It all begins with going home and saying “I’m home, but I have some bad news, I injured my back at work.” If you have suffered back injuries at work, Perth’s leading workers compensation claims legal experts at Foyle Legal can help injured workers to claim compensation. This blog deals with WA workers compensation claims with specific focus on back injury compensation.
Back injury claims are a common kind of workers compensation claims in Western Australia, they occur in a variety of different ways however in our experience the most common ways a back injury can occur includes lifting, bending, and working in a position that is not well suited for the task. If you suffer a back pain at work, please don’t ignore the symptoms.
Back injury claims mostly occur in blue collar workers in the construction, mining and manufacturing industries. Foyle Legal can help you regardless of whether your back injury claim is accepted. Injured workers often see Foyle Legal after the workers compensation claim for the back injury has been refused by the workers compensation insurer, though many also see us after the back injury claim has been accepted in order to get the best settlement possible.
Injured WA workers are entitled to workers compensation if the accident occurs during the course of employment or whilst working under the instructions of their employer. How much compensation an injured worker may get for a back injury at work may vary. If you intend do make an back injury compensation claim, following the steps below will help injured workers to best prepare to get the best compensation payouts for back injury claim.
Report your back injury in writing immediately after it has happens, regardless your intention to claim compensation
Injured workers are required to report their back injury
Regardless of whether injured workers intention to make a workers compensation claim, it is important to notify employer about the back injury. Some injured workers may have reservations in deciding to report the injury, because they fear they may get sacked after reporting the injury or making a workers compensation claim. In most of workplaces, reporting workplace injury is required and set out in the HR employee manual. In other words, for many employers, it is expected by the employer that injured workers will report such workplace injuries, such as back injuries or spine injuries.
Failure to report your back injuries immediately may result in rejected workers compensation claims
In a lot of back related workers’ compensation claims, the allegation by the workers compensation insurer is that the injury did not occur in the course of the workers employment, and the worker who is claiming back injury compensation did not inform the employer of the accident at the time that the back injury occurred. This is particularly the case for the workers who are claiming bulging disc workers compensation.
This can usually be avoided by reporting your back injury as soon as possible after it happened. It is common for injured workers to not report an injury thinking that, or hoping that, their back injury will just get better, and they do not want to jeopardise the future work career by reporting an injury. The courts have taken the view that this is not a good reason for not reporting an injury, and in some common law cases has found that the employer was prejudiced in its defence as a result of the worker failing to report the injury at an early time. As a result the workers compensation claim has been rejected by the courts.
In conclusion, if you have suffered a back injury at work, please report your back injury as soon as possible. Otherwise, this could have a significant adverse impact on your back injury claim if you decide to claim back injury compensation. Please remember, if you don’t report the accident immediately, it will reduce your chance of winning injury compensation accident claims.
Attend a doctor as soon as possible after your back injury happens this will help your workers compensation claim, and other types of accident compensation claims
Doctors can provide injured workers with a First Certificate of Capacity
If a person wishes to make a workers’ compensation claim for the back injury, they need to obtain a first certificate of capacity to provide to their employer together with the workers compensation claim form.
Attend a doctor may help injured workers to prove that injury is indeed caused by work, this is especially important for back injuries and spinal injuries
In some workers’ compensation claims the question is whether the worker actually suffered an injury in the course of their work, in these cases an attendance at a general practitioners office for your back injury can be very valuable evidence as it shows that the worker believed themselves to have suffered a back injury of sudden onset which is usually supported by an examination by the general practitioner.
One of the most common ways in which a back injury claim is defended is by alleging that the back injury has occurred, in isolation, due to pre-existing degeneration. In the event that injured worker has seen the general practitioner at the time of the accident and regularly since that time the general practitioner will be in a position to say that firstly, the injured person did not have such a condition before the accident, and secondly, that the injured person has been complaining of similar symptoms from the time of the accident until the present.
Obtaining evidence of witnesses at the time of the accident
After a back injury happens, the last thing on people’s minds is whether the injury will be accepted by the workers compensation insurer. Once things have calmed down a little bit, for example when the injured worker is in the hospital and waiting for further treatment, it is a good idea to call any witnesses who saw the accident and obtain a brief statement from them. It is best for this to be in writing and signed, however if this cannot be achieved then getting the statement is an email can still be valuable.
Download Back Injury Workers Compensation Claim Form, and Lodge your WA Workers Compensation Claim
If injured worker wish to make a workers compensation claim, completion of workers compensation claim form together with first medical certificate are the first steps towards a making a workers compensation claim for your injured back.
WorkCover WA is the dispute resolution authority for workers injuries compensation claims in Western Australia.
