Q: Who may claim workers compensation?

A: Any person considered a worker under the Workers Compensation Act 1998 may claim benefits. This includes those working away from the employer’s premises, casual  or part-time workers, outworkers, labour-hire agency workers, contractors, sub-contractors, taxi drivers and some rural workers. Generally you are eligible if you  receive wages or commission regardless of the number of hours you work each week, but not if you are classified as an independent contractor who conducts a  genuine business or trade.

Q: Is the worker responsible for payment of legal fees?

A: The  worker will not be required to pay any legal costs with regard to a claim for Workers’ Compensation.   The Workers’ Compensation insurer for the worker’s employer will be obliged to pay the lawyers’ scale costs and disbursements.

Q: What documents does the worker need to provide to a lawyer so they may proceed with the claim?

A: The worker will need to provide their lawyer with copies of:

• any medical reports that they hold relating to their afflictions sustained in their incident or any other incident;
• any x-ray reports that may accompany any x-rays that have been carried out;
• a copy of any other test results relating to this incident or any other incident;
• a list setting out the names and addresses of all doctors, hospitals and other health care providers involved in your treatment since the incident.

Q: What benefits may a worker be entitled to?

A: Depending on the individual claim and the type, nature and severity of the affliction, a worker may be eligible for the following benefits:

• weekly benefits
• permanent impairment benefits
• medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses
• death benefits and funeral expenses
• compensation for property damage
• work injury damages (previously known as common law damages)
• commutations.

Q: How will the worker’s compensation be paid? As a lump sum or instalments?

A: If the worker receives workers compensation payments, this will come in weekly instalments and will be taxed. If the worker’s compensation is for damages, they will receive a lump sum that will be tax free.

Q: Can a worker make a claim but avoid going to Court.

A: Yes. The worker does not need to go to court in order to receive a fair Workers Compensation settlement. Generally, the worker will place a claim due to the incident, receive the compensation, and then return to work when they are able. If there are disputes involving the worker’s claim, a WorkCover medical specialist or someone appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission will assess the claim. However, if the worker is involved in a complex common law claim, they may need to go to court.

FAQ MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident)

Q: When can a claim be made?

A: If someone is involved in a motor vehicle incident as a driver who was not at fault or partially not at fault, as a passenger or as a pedestrian struck by a vehicle and you sustained an affliction they may be entitled to make a claim under the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999.

Q: What should a person involved in a motor vehicle incident do:

A: Follow these simple steps:

1. take down the details of the other vehicle involved, such as registration number, licence number and contact details of the driver
2. report the incident to the police as soon as possible after it Occurs and at least within 28 days of the incident
3. contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the incident as strict time limits apply – a notification of accident form must be sent to the green slip insurer of  the vehicle that caused the incident within 28 days of the incident
4. a complete claim form must be sent to the green slip insurer of the vehicle that caused the incident within 6 months the incident

Q: How are motor incident claims determined?

A: Motor incident cases are determined by the Motor Accidents Authority (“the MAA”), which has been set up by the state government pursuant to relevant legislation.  The claims process is intended to keep matters out of the court system. Medical assessments of injuries are determined by doctors appointed by the MAA and claims in general are determined by Assessors appointed by the MAA (who are not legally qualified as are District Court or Supreme Court judges).

There are only a relatively small minority of motor incident cases in which court proceedings are ever commenced. The majority of cases are determined by the MAA.

Q: What can be claimed if someone is involved in a motor vehicle incident?


  • medical expenses (such as hospital, doctors fees, treatments and drugs);
  • care expenses (such as respite care);
  • lost income: a claim for lost future lost income will require proof that the injured person had the capacity to earn the level of income they want to claim;
  • ability to earn income in the future; and
  • Pain and suffering:

• if the injured person was seriously injured, they may be able to make a claim for additional compensation for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life;
• this is limited to people who have suffered a serious physical or psychological impairment;
• there are limits on the amount of compensation someone can claim for pain and suffering.

Q: Does an afflicted person need to be medically examined?

A: Yes. It is important that the afflicted person consults a medico legal doctor who will provide the necessary report for the MVA claim.  The legislation sets out guidelines that the doctors are required to take into consideration when arriving at their assessment of Whole Person Impairment (“WPI).  This is a percentage from 0% to 100% where 100% WPI would be a person having suffered an extremely serious afflictions such as a double amputation, brain injury or paraplegia from the neck down.

In order to claim any compensation for non-economic loss, an afflicted person needs to be assessed at greater than 10% WPI.

Q: Is the claimant responsible for payment of legal fees?

A: Scale costs are applicable to any solicitor professional fees under the legislation governing a claim.

The legislation however, permits a solicitor and to contract out of the scales provided with their client. The restrictions on professional costs imposed by the legislation do not apply if the claimant enters into a costs agreement with solicitors. By doing so, should the claim be successful and the claimant is awarded costs, the claimant will have to pay the solicitors the difference, between what is recovered from the defendant/insurer and the solicitor costs.

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