Workplace accidents are a big threat to the health of workers and it’s an employers’ responsibility to ensure that there are preventative measures in place. Fellow workers have a joint duty of care to themselves and their colleagues to be mindful of their actions whilst at work and make every effort to consider the health and safety of others.
After experiencing an injury in the workplace and after you have processed a claim for Workers Compensation under the Queensland’s Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 it is recommended that you seek legal advice to find out all your entitlements based on the extent and circumstances of your injury.
If you establish that your injury was as a consequence of someone else’s negligence and if your injury is long-lasting you may be entitled to an additional claim for compensation under shared law known as a shared law claim (or negligence claim).
Usually after processing Workers Compensation by your employers’ insurer (I.e. WorkCover) you need to wait for your injuries to stabilise. Stabilisation method you are at a point where your injury isn’t likely to get any better or worse. Your injuries are then assessed and following an assessment you are sent a Notice of Assessment. This will indicate the level of impairment in the form of a percentage. At this point it is imperative that you speak to a work injury lawyer (or personal injury lawyer) who will be able to advise you to do one of two things:
1). Accept the offer of a lump sum payment s laid out in the Notice of Assessment OR;
2). Refuse the offer laid out in the Notice of Assessment and lodge a shared law claim that may be worth much more to you in compensation.
Get legal advice before you sign is the most important thing to remember. Once you have signed and accepted any offer of compensation you are in no position to argument the claim and you will be prevented from making a shared law claim.
It may be tempting just to accept the offer of a lump sum payment, but you may miss out on legal entitlements belonging to you and this may average tens of thousands of dollars that will help towards your future.
Some clients do have concerns about how their employer or colleagues may react. We remind them that compensation is their legal right and know that these entitlements aim to sustain and assist you with life after sustaining an injury. An injury can affect your life in a variety of ways and why not accept any compensation that is obtainable to you? By not making a claim you may leave yourself short. If help is obtainable take it with both hands, you never know when you may need it. By making a claim it may help others be more responsible in the workplace and think twice about being negligent.