According to the latest figures by WorkCover WA, there are 23,206 active WorkCover claims in Western Australia. If injured at work, and you make a workers compensation claim understanding your rights and options is key when you claim workers compensation or are settling a workers compensation claim.
Table of Contents
- It is important to promptly report work injuries and seek medical attention in order to protect your rights and ensure proper workers compensation payments.
- Before settling a workers’ compensation claim, it is crucial to consider factors such as the extent of the injury, long-term effects, and ongoing medical treatments.
- Seeking legal advice from a personal injury lawyer is recommended to navigate the claims process, protect your rights, and negotiate a fair settlement.
- Settling a claim means giving up the right to claim further compensation, including potential claims for employer negligence or seeking common law damages.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Payments
When settling a workers’ compensation claim, it’s important to understand the various benefits and payments involved. These include medical expenses, weekly payments, lump sum payments, and the maximum weekly worker’s compensation claim amount.
To delve deeper into this topic:
- Medical Expenses: Workers’ compensation typically covers necessary medical treatment related to your work injury or illness. This can include doctor visits, surgery, medications, physical therapy, and more.
- Weekly Payments: If you cannot work due to your injury or illness, you may be entitled to receive weekly wage replacement benefits. These payments aim to compensate you for your lost wages or a portion of your lost wages.
- Lump Sum Payment: in many cases, an injured worker may receive a lump sum settlement for the injury as well as weekly payments. This option allows for a one-time payment that factors in future projected benefits.
Remember that every serious workers comp claim case is unique, and seeking legal advice from a specialist workers’ compensation lawyer regarding a work related injury can help ensure you understand all your rights and options. Additionally, if your injury results in permanent impairment or other long-term consequences, you may also have the right to pursue a common law claim through court proceedings.
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Considerations Before Settling a Workers’ Compensation Claim
When deciding to conclude a workers’ compensation claim settlement, it is important to consider the following points:
- Future Compensation Rights: Completing a settlement can mean renouncing any outstanding claims for further compensation related to your injury or illness including a common law claim. Workers compensation cases end upon settlement. This decision could impact your financial future.
- Obligation towards Medicare: If you are claiming compensation for a personal injury claim and Medicare covered your medical expenses, you might have to repay these benefits from your workers’ compensation settlement payout. This obligation could reduce the overall sum you receive.
- Review of Received Benefits: Prior to signing the workers’ compensation settlement agreement, ensure you have received all entitled benefits including benefits for your past and future loss. This review ensures every aspect of your workers’ compensation claim is included in the settlement.
Moreover, under the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, if an employer’s negligence causes your workplace injury and you receive an impairment rating of at least 15%, you may qualify for a workers’ compensation common law claim. Seek independent legal advice from specialist workers compensation lawyers before filing such a claim under the workers’ compensation scheme for common law benefits and receiving a work injury damages settlement.
No Further Right to Compensation
After finalizing a workers’ compensation claim settlement, you relinquish your right to additional or receive workers compensation benefits. This means:
- You cannot seek any further benefits relating to the same incident.
- The case cannot be reopened for more compensation in the future.
In order to make an informed decision:
- Document all medical costs: Maintain comprehensive records of every medical bill and expense related to your work injury. These documents are crucial as they greatly influence your compensation amount.
- Consider potential employer negligence claims: Settling your workers’ compensation claim results in forfeiting any prospective claims against your employer for negligence or common law work injury damages claim.
- Consult legal professionals when necessary: Should there be apprehension regarding long-term impact or permanent impairment payout, it is recommended to obtain legal advice. Legal experts can assist with dispute resolution or initiate court proceedings if required.
Remember, a finalized settlement is irreversible – thus, careful consideration of all potential future implications should be made in order to work injury damages payout ensure fair compensation for your injuries.
Seeking Legal Advice and Navigating the Claims Process
Navigating the workers’ compensation claims process can be complex and seeking legal advice can be advantageous for the following reasons:
- Settlement Maximization: lawyers with specialization in workers’ compensation can accurately evaluate your case’s worth and negotiate a fair settlement amount. Their knowledge and expertise aim to ensure you receive the highest possible workers compensation payout.
- Rights Protection: Your employer and their insurance company will have legal representation advocating for their interests. Engaging your own workers compensation lawyer ensures your rights are safeguarded throughout the entire claims process, including common law claims.
