What is Workers Compensation Qld ?

Workers compensation in Queensland is like insurance. It will pay the medical expenses and wages of employees who suffer an injury or illness at work. Every company and person who employ workers must have this type of cover. The Queensland State Government has more information about workers compensation Qld on it’s website.

For a quick summary of what it is, how to claim it, and what is included, you can read more below.

In Queensland the main provider of this type of cover is WorkCover Queensland. Some very large companies and organisations are self-insurers (eg. Woolworths, Coles, Qantas, Qld Rail). Worksafe Qld puts out this list of self insurers in Queensland.

If you have suffered a workplace injury, your rehabilitation and return to work will be co-ordinated by WorkCover, your doctors and your employer in consultation with you.

For some minor or short lived work related injuries you will not need the assistance of a workers compensation lawyer when your treatment is being managed. However, there are times when having an experienced workers comp lawyer on your side will be your best option. This can include making an appeal to the workers compensation regulator to have WorkCover’s decision changed.

For more information on this, see our article on When a No Win No Fee Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help.  For more information about questions we are often asked by our clients, please read on.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Workers Compensation Qld

There are 2 different stages that a Queensland workers compensation claim might go through.

Stage 1 – No Fault Claim
The first stage of the workers compensation scheme allows you to make a claim if you are injured at work or have suffered an illness at work. WorkCover then arranges rehabilitation and payment of lost wages.

To be able to make this type of claim you do not need to show that your employer was negligent. This is called a “no fault” claim. You only need to show that you suffered an injury at work.

Sometimes it will be in your best interest to have a personal injury lawyer assisting you through this stage. They can ensure that you get all of the rehabilitation, treatment and assistance you are entitled to receive and can be the ones who talk to WorkCover Qld on your behalf.

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the insurance decisions made by WorkCover and we can provide you with an honest independent opinion on whether your claim is being handled appropriately.

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To make a claim if you have a work related injury or illness, you should:

-Go to your usual doctor and ask them to complete a workers’ compensation medical certificate
-Give your employer a copy of that medical certificate
-Report the injury as soon as possible to your employer
-Lodge your claim with WorkCover Queensland and give your employer a copy of that claim form (if they haven’t helped you to prepare it)
-Keep copies of all documents relating to your injury and claim.
Sometimes, an employer might not accept that your injury happened at work. If that happens, they might not be very helpful in letting you report the claim or lodge the right form to start your claim.

If you have any questions about the process or are experiencing any difficulty in taking these steps, please contact us and we can help you.

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Stage 2 – Common Law Claim
The second stage only happens where there has been negligence that caused or contributed to your injury. The negligence could be by your employer or a fellow employee or contractor working for your employer.

This second stage can only go ahead after your stage 1 claim is finished and no more benefits are being paid. This type of claim is often called a “common law claim” and you will usually benefit from the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer during this stage.

If you think that you might be entitled to make a stage 2 claim, or have any concerns about how your claim has been handled by your employer or WorkCover Queensland, please contact us immediately.

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Once you lodge your claim with WorkCover Queensland (or a self-insurer) for workers compensation, they will decide whether to accept it or not. To make that decision they look at these factors (which are set out in the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003):
  • When. For most claims, you need to lodge your claim and medical certificate no later than 30 days after you became aware of your injury. If not, your claim might not be accepted.
  • Where. Whether your injury happened during your usual work hours (or on your way to or from work). If your injury happened after work or when you were on holidays your claim will not usually be accepted.
  • Who. Are you a “worker”? This can include part time workers, casual workers and often subcontractors such as agency nurses, owner/drivers etc. If you are a Commonwealth Government employee, or your employer is a large national company, then the Federal Comcare scheme might apply.
  • How. WorkCover will also consider whether your injury happened whilst you were doing your job.
  • What. Finally, they will consider if your job was a “significant contributing factor” to your injury. That is, they will ask what the main cause of your injury was and whether that was related to work.
In our experience, every claim is different because every worker and each injury is different. Depending on the type of injury you have suffered, or how it happened it may be that WorkCover will ask for more information before deciding your claim. We can help you gather that information and ensure that your interests are protected. Some of our clients have found that trying to respond to information requests from their employer or WorkCover can be very difficult and emotionally challenging. We are here to help ease that burden.  WorkSafe Queensland has some further information on the way different types of injuries are handled.  Follow the links below if you think your injury falls into one of these categories or give us a call so that we can help you know where you stand: Death caused by a work-related event or by illnesses that develop over a long period, like mesothelioma or malignant skin cancer.
Not all injuries happen at your usual place of work – some happen on the way to or from work and some of those injuries are also covered by workers compensation.  If you experience an injury in the course of one of these trips, you might be entitled to workers compensation in Queensland:
  • Travelling from home to your place of work
  • Your trip to or from any work related training 
  • Travelling to or from medical or rehabilitation treatment that is part of an existing WorkCover claim
  • Your journey between jobs with separate employers
  • When travelling for work reasons (e.g.  a work conference or meeting) and whether locally, interstate or internationally.
To qualify for compensation, your journey to work needs to have started before you are injured. If you had any major delays or deviations on your journey to work, your claim might not be accepted. Generally, if you’ve been travelling directly from your home to your workplace (or to a trade, technical, or other training school) then your claim will be covered.  If your injury happened away from your normal work location (i.e. inter-city, outside of Queensland or overseas), your employment must be a significant contributing factor to your injury.  We can advise you on whether your claim might be accepted by WorkCover Queensland or whether you might have another type of claim available to you e.g. a car accident claim, general compensation claim or a superannuation insurance claim.

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At the end of stage 1 of your claim, most injured workers will be assessed for permanent impairment. This won’t usually happen if your claim was very short lived or you have no ongoing symptoms or disabilities.  Once assessed for permanent impairment, you might be offered lump sum compensation by the workers’ compensation insurer (usually WorkCover Queensland).  BEFORE YOU SIGN ANY FORM electing to receive lump sum compensation at this stage, it is best to get a FREE initial case appraisal.  At that consultation, Brisbane based Lyons Compensation Lawyers (who are experienced personal injury lawyers) can assess if there has been negligence on the part of your employer.  Sometimes your employer will be negligent if a fellow employee or contractor working for your employer has caused or contributed to your injury.  For example, if you were hurt at work because of the actions of another employee, or due to poor systems of work or a malfunctioning or damaged machine at work, you can usually make a stage 2 claim against your employer.  If there has been negligence, then you might be better off making a further claim for more compensation to adequately protect your interests in the future.  We can advise you on the best course of action for you in your circumstances. Lyons Compensation Lawyers operate exclusively as no win no fee compensation lawyers and can help take the confusion out of your rights and entitlements to make a workers compensation Qld claim.

It doesn’t cost you anything to know where you stand

It doesn't cost you anything to know where you stand

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