Work Related Injuries

Work related injuries are unfortunately still all too common in the modern workplace.

Whilst, in the past there was a heavy focus on manual labouring type occupations within Western Australian industry, the modern Western Australian labour force is involved in all manner of different occupations, any of which can result in a worker becoming injured, needing medical treatment and compensation assistance due to incapacity for work.

Bradford Legal have been working in the area of work-related injuries and workers compensation claims for over 20 years and have an experienced team ready and willing to assist you. If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Bradford Legal to help get you the compensation you deserve.

What is a work related injury?

A work-related injury can come in many forms.

When most people think of an injury in the workplace they think of a common accident, say for example someone dropping a brick on a construction site with that brick striking the head of a worker passing beneath.

Whilst accidents and injuries such as these are still common in the workplace there are many and varied different types of injuries that may give rise to the right to receive workplace injury compensation benefits.

A work related injury can include:

a) injuries suffered in an accident such as in the example used above. Other types of accidents may include an injury from lifting heavy equipment, from the use of power tools or other plant and equipment or even from slipping or tripping at work;

b) injury associated with the psychological stress of a busy work environment;

c) injuries where an underlying or pre-existing condition has been aggravated and/or worsened by activities at work; and

d) industrial hearing loss.

What is a workplace incident?

A workplace incident can be any event which occurs in the workplace which results in a need to report the event.

Not all incidents that occur at work will give rise to a work-related injury or workers compensation claim but may give rise to either a legal or moral obligation to report the incident for the benefit of the safety of everyone within the workplace.

There are many incidents which occur at work on a day to day basis which constitute “near miss” types of incidents such as items falling from shelving but not striking a worker or a forklift nearly striking a worker whose back is to the forklift at a time when the forklift driver is distracted whilst operating the forklift.

If you see an incident of this nature you should give careful consideration to reporting it to your employer for the greater safety of the workplace and to prevent further work-related injuries from occuring.

Work-related injury examples

The most common work related injuries that we encounter at Bradford Legal are:

a) lower back injury;

b) neck injury;

c) injury to hands, fingers and thumbs;

d) injury to the wrists and shoulders;

e) injury to the hips, knees and ankles;

f) crushing injuries to the hands, feet, arms and legs;

g) psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder;

h) head and brain injury;

i) industrial hearing loss;

j) loss of fingers or hands by amputation;

k) loss of arms or legs by amputation

l) burns either from fire or chemicals;

m) eye injury;

n) injury resulting in scarring and/or disfigurement;

o) hernias; and

p) injury involving an aggravation or worsening of a previous injury or condition where the workplace has contributed to the aggravation or worsening to a significant degree.

What workplace incidents does workers compensation cover?

Workers compensation laws are designed to cover employees for injuries which have occurred at work in the course and scope of a worker’s employment.

These injuries could be the result of an accident or the result of doing a specific type of work over a period of time.

In some cases the injuries may take the form of a psychological or mental injury.

Workers compensation laws are designed to cover all injuries which occur in the workplace, even injuries that can be considered to be caused indirectly by the workplace or the type of work being performed.

Workers compensation is designed to ensure that workers are covered for lost wages, reasonable medical expenses and with assistance to return to work or retrain in the event that they are unable to return to their usual pre-accident or pre-injury employment.

Why should I hire a workers compensation lawyer?

The workers compensation legislation is a technical minefield comprising over 300 separate sections.

There are also related rules and regulations associated with the conduct of the workers compensation legislation and the resolution of disputes that may occur between employers, workers and insurers.

If you have lodged a worker’s compensation claim which has not been accepted you should seek legal advice in respect of issues such as:

a) delay by an insurer to assess your claim and advise whether liability is accepted for the claim;

b) when your compensation claim has been denied; and

c) in the event that you do not receive the benefits that you believe you are entitled to.

If there is a dispute with your insurer or employer the Workcover tribunal has been established to act as an arbitrator to resolve the dispute. Unfortunately these work place disputes usually involve complex areas of law and the need to obtain and understand highly technical evidence, particularly medical evidence. It is usually very difficult for an injured worker to be in a position to manage their lives as well as represent themselves in a Workcover tribunal dispute.

At Bradford Legal we pride ourselves on our successful record and our willingness to advocate for the rights of injured workers in any situation. This may include representation at the Workcover tribunal, information & advice as to how your claim should be conducted and representation to resolve your claim by a negotiated settlement outcome. We’ll assist with your workers compensation claim and help with your return to work.

Like most people we as lawyers hire a mechanic should we need our car to be fixed or a carpenter if we want a bookcase constructed. When it comes to having the expertise and experience to represent you with a worker’s compensation claim, Bradford Legal are the firm to turn to.

How to make a workers compensation claim

If you have been injured at work you should see a doctor. If the doctor believes that the work has caused your injury then the doctor will issue you with a Workcover First Certificate of Capacity.

If you then wish to claim workers compensation benefits from your employer you need to deliver the Workcover First Certificate of Capacity together with a completed workers compensation claim form to your employer in order to commence a worker’s compensation claim.

Those documents will be forwarded by your employer to their workers compensation insurer who will notify you within 2 weeks as to whether your claim is accepted, denied or pended on the basis that the insurer has not obtained sufficient information nor had sufficient time to make a determination as to whether your claim should be accepted.

Bradford Legal are in a position to provide you with the detailed advice and representation you may require regarding workers compensation matters and work-related compensation claims.

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