Injured at Work – What to do After a Work Accident

Injured at work? Knowing the correct steps to take after a work accident will be the difference between making a successful workers compensation claim or receiving less or a denied claim.
A construction worker sitting on the ground after a work injury

Need to know what to do when you are injured at work? You have arrived at the right place. Queensland workers’ compensation legislation and the WorkCover insurance claim process are complex, and what you do next will impact the outcome of your case. Thankfully, Splatt Lawyers helps when you have suffered harm related to your work and need reliable legal advice. Get immediate support now – Call 1800 700 125

Workplace Health and Safety

All Queensland employees are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace. However, this is not a reality for many workers. Sadly, many suffer work-related injuries from workplace accidents every year. While some are harmed in a single incident, others experience suffering over time. For example, psychological trauma, skin cancer from excess sun exposure, back injuries, and the worsening of an existing medical condition.

Step By Step Legal Guide for Injured Workers

Our step-by-step guide helps employees understand what to do after a work accident, including:

  1. Report the Injury to Your Employer
  2. Seek medical treatment
  3. Keeping accurate records
  4. Lodging your WorkCover claim
  5. Comply with strict time limits
  6. Working with a compensation law firm
  7. Understanding the value of your benefits

How do I make a WorkCover claim? >

What is my claim worth?

A closeup of man hands at risk of a serious injury while welding

Why it’s Essential to Know the Steps to Take When Injured at Work

Knowing the correct steps when injured at work will be the difference between successfully claiming compensation and receiving less or a denied claim. Queensland workplace laws are tricky, and your employer will seek to limit their liability.

Generally, WorkCover, the leading Queensland workers’ compensation insurance company, is liable for funding benefit payouts and may seek to limit your entitlements or reject your case.

Furthermore, when you have a legitimate work-related injury, you may be able to make several types of claims, including:

  1. Workers compensation claim
  2. Whole person impairment benefit
  3. Common law damages claim
  4. Total and permanent disability (TPD) claim

To successfully complete the claim process and access all your due compensation, you will need an experienced work injury lawyer to guide you, overcome potential pitfalls, and negotiate with large insurance companies.

Step 1: Report the Injury to Your Employer

The first step for any physical or psychological workplace injury is to report the accident (or series of events) to your employer. Depending on your company’s size, your manager or the human resources department may record your statement. Most employers will have an injury logbook where you record the following:

  1. Your job role at the time of your injury
  2. Date and time of the accident
  3. Your current employment industry
  4. Where it happened
  5. The type of injuries sustained

Please ensure your statements are factual, accurate, and without exaggeration. For example, saying you have a broken arm when it hasn’t been x-rayed and diagnosed by a doctor can harm your claim. 

First responders loading ambulance with man injured at work

Gather Evidence

Gathering evidence will also help your case, such as:

  • Photos and videos of the workplace accident scene
  • Images and details of any defective machinery, including the make and model
  • Witness statements
  • Information about additional factors that may have caused the incident
  • Details of anything else that helped cause the incident

Furthermore, under the Queensland Work Health and Safety Act 2011, all employers are legally responsible for taking reasonable care to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. So, record anything considered a breach of duty, like a negligent work process, inadequate training, poor lighting, unsafe surfaces, dodgy equipment, or similar.

Do I Have a Valid Claim?

Step 2: Get Medical Treatment for Your Work Related Injury

After reporting the injury to your employer, you must seek medical attention. You are legally required to attend a GP or hospital as soon as possible following the accident. The insurer could use any delay against you and reduce the validity of your claim.

You can choose to see your own doctor who knows your medical history. They will assess and record your physical and emotional damage and the circumstances of your injury. For psychological injuries caused by workplace stress, depression, bullying and harassment, or other mental health conditions, you should see a psychologist, psychiatrist or other health providers. The medical report will also help support your case and provide an overview of your:

  • Injuries suffered
  • Treatment required
  • Degree of permanent impairment

At this stage, we recommend you speak with an experienced work injury lawyer to let them know about your potential claim. They will:

  • Advise on your best course of action
  • Ensure your rights are protected
  • Deal with your boss, removing a source of stress at this challenging time.

Finally, following the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, your treatment provider should complete a medical certificate (Certificate of Capacity) to give to QLD WorkCover, so you can claim weekly payments. Workers’ compensation may also cover travel costs for attending medical appointments, giving you support for reasonable medical treatment and services.

Step 3: Maintain Accurate Records of Your Work Injury

To ensure you access all your workers’ compensation benefits, WorkCover will want records of all your medical costs (including travel expenses), no matter how minor. You can also claim accommodation costs if you need to relocate to Brisbane or another Queensland city or town for treatment.

For work-related common law claims, you will need even more evidence, so keep a diary of activity related to your case, like the date and time of medical appointments, copies of scans, assessments, reports, and so on.

If you suffer a back injury at work, contact our lawyers immediately.

Free Online Claim Check

Workers compensation insurance icon

Step 4: Lodge a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Claim with WorkCover

WorkCover funds workers’ compensation payments in Queensland and provides financial support for any medical expenses or lost wages related to a workplace injury. Your personal injury lawyer will help you complete the relevant claim forms and address legal issues or disputes.

