WorkCover Queensland is a government owned statutory body, providing workers’ compensation insurance to Queensland employers since 1997.
It is mandatory for all Queensland employers to hold a workers’ compensation accident insurance policy.
If you are a Queensland employee, you are covered by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policy.
If you are a Queensland employee and you are injured at work, you may be eligible to pursue a statutory claim and/or a common law claim.
WorkCover Qld – Statutory Claims
WorkCover provides a ‘no fault’ scheme where you will be entitled to receive statutory compensation if you are considered a worker and you sustain an injury that arises out of, or in the course of, your employment and:
- for a physical injury, your employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury; or
- for a psychological condition, your employment is the major significant contributing factor to the condition.
Compensation will not be paid if your injury was intentionally self-inflicted or, caused by your own serious and wilful misconduct.
To be covered, you must have suffered the injury or disease in Queensland, or if it happens elsewhere, your main place of employment must be in Queensland.
WorkCover Qld – Common Law Claims
In order to bring a successful common law claim, you must prove that your injury was caused by your employers’ negligence. In other words, you must prove that your employer failed to ensure you were safe at work and failed to take proper care to prevent you from suffering injury. This concept is known as negligence.
WORKCOVER QLD – STATUTORY PAYOUTS
Injured Worker’s may be entitled to one or two forms of compensation payouts if they are injured at work including:
- Statutory benefits;
- Statutory lump sum offers; and
- Common law damages.
WorkCover Benefits – During your WorkCover Statutory Claim
If your WorkCover statutory claim is accepted, you may be entitled to:
- lost wages for the time you are unable to work;
- medical treatment costs (e.g. doctor consultations, medication, x-rays);
- hospital costs;
- rehabilitation costs (e.g. physiotherapy, return to work programs); and
- travelling expenses.
WorkCover Benefits – Lump Sum Offer
- WorkCover Qld Statutory Claim – when will my claim come to an end?A WorkCover statutory claim does not remain open indefinitely, it comes to an end when your injury is classified as stable and stationary, essentially, that your injuries will not improve, and that no further medical options are available. Unfortunately, WorkCover will rely on the opinion of their medical examiners in this regard even if these opinions conflict with the opinions of your treating doctors.
- WorkCover Qld Statutory Claim – Permanent Impairment and Independent Medical ExaminationsOnce your injuries are stable and stationary you are entitled to have your work-related injuries assessed for permanent impairment. WorkCover may arrange for you to be assessed to determine your degree of permanent impairment and following that assessment, issue you with a Notice of Assessment. If WorkCover does not arrange for you to be assessed, you can ask WorkCover to arrange a ‘Permanent Impairment Assessment’.
Permanent impairment is the permanent impact your injury has on your overall functioning.
Your permanent impairment will be assessed by a suitably qualified independent doctor and specifically, a doctor who has not treated your injury. The doctor will examine your injury in accordance with very narrow medical guidelines. The doctor’s findings will then be outlined in a medical report and provided to WorkCover. In this report your degree of permanent impairment will be expressed as a percentage (0% – 100%).
- WorkCover Qld Statutory Claim – Notice of Assessment and Lump Sum OfferWorkCover will use this report to issue a document called a Notice of Assessment. Once received, the Notice of Assessment may include an offer of lump sum compensation. The offer of lump sum compensation will be determined by your percentage of impairment. In other words, your percentage of impairment is given a money value (e.g. 1% = $3,300).
You must make a choice between accepting any lump sum offer from WorkCover, or pursuing a Common Law claim for damages. This is referred to as an ‘irrevocable election’ meaning the choice you make cannot be changed. You should not respond to any offer without first seeking legal advice.
WORKCOVER QLD – COMMON LAW PAYOUTS
As part of any common law claim the compensation awarded will differ for every person. The reason for this is because the basis of a common law claim is to attempt to put you back in the position you would have been in if you weren’t injured at work.
The compensation awarded is broken down into the following elements however, is not awarded in every claim:
- Pain and suffering – compensation for your injury only. This is calculated using a similar method to how a lump sum offer is calculated at the end of a statutory claim, using the degree of your assessed level of
impairment which attracts a money value. The amount you can be awarded for pain and suffering is capped by the Queensland workers’ compensation legalisation;
- Past loss of income – the income you missed were unable to earn from the date of the incident to the date your common law claim resolves;
- Past loss of superannuation – calculated on a percentage of the amount claimed for past economic loss;
- Past out of pocket expenses – your medical, hospital, rehabilitation, medication and travel expenses from the date of the incident to the date your common law claim resolves. Any benefit paid by Medical Australia, WorkCover (during your statutory claim) and/or your private health insurer is also claimed (but refunded back to the organisations upon settlement of your claim) from the date of the incident to the date your common law claim resolves;
- Future loss of income – the income you are likely to be unable to earn from the date your common law claim resolves to your retirement age;
- Future loss of superannuation – calculated on a percentage of the amount claimed for future economic loss;
- Future out of pocket expenses – your medical, hospital, rehabilitation, medication and travel expenses from the date your common law claim resolves to your life expectancy age;
- Fox v Wood – any tax paid by WorkCover during your statutory claim.
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