The latest industry insights into compensation law.

Fatal Injury Claims with WorkCover Queensland

In the 2019 calendar year, 41 workers went off to work and never arrived home due to work-related deaths.

41 families experienced the devastating loss of their husband, wife, partner, son or daughter dying as a result of work-related injuries.

The only State or Territory with a higher rate of work-related deaths than Queensland is New South Wales.

In 2019, 62% of all work-related deaths were in three industries: –

  1. Transport, Postal & Warehousing;
  2. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing;
  3. Construction

In the same year, 43% of work-related fatalities were from motor vehicle accidents, 11% were from workers being hit from falling objects and 11% from falling from heights.

While the emotional toll for families of workers who die at work is enormous, the financial impact on families who lose a financial provider or the only financial provider to the family only compounds the emotional trauma.

In the event of a fatal injury at work, substantial statutory benefits are available from WorkCover Queensland for the surviving family members.

The purpose of this article is to explain the benefits which are available and the process of making a claim with WorkCover Queensland [and any self-insurer] if there has been a fatal injury at work.


Any application for fatal injury must be received by WorkCover within 6 months of the date of death.


The claim can be lodged with WorkCover by telephone, online or via email.

By telephone: To lodge the claim by telephone this can be done by contacting WorkCover directly on 1300 362 128.


By fax: You can download the claim form, complete the document and then send it via facsimile to 1300 651 387 or by post to GPO Box 2459, Brisbane QLD 4001.


For the claim to be accepted by WorkCover, it must be established, on the balance of probabilities [or 51% or better] that the deceased’s employment was a significant contributing factor to his or her death.

If the claim is accepted, the insurer [which is usually WorkCover Queensland or a self-insurer if the deceased worker was employed by an employer who is a self-insurer] will pay compensation in the form of a lump sum payment, quarterly payments and funeral expenses.

The amount of the lump sum payment and quarterly payments varies from case to case and will depend on the age of the surviving spouse and the ages of any dependent children and whether the dependents are totally or partially dependent.

Example: If the deceased worker left a totally dependent spouse and two young children aged 10 and 8, the likely lump sum payment would be in the order of $680,000.00 plus weekly payments for each child of about $160.00 until each child turns 16 or while they are a student.


The documents or evidence that needs to be collated and submitted for the claim to be accepted includes: –

  • Death Certificate;
  • Autopsy or post-mortem report;
  • Records from the Coroner’s Office including the Coroner’s Inquest Report;
  • Marriage Certificate [if married] or other documents if the relationship was de facto such as joint bank accountants, documents which show joint ownership of property or sharing of expenses such as electricity bills and the like;
  • Birth Certificates for each dependent child;
  • Tax returns for the deceased worker and the dependent spouse;
  • Bank statements; and
  • A comprehensive statement setting out the length of the relationship, how expenses were shared, what property was jointly owned, the level of financial support provided by the deceased worker week to week, whether any dependent suffers from a disability.


Prior to lodging any fatal injury claim with WorkCover Queensland or any self-insurer, we strongly recommend the seeking of legal advice to ensure that all of the necessary documentary evidence has been obtained including any and all witness statements which may be required to ensure that any and all compensation benefits are obtained and to help to ensure that the claim is accepted.

Collecting and gathering all of the supporting documents and evidence can be stressful for the widow and/or other surviving family members.  This is often when legal assistance is required or needed.

At vbr Lawyers, we offer an obligation free and cost-free initial consultation during which we provide preliminary advice regarding prospects of success, the economic viability of the claim as well as advice regarding the likely time frame from when the claim is commenced until completion and the likely costs of conducting the claim.

If we consider the proposed claim has reasonable prospects of success and is economically viable or worthwhile to pursue, we will then prepare a written advice and proposal for our clients to consider before we are retained and we offer our legal services on a speculative or “No Win – No Fee” basis which simply means that we will only be paid a reasonable fee for the work we have done which is payable only at the end of the claim and only if the claim is successful.

Greg is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading compensation law experts. Greg has a very healthy practice and enjoys providing his clients with superior personal service in every case. Greg is absolutely committed to achieving the best settlement outcomes for his clients while keeping the legal costs down.

Obligation free advice

Claiming compensation can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. vbr Lawyers is the multi award winning firm that gets you real results. Lower costs, higher claims and unrelenting advocacy.

State updated!
Your state has been updated to QLD. Practice areas on compensation law have been updated.