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What Is a Work-Related Injury?

If you have been injured at work you may be wondering what types of claims can be accepted?

You are covered whilst travelling to and from work in your normal mode of transport whether that is via car or motorbike or public transport or walking. You are able to drop your children at daycare and continue on your journey if this is your normal daily commute. This is called a journey claim. 

You are also covered if you are travelling to or from training for your work. You could be travelling for work locally or interstate to attend a conference or other office. If you are travelling to or from medical or rehabilitation treatment for your accepted WorkCover claim. You could be on your lunch break and go to the shops to get some groceries this is called a recess break. For these types of claims, your employment does not have to be a significant contributing factor for the injury to be considered work-related.

How do I make a claim?

There are many types of WorkCover claims such as physical injuries, psychological and psychiatric injuries, diseases and more serious physical injuries called critical injuries and even work-related fatalities. Regardless of the type of your injury, your employment must be a significant contributing factor for the injury to be considered work-related.

Despite the type of injury, it is not a requirement to have completed an injury report at your workplace but it is helpful if there is a report completed as soon as possible after your injury has happened. This allows both your employer and WorkCover Qld to see that the injury was reported in a timely manner. At the very least you need to report it to a supervisor or manager so that it is documented and this will make the decision process much easier and faster. 

You should attend your General Practitioner as soon as possible after the injury to complete a WorkCover medical certificate. This is a requirement for you to be able to lodge a WorkCover claim. 

Once you have your completed WorkCover medical certificate and you have reported it to someone in the workplace you can contact WorkCover Qld on 1300 362 128 and lodge the claim over the phone. Your employer may say they will do it but they could delay or just choose not to lodge the paperwork so it is always best to start the process yourself.

You only need to be a worker, have had an event at work and have been diagnosed with an injury by a doctor and you have a valid claim. WorkCover Qld will contact your employer to see if they are aware of your injury and event and request wage information. From here if they have everything they need medically your claim should be approved and processed within 3-5 business days they do however have 20 business days in which to make a decision. 

If your claim is for a psychological injury this process is more detailed and requires information gathering from both parties and sometimes an attendance with a psychiatrist before a decision can be made but WorkCover Qld will guide you through the process.

Will WorkCover handle my claim?

Whilst WorkCover Qld approve your treatment and pay your wages if you are unable to work or partially fit for work do not expect them to drive your claim. You are injured it is your choice of which Doctor treats you when you get the referral to physiotherapy and get that started as soon as possible. If your GP wants to refer you to a specialist get that referral and provide it to WorkCover Qld for approval. Do not be the injured worker that does not get their injury fully investigated and treated and when WorkCover Qld are ready to close your claim in 3-6 months you are saying you have not had appropriate treatment. They will only send you to independent doctors to gather information for themselves not to treat you so bear this in mind.

Ultimately they are an insurance company and every work-related injury has a time frame of when no further treatment is going to be of benefit. It should be based on medical information and your treating specialist opinion but this is not always the case. Be proactive, get the treatment and ask questions of your treating providers do not wait for the insurer to manage your injury. 

If you are struggling with any aspect of your WorkCover claim feel free to contact Revolution Law as I have worked at WorkCover Qld in a customer advisor role and understand and can guide you through the complete statutory claim process.

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