WorkCover WA is the dispute resolution authority for workers compensation claims in Western Australia. It is a government agency responsible for overseeing and regulating the workers’ compensation and injury management scheme in Western Australia. For WA injured workers, most of the dispute resolution process, for example, conciliation or arbitration, will take place in WorkCover.
Workers Compensation Claim form can be downloaded from the WorkCover WA website
Please check here to download your workers compensation claim form from the WorkCover WA website.
Once injured workers complete this form, this form should be given to your employer together with your First Certificate of Capacity to make a claim for workers compensation. Once your employer received your workers compensation claim form and First Certificate of Capacity, they must provide these documents to their insurer within 5 days of receiving the claim.
Step-by-Step video on How to Complete WA workers compensation claim form.
If you are unclear how to complete a workers compensation claim form, Foyle legal has prepared a step-by-step instruction video on how to complete a workers compensation claim form. If you are looking for assistance for completing your workers compensation claim form, please contact Foyle Legal for your obligation free consultation. One of our capable workers compensation lawyers can help injured workers with completion of workers compensation claim form.
Decisions relating to your workers compensation claim
Once your employer’s insurance company receives the workers compensation claim form, they are expected to evaluate and assess your work injury claim within 14 days. Workers compensation insurance companies need to make a decision as to whether to accept the claim, dispute the claim or pend the claim and issue a notice to the injured person accordingly.
Workers Compensation Insurer Accepts your injury compensation claim
Once your workers compensation insurer accepts your back injury claim, you will start receive worker’s compensation entitlements. Your workers compensation entitlement typically consists of:
- Payment of loss of wages which are called weekly payments of compensation
- Payment of medical expenses such as general practitioner, physical therapy (e.g. physiotherapy and hydrotherapy) and hospital costs
- Payment of vocational rehabilitation expenses
- Payment of approved travel and accommodation expenses in certain situations
Please note the maximum thresholds may apply to each categories of expenses. Please check with your legal representative in relation to entitlement and payments.
If your claim is accepted you can contact Foyle Legal to help you to get the most out of your back injury workers’ compensation claim.
Workers Compensation Insurer Disputes your injury compensation claim
If the injured worker had reported the injury insurance company immediately, sought medical attention immediately and managed to get witnesses to prove that their injury happened during the course of their employment, then the workers compensation insurer will have limited grounds to reject or dispute your workers compensation claim.
If you receive a letter from the workers compensation insurer stating that your claim is disputed, don’t worry, this is not necessarily the end of road for you. For many workers compensation insurers, they have internal dispute process. Injured workers can apply for the claims to be re-examined.
If your back injury claim is rejected or denied by the insurance company, please contact Foyle Legal. We help injured workers to get their injury compensation claims accepted and help them to achieve a workers compensation settlement. We know the process and we know what would work for your injury compensation claim.
Workers Compensation Insurer pended your injury compensation claim
If your workers compensation claim is pended by the workers compensation insurance company, it usually means that the workers compensation insurer needs more time to access the claim, usually this will involve getting more medical documentation or undertaking a factual investigation. If your claim pended for more than 19 days after your lodgement of the claim then the injured worker can make an application to WorkCover WA regarding acceptance of liability.
Seek Injury Compensation Claims Legal Advice on WA Workers Compensation Claim
Injury Compensation Claims system differs by State
The injury compensation claims system for workers compensation differs state by state. If your injury occurred during the course of employment in WA, please be sure that you seek legal advice from a qualified WA workers compensation claim lawyer. A good workers compensation lawyer in QLD is unlikely to know the system in Western Australia, and is unlikely to be able to advise you about your injury claim in WA.
If you have relocated to another state since your injury it may make it more difficult to conduct your claim, contact Foyle Legal for your obligation free claim assessment. We help clients who reside in different states, or different countries with their workplace injury compensation claim.
We don’t just deal with accident claims Perth WA, we deal with injured workers from all of WA.
WA Workers compensation claim process is complex
Getting your workers compensation claim accepted is only first step of the overall injury compensation process. The workers compensation claim process in Western Australia is complex. Although WorkCover WA provides lots of useful information to injured worker, many injured workers found it difficult to continue without proper legal advice. This is because WorkCover is a government body, and they coordinate operations regarding a range of stakeholders which includes employers, insurers and self-insurers, which has competing interests to injured workers. As a result, WorkCover can only give general advice instead of tailored advice to best represent the interests of injured workers.
