Workers’ compensation main goal is to provide workers – who were injured on the job – with financial and emotional support. This is important, as many people often do not have the funds necessary to cover medical expenses, let alone survive on a daily basis.
Understanding your injury management rights, obligations and entitlements you deserve will make the long path towards recovery much more manageable. With your permission, I’d like to share several insights with you about making sure you are fully compensated for your work-related injury.
1. Know What Your Rights Are
Other goals include ensuring injured workers receive all the medical benefits they’re eligible for, as well as enabling said workers to cooperate with employers. This collaboration revolves around getting the injured worker back to his/her employment safely and appropriately so the accident never occurs again.
2. Making A Claim
It’s worth knowing that each territory in Australia has its own workers’ compensation scheme; the Commonwealth has three schemes. Due to WA’s “no fault” principle within the workers’ compensation scheme, you’re entitled to compensation if you suffer an injury or notice a developed disease while at your place of employment; particularly if you require immediate medical treatment and/or you may or may not require to take time off from work.
Making a claim to receive those benefits, however, isn’t so straight-forward as it seems. In order to make a claim for workers’ compensation, there are certain hoops you’ll have to complete. The steps are as follows:
- Seek first aid the minute you are involved in an accident, and report the incident as soon as you are physically able to your employer.
- When you can, and you are sure you’re safe, contact your family doctor and make sure this doctor knows you are asking for a “First Certificate of Capacity”.
- You will then fill out a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form; feel free to seek your employer’s assistance to complete the form or seek professional counsel, particularly the best compensation lawyer in your area who you are sure is right for you.
- Make a copy of both the Certificate and Claim form; retain the copies and give your employers the original forms
- Within five days, your employer must contact their chosen insurer and lodge those documents.
- Depending on the day the insurer receives those documents from your employer, you will then be notified if your claim has been accepted, disputed or is still pending.
As you can imagine, this process can take a considerable amount of time.
3. Receiving Compensation
If your workers’ compensation claim is accepted, you are entitled to be compensated for loss of wages, reasonable medical and allied health treatment expenses, reasonable workplace rehabilitation expenses, and travel and other expenses.
If (and only if) your claim is accepted, then you are fully entitled to compensation. This compensation includes wage loss during time off, medical expenses (within reason), travel expenses and workplace rehabilitation services. Reasonable medical explains can include (but are not limited to):
- Prescription medicines
- Specialist treatments
- First aid care and ambulatory services
- Physiotherapy treatments during the recovery
- Chiropractic appointments
- And more (such as occupational therapy and exercise physiology)
Workers’ Compensation – Conclusion
As insurance companies (and a large amount of money) are involved, it is highly advisable you seek out legal counsel. This will ensure that your compensation claim is settled. One last word: once you have reached a settlement, you will not be entitled to any other forms of compensation (such as weekly payments). A compensation lawyer will make sure you receive all of what you’re legally entitled to.
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