If you have had an accident at work then you should make sure you follow some simple steps which will help make your personal injury claim a lot easier.
To begin with you should make sure you have reported your accident to someone within the company and then should have noted it down within the company’s book.
Although some people think it isn’t always important to note an accident at work it is no matter how small the injury should always be noted down and you should always alert the health and safety officer on site who will make a note.
Accessing and completing the claim form
A worker can access a Worker’s Injury Claim Form (Claim Form) from the following places:
· their employer
· the agent
· an Australian post office or outlet
· WorkSafe Advisory Service
· a writeable PDF version of the Claim Form available on the WorkSafe website.
Where the worker chooses to access the writeable PDF version of the Claim Form they will have the choice to:
· print the form off and complete it by hand by writing clearly with a pen
· complete the form online before printing it off to sign the declaration.
The worker must sign the Authority to Release Medical Information and Declaration in the Claim Form for it to be considered valid.
What fields need particular attention
For example: just writing “hurt my shoulder” whilst lifting a heavy box is not really sufficient, because later on, workcover may argue that any “additional/other injuries” you sustained (became aware of later) were not reported on the claim form and therefore they won’t accept liability. This becomes extremely important later on when you will claim impairment benefits under section 98C of the Act.
So it is best that you write as much information as possible about the ‘injury’; for example: “hurt my Right (or Left) shoulder and arm whilst lifting” – then add what exactly you felt, for example ” I felt a clunk in my right shoulder; I had pins and needles along the entire arm; my neck also hurts as well as the right side of my back…”. Here you have covered yourself for a potential injury to your shoulder,your arm, your neck, your back, a nerve.
Example of a “good injury claim form”
A fellow worker fell from a ladder at work and hurt his right shoulder. He wrote on the claim form that he had fallen off a ladder and landed on his right shoulder/right arm and felt pain in the right shoulder/right arm/right side of neck and right side of body. He not only had a fractured shoulder, but later on it was discovered that he also had a neck injury for which he had to have surgery. Whilst he only had a little bit of tenderness in the neck at the time of the incident (and nearly did not bother writing this on the claim form) he ended up with major surgery to the neck. Had he not mentioned the neck pain (however slight) workcover may have not admitted liability for his neck injury!