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Lump Sum WorkCover Compensation

Anyone who is hurt at work and who suffers a permanent impairment may make a claim for lump sum compensation.

Your compensation amount will depend on your level of permanent impairment. The threshold level of physical injury to get compensation is low. These are sample payments, as of March 2019.

5% whole person injury: $12,840
10% whole person injury: $23,870
15% whole person injury: $38,660
20% whole person injury: $53,480
25% whole person injury: $68,300
30% physical or psychiatric injury: $80,156

This type of lump sum payment is part of WorkCover’s own statutory scheme, which means that the claim amount is generally smaller..

What kinds of lump sum payments can I pursue if injured?

WorkCover legislation entitles injured workers to claim lump sum compensation, but there are different types of lump sum payments available - a statutory entitlement for impairment, and compensation under a common law claim.

Lump Sums At A Glance

  • you may be entitled to a lump sum payment if permanently impaired
  • the claim is made once the injury is stable
  • the injury has been assessed and graded by a specially accredited doctor
  • level of payment is based upon the impairment level.

If you believe your injuries are your employer’s or someone else’s fault, we encourage you to seek further advice as soon as possible as you may have a common law entitlement to sue for pain and suffering and/or loss of earnings/earning capacity.

Can I Appeal A Decision Made By WorkCover?

If you have a WorkCover claim, and the WorkCover insurer has made a decision that you don’t agree with, it is important that you are aware of your right to challenge this decision.

The Workplace Injury and Rehabilitation Act 2013 (WIRC Act) states that if a worker disagrees with a decision made by the WorkCover insurer they can lodge a request for conciliation with the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service (ACCS).

A request for conciliation generally needs to be lodged within 60 days of the insurer’s decision. Disputes that we often see include:

  • the initial rejection of a WorkCover claim
  • termination of weekly payments or medical and like expenses
  • rejection of a treatment request such as surgery or psychologist visits
  • failure by the insurer to calculate pre-injury average weekly earnings correctly, or
  • failure by the insurer to appropriately assess as 98C or lump sum claims.

Common Law Compensation Claims

Common law claims are another type of compensation payment. These can amount to very large payments, certainly larger than any than lump sums paid under the impairment benefit scheme, but often have to be contested in the courts. Because negligence is a key factor in winning a claim, along with the seriousness of the injury, a common law action is effectively the act of suing an employer.

The payments are large at least in part because they take into account the severe nature of the injury and the impairment, the level of medical and personal care that will likely be required into the future, and the pain and suffering endured.

Cases can be prolonged, sometimes taking years to settle. You need to have seriously good lawyers who are practiced in common law fights to be confident in the result, but the financial rewards are considerable. Pursuing legal actions through the courts can be a costly exercise, requiring the additional medical reports, hearings, barrister briefings, and negotiations with the insurance claims agents used by WorkCover. You should seek an experienced legal team which offers a watertight No Win No Fee policy, and preferably one which also covers you for expenses should your claim not be successful.

The important thing to understand is that the quality among law firms in the WorkCover Common Law field is extremely patchy. A quality law firm tries to spare the worker a costly and lengthy court process, and which has one of the highest success rates in the profession.

Our WorkCover Common Law compensation lawyers have initiated thousands of claims on behalf of clients and we have a high success strike rate among those cases that we represent. Of these successful cases, close to 80% are settled in mediation prior to going to court.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas uses highly experienced senior barristers to present our case as if we were presenting it in court and therefore aim and get a good result for our client early on without having to go to court.

How Big A Common Law Payment? A Rough Guide

Note: these amounts are awarded for pain and suffering. Additional lump sums are often obtained for loss of earnings.

Spinal Cord damage consisting of immobility in affected area (e.g. upper or lower limb): $250,000 – to the maximum of $511,920

Back (surgery)

Spinal fusion surgery: Good surgical result: $150,000 – $250,000
Poor surgical result: $250,000 – to the maximum of $511,920
Discetomy surgery: Good surgical result: $100,000 – $150,000
Poor surgical result: $150,000 – to the maxiumum of $511,920
Laminectomy surgery: Good surgical result: $100,000 – $200,000
Poor surgical result: $200,000 – to the maximum of $511,920
Foraminectomy surgery: Good surgical result: $150,000 – $200,000
Poor surgical result: $200,000 – to the maximum of $511,920

Common back conditions

Non surgical back injury e.g. minor disc bulge or prolapse, with no nerve root impingement: $100,000 – $200,000
Spinal Stenosis: $100,000 – $300,000
Spondylolysis: $100,000 – $300,000
Spondylotic Myelopathy: $250,000 – to the maximum of $511,920

Neck (surgery)

Cervical fusion: Good surgical result: $150,000 – $250,000
Poor surgical result: $275,000 – to the maximum of $511,920
Non surgical neck injury e.g. minor disc bulge or prolapse, with no nerve root impingement: $100,000 – $200,000

Other conditions

Mesothelioma: $250,000 – $400,000
Other respiratory conditions: $80,000 – $400,000
Loss of sight in one eye: $175,000 – $250,000
Psychiatric injury: $100,000 – $200,000
Head injury: $150,000 – $400,000
Shoulder injury: $75,000 – $300,000
Knee injury: $75,000
Paraplegia: Likely to be the maximum of $511,920
Quadraplegia: Likely to be the maximum of $511,920
Call 1300 366 441 or find us at an office near you for free advice on Lump Sum WorkCover compensation claims.

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