No matter what kind of career you are in, the workplace can be a dangerous place. Much like any other area you visit, your employer owes you a duty of care to provide you with a safe working environment. Nobody wants to be injured whilst at work. However, in the event an injury occurs, you should ensure that you understand how the Workers’ Compensation process works in NSW, as it differs from state to state.
We know that being injured at work is a stressful experience no matter what injury you have sustained. It is likely that if you suffer from a serious injury at work, you will need time off to properly recover and regain your health. In many situations, this can lead to financial stress as you may not have the required leave to recover from your injury.
This is where the NSW Workers’ Compensation system comes into play. This system is designed to compensate you whilst you recover from your injury. Depending on the severity of your injury and the methods needed for you to recover (for example surgery), the system will offset payment for certain things.
These can include:
- Weekly payments for your loss of income
- Payment of medical and rehabilitation services ( for example physio)
- A lump sum of compensation – in certain circumstances.
- Payment of legal fees.
In the event that you are injured at work there is some guidelines you should follow to try and recover and receive compensation as quickly as possible.
For example, Greg is an employed accountant who works at ACT Accounting in Penrith, Parramatta and Richmond. Greg works in all of these offices, but on 12 July 2021, whilst Greg is at work, Greg trips over a box and breaks both of his arms. Due to this injury Greg is unable to work for a period of 6 weeks whilst he recovers from his injury. Greg has no idea what to do, so he Googles (using speech recognition) and finds this article. Greg then discovers that the process he should follow is:
1. Reporting the injury to his employer
Greg’s first job is to report his injury to his employer. They have Workers’ Compensation Insurance for a reason, so let them use it. They will notify their insurer who will get into contact with you.
2. Go to your GP
Greg’s injury doesn’t lead to him going to hospital, but he knows that he should visit his local GP in Richmond. Greg should tell his doctor that the injury occurred at work so that he can get a Certificate of Capacity to give to the Workers’ Compensation Insurer.
3. Fill out a Worker’s Compensation Form
Greg will need to contact his employer in Penrith and request a Workers Compensation Form. This form will be sent to the insurer and they will make a determination of payments that will be paid to Greg due to his injury.
Once this process is completed, he may be entitled to receive some compensation. However, the Workers’ Compensation in NSW can sometimes be tricky. In the event Greg (or anyone else) needs help with their claim, we recommend they seek legal advice about their issue.
How is my Worker’s Compensation Claim paid for?
Sometimes, when you make a Workers’ Compensation Claim you will require the help of a local lawyer. For instance if you are injured in Penrith or Richmond, it is likely you will seek the help of a local Workers’ Compensation Lawyer. But if you are injured in a workplace accident, you think that you may not have the ability to pay for legal assistance.
Well lucky for you, there is a NSW government based system that is utilised to pay for the legal fees in Workers’ Compensation matters. This means that you do not pay for any legal costs in making a claim for Workers’ Compensation in NSW.
The Independent Review Office (or IRO) is the government department that lawyers and solicitors deal with when it comes to Workers’ Compensation Claims. When you approach your local Penrith lawyer in assisting with your Workers’ Compensation claim, they will apply to IRO for funding. This funding is granted on a scale system, which means that your lawyer will receive fees based on the stage of your case.
This means that in most circumstances you will not need to pay legal costs yourself. The purpose of this is to ensure that all workers have the ability to access help when it comes to navigating the Worker’s Compensation system. It also means that all lawyers are paid on the same scale when it comes to this matter, which encourages you to use your local Penrith, Parramatta or Richmond legal firm.
As such, we always recommend that in the event that an injury occurs you seek professional legal advice. You should always know where you stand in relation to your Workers’ Compensation Claim. If you ever require any assistance, the team at Adams & Partners Lawyers will always be there to help you.
Written by Cameron Spanner.