Workers' rights under the NSW Worker Compensation legislation are based on a no fault system, where you don’t need to prove fault to be entitled to make a claim. However in some circumstances, where your employer has been negligent you may be able to claim compensation by way of a Work Injury Damages claim.
What can you claim?
A work injury damages claim allows you to claim past and future economic loss, which often amounts to a very significant amount, depending upon your age and earnings at the time of the injury. This is claimed as a lump sum, rather than being paid over time as a weekly amount.
How do you claim?
In order to make a work injury damages claim you must have a degree of whole person impairment of 15% or more.
To make a claim you must detail what the injury is, how it occurred, any prior injury or condition to the same body part, details of prior employment, particulars of negligence of the employer and the amount claimed for economic loss (loss of income).
It is important to get advice to ensure that there has been negligence and that there is sufficient evidence to prove negligence. If not, the claim may fail. The insurer is required to accept or decline liability within one month; however they can request more information or arrange for you to be medically examined within this time.
Settlement and Mediation
Once the claim is accepted, the insurer must make a settlement offer and detail how the offer has been calculated. If the offer is not accepted you are required to serve a Pre-Filing Statement, which essentially puts the insurer on notice of what will be in the Statement of Claim that you intend to file and all the documents you rely on to support it. Before commencing proceedings the claim must be referred to the Workers Compensation Commission for mediation.
If the matter cannot be resolved, a certificate is issued and Court proceedings can be commenced. There is a limitation period of 3 years from the date of injury to commence Court proceedings.
If you have been injured at work and need advice about your rights and entitlements, please call one of our experienced compensation team in Bathurst, Lithgow or Oberon on 1800 650 656. We're here to help!
Angus Edwards | Principal