A back injury is not only painful it can have drastic impacts on the quality of your life. Such injuries can impact your workplace productivity and future employment capabilities and prospects. Back injuries can include but are not limited to sprains and strains, bulging discs, slipped discs, fractured vertebrae, tailbone injuries and whiplash.
Most commonly back injuries occur at work due to:
- Insufficient training
- Improper lifting techniques
- Lifting of heavy loads
- Cutting corners due to time constraints
- Overexertion from lifting, carrying and throwing
If you have obtained a back injury at work and you are seeking compensation then speak to one of our lawyers today for no cost and with no pressure to quickly obtain the legal advice you need in determining whether or not you have a worker’s compensation claim. Get in touch on 3416 4999, if you want to speak directly to the owner of the firm ask for Ryan.
What to do if you have injured your back at work?
The initial step is to report your back injury to your immediate supervisor, this may be owner of the business or a manager.
You may be required to fill out an incident report at work. If your back injury is severe, then medical attention and treatment are your first priority.
For all non-severe injuries, don’t just try and ‘tough it out’ – it is always important to seek a medical opinion to see if there are any options to speed up your recovery. Also, by not reporting your injury to a medical professional, you are essentially hindering any potential work injury claim.
While you are seeking medical advice, make sure you obtain a workers’ compensation medical certificate should you require any time off work to seek treatment or to just recover. WorkCover Queensland will reimburse you for lost wages if you are concerned about taking time off for this reason.
Your next step is to inform your employer and provide them with a copy of the medical certificate. After you have done this, lodge your claim with WorkCover or self-insurer. At this stage, we can sit down for an obligation-free and zero cost meeting at our local Logan office, or we can drive to you whether you live in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Ipswich or elsewhere in Queensland. The purpose of this meeting will be to provide you with a detailed explanation of the process of a WorkCover claim, the best way to approach your potential work injury claim and explain what your options are going forward.
What is the WorkCover Claim Process?
How to lodge a WorkCover Claim?
If you are injured while you are at work, then you are entitled to access benefits from WorkCover Queensland or from your employer’s self-insurer. It is important to lodge your claim as soon as possible with WorkCover Queensland or the self-insurer as to access these benefits, your claim will need to be approved. You can lodge your claim here: https://ols.workcoverqld.com.au/ols/public/claim/lodgement.wc
How can a claim help you in the future?
As outlined below you will have access to immediate benefits during the statutory phase of your WorkCover claim. Once your initial claim has been finalised we can assist you with the second claim which is called the Common law claim. With this claim, you may be entitled to a lump sum settlement offer to compensate you for future loss of income, pain and suffering, future medical expenses etc.
Immediate Beneits you can receive from WorkCover include:
- Weekly compensation for lost wages
If you need to take some time off work due to an injury that you have sustained at work, then WorkCover will calculate the amount of weekly compensation you will receive based on the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and pay it directly into your bank account. The level of compensation that you will receive will depend on many factors but generally speaking, if you have been injured after 2008, then WorkCover QLD may cover up to 85% of your wages for up to 26 weeks before lowering that compensation amount down to either 70% or 75% for an additional 78 weeks.
- Surgical and hospital expenses
If you have sustained an injury at work and you require non-elective surgery, then WorkCover may cover your hospital costs for up to four days. If it is elective surgery involving a procedure that is determined as appropriate for the injury by a medical specialist, then WorkCover may cover costs, but it is important that WorkCover approves the operation as a course of treatment before undergoing any elective surgeries.
- Medicines essential for recovery
Should you require pain relief or prescription drugs, then WorkCover will pay for those expenses.
- Rehabilitation treatment and equipment
You may need to seek rehabilitation treatment such as physiotherapy or buy equipment such as crutches to help support your recovery. Any rehabilitation treatment or equipment you require needs to be reasonable and relevant to your injury. It is important that when attending treatment, you are seeing a registered practitioner otherwise the expense will not be covered. Most of the time WorkCover can be charged directly, however, if you make an out-of-pocket payment then ensure that you keep the receipt so that WorkCover can reimburse you.
- Travelling expenses for medical treatment, rehabilitation etc
WorkCover may pay for any necessary and reasonable travel expenses that you incur to obtain medical treatment or attend medical appointments.
What are our tips?
- Document everything. The claims process is 12-18 months and it is likely you will forget helpful evidence and information without documenting it.
- Visit your Doctor. It is not enough to say you are injured. You need to evidence your injury. Your medical records will be accessed regarding your injury so it is important that you have the independent doctor outlining your injury and assisting you in the recovery process.
- Access rehabilitation. It will assist in your recovery.
- Get in touch with us and let us help you.
What can you do to support your recovery?
- Ice – Applying an ice pack to the sore area of your neck or back can reduce the severity of the pain for some people.
- Heat – Exposing your back to moist heat via a hot shower or with a moist towel heated in the microwave may give you some pain relief.
- Massage – If your back is spasming then massaging it can be helpful after you have used heat or ice on your back. Be gentle when applying pressure to your back. ion
- Physiotherapy – Physiotherapists can determine injury severity, assess joint movement, provide strengthening and stretching exercises and identify limitations and make recommendations for day to day activities.