I’ve received an offer from WorkCover, now what?
If you have been injured during the course of your employment and have been in receipt of WorkCover benefits, you may be entitled to receive a lump sum offer from WorkCover.
If your WorkCover claim is drawing to a close, you can request to be assessed to determine whether or not you have suffered a degree of permanent impairment. The assessment should not, however, take place until your injuries have stabilised and you have reached what is called maximum medical improvement. Generally speaking, this means that your injuries will not get worse, nor better, with any further medical or rehabilitative treatment.
If you request to be assessed, WorkCover will arrange for you to attend an independent medical examination with a specialist doctor. Following the examination and the assessment of your injuries, you will receive a document from WorkCover known as a “Notice of Assessment”. This will outline whether or not you have in fact sustained a degree of permanent impairment and if so, it will be shown in percentage terms.
If you have suffered a degree of permanent impairment, the Notice of Assessment document will also offer a lump sum payment of compensation. This payment is usually quite conservative and does not take into consideration loss of wages (both past and future), out of pocket expenses or future medical treatment or rehabilitation.
You must decide whether or not to accept the lump sum offer, reject the lump sum offer or simply defer it to decide later. What is important however, if you have received an impairment less than 20% you cannot accept the lump sum offer and proceed with a common law claim for damages. If you do accept the lump sum offer, you lose your right to bring any further claim.
If you receive an impairment assessment of 20% or more, you can accept the lump sum offer and still pursue a common law claim for damages.
If you have received, or if you do receive, a Notice of Assessment or a lump sum offer from WorkCover it is extremely important that you contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your options before responding to WorkCover.
Our team have appointments available to discuss your options. Contact Wallace & Wallace Lawyers for expert and reliable advice on your rights and entitlements, on (07) 4963 2000 or through our online contact form.