When making a claim, you must provide:

  1. Your employer’s name and contact details
  2. The date of your incident
  3. Details of how you were harmed
  4. A medical certificate from your doctor or specialist outlining the extent of your injuries

Next, once you have submitted your claim, WorkCover will assess the details and determine whether it is eligible for compensation.

Finally, when your case is approved, you receive weekly payments for lost income and ongoing support for any medical treatment or costs associated with your recovery. You will also receive access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, job retraining, or workplace modifications. Thankfully, employers, insurers, rehabilitation providers, doctors, and health providers all play a crucial role in the recovery process as they provide support to people injured at work.

More about WorkCover claims >

Accident scene of a work related injury

Step 5: Claim Within Strict Time Limits

In Queensland, strict time limits apply for work injury claims, depending on the type of case.

You have six months to lodge workers’ compensation claims (WorkCover), but please report the accident to your employer immediately.

Additionally, there is a general time limit of three years for other types of work-related personal injury claims, like a permanent impairment lump sum payout or common law claim (suing the business owner for damages). In this case, you should give WorkCover a notice of damages claim or request a permanent impairment assessment.

Step 6: Hire Expert Workers Compensation Lawyers

Many Queenslanders experience issues when making a workers comp claim. So be aware you have the right to professional legal representation when seeking benefits or for other work-related personal injury claims. Because of the complex nature of these cases and the many hurdles to a successful compensation payout, you should get experienced legal advice from a skilled lawyer or solicitor who will:

  • Help determine the viability of your case and the claims you could make.
  • The approximate value of your lump sum compensation
  • Support you with the claims process
  • Complete and lodge your documents
  • Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
  • Represent you in court (if required)

Splatt Lawyers has been helping Queenslanders harmed on the job for nearly three decades. All our workplace accident legal services are 100% no-win, no fee. Our No Pay funding means you pay only when you win and zero if you lose, and as a valued client, you also receive access to our rehab funding service. For further information Call 1800 700 125.

Win Your Case With Splatt Lawyers?

What is the Average QLD Work Injury Payout?

According to Queensland workers’ compensation claim statistics for 2021-2022, the average common law settlement for a work injury was $ 175,772. As expected, the number of cases dropped significantly during COVID-19, but there were 1,226 common law work claims in one year before the pandemic.

Surprisingly, even though psychological and psychiatric injury claims account for a smaller percentage of cases, they typically receive higher compensation payments, with $61,047 being average in 2021–2022. Of course, mental trauma and physical injury are frequently present, so some employees receive restitution for both.

For statutory claims covered under the workers’ compensation insurance scheme, how much you get is frequently related to your industry. Injured people employed in the mining and construction sectors receive the highest average payment (according to WorkCover data), with an average of $ 72,798. Generally, how much you get is calculated based on your last 12 months’ income, and people employed in this industry have higher salaries.

What is my payout worth? >

How Much Compensation Do I Get for an Injury at Work?

Many factors influence how much compensation you receive for a work injury. Generally, you get more for a serious injury and less for mild damage. NOTE: You will receive less financial damages if it can be shown that your own negligence contributed to your injuries.

Thankfully, Splatt Lawyers provides an estimate for free. Please use our work accident claim calculator or contact our friendly compensation lawyers for your free claim assessment. Call Now 1800 700 125.

Calculate my compensation payout >

What If I Can’t Work Anymore?

If your physical or mental damage is severe enough to prevent you from working in your regular occupation, you may be eligible to claim permanent total disability compensation. When successful, you would receive a once-off lump sum TPD payout, which could provide much-needed financial support or allow early retirement.

More about claiming TPD benefits >

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FAQs for QLD Workers Compensation Claims

What should your employer do for you if you were injured at work?

If you are injured at work (even at a small business), your employer is legally obligated to help you seek medical support. They must complete Workcover documents so you can claim workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the severity of the injury, your boss may have other responsibilities, like adjusting your job duties before you return to work. The business owner might also be liable for paying common law damages if the injury resulted from a dangerous working environment or unsafe work practices.

What is a serious workplace injury?

A serious workplace injury is commonly defined as any physical or psychological damage requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, like stitches or bandages. In other words, an injured worker needs medical treatment to recover. The most common causes of serious workplace injuries are slips and falls, lifting heavy objects, contact with machines, and exposure to dangerous substances. Workplace violence and work-related motor vehicle accidents may also lead to serious injuries.

What qualifies as a workplace injury?

Any harm occurring while working or engaging in activities linked to their job is considered a workplace injury and can impact future employment prospects. This definition includes:

  • While travelling to or from work
  • During work-related travel or events
  • While on a scheduled break
  • Or directly related to your job

Physical harm, psychological issues, illnesses, or even death can result from dangerous incidents at work.

How do I report a notifiable incident?

The individual states of Australia have their own workers compensation regulator, which you can find here:

All these states of Australia have a continuing connection with the land’s traditional owners.

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