Home >News >Slater & Gordon: What to do if you're injured at work

Slater & Gordon: What to do if you're injured at work


Copy of Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

If you are one of the thousands of Australians who are injured at work each year, you may have to spend weeks or even months away from your job.  

Recovering from an injury and managing with a reduced income can be extremely stressful. 

Victoria has its own workers’ compensation scheme, better known as WorkCover.  You may be entitled to have some of your wages and medical expenses covered by WorkCover, provided you have made a WorkCover claim, and that claim has been accepted.

How can Slater and Gordon Lawyers help me?

Slater and Gordon have expert workers compensation lawyers located in each of our offices across Victoria.  We can help you at any stage of your workers compensation journey.

We can make sure your rights are protected and help you to navigate the WorkCover process. We may also be able to help you to make additional claims for lump sum compensation and investigate if you’re entitled to insurance and income protection benefits under your superannuation fund’s insurance policy.  

Making a workers compensation claim

If you sustain an injury that could be related to your employment, you should:

  • See your own doctor for treatment and provide the details about the way you were injured. Clinical records of your discussion with your doctor will become important evidence in establishing that your injury is work related. You should see your own doctor, not your company’s doctor, and your employer should not attend your doctor’s appointment.
  • You must notify your employer of your injury within 30 days of becoming aware of it. So, report the injury to your employer in writing as soon as possible.  The best way to report your injury is to complete an injury or incident report at work. 
  • Obtain a WorkCover Certificate of Capacity from your treating health practitioner.
  • Complete a Workers’ Injury Claim Form:
  • Submit the completed Workers’ Injury Claim Form and WorkCover Certificate of Capacity to your employer. Your employer is obligated to forward your claim documents to its WorkCover insurer. Employers must not refuse a claim for compensation or dismiss a worker for making a claim.
  • The WorkCover insurer has a further 28 days from date of receipt of the claim documents to make a decision regarding acceptance of your claim (‘deliberation period’).
  • The WorkCover insurer may arrange for you to attend an Independent Medical Examination during the deliberation period. 
  • During the deliberation period the WorkCover insurer or WorkSafe may arrange for a private investigator to contact you and your colleagues to make a statement.  You are not obligated to make a statement to the investigator, and you should not provide a statement to an investigator before receiving legal advice

What happens if your WorkCover claim is accepted?

If your WorkCover claim is accepted, you will be entitled to weekly payments of compensation and reimbursement of your medical and like expenses– this includes things like physiotherapy treatment, and prescribed medications. Remember to keep all receipts related to medical treatment so that you can seek reimbursement for medical expenses from the WorkCover insurer once your claim has been accepted.  

You will also be required to provide valid WorkCover Certificates of Capacity every 28 days to continue to receive your weekly payments of compensation. 

Injured workers may also be entitled to lump sum compensation in the form of an Impairment Benefit lump sum and a Common Law Damages claim, so if you have been injured at work you should obtain legal advice as soon as possible to find out if you may be entitled to further compensation.

What happens if your WorkCover claim is rejected?

If your claim is initially rejected, do not panic. Injured workers can challenge WorkCover insurer decisions that they disagree with via a process called Conciliation. In Victoria, Conciliation is managed by the Workplace Injury Commission (WIC). You must challenge the adverse decision within 60 days of the date of decision. If you are disputing a decision more than 60 days since receiving the decision, you must provide reasons for late lodgment.

If your claim is rejected, contact the HACSU team immediately and ask for a referral to Slater and Gordon to speak with a lawyer for free and with no obligations.  

In addition to workers’ compensation, we also provide discounted legal services and benefits in the following areas: 

  • Motor Vehicle Accident Claims 
  • Asbestos and Silicosis Claims 
  • Superannuation Insurance Claims 
  • Medical Law 
  • Public and Product Liability 
  • Abuse Claims
  • Industrial and Employment law 
  • Free Standard Wills for members and their partner

To access these services, contact HACSU for a referral to Slater and Gordon.