If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered from an injury in an accident, either at work, on the road or in another public place, you will most likely be in the middle of an insurance claim or looking to commence one.
If you are successful in your claim you will receive compensation either via one lump sum payment or through a series of payments that are made over a specified period of time.
Where exactly do these payments come from? That will depend on where the injury occurred and the type of claim you make.
In Queensland, the workers' compensation insurance scheme is called WorkCover.
If you have been injured either at work or because of work and you have successfully made a claim for workers compensation, WorkCover is the organisation that will pay your compensation to you. Your employer will pay an excess to WorkCover for any successful claim made by an employee.
WorkCover provides payments for both statutory (no-fault) claims, where successful claimants are paid compensation no matter who was at fault, and on claims where the employee sought common-law action against their employer (more commonly known as ‘suing’).
In most cases, WorkCover will provide payments for:
- lost wages (much like a weekly income);
- lump-sum payments for permanent impairment;
- pain and suffering;
- legal costs;
- medical treatments and rehabilitation;
- travel and associated allowances;
- return to work support; and
- death benefits and funeral expenses
However, it is important to note that the above payments are not guaranteed to all successful claimants and the nature of your injury and the type of claim you raise (statutory or common law action) will determine the frequency and type of payments you are entitled to.
Motor vehicle accident
There are two main types of motor vehicle insurance: comprehensive and Compulsory Third Party. As the name would suggest, Compulsory Third Party insurance, also known as “CTP insurance” is compulsory, with the reason being that it is used to compensate injured parties in the result of an accident and uninsured parties may not have the means to reimburse the injured party for expenses incurred as a result of the injury.
CTP insurance does not cover the cost of repairing damaged vehicles and is focussed solely on providing compensation for people who are injured when a vehicle is involved in an accident. It effectively indemnifies the driver of the vehicle-at-fault against having to pay compensation out of their own pocket. A failure to take out CTP insurance carries penalties including steep fines, as well as the possibility of having to personally compensate an injured party in the event of an accident.
Personal injury in a public place
There are dozens of public liability insurers on the market, many of which have household names. Most of these organisations offer insurance policies for home and contents, motor vehicles, travel and health and you may have even taken out cover with them before.
It is compulsory for many businesses in Queensland to take out public liability insurance, particularly if they are also required to hold a licence in order to operate, such as a plumbing or electrical business. For those businesses who are not required to take out public liability insurance, it is in their best interests to protect themselves against losses in the case of an accident.
If you incur an injury in a public place and are successful in making a claim for insurance, you will not actually be paid by the entity who was responsible for the public place (such as a council or shopping centre), they will merely be claiming on their own public liability insurance policy.
If you have been injured and are seeking to make a claim against your employer, a fellow driver or a business, speak to a compensation lawyer today.