• Workers' Compensation.

    Workers' Compensation.

Are you eligible to claim?

You can make a claim for workers’ compensation whether you have needed to take time off work or not.

A claim for workers’ compensation may include lost wages, medical and hospital expenses and rehabilitation costs.

Workers’ compensation legislation is complex and you may not be aware of your full rights and entitlements, particularly with regards to a common law claim for damages. Essentially there are two main claims you may be eligible to make if injured at work: 

  1. A statutory claim under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act (1981); or 
  2. A common law claim against your employer for causing the injury due to its negligence in failing to provide a safe system of work.  

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The legal process - statutory claims.

A statutory claim is where it begins. Simply put, if you are injured at work, you are entitled to make a workers’ compensation statutory claim.   

There is a process that must be followed in making a statutory claim. The statutory scheme makes available certain ‘prescribed amounts’ that an individual may be able to access: 

  1. Weekly workers’ compensation payments. Currently the prescribed amount is $235,971.00 (gross). Your weekly rate will be calculated based on the average of your weekly wage for the 13 weeks leading up to the date of your incapacity. 
  2. Medical expenses. Currently the prescribed amount is $70,791.00. Expenses that may be covered include medical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, psychological and hospital.
  3. Vocational rehabilitation expenses. Currently the prescribed amount is $16,518.00. This covers the costs of an independent vocational rehabilitation provider when they have been appointed to assist in your return to work.  

For more information on lump sum entitlements under the statutory scheme, visit here

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The legal process – common law claims.

In addition to a statutory claim, you may also have a common law claim against your employer; however it is important to note that you cannot settle your statutory claim for a lump sum and then make a common law claim. You must get legal advice PRIOR to settling your statutory claim to see whether you have any common law entitlements. We cover this in more detail here and here.

You can elect or choose to sue your employer by way of a common law claim if you can satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. Your whole person impairment is assessed at 15% or more; and
  2. Your employer’s negligence or failure to provide a safe system of work that caused your injury.

Recent amendments to the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act (1981) effective 12/10/2020  have abolished the Termination Date. If you happen to read any of our blogs posted before this date, please ignore any reference to this term. Read more.

Under a common law claim, you can claim:  

  • General damages which compensates you for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities.

  • Economic loss including past and future loss of income and superannuation. You may be back at work, but there is still the potential to claim for loss of earning capacity or loss of opportunity in the circumstance where your injury impacts your ability to obtain a promotion, do overtime or obtain employment in a higher paid job. If you have suffered a psychological or psychiatric injury as a result of the accident, this condtion also compensable.
  • Past and future medical treatment costs.
  • Gratuitous services or voluntary assistance for the support that family and friends have provided to you due to your accident injuries. For example, helping with self-care, bathing, cooking dinners, washing clothes and other domestic duties.  
  • Past and future travelling expenses for travel to and from treatment providers.

The legal process – common law negligence claims.

As part of your common law claim or separate to any statutory claim you have against your employer, you may be eligible to make a common law negligence claim against another party. 

There are instances in which your whole person impairment may be less than 15%, or your employer was not negligent, but another party such as the occupier, or a deemed employer’s negligence, has caused your injury. For example, you may have been working for your employer on a mine site which was owned and occupied by another entity. Your workplace injury occurred as a result of both your employer’s and the occupier’s negligence, and consequently you can also commence common law proceedings against the occupier. 

 

If you believe you have a workers’ compensation claim contact us to discuss your situation. 

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There’s a reason we have a 99% success rate.

“Always in your corner” means acting in your best interest. We give clear, honest and frank advice and will not fill you full of false expectations. We will give you a break down of your claim and will recommend a strategic approach that will provide you with the leverage to obtain the best personal and financial outcome. We will only take on your case if we are confident in a successful outcome. PPIL - your committed personal injury lawyers in Perth and Mandurah.

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