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Workers Compensation Lawyers Cairns​

Cairns owned and operated Workers Compensation & WorkCover Claim services

Workers Compensation Lawyers Cairns​

Workers Compensation Lawyers Cairns

No Win No Fee Lawyers. No Hidden Costs.

If your WorkCover claim has been rejected, get in touch with us today to discuss your options.

If you have been in an accident at work and have sustained an injury in Cairns or anywhere else in Queensland, or whilst travelling to and from work, you are entitled to make a WorkCover injury claim for compensation in almost every case. WorkCover (the Queensland Government-owned insurer) provides insurance to almost every employer in Queensland. It is designed to provide compensation for injured workers, employees, contractors, and labour-hire personnel in circumstances where they are injured at work, in connection with their work, or travelling to and from work in QLD. 

Workers compensation QLD is generally broken into two categories, these being:

  1. Statutory Compensation; and
  2. Lump Sum or Common Law Compensation.

Statutory compensation is payable irrespective of whether the injured employee was at fault for the accident and covers things such as a percentage of your wages whilst you are off work receiving medical treatment or recovering and/or your treatment associated with an injury. 

Lump sum or common law compensation is only payable by WorkCover in circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the employer, or one of the employer’s employees (other than the injured employee) caused or contributed to the incident which resulted in injury to the employee. 

Like most areas of personal injury law, there is a strict and complicated regime which dictates the manner in which an injury claim for workers compensation must be made. If you have been injured, or know of someone who has been injured at or travelling to and from work, we strongly recommend that you contact our lawyers for a no-obligation free initial claim assessment. 

If you have received an offer from WorkCover, we strongly recommend you get legal advice before accepting it. 

For more information about the WorkCover claim process, please see our frequently asked questions below, or contact us today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much compensation will I be entitled to?

The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends largely upon whether you are making a statutory claim for compensation or a lump sum or common law claim.

In the case of statutory compensation, you will be entitled to receive a portion of the wages you have lost on account of your injuries along with the costs of your medical treatment and a modest cash sum calculated in accordance with a statutory formula.

It is important to note that if you accept the cash sum, you will be ineligible to proceed with making a common law claim.  We strongly encourage everyone who receives a cash offer as part of a statutory compensation claim to urgently obtain legal advice before deciding whether to accept or reject the offer.

In most cases, an employee will be entitled to receive significantly more compensation via a lump sum or common law claim provided they are able to demonstrate fault on behalf of their employer which caused or contributed to their injury.  Under this form of lump-sum compensation, a worker is entitled to monetary compensation for:

  1. Their pain and suffering;
  2. All loss of wages and superannuation (plus interest) from the date of their injury to the date they receive compensation;
  3. An allowance for the likely future loss of wages and superannuation;
  4. All past and future medical costs;
  5. In certain cases, an amount to compensate for the time that family or friends have spent helping care for the injured worker; and
  6. Legal costs (but on a limited basis).

What is the process for making a claim?

Deciding whether you intend to pursue a claim for statutory benefits or common law lump sum benefits is the first step in the claims process.  This determines which forms you need to complete and what other steps you need to take in order to achieve the maximum compensation in the shortest possible timeframe.   

Claiming Statutory Compensation

In the case of statutory insurance, there is a relatively simple form which is available from WorkCover’s website that needs to be filled out as soon as possible after the injury is sustained or comes to your attention (remember in some cases injuries can be caused over a period of time such as repetitive strain injuries that will not necessarily be attributable to a specific incident).  Once the form is filled out and submitted to WorkCover, WorkCover will generally accept the claim and commence paying statutory benefits immediately.  In the event that WorkCover rejects the form or ceases the payment of statutory benefits, you will need to seek urgent legal advice to understand what rights of review you have in respect of WorkCover’s decision to reject or cease paying compensation. 

