If you have been injured in the course of your employment, you may be able to claim personal injury compensation from your employer (their workers’ compensation insurer) or even a non-employer defendant. The first priority is to seek medical attention for your injury. It is important to make sure each work related injury is medically documented because the workers’ compensation scheme in the state where you work or that applies to your employment, may be injury based, rather than accident based.
Missed Workplace Injuries
This means if you have injured your back, shoulder and also feel depressed, you need a separate claim for each injury and each injury needs to be separately proven by medical evidence. Injuries can be missed when someone in this situation has their claim accepted for a low back injury and is being paid for time off work, so they do not realise they need to ensure their shoulder injury and depression are claimed for and accepted as work related as well. Then when their back injury is closed but they are still too depressed to return to work, their time off work benefits will end because they never claimed for the other injuries and didn’t check if their doctor was listing every injury on every workers’ compensation medical certificate. Dealing with missed injuries can hold up a common law damages claim later so it is best to deal with every injury from the start.
Workplace Bullying Claims
Workplace bullying injuries are a special case where you should seek immediate legal advice. Legal advice should be sought before you report the bullying to your employer. It may not be sufficient merely to prove that you have a work related psychological injury caused by bullying for the injury to be accepted. If a reasonable management action defence might be available to your employer, it will be in your best interests to understand what you can and can’t claim for so that you can make a fully informed decision about whether to take your case forward. Keeping a private and confidential diary may be necessary so that you can prove what has happened.
Work Claim Lawyers in Your Corner
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers are often sophisticated defendants who know a lot more about the system than the injured worker. In some cases the insurer is both your opponent and the decision maker – it is never prudent to take legal advice from your opponent. This makes it so important to seek legal advice early from a lawyer who is obligated to act in your best interests.
Time limits will apply to appeal against decisions to reject your claim or any aspect of your work injury claim. Accepting a payout from an insurer made on a no-fault basis can bar your entitlement to potentially much larger common law damages available if you can prove negligence in a lawsuit. Always seek legal advice immediately if you receive a payout offer or an adverse decision about your rights.
Contact us for a confidential, free, no-obligation initial consultation about your workplace injury case.