If you are reading this then you are probably injured and looking to either understand or seek clarification on what is true about compensation claims and what is not. In this blog, I aim to debunk the most common myths and simplify the most important truths you may not know about your compensation claim. Compensation claims are mainly broken up into 7 main categories. These include motor vehicle accident claims, workers compensation claims, work injury damages/common law claims, TPD claims, public liability claims and medical negligence claims.
Motor Vehicle Accident Claims – Myth 1 and Truth 1
Myth 1: You can’t claim compensation because you have returned to work.
Truth 1: You can still claim compensation if you have returned to work.
This is the biggest one that comes to my mind from over the last 15 years of experience in compensation claims. The interesting thing is most of my past clients that thought this was the most seriously injured. Yes, in motor vehicle accident claims, you may not be entitled to claim income support benefits (wages) if you have not lost income from the accident to the date your payout claims resolves. But the devil is in the detail!
Let’s assume you were injured in a motor vehicle accident that you were not mostly at fault for and sustained non-minor injuries; the fact that you returned to work (which is great by the way) still entitles you to claim a payout to take into account your future earning capacity, due to the accident.
If you have suffered an injury due to a motor vehicle accident that you were not mostly at fault for; please contact me and I will tell you what compensation benefits and/or payout you are entitled to, during our free claim assessment. If you want more information on motor vehicle accident claims in general, you can find it on our car accident lawyers page.
Workers’ Compensation Claims – Myth 1 and Truth 1
Myth 2: You can’t claim workers compensation if the injury was not due to the negligence of your employer.
Truth 2: You can claim compensation regardless of whose fault the injury was in workers compensation claims.
The workers compensation scheme is a no-fault scheme; meaning that fault is not required to be entitled to claim workers compensation benefits such as income support benefits (wages), medical expenses and lump sum compensation. Unfortunately, the devil is also in the detail here, because if your injury is a psychological injury, then that psychological injury cannot, wholly or mainly be caused by reasonable actions of your employer, regarding performance management, transfer, demotion, promotion, discipline, retrenchment or dismissal.
If you suffered an injury in the course of work, regardless of whose fault it is; you may be entitled to claim workers compensation. Contact our workers compensation lawyers and we will explain the claims process, entitlements and how to claim them all during our free claim assessment. Legal costs are not deducted from any of your compensation monies for workers compensation claims as our workers compensation lawyers are approved by the Independent Review Office (IRO) who cover legal costs for injured workers in NSW.
Work Injury Damages (Common Law Claim) – Myth 1 and Truth 1
Myth 3: You have to wait for your workers compensation claim to finish before making a work injury damages (common law) claim.
Truth 3: You can make a work injury damages (common law) claim before finalising your workers compensation claim.
This is very common and a little complicated so bear with me and it will make sense. Generally and most of the time, your work injury damages claim is not completed until your injuries have met the 15% whole person impairment threshold, either by settlement or determination by the Personal Injury Commission (PIC). However, your lawyer should begin making enquiries about the extent of negligence and preparing for your work injury damages claim as your lawyer would know due to experience the likeliness of your injury meeting the 15% whole person impairment threshold.
Some evidence is more difficult the longer the period to access that evidence becomes. For example, if you had a colleague who witnessed your injury either physically or psychologically, they are less likely willing to speak to your lawyer to provide a statement about what they saw, the longer the period after the injury.
Lastly, we have resolved work injury damages claims at the same time as finalising workers compensation claims so it does happen! If you would like more information, as to your eligibility to make work injury damages claim, contact our work injury damages lawyer for a free claim assessment and find out the process and how we can help on a no win no fee basis.
TPD claims: Myth 1 and Truth 1
Myth 4: By making a TPD claim you can never go back to any work
Truth 4: You can go back to work despite making a TPD claim
This is interesting because the eligibility of making a TPD claim includes that you are generally unable to work within your education, training or experience. However, the reality is some people may recover as everyone is different. By making a TPD claim you can still return to work in the future. You are not signing off on your future work prospects if you get better or are successful in another field, that you didn’t know you would be at the time of making a TPD claim.
If you are unable to work due to either a physical injury or psychological injury regardless of the reason, you could be entitled to make a TPD claim through the insurance provided which may be included, in your superfund. If you are unsure as to which superfund you were a member with at the time you last worked or need assistance reach out to our TPD lawyer who if they think you may be eligible, will send you a new client pack that is no cost to you that will enable them once signed to find out your eligibility for you on a no win no fee basis.
Public liability Claims: 1 myth and 1 truth
Myth 5: You have to go to court to make a public liability claim.
Truth 5: You can try resolving your public liability claim directly without proceeding to court.
Whilst the insurance companies and naturally defendants, defend their position on liability, that does not necessarily mean that your public liability claim will need you to commence court proceedings. Each defendant and public liability claim are different. Depending on whether the defendant or their insurer are willing to negotiate and compromise just like you may need to compromise, depending on your claim, it may resolve and mostly does, in my own experience, without commencing court proceedings. There are significant legal cost risks for both you and the defendant depending on who loses in court because of the costs order that follows, who loses in court.
If you were injured in a public or private place due to someone else’s negligence, contact our public liability lawyer who, on a no win no fee basis, will explain the process for you during our free claim assessment.
Medical Negligence Claims: 1 myth and 1 truth
Myth 6: You can’t make a medical negligence claim if it has been more than 3 years since the negligence.
Truth 6: You can make a medical negligence claim despite it being more than 3 years since the negligence.
Yes, there is a three year time limit to commence court proceedings in NSW and if you have not commenced court proceedings within that three years then you are required to seek leave (permission) from the court to allow you to commence outside of the three year time limit.
The chances of the permission being given, depends on when you firstly knew there was negligence and time limits in the first place and what the specific circumstances as to why you didn’t commence within the three year time limit. From my own experience, we have successfully obtained permission from the court on many occasions. The common theme being, that our clients were simply not aware of the negligence and time limits before reaching us.
If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of a treating professional, please contact our medical negligence lawyer who will explain your eligibility and entitlements to claim compensation during our free claim assessment.
Don’t let myths prevent you from claiming your full entitlement.
I hope I have debunked some myths and clarified some truths surrounding compensation claims to help you make better informed decisions about your entitlements and options. Remember you can still claim compensation if you have returned to work, you can claim workers compensation regardless of fault, can make a work injury damages (common law) claim before finalising your workers compensation claim, you can go back to work despite making a TPD claim, you can try resolving your public liability claim directly without proceeding to court and you can still make a medical negligence claim despite it being more than 3 years since the negligence, depending on your individual circumstances.
So, what do we do?
Our law firm specialises in compensation claims – it’s all we do so please get legal advice as soon as possible as strict time limits apply. Make sure you understand your compensation entitlements and give clear instructions to your personal injury lawyer. Whether you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, suffered a workplace or slip n fall injury or your injury was due to negligence or if your injury or condition has resulted in you being unable to work, get in contact with us for a free claim assessment.