Claiming A Lump Sum Compensation

The process of claiming lump sum compensation is commenced by the completion of a Notice of Claim in the approved form which must be submitted to WorkCover within three years of the date of injury being suffered or in limited circumstances another period of time. 

Once the Notice of Claim is submitted, WorkCover will ordinarily appoint one of their panel lawyers to investigate the circumstances described in the Notice of Claim. 

Within six months of receipt of the Notice of Claim, WorkCover will provide a formal response to the worker’s Lawyer advising whether WorkCover accepts liability for the claim, denies liability for the claim, or accepts liability in part.

Generally, once WorkCover’s response has been received, the injured person will undertake one or more independent medical examinations by a qualified medical practitioner to report on the nature of their injuries.  In conjunction with obtaining independent medical evidence, our compensation Lawyers help you to collate all information relevant to our client’s claim such as:

  • Medical records;
  • Financial documentation;
  • Out of pocket expenses; and
  • Statements and advices from colleagues, witnesses and firm members as to the circumstances of the accident, the nature and extent of the injuries that our client has suffered, and the impact that the injuries have had on our client’s day to day life.

Once all the independent medical evidence and all relevant information and documentation has been obtained and disclosed to WorkCover, a compulsory conference will generally be convened.  This can either be done directly or via a Barrister.  The purpose of the compulsory conference is to present your case to WorkCover’s Lawyers with a view of seeking to negotiate a suitable settlement. 

If negotiations are successful (our personal record is over 85% successful conferences), an appropriate amount of compensation will be agreed and you and will enter into a Deed of Settlement with WorkCover.  Compensation is then generally paid within 30 days. 

On the rare occasion that a claim is not settled at the compulsory conference, the next step is to commence legal proceedings in the appropriate Court and engage in mediation. 

Mediation is similar to a compulsory conference in that it is a formal meeting between WorkCover’s Lawyers and your team (which generally includes a Barrister retained on your behalf) at which you seek to further negotiate an appropriate payment of compensation to compensate you for injuries that you have suffered.  The major difference between a compulsory conference and mediation is that mediation is supervised by an independent senior Barrister (often a Queens Counsel) who is engaged by both WorkCover and you to act independently.  Their goal is to seek to broker a negotiated settlement of your claim. 

As at 30 June 2017, all of our client’s claims have settled at or before a mediation and it has never been necessary for us to take a worker’s compensation claim to trial.  That said, in the event that a claim does not settle at either a compulsory conference or mediation, the matter will progress to trial before a Judge who will ultimately determine whether WorkCover is liable to compensate you and, if so, how much compensation you are entitled to.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

Yes!!!

Strict time limits apply to the making of a worker’s compensation claim.  In almost every case you are required to bring a worker’s compensation claim within three years of the date of the accident or injury being suffered.  In some cases, it can be very difficult to ascertain precisely when an injury is suffered as some injuries (such as repetitive strain injuries) occur over a period of time.  In these circumstances, the three-year period starts from when you first see a doctor about the injury. 

How much does it cost to make a claim ?

Cairns Compensation Lawyers takes all workers compensation claims on a no win no fee basis.

This means that, not only will we not charge you anything up front, our firm will also pay any costs that are associated with your claim such as independent medical report costs and disbursements such as Barristers (in the case of where they will not act on a no win no fee basis) or expert reports.

If your claim is successful, fees are payable based on the amount of work done in respect to the claim and more importantly the time spent by our team.  Prior to every resolution event (such as a compulsory conference and/or a mediation), we provide our clients with up to date costs to that point in time so they are able to make decisions in respect to any offers that are made understanding precisely how much they will put in their “back pocket”.

How long does it take to make a claim?

As a general rule of thumb, it takes us 12 months from first meeting you to being in a compulsory conference where most of our client’s claims are settled.  In rare cases or in circumstances where our client has suffered very significant injuries, this process can take longer.  Our lawyers' experience means we are generally able to give you an assessment of how long we think the process will take at our initial meeting.

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