If you have been injured at work, you are entitled to lodge a claim for workers’ compensation and receive statutory benefits including replacement wages, medical treatment, rehabilitation and other benefits. Strict time limits apply to lodging workers’ compensation claims.
If your injury has occurred as a result of an unsafe work place or practice you may also be able to make a claim for common law damages, which essentially aim to address the impact of your injuries on your future employment. The statutory workers compensation system will not do this. At both levels of the workers compensation system – statutory compensation and common law damages – it is essential that you have the very best legal expertise to support you to ensure that you achieve the maximum amount of compensation or damages and that your rights are fully protected.
You will only ever have one chance to make a claim for any work related injury and only the best legal representation will achieve the best possible outcome and one that you deserve.
A WorkCover claim will end when your injuries have stabilised or reached maximum medical improvement. At this time, WorkCover or your self insured employer will give you a Notice of Assessment with an offer of lump sum compensation. If your impairment is less than 20% and you accept the offer of lump sum compensation this will forever remove your right to pursue a common law claim. If you have received a Notice of Assessment and an offer of lump sum compensation, this is an extremely important moment to obtain legal advice and we are happy to assist you in this regard and at no obligation.
If your employer or WorkCover are giving you a hard time and you don’t know what to do or what your rights are, give us a call and we will advise you of your rights and options and at no obligation.
When your WorkCover entitlements/claim ends and you commence a common law claim, there may be a period of nine months of more before your common law claim is finished. If you need financial assistance during this period, we can assist you with an income protection and/or TPD claim via your super fund/s so that you have sufficient funds while you are waiting your common law claim to settle.
We also develop a strategy for every case we take on to accelerate the progress of the common law claim so that the waiting time from claim commencement to settlement is as fast or faster than any of our competitors.
- No Win – No Fee
- Senior Lawyer acting for you from start to finish
- Very competitive hourly rates
- 30% cap on professional fees
- Pay Less Get More policy
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been injured at work you are entitled to lodge a workers’ compensation claim. You can lodge the claim with WorkCover Queensland by phone, online, with your treating GP or with your employer. You must lodge the claim with WorkCover within 6 months of the date of the work event or work injury. If your injury has occurred over a period of time, you need to lodge the claim with WorkCover within 6 months of your first visit to a medical practitioner regarding the injury.
If you have already lodged your claim with WorkCover Queensland, a decision to accept or reject your claim must be made within 2 weeks.
If your WorkCover claim has been accepted, you are entitled to receive:-
- Weekly benefits or replacement wages;
- Medical Expenses including surgery;
Your WorkCover claim is a no fault type of claim. You do not need to prove legal fault for the claim to be accepted. Your WorkCover claim will continue until WorkCover is satisfied that you are fit to return to work or when your injuries have reached maximum medical improvement. If you have suffered a permanent injury, you are entitled to receive a lump sum payment of compensation. It is extremely important that you seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer when you receive an offer of lump sum compensation from WorkCover. If you receive a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover with an offer of lump sum compensation, this can open the gate for you to access common law damages. For most injured workers, if you accept the offer of lump sum compensation, this will destroy your right to pursue or make a common law claim for damages. This is why it is extremely important for you to seek legal advice immediately if you receive a Notice of Assessment from WorkCover. At vbr Lawyers, we are happy to provide you with some preliminary legal advice at no obligation whatsoever and from the very start of your WorkCover claim so that you know your rights and options.
Seek urgent legal advice. There are strict time limits which apply to lodging an appeal or review against a decision by WorkCover to reject your claim. You have 3 months from the date of receiving the decision from WorkCover to lodge the appeal with the Workers Compensation Regulator. We are happy to consider your claim and the reasons why WorkCover have rejected your claim. We have successfully appealed a significant number of decisions by WorkCover to reject claims. Our initial advice is at no upfront cost and at no obligation. If we consider an appeal against WorkCover’s decision has reasonable prospects of success, we will advise you accordingly and you can retain us to run the appeal on your behalf.
WorkCover Queensland is the major workers compensation insurer in Queensland. If you have been injured at work, the workers compensation insurer is likely to be WorkCover Queensland. For your ease of reference, here are the links and contact details for WorkCover Queensland:-
Ph: 1300 362 128
WorkCover Queensland can assist you by accepting your claim, paying your medical expenses and replacement wages while you are recovering from a workplace injury.
No, however, the information you provide to WorkCover will be carefully reviewed and scrutinized with a view to rejecting the claim if warranted. At vbr Lawyers, we provide a complimentary claim lodgement service with WorkCover so that the claim form has been prepared with the benefit of legal advice so that your rights are fully protected. We can assist you with the claim form preparation and lodgement at your home, our office or over the phone. We are frequently retained to help people overturn a decision by WorkCover to reject a claim when the claim form has not been completed correctly or with the benefit of legal advice.
