To claim the above benefits no one needs to be at fault as long as you were injured in a situation that is covered. For example, while actually undertaking the activities for which you are employed.
In certain circumstances a worker will also be entitled to a common law claim for damages where an injury has arisen as a result of the negligence or fault of a third party or parties.
Additionally, from 1 July 2015 common law claims for damages against an employer have been reintroduced if you are a seriously injured worker. A seriously injured worker is a worker who has been assessed as having a permanent whole person equivalent impairment of at least 30%. A Common Law claim will often give rise to more generous compensation. If you have been injured at work you may be unaware that such a claim is available to you.
Our experienced workers compensation lawyers in Adelaide will advise you of all options available to you at an initial obligation-free consultation. Please contact us to book.
Our workers compensation lawyers are available to support workers who have been injured on the job. If you are injured at work, you may be able to claim compensation for the following:
+ Weekly payments of income maintenance
+ Medical and rehabilitation expenses
+ Lump sum for non-economic loss (i.e. pain and suffering) and economic loss where a permanent impairment is suffered
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The Return to Work scheme is a government scheme which is set up to compensate people who suffer work-related injuries. This means that when you are injured at work or because of something related to your work you can make a claim to compensate you for your injuries, provided that your employment was a significant contributing cause of the injury. In the case of a psychiatric injury, work has to be the significant cause of the injury.
In South Australia the Return to Work scheme is funded by insurance premiums from businesses which employ people. There are two Compensating Authorities operating in South Australia – Gallagher Bassett and Employers Mutual Limited. In some cases, however, an employer might be self-insured.
If you are successful in getting on to the system the Compensating Authority will calculate what were your average weekly earnings over the 52 weeks immediately preceding the date of injury. Then, for the first 52 weeks after the date of injury, you will receive 100% of this amount as income maintenance for each week in which you are totally incapacitated for work. In other weeks, where you might have partial capacity, you will receive this amount minus any income you have earned for that week in your employment.
However, after your first year of income maintenance, your payments will drop down to 80% of your average weekly earnings for the next 52 weeks, and after that, you will no longer be entitled to income maintenance. The only exception to this is if you can demonstrate that you are a seriously injured worker, which requires you to have a 30% whole person impairment arising from the injury. This is a very high threshold to meet and most people do not get to the threshold.
A work injury doesn’t have be physical. It can also be stress-related or relate to a pre-existing disease or condition that worsens. Physical conditions covered by Workers’ Compensation include:
+ Injuries suffered while travelling for work
+ An injury suffered at work, as a result of work or during work activities
+ Injuries suffered while receiving medical treatment for a separate work injury
+ Diseases caused by work or made worse by work
+ Pre-existing conditions made worse by work.
It is compulsory for all employers in South Australia to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Remember, it is their insurance company, not the employer, who pays the claim.
To make a successful claim you need to do the following:
+ Immediately report your injury to your employer
+ Obtain medical evidence to prove your injury is work related. This can be normally be obtained from a qualified medical practitioner
+ Lodge a claim with your employer’s insurer.
You will not lose your job because you have made a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, if you are unable to do your job because of illness or injury, this is likely to affect your employment.
For permanent bodily injury resulting from a work injury, the Return to Work Scheme provides compensation in the form of two payments:
+ A non-economic loss payment – also called a ‘pain and suffering’ payment
+ An economic loss payment – this is available to workers to have an injury with a Whole Person Impairment (WPI) of between 5% and 29%. (only where the date of injury is post 30 June 2015)
To make a permanent impairment claim with help from our workers compensation lawyers, three things are required when claiming:
+ Your medical condition must be stable (also referred to as having reached maximal medical improvement)
+ You must have a WPI of greater than 5%, as assessed by an accredited medical assessor
+ The assessment should be carried out in accordance with the Guidelines and generally the psychological injuries and psychological effects are not taken into account.