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Workers Compensation Law in Australia

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If you are a worker or a deemed worker and suffering injuries or illnesses as a result of your employment, you may be entitled to claim workers compensation. And if you are an employer in Australia who wants to do right by your employees, you should take heed of the information in this post.


Even if the injury that occurred was not the employer’s fault, a worker can still claim compensation. This is because workers compensation in Australia is based on a no-fault scheme.

If the employer failed to take preventive measures that caused the injury or was negligent, the worker can also claim work injury damages. This is the case, however, only if the person’s injuries are 15% or more of whole person impairment.

The process of claiming compensation might be mentally wearing and hard to manage while suffering such injuries. Therefore, you can lodge a claim with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Who Can Claim Workers Compensation?

Workers, deemed workers, full-time or part-time employees, casual employees and self-employed, trainees, apprentices, work experience students, and employees of labor-hire companies can claim workers compensation as long as the injury occurred in the course of employment and was related to work. Workers compensation is a compulsory form of insurance where every employee under a written or a verbal contract should be covered by their employers.

What Can a Worker Claim?

You can make a claim for both your economic and non-economic loss. Workers compensation includes payments to injured employees. It pays for their medical treatment expenses, compensates their loss of income with income replacement payments, pays dependents of the worker if the injuries lead to death, pays for domestic assistance and for reasonable and necessary travel expenses. It may also pay lump sum compensation.

Injured workers can also claim work injury damages if the employer was negligent and their injuries are assessed at 15% or greater.

Can a Worker Claim a Lump Sum Payment?

You can receive lump sum payment if your injuries were assessed at 11% or greater. You or your legal representative should arrange an appointment with an Independent Permanent Impairment Assessor and have your injuries assessed. The permanent impairment assessor will inform the insurer and indicate that your injuries have reached the maximum medical improvement. This means your injuries have stabilized and will not significantly change next year with or without treatment.

If the assessor indicates that your injuries are whole person impairment with a degree of greater than 14% for psychological injuries, you may be awarded a lump sum. However, the minimum requirements to meet for physical injuries are a degree of greater than 10%.


How Does One Make a Workers Compensation Claim?

1. Make the Initial Notification of Injury

As soon as the injury occurs, the worker should notify the insurer about the injury. You can make this initial notification as a verbal notification or as a written notice. Be sure to include the name of the worker, the date and time of the injury, and a description of how the injury happened. Also be sure to indicate whether any medical treatment is required and include a description if there is an impairment. Additionally, include the postal address of the worker as well as the name and contact details of the business. This constitutes the initial step in making a workers compensation claim.

2. Visit Your Doctor and Request a Certificate of Capacity

Have your injuries assessed by a doctor and explain to them what happened. You doctor will then complete a certificate of capacity. This is a document signifying the type, the degree, and the situation of your injuries.

3. Gather Documents

The insurer should be provided with much information. This includes the name and contact details of the practitioner. It also must include the names, contact details, or the identification statements of the witnesses if anyone witnessed the accident. Additionally, include all medical expenses, information of ongoing treatments, and any other relevant documents that you or your lawyer think might be supportive to your claim.

4. Complete a Workers Compensation Claim Form

Obtain and submit the form with the documents detailing the situation regarding your injuries. Be sure to include your certificate of capacity and the other relevant documents mentioned above.

Will I Need Professional Assistance?

Although it is not compulsory to have a lawyer to make a workers compensation claim, working with one will surely be advantageous for you.

Your lawyer will ensure you understand your entitlements. He or she will push their limits to maximize the amount which you may be awarded. Lawyers representing workers compensation claimants should be approved by Workers Compensation Independent Review Office.

An experienced workers compensation lawyer will not charge you for anything, including disbursements and out-of-pocket expenses. Instead, the WIRO pays them if you win your award.