While most employers are not self-insured, some are, including:-
- Aged Care Employers Self Insurance Group [RSL Care]
- Queensland Rail Ltd
- Wilmar Sugar
- Arrium Ltd
- Townsville City Council
- University of Queensland
- Redlands City Council
- Local Government WorkCare
- Jupiters Casino
- Gold Coast City Counil
- Glencore [Mount Isa Mines]
If you have been injured at work with any of these self-insurer employers, the same law and same claims process applies as if you claim was lodged with WorkCover Queensland, only your claim needs to be lodged with your employer rather than WorkCover Queensland.
Firstly, it may well be that you are still covered by WorkCover. Persons who are described as “contractors” often turn out after further legal analysis to be covered by WorkCover. It is a matter of getting an experienced lawyer to review the situation carefully, which we at vbr lawyers will do for you at no obligation as part of our initial advice.
If you truly fall outside the WorkCover scheme, then as long as your injury has been caused by negligence or a breach of duty owed to you by someone (eg, the principal contractor or developer of a building site who causes or allows a safety risk to arise), you will be entitled to valuable compensation via a common law claim – see our content about Public Liability claims for information about this process.
A common law claim for damages is designed to put you in the same or very similar financial position you would have been in had the work accident or injury never occurred.
A common law claim should provide you with a financial buffer or nest egg that the WorkCover claim will not provide.
To be able to bring a common law claim for damages, your WorkCover claim needs to be accepted and you need to be able to prove negligence or legal fault to recover any damages or compensation.
We can assist you by considering the facts and circumstances giving rise to your work accident/injury and advise if your claim has reasonable prospects of success. We are experts in providing this very important advice.
If your common law claim is successful, you can recover the following:-
(a) Pain and Suffering;
(b) Loss of Wages or Income;
(c) Future Loss of Wages or Income;
(d) Past and Future Loss of Superannuation Benefits;
(e) Out of Pocket Expenses;
(f) Past and Future Medical Treatment Costs;
(g) In some cases, a healthy contribution towards your legal costs which at VB Lawyers will equate to at least 50% of your total legal bill being paid by the insurer.
The claim process involves the preparation of a Notice of Claim for Damages. We prepare this document for you. It is a comprehensive document that explains how the accident occurred, why your employer breached their duty of care and each and every component or head of damage. After the claim has been prepared and lodged with WorkCover, there is a period of six months for medical examinations, disclosure of discovery of documents by both sides regarding the claim and then the convening of a settlement conference.
The claims process has proven highly effective for early resolution of claims, particularly if you are represented by a high quality personal injury law expert. It is highly likely that your claim will settle out of court. Approximately 99% of all of our past cases have resolved or settled without needing to go to court or conduct a trial. Your claim will be subject to a mandatory “pre-court” process that is designed to try and resolve claims before court proceedings are necessary. This process is commenced by delivering a claim form to the negligent or responsible party, followed by the provision of medical evidence in support of the claim and, once your injuries are stable enough, an assessment of damages and offer to settle. We will handle this entire process. Once that is completed the parties and their legal representatives are required to attend a settlement conference to see if an agreement can be reached. Only if that conference is unsuccessful in resolving the matter can a court claim be commenced.
The commencement of a claim in court does not mean that the matter will proceed to a hearing in front of a judge. There may be many more opportunities to negotiate a settlement before that occurs. We will guide you through the court process and ensure your matter is resolved at the earliest opportunity.
Based on our collective 45 year experience in running and resolving this type of claim it usually takes 6 to 18 months for your claim to resolve from the date your WorkCover statutory benefits cease.
We will explain the likely legal fees upfront and from day one. We provide industry leading transparency regarding our fee structure and fee policy.
No matter what happens or at what stage your case settles, the professional costs will not under any circumstances exceed 30% of the value of the claim.
If your case settles for $100,000.00 clear of any and all statutory refunds and legal disbursements/expenses, we will not charge more than $30,000.00 for professional costs.
Even if we had incurred say $50,000.00 worth of professional costs to achieve the settlement and to win the case, your bill for our professional costs will not exceed $30,000.00.
Using the same example, if we incurred only $15,000.00 worth of professional costs to achieve the settlement, you would of course be charged $15,000.00, not $30,000.00.
Compare vbr Lawyers to the bigger personal injury law firms and how they charge:-
When compared to other firms such as Shine Lawyers, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and Slater and Gordon Lawyers, you will find that if you retain John or Greg from vbr Lawyers:-
(a) Your legal bill will be lower or a lot lower and by at least 20% to 35%;
(b) Your case will be handled by a Senior Lawyer from start to finish;
(c) Unlike the large firms with big overheads and TV campaigns, your case will not be delegated or handed to a secretary, law clerk, paralegal or junior lawyer. Your case will be handled by a very experienced and senior lawyer at all times.
Yes. We offer our services to our clients on a “No Win – No Fee” basis.
At vbr Lawyers, our No Win – No fee policy is this:-
(a) You will only ever pay legal fees for the work we do at the end of your claim and if and only if you win;
(b) We will fund and run the case for you and the legal costs will come out of your settlement monies which are paid by the insurer;
(c) In the very, very unlikely event that your claim goes to court and in the even more unlikely event that a trial is required and you lose, you would still pay us nothing but you are likely to be ordered by the court to pay the other side’s legal costs.