Some of Foyle Legal’s highly educated clients with professional service background try to represent themselves for a long time, and decided to trust our expert legal advice because:
- It takes lots of time to read and understand the legislation. The interpretation of the law can be difficult when there is no one to help them
- There many conflicting cases studies, it makes it difficult for injured workers to decide which one to trust
- When they are presented with medical reports, or other expert reports that they don’t agree, they don’t know what to do
- When they are presented with an offer by the insurer, they don’t know if they should accept a back injury at work settlement
- They don’t know what is a fair compensation payout for a back injury
- They don’t know how to deal with second injuries raised as a result of the back or spine injury at work
This list goes on. When confronted with a complex legal matter, it can be stressful for injured worker to deal with the situation alone.
Workers Compensation Insurers are experienced and often legally represented
In a workers compensation claim, injured people may receive weekly payments of compensation from their employer but they claiming through the workers compensation insurer. Depending on the potential value of the claim, workers compensation insurers often engage insurance lawyers to fight against your injury compensation claim.
For a back or spinal injury claim, in our view, it more common for the workers compensation insurer to engage a lawyer on fight against your back injury or spine injury claim. If you are self-representing, if you more likely to be at a disadvantage. Even if the workers compensation insurer do not engage a lawyer to fight against you, their claim offers working on behalf of the workers compensation insurer are professionals who deal with claims similar to yours every day. They have the know-how and experience in fighting your type of claims.
In conclusion, if you have made a workers compensation claim for back or spine injures. If you are not legally represented, you are more likely to be disadvantage against your opponent regarding your injury compensation claim.
Workers Compensation Insurers have a network of professionals to support their claim
Workers Compensation Insurers have panel of lawyers, specialists and rehab providers who have worked with them for years. It is often the case that they are capable and ready to assist the insurer by providing them with reports detrimental to your claim.
In the case of injured workers, they are unlikely to have existing network of specialists.
The advantage of engaging expert workers compensation lawyer to assist your claim is that injured workers can leverage on their network of specialists and rehab providers to benefit your workers compensation claim.
A good accident compensation claim lawyer can be affordable
Most of the injured workers have a misconception that lawyers are expensive, and they may take a large portion of your injury compensation settlement. This maybe the case for some of the law firms, but is not the case at Foyle Legal.
At Foyle Legal, we provide No Win No Fee solutions for all qualified workers compensation claims. This means we don’t charge you legal fee unless we get you a settlement. Once you matter is settled, most injured workers are surprised to find that Foyle Legal will try to recover the majority of the legal fee from the insurer. This means you will enjoy the majority of your injury compensation payout.
Follow your compensation claim legal advice
Once injured workers are legally represented, your communication with the other side should be through your lawyer. However, there situations that the employers choose to communicate directly with the injured workers. We have seen some employers’ put stress on the injured worker, which led to complications in the workers compensation claim. If your employer, or their workers compensation insurer contact your directly, please contact your lawyer immediately, and follow your lawyer’s advice before your case is derailed by un-necessary distractions.
Follow your treatment plans for Spine Injury and Back Injuries
If you are seeing a specialist, GP, or physiotherapist, please be sure that you follow the treatment plan. Regular missing of appointments may be used as an evidence that you no longer need treatment or are malingering which will have overall negative impact on how much compensation you will get. In addition, following your treating doctors advice is best way to ensure you are on track for recovery as fast as possible.
Watch out for Psychological Impact caused by your Spine Injury or Back Injuries
You may have more than one accident injury claim
Injured workers with a back injury often develop secondary psychological effects following a back injuries or spinal injuries. Typical psychological injuries include depression, anxiety, adjustment disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The need for psychological treatment which arises as a secondary consequence of a physical injury, such as a back injury, is generally compensable and the workers compensation insurer should generally pay for necessary medical treatment such as attendances with a psychologist, psychiatrist, GP and medication.
We can help with you secondary accident injury claims even if it is a stress claim
Many injured workers claim medical expenses regarding psychological treatment, but in general terms the workers compensation insurer does not want to accept that the injured worker has suffered a new psychological condition and the treatment expenses are denied.
It is important to know what this is not the end of the road. If the insurer does not pay your psychological treatment expenses then you can challenge this decision through WorkCover WA and Foyle Legal can help you to do this properly.
What happens if my back injury claim is not accepted by the workers compensation insurer?
If the injury is not accepted by the workers’ compensation insurer, then the injured worker has the option of commencing review proceedings through WorkCover Western Australia, the workers compensation tribunal in Western Australia.
Foyle Legal can help you with your back injury compensation claims
If you have suffered a back injury in the course of your work then Foyle Legal Compensation Lawyers can assist you with your personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis, and at Foyle Legal your first consultation is obligation free. You can contact Foyle Legal on 0408 727 343 or through our website.