Back Injury at Work – Compensation Guide

You can make an injury compensation claim when you suffer a back injury at work due to negligence from others. Regardless of the type of workplace accident, such as a fall, equipment accident, sudden impact, or injury by lifting, pulling, bending, pushing, or twisting, sitting incorrectly at your desk for extended periods can also cause a workplace back injury.

In this circumstance, compensation offers financial support for medical treatment expenses and lost wages when away from work. However, some people believe that making a back injury claim means getting all their entitlements, regardless. Sadly, this is not the case. For several reasons, a work-related spinal injury claim can be denied and not achieve a injury settlement.

If you are considering making a claim, seeking a workers comp settlement, or believe you are not receiving all your benefits, view our guide to compensation for a back injury at work.

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Your Right to Make a Workers Compensation Claim for a Work Back Injury

You have the legal right to make a worker’s compensation claim when something goes wrong, and you have a work-related back or spinal cord injury. Under Queensland Work Health and Safety Legislation, all employers are legally responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect their employees’ health and safety. Hence, when they breach their duty, and you suffer a loss, you can seek fair compensation. Queensland’s workers compensation law framework includes the following:

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Defining Back Injuries

A back injury is typically defined as any injury or damage to the spinal column or the muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments supporting this crucial body region. Spinal trauma often happens in car accidents, falls, heavy or awkward lifting, repetitive motions, and insufficient support when sitting behind a desk for long periods.

Work-related back injuries vary in severity, from strains and sprains to herniated discs and severe spinal cord injuries. These types of injuries can be life-changing, preventing the performance of daily tasks and earning a living.

Thankfully, if your back has suffered spinal damage in a work accident, you could have a successful personal injury claim. Once approved, you will receive weekly benefits and a one-time lump sum payment. (depending on your circumstances)

Prevalence of Back Injuries in Australia

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 16% of Australians suffer from back problems, with spinal conditions being more prevalent in people over 24.

Additionally, those with back problems are 2.5 times more likely to report experiencing significant psychological distress.

Types of Back Injury Compensation Claims

There are several types of compensation claims for back injuries, just as different kinds of spinal trauma.

When you have an approved QLD WorkCover Claim for a serious back injury sustained at work, you can access workers compensation, such as weekly payments and funding for medical bills and rehabilitation. Additionally, you could get a WorkCover injury payout for permanent impairment.

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You could claim a permanent impairment payout when assessed with a permanent disability by an approved specialist doctor. This lump sum payment helps people suffering from a work-related injury recover financially.

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If you injured your back in a road accident travelling to or from work or when travelling for work purposes, you could claim Workcover compensation and make a CTP claim through MAIC.

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When your employer’s negligence causes harm, you could have a successful common law claim and get an injury lump sum payout. A damages settlement relies on proving someone was negligent, which means they failed to exercise due care, taking reasonable steps to ensure your safety.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claims are a type of back injury payout made to people whose medical condition prevents them from working again in their usual occupation.

Generally, the main factor for a successful TPD claim is your inability to work; hence, how you acquired your condition is irrelevant.

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How Much Compensation for a Back Injury at Work?

The value of compensation for a serious back injury at work depends on several factors, including:

Injury severity: the extent of physical impairment, associated psychological injury, and how much it impacts your life (particularly your capacity to earn an income)

Pain and Suffering: how much your spinal damage impacts your quality of life, including your emotional trauma.

Medical Expenses: treatment costs, including rehabilitation, physiotherapy, surgery and medications, are all covered.

Lost Wages: you can be compensated for past and future lost income and superannuation.

Cost of Care: if you need additional home care to maintain your daily life, your payout covers these expenses.

Medical Aids: financial support for the cost of medical equipment like a wheelchair, crutches, or other disability aids.

Modifications: you may need to modify your home or motor vehicle to accommodate your new living arrangement.

Every case is unique, and the value of a lump sum compensation payout depends on your specific circumstances and the available evidence supporting your claims.

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Average QLD Back Injury Payouts

According to Queensland workers’ compensation statistics for 2021-22, the average settlement for back injuries was approximately $18,000 for a back sprain or strain.

However, depending on the extent of the injury and how it affects your ability to work, the average workers comp settlement for a common law claim is typically more substantial, ranging from $80,000 to $100,000.

How Do I Make a Work Back Injury Claim?

In Queensland, you make workplace back injury claims by reporting your accident to your employer, seeking medical treatment and then meeting with an expert personal injury lawyers with evidence like medical reports, photos and video of the injury event, hazards and workplace documents. Contact us now to get started. Knowing your rights is free.

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Can I Claim Compensation for a Back Injury at Work?

Yes, you could claim compensation for a work back injury when someone else’s negligence caused your accident. Even if you were partly at fault, you still could have a successful lump sum payout. In the case of WorkCover weekly benefits when off work, there is no need to prove who was liable for your harm.

The workers compensation process for a physical injury or related psychological trauma is a complex process, so your best choice is to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer experienced in back injury compensation cases. They will provide step-by-step guidance for the workplace accident legal process and help you get the best outcome, including a fair back injury settlement.

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How to File a Claim for a Back Injury Compensation Payout

When filing a claim for a back injury compensation payout, the success of your case relies on following the essential steps.

First, gather the required documents to establish your injury, the level of harm, and its impact.

Next, get expert legal advice from experienced personal injury lawyers. They will advise on your claim eligibility, the best course of action, and recommended next steps for a fair back injury payout.

