Workplace injury and work compensation claims impacting relationships at work

Suffering a work accident is a horrendous situation to find yourself in. Dealing with the shock of being out of action, having to recover and fear about the future it can become very stressful indeed.

When a serious workplace injury has occurred there is a lot of fear surrounding the future particularly in relation to finances. Fear of not knowing if you will recover or when you might return to work, or even whether or not you return to work at all.

Reactions to work compensation in the workplace

Another fear many workers who have suffered a workplace injury is what their employer or their colleagues think about their claim for work compensation. People have their own opinion and attitude towards others who lodge a worker compensation claim for their workplace injury. There are negative attitudes from people who have never been in such a situation and these people have no idea what it is like and do not understand. Passing judgement upon others is unfair as well as un-empathetic.

If a workplace injury could’ve been prevented or was caused by someone else’s negligence then you may be entitled to a negligence claim.  This is a common law claim available outside of statutory work compensation. A negligence claim will consider future economic losses as well as past and present losses to date. Future economic losses might mean a loss of a future salary or loss of wages as you are unable to return to your job. It might also include the cost of having to re-train for a future career or employment. It might consider all the expenses that lie ahead such as medical equipment, wheelchairs, chair lifts, home and car modifications and so forth.

Who are they to judge?

Caring what other people think won’t help you rebuild your life. Do what you know is right for your own well being and your future. If colleagues are judging you then try to help them understand what you are going through. You certainly don’t need to justify your reason to claim injury compensation to anyone. It is none of anyone else’s business but yours. Claiming compensation is your legal right. Under the lawyou are entitled to such an award and deserve to be compensated.

Worried about your job?

Another fear many people have is what their boss will think of them. It is important to remember your boss has compulsory worker compensation insurance such as Work Cover. This means when you lodge a claim the insurance company pays out and not your boss. You boss does not lose in a financial sense. This is why he has insurance, to cover expenses and losses protecting his business as well as his employees.

Again you may get some employers who take an injury compensation claim from an employee personally. This is ludicrous. An employer should care more for their employee’s welfare than they do about an insurance claim.

For further advice, forms or information on work injury compensation call 1800 006 766. If you need legal advice our helpline will connect you with a lawyer.

Work injuries suffering in silence will not bring work compensation

When a work injury occurs, it affects the injured worker on a number of levels; financially, socially and mentally.

Injuries which are debilitating or permanent can impact a person’s life in unexpected ways causing upset and turmoil for themselves and those closest to them.

If you have been involved in a work accident and would like to speak to an injury helpline call: 1800 006 766 for information, forms and free advice.

1.      Financially

If you cannot return to work for a period of time, you will be entitled to work compensation benefits. Work compensation is a compulsory insurance scheme in place for employers. When work accidents have occurred and a worker has been injured, the insurance company pay wages or salaries when an employee is away recovering. Your employer does not pay you while you are away, the work compensation insurer i.e. Work Cover does.

If your injury is serious, you may not be able to return to work. In this case the work compensation insurer will have you attend a medical review to indicate the severity of the workplace injuries sustained. After a percentage of severity or impairment has been determined you may be offered a lump sum payment. This lump sum payment will cover your losses and expenses to date. It is very important to obtain legal advice before accepting a lump sum payment. Once you have accepted this may be the end of yourclaim and an end to common law rights.

2.       Fear and anxiety

Not knowing how your injury will develop and if you will ever properly heal, can be extremely stressful. It is very important to keep in touch with your doctor and medical specialists and follow their expert guidance toward rehabilitation. Your health is the most important thing and should be a primary focus.

Anxiety can also arise regarding finances. Alleviate the fear and anxiety by contacting an injury helpline who can explain to you how injury compensation works further along the track.

You might be anxious about what your employer or your colleagues are thinking. You may worry they won’t believe you or think you are skiving off. These thoughts are negative and will not help you in any way. Let them go and focus on you and what is best for you. After all it is you who’s been injured and not them. They have no idea what you are going through.

3.       Preventable injuries and your rights

If an employer has been negligent or careless your injury may have been preventable. This is a horrendous situation and can cause a lot of anger and despair. It is disappointing when the standard of care and safety falls short.  Employers have a great responsibility to ensure a duty of careand workplace health and safety.

If an employer has been negligent don’t despair. Contact an injury helpline such as the Australian Injury Helpline for free advice, forms and support. They will arrange free legal advice if required or call 1800 006 766.

If you suffer an injury as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to a negligence claim. A negligence claimor common law claim is also known as a common law claim. This type of claim is available outside of the relevant work compensation scheme and you will require the services of a worker compensation solicitor.

Preventing Workplace Injuries and Work Accidents

Workplace Injuries and Work Accidents – Who is At Fault?

There has been a lot of speculation recently regarding safety in the workplace to prevent workplace injuries and work accidents.

If an employer is found at fault following a work accident the company safety standards may have to be reviewed and improved. This is essentially good as working environments are constantly changing and improving all the time.

For more information on Workers Rights following a work accident call 1800 006 766.

Working hours a contributing factor

A typical nine to five day for many companies has become a thing of the past. Many companies are offering flexible working hours i.e. to suit working mothers and indeed to suit the needs of a changing lifestyle. Part-time work has also become common and this can lead to a higher level of productivity a high level of morale and a positive staff attitude.

The number of hours an employee works may have an impact on a persons’ health and therefore overworking can directly contribute towards a workplace accident.

In the cases of serious injuries where the employer is found to be at fault, a worker may be entitled to injury compensation under common law.

Employers and employees are equally responsible

As well as employers taking responsibility, employees are also required to take responsibility at work. Proper conduct is a given as employees need to consider the safety of their working environment and their fellow workers. Such examples might include;

  • Making sure their job is carried out properly
  • Making sure they are up to the task and unaffected by poor health or tiredness
  • Making sure all equipment is in working order and reporting any faults
  • Not causing an obstruction and reporting any dangers
  • Making sure safety clothing and equipment is used and used properly
  • Taking responsibility for yourself and looking out for others
  • Reporting any workplace injuries or work accidents to the employer

Employers have a responsibility to train their staff and make sure they are fully aware of safety procedures and the proper conduct of what is expected of them.

Communication is paramount

Serious injuries can leave workers unable to work, or unable to carry out their usual employee responsibilities. A worker might have to take another role within the company or even take another job. Some employees are not so lucky. They may never walk again let alone return o the workplace. Such cases are tragic and do happen.

Companies and organisations working together with staff to ensure safety at work, is vital in order to prevent workplace accidents and workplace injuries from happening.

If in the event of a work accident a worker is entitled to work compensation. When serious workplace injuries have occurred, it is a good idea to seek independent advice from an injury helpline such as the Australian Injury Helpline. Click here to contact us or call 1800 006 766.

Work compensation can be complex and you need to be aware of your legal rights and entitlements. An employer or work compensation insurer i.e. Work Cover might not tell you everything. A helpline will offer an independent review and arrange advice if required. If you are unable to return to work due to a work accident you may be entitled to a loss of future income and it is important to seek advice.