Changes to common law claims for QLD work injuries

The basics
When you are injured at work in Queensland you have two (2) potential claims: –

  1. Your workers compensation claim for statutory entitlements such as weekly workers compensation benefits and medical expenses etc. This claim generally remains open until your injuries reach maximum medical improvement.
  2. In some circumstances, there is an additional claim for lump sum compensation, a common law claim. This depends on how you were injured and also the level of your permanent impairment.

The changes
Previously anyone who was injured at work in Queensland potentially had the right to pursue a common law claim for lump sum compensation. Since October 2013 this has changed. The Queensland government made changes to the legislation forbidding those who have been assessed with under 5% degree of permanent impairment from bringing a common law claim. The changes apply to those injured after 15 October 2013. If your injury was after this date, to pursue common law damages your injuries (once reaching maximum medical improvement) must be assessed under the AMA guides by a specialist doctor to be over this threshold.

Should I instruct a lawyer?
Yes. We recommend you contact a Lawyer who will provide a free initial consultation so that you can obtain some personalised advice regarding your entitlements. There are time limits with the appeals process, which are quite short. You should obtain legal advice BEFORE signing any offers or documents that Workcover send to you. The appeals process can be quite complicated and it is imperative that you obtain clear, precise legal advice as to your entitlements.

Common law claim
The common law claim on top of your past expenses includes damages for pain and suffering, loss of income past and future, loss of superannuation benefits and an amount for any reasonably anticipated future expenses.

Every claim is different. It is best to speak to a lawyer regarding your entitlements. Please feel free to contact us on 07 5633 3567 for more information.

Are there time limits?
Yes, there are strict time limits for lodging your claim.  It is important that you seek independent legal advice as soon as possible following your injury. We offer a free no obligation consultation and can be contacted on 07 5633 3567.