The latest industry insights into compensation law.


A Queensland worker injured during the course of their employment will likely have statutory and common law entitlements they will need to protect.

The first step in protecting these entitlements is to lodge a statutory claim with WorkCover Queensland or the employer’s self-insurer.

Lodging a WorkCover claim

The following is a guide to ensure your statutory claim is successfully lodged with WorkCover Queensland:

  1. Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible after the work event;
  2. Visit a doctor as soon as possible to obtain a workers’ compensation medical certificate;
  3. Lodge an application for compensation with WorkCover which can be performed over the phone (1300 362 128) or online (

WorkCover will have 20 business days to determine whether the claim is one for acceptance.

For the statutory claim to be accepted it must be determined that the Queensland based employment was a significant contributing factor to sustaining the injury.

It is important to report the incident to your employer and attend a doctor as soon as possible following the work event as substantial delays can cause WorkCover to question whether the injury was sustained during the course of employment.

Time Limit for Lodging Statutory Claim

You must submit the claim within 6 months of the date of accident/injury.

If the injury is a latent onset injury (sustained over a period of time), the claim must be lodged within 6 months of attending a doctor in relation to the injury.

If you miss this time limit then you will be required to provide an excuse for the delay.


The statutory entitlements available to an injured worker include replacement wages while they  are unable to return to work, medical and rehabilitation expenses, pharmaceutical expenses, return to work assistance and travel expenses.

It is possible to continue receiving medical and rehabilitation treatment even after returning to work if this is recommended by an injured worker’s medical providers.

Lump Sum Compensation

If an injured worker has suffered a permanent impairment due to a work related injury they will be entitled to lump sum compensation.

This involves arranging for the injuries to be assessed by an independent specialist once the injuries are considered to be stable and stationary or to have reached maximum medical improvement.

The percentage level of impairment will equate to a lump sum offer of compensation contained in a document called a Notice of Assessment.

It is imperative to obtain expert legal advice prior to making any decision in relation to a Notice of Assessment.

If the degree of permanent impairment is below 20%, an injured worker is not able to accept the offer of lump sum compensation and pursue a common law claim.  This is known as the irrevocable election.

Common Law

A common law claim is generally more valuable for an injured worker to pursue as this compensates for actual losses incurred due to the work related injury.

The types of compensation that can be claimed at common law include damages for pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses, past and future loss of income/superannuation, future medical treatment, care and assistance (in certain circumstances) retraining costs and future out of pocket expenses.

A common law claim is a fault based scheme (unlike the WorkCover claim) which means that negligence will need to be established to recover damages or compensation.

The limitation period to pursue a common law claim in Queensland is 3 years from the date of injury.

There are various rights and entitlements available to Queensland workers injured during the course of their employment both at a statutory level and potentially at common law.

Accordingly, it is important an injured worker protects their rights by taking the following steps as soon as possible after the work event:-

  1. Report the injury to their employer;
  2. Visit a doctor to obtain a workers’ compensation medical certificate;
  3. Lodge an application for compensation with WorkCover; and
  4. Obtain expert legal advice.

vbr Lawyers offers an obligation free case assessment if you have been injured at work.

Sean is proud to be a lawyer for everyday people no matter what their issue. He has practised in compensation law for all his legal career and he has a superb track record of achieving outstanding results for his clients.

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.