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WINNER Personal Injury Law Firm of the Year

Injured at work? Everything you need to know about a workers compensation claim.

Hard hat of an injured worker

Many Australians have a laid-back, ‘all in a day’s work’ approach when it comes to the unexpected, but that should never extend to getting injured on the job. When a workplace injury does occur, understanding what steps to take and the support you’re entitled to can completely alter the course of what happens next.  

If you’ve been injured at work, this article will tell you everything you need to know to get support and compensation payments, so you can get your life back on track as quickly as possible.

So, you’ve been injured at work – here’s what to do next. 

Follow these steps to get the help you need and access all your compensation entitlements, including any lump sums you can claim.

Step 1. Report the injury 

If you’re injured at work, you should alert the person you report to as soon as possible. Your employer should have a process in place for reporting any accidents. Once you’ve alerted them, it’s their responsibility to notify their insurance provider of the incident within 48 hours. 

Step 2. Have your injuries assessed by a doctor 

Your next step is to go to a doctor to get a full assessment of your existing and potential injuries. This helps you understand what treatment you need and establishes a timeline and official record of your injuries. 

To lodge a workers compensation claim, you need a NSW workers compensation certificate of capacity issued by a doctor. This should include: 

Step 3. Record everything 

Beyond the doctor’s report, keep a record of everything that occurs. It may seem obvious at the time, but details can easily become confused, so a written record of the chain of events can prove useful down the track. 

Write down exactly what happened – everything from the time of the accident to any correspondence from your employer. Include all relevant details; for example, if a hazard had been brought to your employer’s attention and no steps were taken to prevent accidents. 

Keep this record somewhere secure where you can access it easily. If you send it as an email to yourself then you’ll have a time and date stamped copy as well. You never know when it will come in handy. 

Step 4. Contact a workers compensation lawyer 

Even if your claim seems straightforward, it’s a good idea to get advice from a specialist workers compensation lawyer. Workers compensation lump sum payouts can be substantial, but don’t rely on the insurer to tell you what you can claim -without legal advice, you put yourself at risk of missing out. 

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What constitutes a workplace injury? 

If you’re injured while you’re completing any task that benefits your employer, then it’s a workplace injury. This includes all accidents at work, like if you slip and fall in the break room, because having you on site benefits your employer. This generally covers all of the physical premises where you work, including the carpark and communal areas. If you’re offsite for a work-related reason, such as visiting a client or completing a delivery, this will likely be covered as well. 

Being injured while you’re travelling to a fixed worksite (like the office) is unlikely to be covered by workers compensation. If you’re involved in an accident on your drive to work, that doesn’t fall under the responsibility of your employer. However, if you’re driving a company car to meet a client and you’re involved in an accident then you’re covered. 

What if it was my fault? 

It’s easy to make a mistake – like slipping over if you’re not paying attention or throwing your back out lifting something the wrong way. But even if you’re in the wrong, it’s likely that you’re still eligible to claim workers compensation.

Australia operates on a no-fault workers compensation scheme, which means that if you get injured at work, you can make a claim regardless of who was at fault. 

What are the most common work injury claims? 

A workplace injury is harm or pain caused by carrying out a task that your employer expects you to do. This includes injuries from lifting heavy items, slipping over on a hazard that hasn’t been removed like an oil spill, or a strain caused by repetitive movements like packing boxes. 

Injuries can be caused simply by doing the job, or an unexpected accident at work that causes a problem, like being struck by a falling object.  

Common workplace injuries include: 

Between 2018 and 2019, 87% of workers compensation claims were for musculoskeletal disorders, with 40% of these claims specifically related to joint, ligament, muscle and tendon injuries*. 

Technicians, trade workers, and community and personal service workers were most at risk of sustaining a work-related injury or illness**. 

*Safe Work Australia 
**Australian Bureau of Statistics 

If you’re not sure where to start with a workplace injury claim, you can call 13 15 15 and get free legal advice. And if you’re entitled to compensation, Law Partners can fund all the medical reports needed to support your work injury claim. 

Can I claim a mental or psychological injury? 

Yes, if you’ve been diagnosed with a psychological injury, you may be able to claim workers compensation. To be eligible, it’s important that your GP correctly diagnoses your psychological condition on your certificate of capacity – for example, ‘Adjustment Disorder’.  

You’ll also need to show that your diagnosed psychological condition was caused by a particular event or series of events at work, or that work was a significant contributing factor to your condition. 

Injured while working from home? 

Working from home skyrocketed during the pandemic and has endured due to benefits like less time commuting, flexible working arrangements, and the ability to spend an entire workday in your Ugg boots. But working from home is just that: working. So, you’re still covered by workers compensation if you’re injured. 

The steps are the same – notify your employer, seek medical treatment, get an assessment from a doctor, keep records, and seek advice from a workers compensation lawyer to make sure you can access your full entitlements. 

How can I get help claiming workers compensation? 

At Law Partners we have teams who specialise in workers compensation and we win over 99% of our cases.  If you have any questions about claiming workers compensation, you can call us on 13 15 15 and get free legal advice over the phone from one of our specialist lawyers.