What is a Common Law Claim and Who is Entitled? Important Information For Workers

Injured workers have two avenues for compensation-a statutory or a common law claim. A statutory claim is through your employer’s insurance company. It consists of receiving benefits such as having your wages paid while you are off work and by receiving paid medical treatment for your injury. Pursuing a common law claims opens more opportunities to be compensated fairly which includes being compensated for future economic loss, for medical expenses that you may incur in the future and also for your pain and suffering. Statutory claims do not include these benefits which limits your compensation.

In which to pursue a common law claim the injured worker has to be able to establish liability or fault on behalf of the employer. Much like if you have had a motor vehicle accident and you were at fault, then you will not be able to pursue a claim if you were negligent and caused the accident. If liability can be established a common law claim will need to be submitted by a personal injury lawyer. The employer’s insurance cover e.g. WorkCover Queensland will pay the compensation and not your employer.

A personal injury lawyer will investigate the claim, submit a list to the insurer listing everything in which you are entitled, order the necessary medical reports to support the claim and most importantly will negotiate and settle a sufficient claim amount.

So who is entitled to pursue a common law claim? Any injured worker who suffers an injury at work which results in a permanent impairment and their employer is at fault. This even includes negligence on behalf of one of your work colleagues as your employer is also responsible for their actions in the workplace. An injury can be physical and/or psychological.

An injured worker has three (3) years from their date of injury to pursue a common law claim. Common law claims take between 6-9 months to settle depending on your case and 95% of cases are settled outside of court when a Personal Injury Lawyer is representing you.

It is extremely important to get free legal advice and it doesn’t have to cost you anything. Work Injury Compensation offer free legal advice for workers.

When the insurance company wants to stop paying you and they want to get you off their ‘books’ they will either cut you off or send you to their doctor to be medically examined for permanent impairment. If the insurance company doctor thinks you do have a body percentage of being permanently impaired because of your injury they will offer you a NOA (Notice Of Assessment) which is a payout of compensation. DO NOT sign this in any event. This NOA opens up the opportunity to pursue a common law claim. If you sign this document it will end all future rights to be compensated ever again. The next procedure that follows this event is for the claimant to get a second opinion from a different doctor. Your lawyer will send you to one of their doctors for the second opinion. In most cases, the doctor will always give you a higher percentage as they evaluate whole person impairment and how the injury sustained is going to affect your ability to work in the future.

Then on top of that your solicitor includes the portion of past and future free employment advice economic loss, future medical expenses you might have to pay and most importantly pain and suffering to include on top of the percentage that you have lost or that you will lose because of the injury sustained that shouldn’t of happened in the first place. The reason why a common law claim gives you more compensation is because the insurance company does not look at or include pain and suffering, past and future economic loss and the money you might have to fork out for medical treatment in the future for your injury. The insurance company run by a system on the computer and do not consider these important factors.

You are left with more in the pocket pursuing a common law claim and guided through the process making it easy for you to understand how the process works. For free legal advice contact a personal injury lawyer and see if you qualify for a common law claim and be surprised with the result of your common law claim.

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