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Defining ‘what is a work related injury’ in Brisbane may not be as simple as it sounds and you may need the assistance of a work accident lawyer.

You may be able to claim benefits from WorkCover Qld (or your employer if they are self-insured) when you have been injured in a work accident.

However, your injury must fit the definition of “injury” within s32(1) of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003:

(1) An injury is personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if—

(a) for an injury other than a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury; or

(b) for a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is the major significant contributing factor to the injury.

Does this sound confusing? For many people, it very well may be. The law is very complicated and there are many injured workers who underestimate this fact…only to end up failing in their claim and losing their right to compensation.

WorkCover Qld can be a difficult legal challenge for a claimant who does not have the necessary legal experience or training to handle their complaint. Trying to attempt to navigate the legal system without knowledge of how it works can be a very serious risk.

Did you know that 85.5% of WorkCover rejections are made because the claimant did not fit the definition of ‘injury’ under the legislation?

For all workers in Queensland, including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, it is important to understand what the definitions in this section of legislation mean. The following is a very brief explanation of the significant terms in the definition of an injury:

What does “personal injury” include?

A personal injury can include many different types of injury. Some of the injuries that may apply to you can include:

  • Physical injuries (e.g. sprains & strains, torn ligaments, industrial deafness, broken bones, burns, etc.)
  • Psychiatric or Psychological Disorders (e.g. stress, depression, phobia)
  • Diseases (e.g. Asbestosis, Q-Fever, etc.)
  • Aggravating a pre-existing condition
  • Death of a worker

What does meaning of “Out of, or in the course of employment” for physical injuries entail?

A physical injury can happen out of, or in the course of employment if the accident happens:

  • at work
  • travelling to and from work
  • on a break from work
  • travelling for work
  • while visiting other workplaces or sites for the purposes of your job
  • at home, if the accident happens due to employment related circumstances

When the law speaks about employment in this context, it is not referring to the fact of being employed, but rather, what the worker does in the employment.

For example, if a worker on company business is injured while they are staying in their choice of hotel for their own purposes then they might not be entitled to workers compensation. However, if they were injured at the hotel because they were attending a meeting with a client, then this would most likely fulfill the ‘course of duty’ requirement.

What is the meaning of “employment is the major significant contributing factor” for psychological or psychiatric disorders?

The term “significant” in the dictionary means “importance; of consequence” and should be given its regular dictionary meaning. Whether any particular matter is a “contributing factor” depends on the individual merits of the case.

Thus, for a psychological or psychiatric injury to fall under the definition of the Act, the person’s employment must be an important contributing factor and the injuries must be a consequence of that employment.

It is up for the arbitrator or the court to determine this issue as a question of fact.

What does this all mean to you?

The most important point to take from all of this is that even small definitions within the legislation can change the outcome of your entire claim. If you are not prepared to address these details, then your claim for workers compensation may be in jeopardy.

East Coast Injury Lawyers Has a Solution for You

A professional problem requires professional experience. That is why East Coast Injury Lawyers is prepared to assist you in your claim by providing you with our Accredited Specialists in Personal Injury who have specific knowledge in your particular area of law.

Would you like to know more about how our firm can assist you? All you need to do is contact us today for a RISK FREE, no obligation legal consultation. This initial assessment comes at no cost to you or your family.

All you have to do is contact us at 1300 720 544 or fill in our simple case review form.

One of our accredited specialists in personal injury will contact you as soon as possible to give you the free advice you need on whether or not you should pursue a claim for workers compensation.

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