Once your WorkCover claim has been accepted, you will be entitled to the following:
- Weekly payments of compensation:
For the first 13 weeks that you can’t work as a result of your injuries, you are entitled to 95% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings.
The calculation of pre-injury average weekly earnings ( PIAWE ) is based on your average weekly earnings for the 52 weeks preceding your injury, or if you have been employed for less than 52 weeks, on the average weekly earnings for the period of your employment. PIAWE are based on ordinary earnings for the normal number of hours worked per week and can include overtime and/or shift allowances for the first 52 weeks of weekly payments.
After 13 weeks, payments will continue at 80% of your pre-injury average weekly earnings if you have no capacity for work.
If you have a capacity to undertake some work, you are entitled to 80% of the difference between what you are earning and your pre-injury average weekly earnings.
Payments usually stop after 130 weeks of compensation, unless you can show that you have no current capacity for work and that situation is likely to continue indefinitely.
If you are working at least 15 hours per week and are likely to continue indefinitely to be incapable of undertaking further work, you may be entitled to compensation beyond 130 weeks.
- Medical and like expenses:
You are entitled to payment or reimbursement of your reasonable medical and like expenses which include medical treatment, medication, household aids and home help, physiotherapy and similar services, as well as reimbursement of travel expenses to and from medical treatment. They also include the cost of rehabilitation services designed to assist you to return to work or assist you to seek other suitable employment. The reasonable cost of retraining also forms part of these expenses.
In the event that you have suffered a permament impairment as a result of your injuries, you may also be entitled to make a claim for the following:
- Lump Sum Claim for Impairment Benefits
This benefit is calculated in accordance with a formula depending on the level of your permanent impairment as assessed under the 4th Edition of the American Medical Association Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
There are thresholds in place as to the minimum level of impairment you must be suffering from to be entitled to compensation. You will also be compensated if you have suffered a total loss of a body function as a result of your injuries.
This benefit is separate from any entitlement you have to weekly payments of compensation and medical and like services.
4.Common Law Claim for negligence
In order to be successful with a common law claim you must prove that you suffer from a ‘serious injury’ as this term is defined under the WorkCover legislation and that your injuries arose out of your employer’s or a third party’s negligence.
If you can establish both these elements you will be able to recover damages for pain and suffering and, if you satisfy the relevant threshold, damages for loss of earnings both past and future. You have six years from the date of your injury to pursue this type of claim.
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