If you’ve been injured at work in Queensland you may be entitled to workers’ compensation
Attwood Marshall Lawyers was establishedin 1946, and has locations on the Gold Coast, in Northern NSW, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
We provide a No Win, No Fee legal service to our compensation law clients and can meet you at your home or hospital for a complimentary initial appointment to discuss your legal rights and to help you bring forward a compensation claim.
Call us on 1800 621 071 or fill in the form and we’ll get in touch.
Find out if you have a ‘No Win, No Fee’ claim today.
Our Compensation Law team will assist you with your claim and ensure your know about your rights and entitlements.
1. Get in touch
Tell us your story, we’re here to listen
Our expert legal team meet for the initial consultation
We will manage all discussions with the insurer
We will process your payment as soon as we receive it
What does ‘No Win, No Fee’ mean?
We cover all the costs of your claim, including all medical experts and Barristers, until it’s successful conclusion. At settlement, or when you have received a favourable judgment from the court, we will be paid a reasonable fee for our legal work.
This fee is in accordance to an agreement we make with you, prior to commencing your compensation law claim.
In the highly unlikely event that your case has been unsuccessful, or no compensation has been recovered from the opponent insurance company or self-insurer, you will not be required to pay us anything.
- Notify your employer of your injury (and how it occurred) as soon as possible. This usually involves completing an Incident Report Form with your employer
- Go to your GP and get them to complete a QLD Workers Comp Medical Certificate
- Lodge an Application for Compensation form online
- Provide a copy of your Application for Compensation and Medical Certificate to your employer
There are 2 types of workers’ compensation law claims
Statutory (no-fault) claims.
All claims made in Queensland first need to be lodged as a statutory (no-fault) claim. A ‘no fault’ workers’ compensation scheme means that Queensland workers have the right to apply for weekly benefits and treatment costs. This is to allow the injured person access to an income and treatment costs while they are off work.
Common law claims
Under the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme, workers have the right to sue their employer for negligence through a common law or damages claim.
In order to bring a successful common law damages claim, an injured worker must prove that their injury was caused by the negligence of another. Proving negligence requires establishing each one of four separate required legal elements, including that:
- A duty to take proper care existed.
- This duty was breached by an employer or another party.
- There is a connection that can be established between the breach and the injuries.
- Real damages were sustained by the injured person.
Workers whose employers are self-insures will need to contact their insurer to make a claim for workers’ compensation. While both WorkCover and self-insured employers must comply with the same legislative requirements for determining claims, self-insured employers may have different processes or procedures they follow when determining claims.
Obtain legal advice early
Whether you are lodging a common law damages claim or a WorkCover claim, you should seek professional assistance from a good lawyer. The earlier you are informed about how the process works and your entitlements to claim, the better.
Do not let your employer talk you out of making a claim or obtaining legal advice. It is the workers comp insurance company that is liable to pay your ongoing workers comp benefits, not the employer.
For a statutory claim you can make a claim as soon as you had your injury.
For a common law claim you can make a claim after WorkCover declare your injuries stable and stationary, upon the advice of your treating doctor and WorkCover. This will depend on the severity of your injures and an assesment carried by medical practitioners. Upon that assesment, you are issued an impariment assessment of whether you are awarded a whole person impariment from zero to 100. Then you can lodge a common law claim, but you can’t any earlier.
There may be times when an injured worker may elect not to claim for statutory benefits and proceed directly to common law, however these applications are subject to the same injury investigation and review processes as statutory claim applications.
It’s important to seek legal advice early to determine the most strategic and optimal claim/claims for you.
For a statutory law claim, all employers are required to insure their staff against accidents. You are generally protected by WorkCover if you are:
- A casual or permanent employee
- A full-time or part-time employee
- A self-employed worker in some cases
- A person deemed to be a worker juniors, work experience students and some volunteers)
For a common law claim, a worker who is injured in circumstances involving the negligence of the employer, or of fellow workers for which the employer is vicariously liable, may make a claim for damages. There may also be a common law claim against a third party, such as the occupier of premises or principal contractor where a worker is injured.
To progress a common law claim, a statutory claim must also be lodged and accepted by WorkCover or the relevant self-insurer via a notice of claim for damages.
It is critical you seek legal advice as soon at the earliest opportunity after you are injured, prior to making a compensation claim.
Many types of injuries are covered by workers’ compensation
Most injuries that occur on the job are covered by workers’ comp insurance, including accidents and illnesses caused by exposure to work activities, materials, and equipment.
You may make a claim for damages for the following:
- Physical injuries, for example back strain, lacerations, fractures, burns
- Psychological/psychiatric injuries, for example stress, anxiety disorders
- ‘Over a period of time’ injuries, for example industrial deafness
- Latent onset injuries, for example asbestosis, mesothelioma
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
Injuries incurred while travelling to or from work, while on a break from work, or while working interstate or overseas, may also be covered.
Employees may be covered while working from home, as long as the injuries arise out of—or in the course of—employment, and the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury. Employees may be covered for injuries sustained while working from home and on a recess break.
Workers’ compensation generally doesn’t cover
- Stress or other psychiatric disorders
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries caused by fighting or horseplay
- Injuries that happen when commuting
- Injuries incurred while committing a crime, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while violating company policies
The dependents of a worker may claim for loss of dependency if the accident results in a fatality.
From the date of a workplace accident, you have 3 years to commence a claim in a Court. A ‘Notice of Claim for Damages’ must be served on WorkCover Queensland which, once compliant, will protect the 3 year limitation date and the claim will commence towards a settlement conference.
Each individual case is different so legal advice should be sought as soon as possible after the injury or the onset of symptoms occur.
The time it takes to settle an injuries compensation claim is determined by:
- The extent of your injuries
- The number of respondents
- The evidence that must be gathered to build a strong case
- The legal process
Generally, the sooner you start your claim, the sooner you will receive a settlement. It is important you seek quality legal advice to choose an optimal legal pathway for you.
The following damages are generally recoverable in a personal injury compensation claim:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical, medication and rehabilitation expenses
- Past loss wages
- Future loss of wages
- Future medical and rehabilitation
- In some cases, care and assistance provided by family and friends
- Paid care and assistance
- Home modifications
- In some cases, legal costs
In Queensland, a ’50/50 rule’ applies in cases where the award of damages or settlement sum is less than the legal fees that can be charged under the Costs Agreement between the parties, or the professional fees are so high that the claimant would be left with very little in-hand from their settlement sum.
It means that lawyers are not entitled to charge you any more than half the amount to which you are entitled to under a judgment or settlement, after deducting any refunds you are required to pay and the total of disbursements for which you may be liable.
Need to switch to Attwood Marshall Lawyers?
Many clients seek out Attwood Marshall Lawyers after having already started a compensation claim with a different lawyer.
Typically, the cost to change lawyers is the fee of an initial consultation, however Attwood Marshall Lawyers provide a free initial consultation, so you do not need to worry about this fee.
As for fees already billed to you by your previous lawyer – the law is that you will be liable for those fees, only if you succeed in your compensation law claim with your new lawyer. Your new lawyer will help you to sign a ‘transfer authority’ to move your file, and an ‘undertaking’ for the fees already billed to be paid to the previous lawyer on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.
If you’re wondering if you qualify for worker’s compensation then get in touch with us now. Just enter your details in the form below, and we’ll give you a call to book you in for your free consultation. We’ll then talk you through your situation, and determine what and how much you can claim.