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Know the Difference between a Workers Compensation Claim and a Work Injury Damages Claim

Have you suffered an injury at your workplace and need to know what compensation you are entitled to? In Australia, you are typically entitled to 2 types of claims – workers compensation claim and work injury damages claim. If you are a Perth resident, you can contact work injury lawyers Perth to understand which type of claim you are entitled to.

Below discussed in detail are the differences between these two types of claims.

What Is a Workers Compensation Claim?

A workers compensation claim is also known as a “no-fault” claim scheme. A worker is allowed to claim statutory workers compensation following an injury in their employment, which can be physical or psychological.

The worker does not need to prove that his/her employer, work equipment, conditions or any other employee were responsible for the injury. Even if the worker gets injured due to negligence or wrongful actions of another employee, he/she is entitled to claim a workers compensation.

The Entitlements

Under this claim, workers are granted weekly wage loss payments (as per the rate of a worker’s pre-injury average weekly wage) and necessary and appropriate medical expenses. In special circumstances, the benefits may also be extended for domestic assistance.

A worker can claim a tax-free lump sum amount for suffering from permanent injuries at least one year after the injury. However, workers cannot investigate the claim unless they have chances of receiving a threshold of at least 15% whole person impairment (in case of psychological injuries) or greater than 10% whole person impairment (in case of physical injuries).

What Is a Work Injury Damages Claim?

Also known as the “negligence claim”, it is a modified version of the workers compensation scheme where ‘fault’ is a compulsory element. To make this claim, an injured worker must prove that his/her employer was negligent, because of which the worker suffered the loss and injury. A worker can claim for this scheme under Section 66 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 only after obtaining an assessment of having at least 15% whole person impairment.

The Benefits

If a worker is successful in proving the ‘negligence’, claim benefits are granted for past earnings and future loss of wages because of the impairment or deprivation in earning capacity. The worker may also get benefits for losing past and future superannuation, which would be in proportion with the benefits awarded for past and future loss in earnings.

    • Other benefits that the worker can receive are Fox v Wood, the tax paid by the workers compensation insurer in regard to the ongoing weekly wage loss compensation, and party or party legal expenses and disbursements.
    • However, the worker would not receive any medical benefits. Also, after receiving the benefits of work injury damages, all benefits under the no-fault statutory workers compensation scheme will cease.

You can get in touch with experienced workers compensation lawyers to know about the different benefits of this claim.

Key Differences Between Workers Compensation and Work Injury Damages Claims

Establishing Fault

In workers compensation, ‘fault’ is not a mandate that needs to be proved. Even if workers get injured due to their own negligence, they are still entitled to the benefits of workers compensation. The scheme has been designed to protect injured workers without any clause since a worker would not get injured if he/she wasn’t on the job.

However, to file a work injury damages claim, someone needs to be held responsible for the injury of a worker. The plaintiff must provide proof showing that the defendant was at ‘fault’ that caused the injury. These claims can be complex as they involve many responsible parties and a range of entitlements.

Compensation

If any worker files a workers compensation claim, he/she will not receive the benefits for pain and suffering. However, they will promptly receive weekly payments along with the expenses on medical bills, vocational rehabilitation, and, if needed, permanent impairment benefits. The elimination of claims for pain and suffering and restriction of suing employers by the injured workers makes the process faster, so the workers can expect to receive their compensation faster.

On the contrary, in a work injury damages claim, an injured worker is entitled to claim for all the damages that he/she suffered. It includes lost earning capacity, lost earnings, medical expenses, future medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent impairment, and even loss of enjoyment of life. So, this type of claim usually takes time to settle, and the compensation varies based on situations.

To understand the differences between the two claims and their benefits, you should consult reputed workers compensation lawyers Perth.

Suing Rights of Workers

Workers compensation claim eliminates the suing rights of workers against their employer. However, for damages caused by injuries in the following situations, a worker is entitled to sue the employer or any other party:

    • if an injury is caused by a flawed and defective product, the worker can bring a products liability action against the product’s manufacturer
    • if an employer’s intentional conduct is responsible for an injury, the worker can file a work injury lawsuit against the employer
    • if a worker is injured by a poisonous substance, a toxic tort lawsuit can be filed by the worker against the manufacturer of the substance
    • if a third-party is responsible for an injury, a worker can file a work injury lawsuit against the person or company
    • If an employer fails to carry workers compensation insurance, a worker can sue the employer in a civil court or collect monetary compensation from a state fund.

Limitations

A workers compensation claim is restricted to employees of a company, but work injury damages claims can be filed by anyone. Also, not all companies should mandatorily have a workers compensation scheme in place. It depends on different state laws and the employee strength of a company.

Summary

If you have suffered a workplace injury in Perth, you should search for the best
personal injury lawyers Perth and know about their services before hiring the one that best suits your budget and requirements.

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