In certain circumstances, lump-sum compensation may be paid for permanent impairment of a part of your body.
This compensation is only paid if:
If you have an injury to your hands, arms, legs, feet or spine which occurred after 3 December 2003, you will receive compensation if you are assessed at 5% whole person impairment or more.
Accepting an impairment benefit does not affect your other entitlements.
Making a claim for an impairment benefit is an important step, and we recommend that you seek help from us to make this claim. We would take the following steps:
If the WorkCover insurer will not grant you a serious injury certificate, we can appeal this decision in the County Court.
Once you have proved your serious injury, your lawyer must negotiate with the WorkCover insurer for the appropriate payment of damages (money) to you. If negotiations fail, we will go to Court for you.
Damages have two components:
General damages. Paid for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If you can show that you have a permanent serious injury, you can claim general damages for pain and suffering, even if you are still working.
Loss of Earnings Damages. You can claim a lump sum for past and future loss of wages if you have a serious injury and you have suffered a permanent 40% loss of earning capacity compared with your pre-injury earning capacity.
Once you receive a lump sum for lost wages, your weekly payments of compensation will stop.
If you receive a lump sum, whether for lost wages or for pain and suffering, you are still entitled to payment of medical benefits.
As part of the process of showing you have a serious injury, you must show that you have tried to obtain other work or to involve yourself in a rehabilitation program to maximise your employment opportunities. It is helpful to keep a diary recording these efforts from as early as possible.
If work has contributed to the death of a worker, the dependants of the deceased Worker can claim these benefits:
If a death has been caused by negligence, the dependants of the Worker may possibly sue for damages. However, because such damages are offset against Death Benefits, claims for common law damages in this circumstance are rare. Legal advice is essential in these circumstances.
Our WorkCover Injury Lawyers are here and ready to answer any of your questions.
We are ready to listen to you and your story and help you move forward with your life. Call us for a free case evaluation. It doesn't cost you anything to know where you stand.