Your Queensland Work Injury Lawyers – Brisbane and Chermside
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Do you need a workers’ compensation lawyer in Brisbane and Chermside? Denning Insurance Law represent workers in Brisbane, Chermside and surrounds including Aspley, Bracken Ridge, Nundah, Everton Park and Samford.
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Why choose Denning Insurance Law for a Workers’ Compensation case?
Work injury or workers’ compensation claims in Queensland are managed by WorkCover Queensland and a number of self-insurers. Denning Insurance Law assist injured workers with statutory claims under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) and common law claims for negligence.
Principal Kate Denning’s past experience includes working as a panel lawyer for workers’ compensation insurers. Kate has personally resolved hundreds of workers’ compensation claims and is an Personal Injury Law Specialist accredited by the Queensland Law Society. Kate is ranked in Doyles Guide as a Leading Queensland Public Liability Compensation Lawyer (Plaintiff) and Denning Insurance Law is ranked in Doyles Guide as a Leading Public Liability Compensation Law Firm (Plaintiff).
FAQs in Workers’ Compensation Cases
Am I eligible to seek workers’ compensation in Queensland?
To establish eligibility for statutory workers’ compensation entitlements in Queensland for a physical injury a worker must prove to WorkCover Queensland or the self-insurer that:
the worker suffered an injury
the injury arose out of, or in the course of employment
the employment was a significant contributing factor to the injury
What if I suffered a psychological injury?
If you have suffered a psychological injury in your work, it can be more difficult to get a workers’ compensation claim accepted than workers who have suffered a physical injury.
This is because in Queensland, the definition of injury under the legislation does not include a psychiatric or psychological disorder related to:
reasonable management action taken in a reasonable way by the employer in connection with the worker’s employment
the expectation or perception of reasonable management action being taken against the worker
action by the Regulator or an insurer in connection with your application for compensation
However, from 1 July 2020, workers’ compensation insurers are required to meet the reasonable cost of medical, hospitalisation, medication and nursing expenses, until the claim is determined. The insurer is required to make a decision about the claim within 28 days.
What statutory entitlements can a worker seek in Queensland?
If you are injured in your workplace, at another place connected to your work or on a journey to/from/for work, you may be entitled to statutory compensation under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld).
Strict time limits apply in workers’ compensation claims, so it is important for injured individuals to take steps to protect their interests and ensure that their claim is not made out of time.
In Queensland, an injured worker may be entitled to three (3) types of payments from WorkCover or a self-insurer. These include:
medical and rehabilitation expenses
lump sum compensation
These amounts are statutory entitlements and are payable in most claims, subject to the seriousness of the injury. Queensland has a no-fault scheme for workers’ compensation. This means that generally speaking, statutory entitlements are payable to workers, regardless of who is responsible for the injury.
What if my employer was uninsured?
It is compulsory for employers to hold workers’ compensation insurance in Queensland. WorkCover Queensland is the statutory insurer for Queensland employers.
If the employer did not have a policy of workers’ compensation insurance at the time of an injury, WorkCover Queensland may exercise its right of recovery against the employer. A recovery against an employer does not affect WorkCover’s payment of statutory or common law entitlements to a worker.
What is the claims process?
To be valid and enforceable, an application for workers’ compensation must be submitted by a worker to WorkCover or the self-insurer within six (6) months after the entitlement to compensation for the injury arises.
If a worker is intending to submit a claim outside of that timeframe or if the injury arose over a period of time, the worker should consider seeking legal advice prior to submitting the claim to the insurer.
The insurer must waive the six (6) month time requirement if it is satisfied that ‘special circumstances of a medical nature, decided by a medical assessment tribunal’ exist.
Such special circumstances could arise in a claim by a worker who was under a psychiatric disability or hospitalised, for a relevant period of time.
What is a common law claim?
A common law claim is a claim for damages in addition to those that can be sought as statutory entitlements. To make a common law claim, workers generally need to have an accepted statutory claim, however, there are some exceptions to this under the legislation.
To establish an entitlement to common law damages, a worker must establish that:
the employer owed the worker a duty of care
the employer breached its duty of care to the worker
a reasonable person in the position of the employer would have taken particular steps to have prevented the injury
the employer did not take those steps and that failure caused the worker’s injury
the worker suffered injury/ies and ‘damage’
What damages can a worker seek in a common law claim?
In a common law for damages, a worker can seek damages under a number of ‘heads of damage’.
The damages that a worker may be entitled to claim will depend upon a number of factors, including the seriousness of their injury, the worker’s age, their employment history and their treatment needs.
Some of the ‘heads of damage’ that can be claimed include:
General Damages – otherwise known as ‘pain and suffering’, general damages are an amount to compensate the worker for the actual injury itself. General damages are now calculated having regard to a sliding scale, on which injuries are classified according to an ‘injury scale value’ and attributed a value of between 0 and 100.
Special Damages – these are damages for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by a worker or third parties on behalf of a worker. It includes medical expenses, medication and travel, as well as amounts paid by statutory bodies, such as Medicare Australia.
Loss of Earnings – past and future lost earnings are claimed to compensate a worker for the impact which an injury has had and will continue to have upon a worker. Interest is claimed on past lost earnings and lost superannuation entitlements are also claimed.
What is the common law claims process?
A common law claim is started when a worker serves a Notice of Claim for Damages on the insurer and the employer. This form should be completed with the assistance of a solicitor, as it is a sworn statement.
There are two main stages in a common law claim. The pre-court stage and the litigated stage.
The legislation provides for a pre-court process. The pre-court process is designed to help the parties to progress a claim to settlement negotiations and hopefully settlement, without the need for legal proceedings to be commenced.
Under the legislation, the insurer must make a liability determination within six (6) months and the parties must progress the claim to a Compulsory Conference (a settlement conference) within three (3) months of the liability determination being delivered by the insurer. The Compulsory Conference is usually the best opportunity for the parties to resolve a common law claim.
If the claim cannot be resolved at the Compulsory Conference, the worker must commence Court proceedings within 60 days.
How long does a common law claim take?
The duration of a common law claim can depend upon the complexity of the injury suffered by the worker, the circumstances of the accident, the attitude of the insurer to the claim and whether the claim can settle out of Court.
If a claim can be resolved during the pre-court process, the common law claims process can take between six (6) and 12 months, depending on the claim. For claims that proceed to litigation, they can proceed for between 12 months and two (2) or three (3) years from the time the Notice of Claim for Damages is submitted to when the matter reaches a trial.
Can I claim legal costs from the insurer?
A contribution towards a worker’s legal costs may be recoverable in some common law claims. The extent of the insurer’s contribution will depend upon the seriousness of the injury and the point at which the claim was resolved.
Our Services Denning Insurance Law’s services include:
Labour Hire Claims
Office and Home Office Claims
Health Industry Claims
Education Industry Claims
Heavy Equipment and Vehicle Claims
Psychological Injury Claims
Common Law Claims
Reviews to the Workers’ Compensation Regulator
Appeals to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission
Related News and Developments
Call us on +617 3067 3025 for workers’ compensation advice or complete the online enquiry form below.
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