Workplace injuries cost Australian families billions of dollars

Workplace injuries cost Australian families billions of dollars

Story in partnership with RMB Lawyers.

Work related injuries are a serious issue in Australia. Not only do they negatively affect the lives of sufferers, they also cost the economy billions of dollars each year.

In fact, according to Safe Work Australia, in the 2012-13 financial year alone, work place injuries were responsible for $28b worth of losses. Furthermore, the workers who suffered these injuries shouldered 77pc of this burden.

Workplace injuries can have a devastating impact on not only the health and wellbeing of employees but also their families.

Depending upon the severity of the injury, it may leave them with permanent disability or render them either incapable of earning an income or significantly reduce the market value of their labour.

That's why Australia has such stringent Workers Compensation Laws. It is also why you need to be aware of your rights, says RMB Lawyers Queanbeyan's Patrick Gettrust.

Workers are entitled to compensation if they have been injured while working; on their way to work; on their way home from work; during any travel to do for work; or even during a break, Mr Gettrust explained.

"Unlike other types of claims, in workers compensation matters you don't need prove that your injury occurred as a result of someone else's fault," he said.

"All you need to show is that your work injury was 'substantially contributed to' by your employment. Your injury can be physical or psychological in nature."

The New South Wales Workers Compensation Act provides employees with rights to have their medical expenses paid for, he explained.

It also allows them to receive benefits while they're losing wages or a lump sum for injuries that result in permanent impairment (including pain and suffering).

Workers Compensation may also cover families if the primary income earner of their household dies or becomes severely injured due to a workplace accident.

"(It is important to note that) these benefits are paid by an insurance company, not the employer," Mr Gettrust said.

"If you have been injured as a result of this type of accident, RMB's compensation lawyers can help you secure the compensation you are entitled to."

It is also important to note, he said, that you don't have to worry about the expense of litigation if you're injured.

"We don't charge you for helping you with your workers compensation claim," Mr Gettrust explained.

"Our fees are paid by the insurance company. Our fees are NOT deducted from your workers compensation entitlements," he continued.

"The Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) is likely to provide you with a grant of legal assistance. That is, WIRO will pay your legal fees and the cost of obtaining medical reports.

"If, for any reason, WIRO do not provide a grant of legal assistance, we will act for you on a no win - no fee basis."

If you have been injured at work, contact RMB Lawyers Queanbeyan on 1800 681 211 or visit: www.rmblawyers.com.au.

Story in partnership with RMB Lawyers.