We received a Brisbane Workplace Compensation question from a client. In Queensland, WorkCover may try to settle a claim for permanent impairment with a lump sum offer.
Always consult a personal injury lawyer (who is also an accredited specialist in personal injury) before accepting any lump sum settlement for a WorkCover claim.
Here are a few helpful general considerations to take into account:
Permanent Impairment in Queensland
You are required to have a permanent impairment of at least 1% to be eligible for a WorkCover lump sum amount. An evaluation on the extent of your permanent impairment will be done by a medical assessor.
But what if you do not agree with your injury assessment? You will need medical evidence to support your position. If you have this evidence then you may review of your decision through the Medical Assessment Tribunal at the Workers’ Compensation Regulator. You may also have the option to undertake a second medical assessment.
Do NOT try to pursue a WorkCover review decision alone if you are unaware of the law and the legal process. Your review may be rejected and lead to a more difficult and expensive appeal process.
WorkCover Lump Sum Settlement
Your injury needs to be stable and stationary before WorkCover will consider any form of settlement. A medical assessor will determine if your injury is stable and stationary. A good rule of thumb for when most injuries stabilize is usually at least 6 months post-accident.
The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 sets out the maximum amounts of compensation payable based on the injury and the percentage of impairment.
Refunding WorkCover Payments
You may be required to refund a lump sum offer back to WorkCover. This is most often the case when you a pursuing a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) claim against a negligent party.
For example, if you’re in Brisbane and you get into a car accident, you may sue the at-fault driver through his CTP insurance. If you do this, then your WorkCover payments will need to be claimed in your lawsuit and refunded back to WorkCover upon settlement.
A WorkCover refund does not apply to you if you cannot pursue a CTP claim or if you have no other areas of compensation for your injuries. If this is the case, WorkCover will make their own claim against the negligent party to recover their losses.
When should I accept an offer from WorkCover?
Generally speaking, it may be okay to accept a lump sum offer from WorkCover if you also have a CTP claim against a negligent party. An easier way to think of it is: consider it an advance on your final settlement. You will not risk losing your compensation amount because your CTP claim will also include the WorkCover payments.
If you have no other areas for compensation, DO NOT accept a lump sum offer from WorkCover without speaking to an accredited specialist in personal injury and finding out your legal options.
Who should I contact concerning my WorkCover claim?
East Coast Injury Lawyers is a personal injury firm led by accredited specialists in personal injury. If you have any questions concerning your WorkCover claim or whether or not you should accept a lump sum offer, then contact us at 1300 720 544 or by filling out our case review form.
We guarantee that you will get a risk free, no obligation initial consultation so you can be informed of your initial legal rights before deciding on what is the best course of action to protect your rights to compensation.