Should I Accept an Out of Court Settlement?

There are a variety of ways to resolve a personal injury claim after an accident. Insurance could cover medical expenses or a case could go to trial, resulting in a verdict and monetary award. However the majority of cases are settled out of court (at or before compulsory conferences).

These settlements are often negotiated by personal injury lawyers from both sides. But this isn’t necessarily the quickest, cheapest or best option for the injured party. Accepting a settlement directly from the other party without consulting a lawyer can be especially risky.

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A Guide to Claiming Workplace Injuries

What Kind of Injuries Can I Apply for?

Workplace injuries can range from serious illness, injury or damage (including amputations, fractures and brain injuries) through to less severe injuries such as strains and sprains (e.g. repetitive strain injury).

Examples of injuries include:

  • Injuries suffered at work, as a result of work or during work activities
  • Diseases caused by work
  • Diseases or pre-existing conditions made worse by work
  • Injuries suffered while travelling for work
  • Injuries suffered while receiving medical treatment for a separate work injury

A work injury doesn’t have to be purely physical. Mental injuries such as those driven by stress, or leading to events such as a heart attack or worsening of a pre-existing condition can also be eligible for workplace injury compensation.

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What to Do after a Slip and Fall

 

Of the different types of accidents that can happen when out in public places, slip and falls are among the most common. Claiming for injuries in these cases falls under a public liability claim.

Slip and fall cases have gained popularity in the news, with massive payouts against well-known supermarkets such as Woolworths or Coles. However, while some big payouts make news headlines, a slip and fall injury case does not need to be big to be worth pursuing.

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Australia’s Biggest Compensation Payouts

 

While not all workplace compensation cases are front page news, certain shocking injuries have seen compensation payouts soaring into the millions.

While they may seem excessive, these payments are often awarded to compensate for horrific injuries which will last the rest of one’s natural life.

Here are some of Australia’s biggest compensation payouts.

 

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What Happens if I Get Injured Working from Home?

 

When it comes to workplace injury law, we often think about risks and hazards that could occur in the workplace itself. However, the rise of flexible work arrangements, virtual networks, video conferencing and more, has blurred the distinction between the workplace and personal spaces.

As technology increasingly enables us to work from anywhere, telecommuting – or working from home – has been on the rise. Both employees and employers benefit from the added flexibility and productivity benefits. Deloitte went as far as calling teleworking “one of the biggest structural changes to the labour market this decade”.

Even when working from home, employees may be entitled to workers’ compensation. A multi-million dollar compensation pay-out to a Telstra employee who slipped and fell while working from home has highlighted that workplace health and safety law is by no means limited to the workplace and should be taken very seriously by employers.

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Beware of Wombat: Pet Bite Injuries – Can You Get Compensated?

 

Stories of someone’s pet suddenly biting or attacking someone are surprising but common.

While some people like to keep exotic pets such as snakes and spiders, bites from man’s best friends are by far the most common and the wounds caused by a bite can cause permanent personal injury, damage and scarring.

In some Australian states, the law regarding pet and dog attacks has become part of legislation, but this has not yet happened in Queensland. Instead, a common law claim applies in relation to personal injury law, following a bite injury.

If you are bitten by an animal, you should immediately seek medical attention. In addition to being potentially serious injuries, animal bites (even from ‘clean’, domesticated pets) can be susceptible to infection.

 

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Your Rights as a Passenger after an Accident

 

In Queensland, any person injured in a motor vehicle accident that was due to the fault of a driver is eligible to claim compensation.

Queensland operates on a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme. The scheme provides owners, drivers, and passengers with unlimited liability coverage for personal injury caused by traffic accidents.

This grants passengers a right to seek monetary compensation from the person ‘at fault’ for the personal injury and other related losses. This is true regardless of whether it’s a friend, family, commercial drivers such as a taxi or Uber driver, or any other driver.

 

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Workers’ Compensation When Injured Abroad

 

In an increasingly global professional environment, working abroad is becoming more and more common. Many companies have a presence is multiple countries and most large businesses deal with international clients and partners.

When travelling abroad for work, whether to another state or another country, you can still be eligible for Australian workers’ compensation.

 

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Is My Injury Work Related?

 

For an injury to count as a workplace injury, it must be connected to your work – but does not always have to occur in the actual workspace.

As outlined in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, an injury is any personal injury arising in the course of, employment, so long as the employment is the major significant contributing factor to the injury.

In plain terms, this means that if your work is the major cause behind developing a psychiatric or psychological disorder, it can fall under workplace injury.

For more information on general workplace injuries, including some frequently asked questions, visit our Work Related Injury page.

 

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Quitting Due to Stress – When is Stress Claimable?

When people think of workplace injury, they usually imagine physical wounds, such as accidentally cutting your hand off in a factory.

But the truth is, it’s not just physical – workplace stress has become recognised globally as a major challenge to workers’ health and the health of an organisation. In fact, stress is now the second most common cause of workplace compensation claims in Australia.

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Will Work Cover My Medical Bills if I Injure Myself?

 

Normally, workers’ compensation claims are made because of accidents or hazards in the workplace that have happened despite the employee’s best care. But what happens when your injury is actually your fault?

In Queensland, you may be able to claim compensation even if you caused the accident that led to your injury. Today we’re going to explain “no fault” compensation and further explore this topic.

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WORKCOVER NOTICE OF ASSESSMENT AND LUMP SUM OFFERS

If you have been injured at work and are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, eventually WorkCover or the self-insurer will stop paying those benefits and close your claim.

Up until this point, your wages and treatment have been covered by the ‘no fault’ statutory scheme.  Once your injury becomes ‘stable and stationary’– which means that your injuries are unlikely to get any better or worse – your claim is closed and you are entitled to seek a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover or the self-insurer.

In order to obtain a Notice of Assessment, WorkCover or the self-insurer will arrange an appointment for you to attend on a doctor of their choice.  The purpose of this appointment is for the doctor to assess whether you have sustained a permanent impairment as a result of the workplace accident.  If you have sustained psychological injuries you may also be required to attend the Medical Assessment Tribunal, where a panel of three doctors will interview you and assess your injuries.

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WHIPLASH

SENARIO

You are in a car at the traffic lights. Without warning, another car strikes your car from behind. You attend your GP and an x-ray of your neck was taken. The report shows no damage but you experience pain around your neck.

You may be suffering from a whiplash injury.

Whiplash injury (also called neck strain or soft tissue cervical injury) results from acceleration-deceleration forces on the neck. Such injuries are typical in motor vehicle accidents resulting from rear-end or side impact collisions.

These forces may result in painful injuries to the muscles, ligaments and joints in the neck, and other spinal areas. The most common symptom after a whiplash injury is neck pain or stiffness. This can occur immediately after the injury or even after a few days.

The range of symptoms resulting from whiplash is called Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) and severity can vary from no symptoms (including no pain or discomfort and no physical sign of injury) to severe (including pain, fracture and/or dislocation of the neck).

Other symptoms, depending on the severity, may include headaches, pain in the shoulder and arms, dizziness, pins and needles or numbness, irritability and/or weakness in the neck, visual and auditory symptoms, dysphagia, concentration difficulties. It may also cause chronic neck pain.

X-rays may be taken of the neck area; however, they do not reveal injuries to the soft tissues of the neck and obviously cannot measure levels of pain (which is generally subjective in nature).  X-rays are usually taken to rule out injuries such as bone fractures or dislocations. In addition, CT scans are reserved for those with bone injury and MRI scans occasionally show severe soft tissue injury.

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