rates of payment depend on your capacity for work and will reduce over time initially being 95% of your PIAWE for 13 weeks however you may also be entitled to make up pay from your employer.
- Reasonable expenses incurred to assist in your recovery including treatment or rehabilitation from doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, hospital, ambulance service, etc.
Lump Sum Permanent Impairment Claim
- Depending on our level of impairment, a “no fault” lump sum payment may be payable, the amount of which is calculated depending on your date of injury and impairment percentage.
A worker who suffers an injury in the course of their employment may have a right to bring a Common Law claim for damages. This involves suing your employer or another party for economic loss and pain and suffering.
Any Common Law claim must be commenced within six years of the date of the event given rise to the injury. To bring a common law claim for damages a worker must establish:
- There was negligence on behalf of the employer (or some 3rd party); and
- The worker has suffered a “serious injury”.
A damages claim seeks compensation for:
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life; and
- Economic loss past, present and future.
Negligence will usually fall within one (or more) of three categories:
- An unsafe system of work;
- Unsafe or defective equipment/workplace;
- Careless or unsafe actions or practices of fellow workers.
“Serious injury” is defined as follows:
- An impairment of 30% or more pursuant to the American Medical Association Guide to Permanent Impairment (“deemed serious injury”); or
- Pursuant to the narrative test (“the narrative test”).