I’ve been injured in NSW. If I make a common law negligence claim for my workplace injury, can I also make a claim under the NSW workers’ compensation scheme?

Everyone has the right to go to work each day, knowing they’ll come home safely. If you’ve been injured or become ill at work you may be entitled to make a claim for workers’ compensation to cover lost wages, medical and rehabilitation costs, retraining expenses or a lump sum payment for permanent injuries. There have been a lot of changes to arrangements in NSW for seeking workers’ compensation in recent years. You could be forgiven for being a little confused about where to start. After all, workers’ compensation laws and entitlements are already a little hard to keep up with because they vary between states and territories and may be known as WorkCover, CTP or WorkSafe. Compensation and benefits can vary greatly depending on your injury and on the law you’re covered by.

If you’ve been injured at work in NSW, Littles has you covered. This blog explores what your options are depending on the type of claim you wish to make.

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Long story short…

No. If you receive common law compensation for your workplace injury you will not be entitled to receive compensation under the NSW statutory workers’ compensation scheme.
In addition, any weekly payments you have already received under the Workers Compensation Scheme will be deducted from your common law compensation. Obviously, this can have important implications for your finances. If you want to know more, read on.

NSW workers’ compensation arrangements

If you are injured at work in NSW, you can access the NSW statutory workers’ compensation scheme, which is administered by SIRA. Under the statutory scheme, you may be entitled to payment for loss of wages, medical expenses and a permanent impairment lump sum payment.

If your injury was a result of your employer’s negligence, you may also be eligible for compensation through a work injury damages or ‘modified common law’ claim.

If you’re not sure whether your employer has been negligent under the law, it is important to obtain high quality legal advice.

How do I know if I can make a work injury damages claim?

If you have a work related injury which resulted from your employer’s negligence, there are certain circumstances in which you may sue for modified common law damages. These are known as ‘work injury damages’.

In order to be eligible for work injury damages
• your injury or injuries must be as a result of negligence
• you must be assessed with at least 15% whole person impairment under the WorkCover Evaluation of Permanent Impairment guidelines, and
• your claim must be made within three years of your injury. If you are assessed at 15% after the three years has passed you may still be able to make a claim.

Whatever your circumstances, speaking to an expert workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure you are fully aware of your options and know your rights.

What compensation is payable with a ‘work injury damages’ claim?
Work injury damages claims are limited to a claim for:
• loss of past and future economic losses calculated through to retirement age, and
• payments for past and future loss of superannuation as well as the tax that has been deducted from workers’ compensation payments under the statutory scheme.

You should note that your claim may be adjusted to reflect
• the amount of weekly compensation the insurer has already paid you under the workers compensation statutory scheme, and
• Centrelink payments or income protection, as these will be repayable from the settlement of the claim.

There are also some other rules that may affect your claim and how much you can receive. Want to be fully informed? Speak to Littles.

Don’t delay – seek advice now

Clearly, the workers’ compensation system can be complex, which is why it helps to seek quality legal advice as soon as possible. At Littles, we are experts in workplace injuries, and can help manage the process to ensure that you receive all appropriate entitlements and support. With Littles on your side, we can ensure that you get the fair treatment you deserve.

If your workers’ compensation claim has been rejected, or you would like to understand how to claim benefits to support you and your family while you are injured or ill, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.

IMPORTANT: There are strict time limits for making and disputing a claim, so take advantage of our FREE initial consultation and get in touch. You have nothing to lose by speaking to one of our compensation law experts. The sooner we determine your eligibility to make or appeal a claim, the sooner we can help you to obtain or continue getting funding from the insurer so your rehabilitation can proceed smoothly.

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Free advice and no upfront fees

Not only do we offer a FREE initial consultation we handle most insurance claims on a no win, no fee basis. 

The Head of our NSW team, Jessica Cheung, is an expert in NSW workers’ compensation claims. If you think you might have a claim, reach out to Jessica and her team for high quality legal advice

Please note that this information is intended to provide general guidance only. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your individual circumstances. For further information, please contact Littles.

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