Workplace or Transport Accident Entitlements

December 18, 2014

People who are injured at work or in a road accident, or perhaps as the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, may not fully understand their rights when it comes to the range of benefits and compensation that may be available.

Navigating the complex legal systems involving insurance claims officers, doctors and specialists is difficult for most people, especially when you may be struggling with significant physical or psychological injuries.

If you are injured in the course of your employment, or in a transport accident, then there are a range of entitlements that may be available under WorkCover or the Transport Accident scheme.   Both schemes offer ‘no-fault’ benefits which means you may be entitled to benefits even if you were at fault (although some restrictions do apply).

Benefits available through TAC and WorkCover include payments of medical and related expenses, income support in the form of weekly benefits and possibly a lump sum payment of compensation if you are left with a permanent impairment.

The entitlement to a lump sum impairment benefit is dependent on the level of impairment you are assessed as having.  This is determined upon examination by an independent doctor. There are minimum levels of impairment you must have suffered in order to be entitled to a benefit, and this depends on the type of injury you have sustained and when you were injured.

In addition, you may be entitled to sue for damages, being compensation for pain and suffering and possibly economic loss. This is called a common law claim. Not every person who has been injured has the right to such compensation.

Your injury must have been caused by the negligence of another party and you must have suffered a ‘serious injury’.  A ‘serious injury’ is defined as one where you have suffered a 30% impairment or greater.  These include:

  • Permanent serious impairment or loss of a body function;
  • Permanent serious disfigurement, such as scarring;
  • Severe long-term mental or severe long-term behavioural disturbance or disorder; or
  • Loss of a foetus.

Whether you qualify under one of these definitions depends on your particular circumstances and the consequences of the injury.

Of course if you have been injured in other circumstances such as in a public or private place, as the result of medical negligence or as the result of a criminal act, this may also entitle you to claim benefits or compensation.

Seek legal advice early because strict limits apply to lodging claims. Contact our staff at YourLawyer, sister firm of Hutchinson Legal, on 9870 8777 for an obligation-free consultation and determine your entitlements today.

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