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You are here » Home » News » How the Most Common Queensland Work Injury Can Affect Your Legal Rights

The Workers Compensation Regulator (Q-Comp) oversees the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme (WorkCover QLD) and is an independent statutory authority that does not receive government funding. Its main functions are to regulate the scheme, resolve disputes, educate and promote the workers’ compensation scheme and manage data on statistics and reporting.

In the Q-Comp 2013-2014 Statistics Report, the top 5 most common claims by injury type reported for workers compensation QLD were:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Open wounds and lacerations
  • Other injuries
  • Contusions

How does this compare with the rest of the nation?

Interestingly, Safework Australia had a slightly different projection of the most common injury claims as a nation. In their 2013 Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia Report the most common injuries in this case were:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures
  • Open wounds and lacerations
  • Contusion
  • Muscle, tendon and soft-tissue disorders

It is important to note that this particular statistic refers to serious claims only.

What does this mean?

Despite the slight differences in how the statistics were determined between the state and national calculations, it is safe to say that musculoskeletal injuries (including sprains and strains) are the most common type of injury that can occur in the workplace. This makes sense as well. In the SafeWork Australia 2012-2013 Compensation Statistics Report, the summary of findings summarized these exact same observations with respect to serious work injury claims.

Labourers are most at risk

Due to the nature of the occupation, it is no surprise that labourers and other jobs requiring a lot of manual, repetitive and heavy work comprise the largest percentage of at risk for serious injury.

Yet, from a legal perspective, many musculoskeletal claims not utilised in these statistics unfortunately fall under the radar because of the Whole Person Impairment (WPI) WorkCover threshold for common law claims.

The risk only increases as you get older…and may affect your legal rights

Musculoskeletal injuries tend to become more commonplace as workers age, as suggested by this proportion chart from the Q-Comp report:

Despite the common sense of this observation, it is nonetheless an important distinction to make from a legal perspective.

Why? A Common WorkCover Argument

One of the most common reasons for a WorkCover denial of continuing benefits is the argument from insurance companies that the workplace injury only temporarily aggravated a pre-existing degenerative condition. In other words, a worker’s continuing pain was no longer due to the accident, but rather it was the inevitable consequence of the ageing process on the body.

This is why it is so important for an injured worker to seek the advice of an accredited specialist in personal injury, especially lawyers who have experience in both plaintiff claims and insurance defence.

Will you meet the DPI threshold?

If your employer is negligent in causing your workplace accident, you cannot make a common law claim against them if you have been assessed with a degree of permanent impairment (DPI) of 5% or less.

The challenge of meeting this requirement is all contained in your medical evidence. Attempting to work through the WorkCover system with no legal education or training may put your legal rights to compensation at risk.

How do I protect myself?

Speaking to an accredited specialist in personal injury is the best way to maximise your chances of success in your WorkCover QLD claim. Searching for a personal injury lawyer that suits your needs can be challenging, especially searching for an accredited specialist in personal injury in Brisbane, Gold Coast or even specialist personal injury lawyers in Townsville or other areas in Northern Queensland.

It is important that the lawyer you choose is an accredited specialist in personal injury. These lawyers deal specifically with personal injury law and may be better suited to the complexities of your claim compared to a general practice lawyer.

Take advantage of a free initial consultation

The best way to assess the right lawyer for you is to speak to an accredited specialist in personal injury concerning your legal rights to compensation after a work accident.

If you would like to know more about whether our firm can assist you with a claim, we offer a free, no obligation consultation for you to understand your legal rights before you decide to make a claim. You will be advised of the risks and prospects of success with your claim before you commit to a claim.

Strict Time Limits Apply!

Your injury claim is subject to strict time limitations so it is important that you contact an accredited specialist in personal injury ASAP.