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Crucial Steps to Remember when Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Have you been injured at work? Has your job made you sick? Here are top tips to keep in mind when filing a claim.

Soul Legal understands a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging. Our team wants to make sure West Australian workers utilise the system in place to assist them through this difficult time.

Safework Australia’s Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics Report 2018-19 lists 114,435 serious workers’ compensation claims in 2018-19. If injured, you have a right to care and assisted recovery.

The points below will work toward making the claim process less complicated. We recommend engaging legal counsel, to help avoid missteps that may cost you in the long run.

Be proactive

Do not leave work without reporting the injury to a superior. Your workplace must be informed. Evidence is also key. Take photos or video, or ask a fellow worker to record the scene.

Write down every detail. There are claim time limits, but it is also best to act immediately post-event. Most importantly, visit a GP as soon as possible to record the incident.

If the injury is psychological, be sure to tell your GP as the situation unfolds, and keep a record of events preceding your claim. This can include journal entries, emails, messaging, and texts.

Provide your GP with comprehensive details

Every symptom MUST be on record. Reporting symptoms later means an argument can be made they weren’t among workplace injuries, potentially lowering compensation.

A minor headache may be initial signs of a more serious injury. You’re not being annoying, a complainer, or wasting the doctor’s time. GPs are familiar with this process.

Record your memory of the event with your GP. If time off is required, have them provide a WorkCover WA certificate, rather than simply taking days off or using your holidays.

Know when you can say no

Can you choose your own doctor or specialist? Does a company representative have to come to appointments? Is signing a statement for a WorkCover representative compulsory? Wait—why have my payments stopped?

This is why a compensation lawyer is priceless. Legal counsel ensures you don’t agree to technically optional requests. Uninformed decisions risk impacting your compensation, especially as the situation develops.

Was your claim rejected? Don’t worry, it happens

A declined claim can be stressful, but is not uncommon. Steps are available to dispute the decision, court being the final option. A lawyer can advise on the viability of your claim, and the best way to proceed.

Be aware you have a limited window to dispute the claim. But don’t put follow-through in the “too hard” basket. Seek legal advice. You may only need a few changes or pieces of evidence to validate your claim.

Misunderstandings around workers compensation

Many fear a claim limits their ability to work again. The National Return to Work Survey 2018 saw Western Australia have a Return to Work rate of 93.2% following a workplace compensation claim.

Workers Compensation Insurance is compulsory in WA. Your employer is insured for workers’ compensation claims. Payments come from an insurer, not your employer’s pocket.

Get in touch with us

As a worker in Australia, you have a right to care if injured while doing your job. Reach out the Soul Legal team. As leading Perth workers compensation lawyers, we’ll listen, and help you steer the course of your claim.

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