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Feb 27

6 Common Mistakes Injured Workers Make in Workers Compensation

Friday, February 27, 2015
A lot of anxiety and frustration can arise after a worker has been injured while on the job. Mining work in towns such as Mackay or even a simple factory job in Brisbane all run the risk of injury due to human error, defects in safety equipment, improper procedures, etc.

Yet after a work injury, some workers may make other mistakes concerning their legal rights that can seriously affect their right to compensation and their ability to protect their health. Do you think you may be one of those people? Here are some of the most common mistakes that you should watch out for if you ever suffer an injury at work.

Mistake #1: Did you report your injury?

Workers often fail to report their injuries. There may be many reasons for this: fear of being blamed or losing their job, embarrassment, pride, etc. Yet the initial accident report is one of the most critical pieces of evidence that you have of your injury because it directly proves that the accident occurred. Without it, the argument becomes your word against your employer and this can complicate the process and affect your ability to be compensated for your injuries. This is especially true if there were no witnesses to your accident. It is important that you report your injury to your supervisor or manager right away and fill out an accident report.

Some people fail to report their injury because they feel it is minor and unnecessary. However, all too often, workers make this decision and then realize a day or two later that their pain has increased.

If the injury is minor, the solution is a common sense approach. Just inform your supervisor of your accident but let them know that it was not serious and you can continue with your duties. Most likely, your supervisor will allow you to continue after you explain the situation but at least you have provided some notice of your accident in case it worsens.

Mistake #2: Did you see your family doctor?

Some workers do not feel that it is necessary to see their family doctor and often try to deal with their injury on their own.

Yet, seeing your family doctor and telling them about all of your symptoms and how the accident occurred may be helpful in getting immediate treatment for your injury.

From a legal perspective, their records of your injury may also be useful later on to substantiate your workers compensation claim.

Mistake #3: Are you listening to your treatment professionals?

WorkCover will take care of all authorized medical expenses and medicines, as well as rehabilitation costs. However, it is the responsibility of an injured worker to follow the recommendations of their treating doctor or rehabilitation professional.

The transition from being in perfect health to suddenly getting into a work accident and being injured is a very tough change for many people. This may discourage them from actively following their treatment plans. Do not allow this to happen to you. Failing to follow your medical professional’s advice may lead to your WorkCover benefits being cancelled or if you are pursuing a negligence claim against your employer or a 3rd party, your damages may be lowered for contributory negligence.

Mistake #4: If your WorkCover Claim was denied, did you appeal?

When a worker receives a review decision that denies their claim to benefits, they may feel that this is the ‘final step.’ This is definitely not the case.

You have 20 business days from the review decision date to lodge an appeal with the Queensland Industrial Commission against the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.

Having the assistance of a personal injury lawyer can assist you greatly in this process.

Mistake #5: Did you accept a lump sum offer without legal advice?

Never accept the first offer that is given to you by an insurer without first speaking to an accredited specialist in personal injury law. The insurer will not be thinking in your best interests when presenting you with their offer and the amount may be substantially less than what you are entitled to.

There are many complexities that arise in settlement and once you accept an offer, you relinquish your right to compensation for that particular accident.

Always speak with a personal injury lawyer who is also an accredited specialist in personal injury about any lump sum offer that has been proposed for your work injury.

Mistake #6: Are you neglecting to explore your legal options?

Some workers fail to realize that they have legal rights when it comes to compensation and the duties of care that their employers and any 3rd parties (such as a manufacturer of safety equipment) are held to.

A worker may sue their employer for damages if it can be proven that the employer was being negligent in causing the accident that led to injury. There is also a legal right for the worker to claim compensation against 3rd parties that may be responsible for the accident such as manufacturers, occupiers of property, or subcontractors that negligently create hazards at a worksite.

Do Not Face Insurers Alone

You have a right to be informed of your legal options if you have been injured in a workplace accident. If you have any questions about your legal rights for compensation or under the laws of negligence, do not hesitate to contact an accredited specialist in personal injury today.

East Coast Injury Lawyers can help you in your workers compensation claim against the insurer. You can benefit immediately with a free, no risk consultation by filling out our contact form or contacting us.