In Victoria, persons who have suffered a workplace injury through no fault of their own can claim for compensation through the WorkCover No-Fault Scheme and under the Workplace Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation (WIRC) Act 2013. 

WorkCover No-Fault Scheme (“WorkCover”)

WorkCover is the Victorian workers compensation scheme that provides benefits and compensation to persons who are injured in workplace accidents.

If a person has been injured or has aggravated an injury, or their health has been affected by their workplace, they may be entitled to compensation from WorkCover.

The injured worker is required to report their injury to their employer and complete a WorkCover claim form. The injured worker is also required to have their doctor complete a WorkCover Medical Certificate.

The benefits available to an injured worker through the WorkCover include weekly wages, medical expenses, lump sum payments for the injured worker’s permanent impairment, domestic care expenses, and travel expenses for medical appointments.

Common Law Workers Compensation Claims

Common law damages are separate to the benefits available to a person through the WorkCover No-Fault Scheme. 

A worker may have a common law right to damages (compensation) where a duty of care has been breached by an employer, or where an employer or other person has not complied with their legal obligations, and the worker has suffered a serious injury as a result.  

Employers are required to have workers compensation insurance for employees in their workplace. This insurance scheme covers: 

  • Casual and permanent employees;  
  • Full-time and part-time employees;  
  • Self-employed workers; and 
  • People deemed to be workers.  

The types of injuries covered include: 

  • Injuries suffered at work, as a result of work or during work activities;  
  • Diseases caused by work;  
  • Pre-existing conditions or diseases aggravated by work;  
  • Injuries suffered while travelling for work;  
  • Injuries suffered while receiving medical treatment for a separate work injury; and 
  • Psychological and stress-related injuries. 

 

To prove negligence, the injured worker must show that:  

  • The defendant employer owed the injured worker a duty of care, meaning that the defendant employer was expected to take reasonable steps to look out for the injured worker’s safety; and  
  • The defendant employer breached this duty of care owed to the injured worker, meaning that the defendant employer either did something that caused the worker’s injury, or failed to do something that could have reasonably prevented the worker’s injury. 

If a person can prove that they have suffered a serious injury as a result of an employer’s negligence, they can be entitled to compensation for:  

  • Common law damages; 
  • Medical and hospital expenses;  
  • Loss of wages; and  
  • Rehabilitation expenses.   

Factors that may impact the amount of compensation a person may be entitled to are mainly regarding the gap between the person’s predicted life path and their new life path after suffering the injury.  

Time Limits

In Victoria, an injured worker typically has six (6) years from the date of injury to commence common law proceedings.  

In regards to WorkCover claims, an injured person must notify their employer of their injury within 30 days from the date of injury or from when they become aware of the injury.  

Superannuation and Disability Insurance

If a person is unable to work due to illness or injury, they may be entitled to benefits through their superannuation or other insurance policies. Contact Littles Lawyers to discuss your eligibility to make an insurance claim.

Emily Wright and our team are specialist personal injury lawyers who can assist you with your claim on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. If you would like advice in relation to a personal injury claim, please reach out to Emily Wright and Littles Lawyers today.

Like? Share it with your friends.