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One of the realities of life is that injuries can occur at any time, including at the workplace. These injuries may include a physical, mental or even pre-existing injury aggravation. Fortunately, the law in Queensland protects injured workers through the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and WorkCover Queensland.
The reality to some of these injuries however, is that the injury has been caused through negligence on the part of the employer. Whether it be an unsafe workplace, failing to provide the proper equipment or supervision, or not providing proper instructions, the employer can be at fault for the injuries sustained.
Where it can be shown that the employer has caused the injuries a worker has sustained, a worker can elect to pursue a common law claim for damages. This allows the worker to recuperate past and future economic loss, medical expenses and treatments, pain and suffering compensation and even legal costs in certain cases.
Yet, a number of employees that find themselves injured, are fearful of pursuing a claim, due to a perceived notion of negative ramifications that will be inflicted on the employer. Regularly, injured workers concern themselves with the impact a common law claim may have on their employer, despite their own need to compensate themselves.
The driving force behind this is often a desire to keep the workplace happy, because the worker feels sorry for the employer, or even classic Australian mateship.
Sometimes people have negative perceptions regarding making claims due to old fashioned beliefs around what it means to sue someone or be sued. People may be fearful of their workplace culture, and fear backlash in the work environment, or even losing their job. However, times have changed, and under the current law in Queensland workplaces are insured for this exact scenario.
To clarify, workplaces and employers in Queensland have a particular insurance called Accident Insurance Policy, with WorkCover Queensland or an equivalent body. This insurance covers a range of worker injuries, including: physical, psychological, over period of time injuries, aggravation of existing injuries and even death.
This accident insurance policy covers employers for the full costs of any common law claim for damages, including all the workers past and future economic loss, medical expenses / treatments, and pain and suffering compensation. The policy can even cover the costs of the employer’s legal costs.
Therefore, injured workers need not be concerned with their workplace should they need to pursue a common law claim due to injuries sustained at work. The workplace will not have to pay, their insurances cover them for exactly this type of incident.
Your claim will be between yourself and WorkCover Queensland and can be simplified through the use of a personal injury lawyer, who will navigate you through the process and eliminate the stress of having to deal with complex systems.
In addition, an employer cannot terminate the employment of a worker due to the worker pursuing a common law claim, up to one year post the date of accident.
Hence, if you or someone you know has been injured at work you may be entitled to the compensation discussed above.
Strict time limits apply to workplace injuries. Therefore, it is critical to have your rights assessed by a personal-injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you or someone you know has experienced a workplace injury, contact Littles Lawyers for your free initial claim assessment today.