Workers compensation lawyers and claims

Commonly asked questions about workers compensation claims

You will need to:

  • See your doctor. You will need to get the appropriate written medical forms and advice, both for your own health and so that you have the official doctor’s certificate you need to lodge a workers compensation claim.
  • Inform your employer, and make sure that your complaint or injury is recorded at your employment.
  • Your employer will fill out a Worker Compensation Claim form with you, and will then be responsible for contacting your workplace’s insurance company. By Australian law, all employers must have insurance under workers compensation.
  • Call Stacks for legal representation, especially if your claim is rejected, delayed, or does not cover what you believe to be appropriate to your injury.

The time limit within which you must make a Workers Compensation claim after your injury is three years. After this period, it is extremely difficult to receive any payments, although there is still a possibility of some compensation.

Stacks has a no-win, no-fee policy.  We will not charge you any fees if you should lose your case – this is a rare event at our firm because we will tell you upfront if we think your case has problems. In workers compensation matters, once a matter has been accepted by the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office our fees are normally paid by them – not you – irrespective of the outcome.

In claims where you are suing for damages (such as for a permanent injury), we generally pay for all your outgoing costs, such as disbursements for medical reports, which will be reimbursed to us by the insurance company in the likely event of a successful claim.  The insurance company will also cover most of the legal costs with us—the difference between the payment of the insurance company and the actual cost is generally about one third, which you pay to us from your compensation.

Therefore, if you think you have a valid claim, it is in your best interest to use a Compensation Lawyer since the amount of your compensation will be more than your legal fees. Stacks Law Firm can help you receive the full compensation you are entitled to at minimum cost.

Workers compensation insurance companies want to be sure that your injury is as debilitating as you say it is. Like any company, they do not want to pay out money unless they are sure your claim is legitimate. Therefore, they will require medical documentation for your injury, and may also ask that you see a different doctor of their choosing. They will want to know about all other workers compensations claims you have made in the past and may also ask for details of your employment history.

In Australia, each state and territory has its own statutory authority for workers compensation acts. They are as follows:

  • NSW – WorkCover NSW
  • South Australia – WorkCover Corporation
  • ACT – ACT WorkCover
  • Northern Territory – WorkSafe
  • Tasmania – Workplace Standards Tasmania
  • Victoria – Victorian WorkCover Authority
  • Western Australia – Western Australia WorkCover
  • Queensland – WorkCover Queensland

If you are receiving workers compensation payments, they will come in weekly instalments and will be taxed. If your compensation is for damages, you will receive a lump sum that will be tax free.

Yes. You do not need to go to court in order to receive a fair workers compensation settlement. Generally, you place a claim due to your injury, receive your compensation, and then return to work when you are able. If there are disputes involving your claim, a WorkCover medical specialist or someone appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission will assess your claim. However, if you are involved in a complex common law claim, you may need to go to court.

In cases where you feel your employer has breached a contract or duty for you, you may wish to lodge a common law claim. This may occur after you have already received Workers Compensation benefits. This means that you will be suing your employer, and the court is the body to decide on common law damages. Your time restrictions under this scheme are very specific: after your injury is assessed by WorkCover, it will create a “Notice of Assessment” which offers a lump sum monetary figure. You must respond to this offer within 20 days. It should cover damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and legal expenses.

When deciding whether or not to accept this offer, we suggest that you contact a Stacks compensation lawyer, because you may be entitled to much more compensation than the Notice of Assessment will offer. If your injury is permanent, for example, a common law settlement can compensate you for the rest of your working life — but if you sign the initial Notice of Assessment offer, you will be unable to pursue further common law damages.

To receive workers compensation, it does not matter if you were partially at fault. You will still receive all of your weekly payments. If you are suing for damages however, and it is decided that you were partially at fault, your compensation award will be reduced by the level of your responsibility. For example, if the court determines that the accident deserves $50,000 compensation, but that you were 50% at fault, you will receive half of the amount, or $25,000.

While the specific steps may be slightly different, the main process is essentially the same. You must see your doctor, inform your employer and complete a Workers Compensation Claim form in both NSW and QLD. The names of the insuring bodies vary between states, but as you go through the process, your employer and the insurance company should explain what to do. Contact a Stacks compensation lawyer if you experience difficulties in receiving your lawful compensation.

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