If you are Commonwealth or ACT Government employee, or an employee of a company who has a Comcare licence (for example Australia Post, Telstra, Optus, Border Express, Linfox, TNT, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, CSL, Chubb and Centrelink) you are entitled to claim "workers compensation" benefits for injuries sustained at work, or for diseases caused, or contributed to, by your employment. The injuries which compensation may be payable for include:
- physical injuries such as an injured back, arms or legs;
- an aggravation of a pre-existing physical injury;
- injuries suffered while you are temporarily performing work away from your usual place of work;
- injuries suffered whilst travelling for work or attending an approved place of work or education;
- injuries suffered whilst obtaining a medical certificate, medical treatment or undergoing a rehabilitation program or medical examination required by Comcare or your employer;
- any disease caused or contributed to by work.
What benefits might you be entitled to receive?
If you are eligible to make a claim, your benefits may include:
- reasonable and necessary medical, treatment and out-of-pocket expenses.
- payment of income support benefits if you are unable to work or only able to work suitable duties or limited hours.
- a lump sum of compensation for permanent impairment (thresholds apply).
Common law negligence claim
In some circumstances, you are entitled to bring a claim in court against your employer if your injury was caused by an unsafe system of work. This claim must be made within 3 years of the date of your injury and the amount of damages which may be awarded to you is limited by law.
In certain cases, you may also be entitled to bring a potentially larger claim against a third party (someone other than your employer) if you were injured due to their negligence. Again, this type of claim must be made within 3 years from the date of your injury.
How do I make a claim?
To make a claim you must:
- report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and complete an Incident Report Form.
- report your injuries and symptoms to your doctor and ensure that a record is made.
- lodge a Claim Form upon your employer.
- obtain a medical certificate from your doctor.
Please ensure that you keep a copy of all documents which you provide to your employer or Comcare.
Comcare claims and the system itself can be quite complex and difficult to understand and negotiate. In order to ensure that you obtain the maximum value for your claim, please telephone one of our expert personal injury lawyers.