Finally, ensure you meet your time limit, know the statute of limitations relevant to your circumstances, and take swift action. The steps you take soon after a work injury will impact your legal outcome.

By following the above three actions and getting effective legal representation, you will navigate the process more effectively and increase your chance of receiving the QLD WorkCover injury payout you deserve.

What Do I Need to File an Injury Compensation Claim?

When filing claims for back injury compensation payouts, a successful outcome relies on documents supporting your loss. That is, a strong case generally equals a robust outcome.

  1. WorkCover claim form: This essential document starts the injury claim process, providing details of the injury, including the time, date, and place of the workplace incident.
  2. Medical reports and assessments: The doctors and specialists who have treated your spinal damage provide evidence of your level of harm, including diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis.
  3. Work accident & incident report: The document lodged with your employer regarding the injury event.
  4. Witness statements: Statements from others who witnessed the accident or have other relevant information to strengthen your case.
  5. Proof of loss of income: documents that prove financial loss, like tax returns, pay slips and employer letters showing your pre-injury income and lost earnings.


These crucial documents will support your back injury compensation claim and improve your chances of winning your back injury compensation.

How Long to Get a Back Injury Payout?

The time to receive a back injury compensation payout depends on the claim type and injury severity. To know yours, please seek expert legal advice. Below are some approximate timeframes:

Once you lodge your claim, WorkCover will decide within 28 days. When approved, weekly payments typically begin within seven days.

A specialist doctor will evaluate your level of impairment. This evaluation can only be completed once your injuries have become stable, which means there is no further deterioration. Typically, back injuries require a prolonged stabilisation period, so your claim will be more extended.

The average time for a successful common law settlement is 12 to 18 months, with severe injury cases taking several years. Generally, factors determining the time for a lump sum damages payout include:

  • If there was more than one negligent party
  • How difficult it is to establish a duty of care breach.
  • The severity of mental and physical injuries
  • How much the insurance company defends the claim.

Insurers usually strenuously defend larger settlements, making the process longer.

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Common Causes of Back Injuries at Work

Unfortunately, back injuries in the workplace are common and can have serious, life-changing outcomes for workers. Some frequent sources of back pain for injured workers include the following:

Back Strains and Sprains

In Queensland, strains, sprains and dislocations are the leading source of back trauma, primarily triggered by the nature of tasks performed. Generally, improper lifting techniques significantly stress the spine and back muscles, causing soft tissue injuries.

Other sources of soft-tissue damage include repetitive actions like bending, twisting, and lifting while in an awkward position, leading to gradual deterioration over time. In this situation, you can claim compensation for soft-tissue damage and receive financial support for medical treatment, physical therapy, and potential lost earnings.

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Workplace slip and fall accidents can be highly hazardous, resulting in fractures, dislocations, or spinal cord injuries. Falling from a height is a frequent cause of work-related injuries, while common tripping hazards include uneven floors, poor lighting, loose carpets or mats, electrical cables, and unsafe stairs.

Sadly, these types of work accidents can lead to fractures, dislocations, spinal cord injuries, severe injury, or death

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Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are an increasingly common cause of back pain in the workplace. RSIs happen when muscles and tendons are strained from repetitive tasks, causing pain and inflammation.

In Australia, the occupations most at risk for this type of injury include first responders like firefighters and paramedics and medical staff like nurses. People in these professions frequently need to lift, pull or push people or objects in challenging circumstances.

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How Workers Compensation Lawyers Help with Back Injury Claims

Back injuries can be excruciatingly painful and incapacitating, and when employment-related activities cause them, it can be challenging to get the compensation you deserve without expert legal support. Fortunately, our workers’ compensation lawyers have close to three decades of experience in back injury claims and, hence, have the legal smarts to deliver your desired result.

Choosing Splatt Lawyers for your accident compensation claim means accessing our 100% no win, no fee legal funding. You can relax knowing you pay when you win and nothing when you lose. Make the best choice for your workplace injury claim now by contacting our friendly team to know your next steps in the claims process – Call 1800 700 125 for your free case assessment.

Work Back Injury Lawyers Near You

When you need expert legal insights for a back injury at work in Queensland, knowing that Splatt Lawyers is nearby is reassuring. Choose your location:

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Back Injury Compensation Claim FAQs

You must notify your employer immediately if you suffer a back injury at work. Generally, you can also inform your immediate manager. This action will protect you from further harm and could remove a potential hazard for your co-workers.

Most Australian workplaces have an accident register to record injury events. This register ensures all incident details are communicated to the relevant parties, contributing to a safer work environment.

  1. First, get medical advice for your injuries, including a treatment plan and a work capacity certificate, when making a WorkCover claim.
  2. Next, ensure you report the accident to your HR department or your boss, including any potential safety risks.
  3. Finally, contact an expert personal injury lawyer to understand your right to seek financial compensation.

The insurance company will reimburse your medical treatment costs when you have an approved QLD WorkCover claim. However, you must fund these yourself if you have a denied claim.

Thankfully, when Splatt Lawyers manages your work accident claim, we will fund your medical expenses until you achieve a settlement when we recover these costs. It’s how we help you get back to being you faster.

Hiring personal injury lawyers for a work-related back injury claim is strongly advised but not required. A skilled lawyer will develop an effective legal strategy, ensuring all documents are correctly completed and lodged and providing essential advice on pursuing a successful outcome.

Their service includes filing for benefits with the worker’s compensation system, gathering evidence supporting your case and negotiating settlement terms with the QLD workplace insurer.

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