Have you been injured at work? Not sure what to do next? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many people are unaware of their rights and obligations following an injury, and the steps that they are required to date.

We have 2 WIRO approved solicitors who are happy to assist with any queries. Importantly, under the WIRO system, most injured workers will be eligible for independent legal advice at no cost to them.

To make the process easier for you, we have created a list of key things to consider if you have been injured at work in New South Wales.

 

    1. Take your obligations seriously, even if you believe that the injury will improve
       
      You may be entitled to claim lost wages, medical expenses, or out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury.
       
      If you believe that you need to make a claim either now or in the future, we generally recommend that you formally inform your employer as soon as possible. From time to time, workers do not inform their employers of an injury because:

      • they do not want to create a fuss; or
      • they believe that the injury will go away; or
      • it is an aggravation of an existing problem or injury; or
      • the injury is not caused by a sudden event but rather a deterioration over time (e.g. hearing loss or RSI);
      • they assume that it will not deteriorate or require surgery in the future.

       
      While all of these reasons can be understandable, it is important to note that a failure to inform your employer can severely prejudice your ability to exercise your rights at a later time.

     

    1. Formally report the injury
       
      You are required by law to notify your employer, preferably in writing, as soon as possible after the injury has happened.
       
      A formal insurer’s claim form must also be filled in.
       
      There is a general requirement that you lodge a claim form as soon as possible and no later than 6 months after the date of your injury. While there are important exceptions to that requirement, it is best to avoid relying on those potential exceptions applying to your case because they generally present a further hurdle to any claim.

     

     

    1. See your doctor
       
      We recommend that you see your GP as soon as possible after your injury occurs or, in the case of ongoing injuries, that you see your doctor on a regular basis. If you need to take time off work, you should also request a Certificate of Capacity from your GP to support any claim for lost wages.
       
      Even if your GP is unable to recommend any available treatment, an assessment by your GP provides peace of mind, and also provides documentary support for your injury which is often valuable in supporting your claim or assisting with any dispute with your insurer.

     

     

    1. Addressing concerns about the impact on your employment
       
      For some injuries, workers will be reluctant to tell their employer that they have been injured because they fear that they may lose their job or face negative repercussions.
       
      In general terms, it is unlawful for those actions to be taken by an employer due to an injury occurring in the workplace. It is also important to remember that, in many cases, after the initial reporting of the injury to your employer you will generally be dealing with your employer’s insurer rather than your employer itself.
       
      If you are nevertheless concerned about negative repercussions for your employment associated with reporting your injury, we are here to help. We can provide confidential advice on your rights in these circumstances, and also strategies for dealing with individual employers.