The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is a challenging time for many businesses, with most reducing their opening hours or closing altogether. Some companies migrated their staff to a remote working arrangement to support social distancing rules, while other essential services were required to operate as usual. Those employees that have continued to work throughout the pandemic may be more susceptible to COVID-19 related physical and psychological injury than those who have been laid off from work.
Workers in industries such as aviation, construction, transportation, healthcare, retail, distribution, manufacturing, and food production are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, and in many cases are working greater hours with more work-related stress. Law enforcement workers, first responders and medical professionals work in close quarters of others who may have direct contact with COVID-19 patients placing them at considerable risk of exposure and psychological stress. Besides the obvious risk from the virus, accidents may still happen in the course of your work.
Employers are expected to do the right thing by their employees, even during a pandemic situation. If you are one of the few workers who have been able to work throughout the pandemic, you may be entitled to compensation if you are injured as a result of your job. Your workplace environment and employer expectations may have changed significantly during the pandemic, and you may have been exposed to a higher risk of injury. Additionally, many companies are struggling to survive during these unprecedented times, and you may be feeling guilty about claiming compensation. However, strict time limits apply to compensation claims, and it is paramount that you first obtain professional legal advice and then make your claim within the designated time frame.
Time Limits on WorkCover Compensation Claims.
There are two claims options for injuries sustained at work, including:
1. Statutory (No-Fault) Claim- Claims for statutory compensation are only valid if lodged within six months of the day you were assessed by a healthcare professional.
2. Common-Law Claim- You must lodge a Notice of Claim for Damages with WorkCover Queensland within three years from the date of injury.
Employers have a legal obligation to record and report all workplace injuries to WorkCover within eight business days (s133 WCR Act). To make a compensation claim, you must obtain a Workers Compensation Medical Certificate from your medical practitioner, and also complete a WorkCover Claim form. The documents should be lodged together, and a copy provided to your employer. WorkCover must offer a decision on the application within 20 days of receipt of the documents.
What You Need To Do Next.
As per the Public Health Act 2005 (QLD), the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency that has led to Australia-wide state lockdowns. Australia’s federal, state and territory governments placed necessary restrictions on Australian citizens in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Individuals that have worked throughout the national lockdowns have the right to claim compensation in the event of injury and are encouraged to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Logan Law offers a free initial consultation and operates on a No Win, No Fee basis for a fast resolution with maximum results. If WorkCover has rejected your compensation claim, you are advised to contact our lawyers at Logan Law to discuss your options. As specialists in personal injury law, we are well-positioned to process a compensation claim on your behalf. We understand that making a claim for compensation in these uncertain times may be stressful. You may be concerned about the economy, your injury, and long-term impact of a lengthy recovery as well as your future employment status. However, Logan Law is here to listen to all your concerns. All claims are handled with full transparency and empathy. While the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of our lives, we work hard to reduce your worry and will fight to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Give Logan Law a call today on 1300 858 603 for a ‘no obligation’ appointment to discuss your claim. If your matter proceeds, we offer a ‘No Win, No Fee’ arrangement where you will only pay our professional fees upon a successful outcome in your favour.