Injured workers often find that workers compensation payments don’t necessarily pay the bills
If you have been injured at work and have been receiving workers compensation payments, you might have noticed it is less than you hoped for. Under the current Workers Compensation Act 1987, injured workers can only receive 95% of their average weekly wage for the first 13 weeks, after which the rate drops to 80% (with a few exceptions).
Add to that the fact that a workers compensation insurer can make a “work capacity decision” which allows an insurer to decide an injured worker could do some work, regardless of whether such work is even available, and the compensation payments can be reduced again. A particularly debilitating injury might leave you with very few options, and where you have received workers compensation for 260 weeks, you are cut off from any further weekly payments unless your injury reaches a certain level of permanent damage being 21% whole person impairment.
If you have reached 15% whole person impairment, you do have the option of suing your employer for negligence. If it can be shown that your employer has not met their obligation to provide you with a safe system of work, which includes taking pro-active measures to ensure proper training, equipment and supervision is provided, then you may have a work injury damages claim. This can result in a much higher amount of compensation, as it allows you to claim a sum that represents the future income you would have earned had you not been injured.
Work injury damages allows you to recover some small measure of the life you would have had, and provides you with the means to receive medical treatment and income support for longer and at a better rate than workers compensation is designed to allow.
If you think you may have been injured at work as a result of unsafe work practices, it is essential you find out what your rights are sooner rather than later, as there are limitation periods that apply.
If you need advice in relation to a workers compensation or work injury damages claim, call Madeleine Smith, Compensation Lawyer on 4324 7699 for a free consultation.