These two aspects highlight the importance of professional assistance when handling lump sum workers’ compensation settlements. By doing so, you can confidently navigate through this intricate procedure, secure in the knowledge that your interests in achieving a final settlement are effectively represented.
No Win, No Fee Lawyers
Under the No Win, No Fee arrangement, you won’t need to pay Foyle Legal’s Legal fees (the fees that we charge for the work we do on your claim), unless we get you a settlement amount.
Your lawyer will take you through this arrangement in more detail including any terms and conditions in your obligation free first initial consultation.
For quick information on our No Win, No Fee terms and disbursements, please visit our No Win No Fee Lawyers Page
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the common reasons for a workers’ compensation claim to be denied?
Workers’ compensation claims can be denied due to several specific reasons:
- Delayed Reporting: A prompt report of the injury to the employer is crucial. Delayed or late reporting can lead to a claim denial as insurers may allege the injury isn’t work-related.
- Employment Status: The claimant must fit the definition of a worker under the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981, or they risk having their claim rejected.
- Injury Relevance: The causation of an injury should be related to work for a successful claim. If there’s no clear link between employment and injury, a claim may be denied.
Additional factors that may result in claim denial include:
- The individual filing to claim compensation is not recognized as a legitimate worker.
- The illness or injury lacks a substantial connection to work duties.
- The requested compensation is deemed disproportionate to the severity of the injury or illness.
If faced with denial in Western Australia, seek legal advice from a competent workers compensation lawyer from Foyle Legal. We can help injured workers to seek legal advice immediately and with the dispute resolution process at WorkCover WA.
Can an employer retaliate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
No, it is not legal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a workers’ compensation claim. In line with employment law in place across various jurisdictions, retaliation may take different forms for receiving workers compensation benefits, including termination of employment, demotion, or other negative actions. If such retaliation occurs post claiming workers’ compensation, the employee has the right to seek legal help.
How long does the workers’ compensation claims process typically take?
The duration of the workers’ compensation claims process generally falls within a period of 12 to 18 months. This timeline is under the assumption that no additional injuries occur during treatment, and no subsequent operations are required.
Common Law Claims
If you have elected to claim work injury damages under common law, it will take longer to settle. Typically, it adds about 6 to 12 months since starting court proceedings though it depends on the severity of the permanent injury.
What types of injuries are typically covered by workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation typically covers injuries that happen in the workplace or are job-related. These typically include:
- Traumatic joint, ligament, and muscle/tendon injuries: The most commonly reported category of injuries. These are typically a result of overexertion or strain during physical tasks.
- Wounds, lacerations, amputations, and internal organ damage: These severe injuries can occur during accidents involving machinery or heavy equipment.
- Fractures: Broken bones can occur from falls, slips, trips, or being hit by moving objects.
- Burns: Chemical burns from hazardous substances or thermal burns from heat sources are often seen in industrial settings.
- Intracranial injuries: Head injuries including concussions or other brain damage resulting from falls or being struck by an object.
According to a recent WorkCover report, these work-related injuries are frequently caused by:
- Body stressing: Repetitive strain or overuse injury is common in many roles involving manual labour.
- Falls, trips & slips of a person: These incidents pose a significant risk across most industries and work environments.
- Being hit by moving objects: Accidents involving machinery or falling objects often result in serious harm.
- Hitting the body with objects: This might include anything from walking into doors to striking a hand on machinery.
Navigating the complexities of a workers’ compensation claim in Western Australia can be a daunting task, especially when you’re dealing with an injury.
It’s essential to promptly report workplace injuries, understand the various types of benefits and payments involved, and consider numerous factors such as long-term effects and potential employer negligence and the liability of the employer’s insurer before settling a claim.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to recognize that settling your claim means giving up any further right for compensation related to your injury or illness. Seeking professional advice from a personal injury lawyer can greatly assist in maximising your settlement and protecting your rights throughout this intricate process. If you are injured in Western Australia, Foyle Legal has a team of No Win No Fee lawyers who can ready to assist with no upfront legal costs required.
Remember, whether it’s body-stressing injuries, falls, trips & slips at work or even severe wounds, every worker has rights and options when it comes to workers’ compensation claims.