Compensation (or compo) can be a bit of a grey area. As the laws vary in different States and Territories in Australia it can get very confusing. In addition to this, each situation is assessed individually so there is no real rule of thumb when it comes to determining your entitlements.
The best option is to seek legal advice before you sign or accept any offer of compensation. Quite often insurance companies offer you less than an acceptable amount but how will you even know if you have been fairly compensated until you have spoken to a lawyer (attorney or solicitor)? Once you have accepted an offer you will be prevented from making further claims for compensation and this may leave you short changed. On the other hand the insurance company will be in a better position.
In the case of an injury suffered in the workplace such as a back injury, repetitive strain injury etc. injury compensation is awarded under Workers Compensation. The insurance company i.e. WorkCover QLD (if you are a worker in QLD) operate a ‘no fault’ system which means you are entitled to a statutory compensation claim covering losses and expenses relating to your injury. You may also be entitled to a common law claim if your injury was as a result of negligence wholly or partially.
In the case of a car accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injury such as whiplash, broken bones etc. but if the accident took place in Queensland for example under the Queensland legislation you have to prove that someone was at fault as they operate a ‘fault-based’ scheme. In other parts of Australia it may be a completely different story.
If you have suffered an injury it is important to take the following steps:
Report the injury to your employer (if a work accident) or the police (if a road accident) or to a lawyer (if the injury took place in a public place). Failing to report injury can seriously affect your claim for compensation
Next seek medical attention regardless of the severity of you injury. It is important to have medical records to support your claim for compensation
Then seek legal advice and find out your entitlements and if you require the services of a personal injury lawyer
An injury can have a significant impact on your life and may leave you with physical impairment, have a psychological impact and cause other financial stresses that you could have done without. If you have suffered an injury you deserve to be compensated fairly and justly. Compensation is your legal right and you are entitled to it. One reason insurance is compulsory for employers and drivers, is so when people suffer an injury they can be compensated by the insurer under the laws of the State or Territory in which the injury occurred.
Discover your legal right to compensation sooner rather than later as time limits apply to the compensation claims process.
Legal Compensation helpline offer free legal advice and support for those who have been injured at work, on the road or in a public place.