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Top 6 tips when making a workplace injury claim

If you have been injured at work an experienced lawyer can help you to claim a fair and sustainable outcome that has affected your life.

In this article we answer some key questions arising from workplace injuries.

Claiming Compensation for Injury in the Workplace

Compensation is usually payable for workplace injuries even if there is no fault on the part of the employer as long as the injury is work-related.

If you suffer a workplace injury it is essential you complete and lodge a workers compensation claim form with your employer, no matter how minor the injury may seem at the time. Before lodging your claim form however, you must first report your injury to your employer.

How do I report my injury?

The South Australian workers compensation legislation requires workplace injuries to be reported as soon as possible (within 24 hours if you can) after the injury and before any voluntary resignation from employment. We recommend you speak to us first, before making any decision about voluntary resignation.

A workplace injury can be reported verbally, by completing an injury notification form or by making an entry in the injury register book held by your employer. The report of the injury must contain your name and address, the date on which your injury occurred and the nature and cause of your injury.

Failure to notify your employer of your injury may compromise your claim.

How do I lodge my workers compensation claim form?

Following any injury, your employer must provide you with details of their workers compensation insurer and provide a compensation claim form when a request is made.

This form should be completed by you together with your employer. This provides an opportunity to discuss any support you might need to help you remain at or return to work as soon as possible. Where the employer and worker are unable to complete the form together, the form can be completed separately and lodged with your employer.

If medical treatment is required for your injury, you have the right to consult your own doctor. Whilst some employers may insist you consult their “company doctor”, you are under no obligation to do this. You should have your doctor complete a Work Capacity Certificate even if you initially do not require time away from work. This certificate should be submitted to your employer along with your claim form.

Is there a time limit for making a claim for compensation?

Yes a claim for workers compensation should be made within six months of your injury.  You should not assume you can get an extension.  If in doubt you should speak to your lawyer immediately.

What are my employer’s obligations?

If the employer is registered with Return to Work SA, it must forward the claim to it within five days.

Within five business days of receiving your claim form, your employer must complete their relevant sections on the form and forward it to their claims agent.

If you are unable to perform your normal work, following your injury, but are fit to perform selected or suitable duties; your employer is obligated to provide you with those duties if they are available.

If you believe your employer has failed to make reasonable efforts to identify and offer you suitable employment in your workplace you can:

  • apply to your employer in writing seeking suitable employment; or if that fails
  • apply to the South Australian Employment Tribunal for an order that your employer provide suitable employment , and/or
  • submit an employer investigation request to ReturnToWorkSA.

The employer has limited ability to terminate your employment following a work injury. You should always seek legal advice if your employer purports to terminate your employment.

What are the insurer’s obligations?

When the claims agent receives the completed claim form they:

  • will contact you and employer
  • may request additional information such as information to assist in determining the rate of weekly payments
  • will assess and determine the claim for income support and/or medical services
  • will arrange services to help you to recover and return to work. This may include visiting you and the employer if you are likely to be away from work.

Other compensation benefits which may also be payable are travelling expenses and lump sum payment for permanent injury.  You may also have the right to make a claim for damages if you sustain injury as a result of the negligence of your employer.

For further information and expert legal advice on how to proceed with your compensation claim, please call us on 08 8210 5400 or email lawyers@georgiadis.com.au.

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