What Are My Rights If I Am Injured Working from Home?
Covid-19 has seen more and more Australian businesses move to work from home. The sudden spike in remote working has resulted in many changes in how businesses operate. This, of course, has implications on things such as legal responsibilities and insurance coverage. Workers are entitled to compensation if injured at work, but what about injuries at the home office? The new normal may have you asking, “what are my rights if I am injured working from home?”
The Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 outlines that employees are still covered when injured while working from home. Employers are required to ensure that you have a safe working environment, even in a work-from-home situation. Queensland businesses should also have a WorkCover accident insurance policy in place.
Getting injured while working from home
According to WorkCover law, workers are entitled to compensation if they suffer an injury “arising out of or in the course of any employment”. However, the line between “course of employment” and free time can seem blurred when working from home.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers have had to work outside their usual hours as they try to balance home-schooling and childcare duties. This is why work from home injury claims will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the injury happened while working. For example, was the employee still logged into workplace systems and software when the injury occurred?
While working from home, the employee also has a duty of care in terms of their own workplace health and safety. It’s the responsibility of the employee to maintain a safe environment. This could include things such as…
Installing fire alarms
Maintaining electrical equipment
Repairing broken steps
Case Study: Hargreaves vs. Telstra Corporation Ltd
A famous Australian example of injury compensation while working from home is the Hargreaves vs. Telstra case. Telstra employee Dale Hargreaves slipped down the stairs twice in her home while working remotely for Telstra.
When she took legal action against Telstra, the company denied liability, as the accidents occurred away from her workstation and outside typical office hours.
However, the tribunal ruled that the injury “arose out of Ms Hargreaves’ employment with Telstra”, hence making it a workplace injury.
The first fall occurred when Hargreaves left her desk to retrieve cough medicine from the fridge. It was deemed a workplace accident, as Ms Hargreaves regularly worked late, and the break was a necessary one to ease her coughing.
The second fall occurred when she was locking her front door, as per Telstra’s instructions, after a break-in at her home. This fall was also deemed a workplace accident, as Ms Hargreaves was following a reasonable direction from her employer. Hence, the injury fell within the scope of her employment.
What about contractors and freelancers?
In Australia, contractors and freelancers are not automatically covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation policy. We recommend contractors and freelancers take out their own insurance policies to ensure they are covered in case of injury.
What to do if you get injured while working at home
If you have been injured while working from home, it’s essential to follow the usual procedures. This includes visiting a doctor to get a medical certificate, notifying your employer and lodging a WorkCover claim as soon as you can.
Are you looking for further advice on where you stand in terms of your injury while working from home? Revolution Law can help you with your workers’ compensation claim. We start off by offering free advice over the phone, followed by a coffee meeting where we further discuss your situation and fully disclose our fees. What’s more, if there’s no win, there’s no fee. Contact Revolution Law today.
Whiplash is a non-medical term used to describe neck pain which has resulted from a soft tissue injury to the neck. It is a common injury that is caused by a traumatic incident such as a rear end car accident, where in the neck is extended beyond its typical range of motion causing an abrupt forward backward movement to the spine. This form of injury can cause significant pain and disability.
Whiplash Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of whiplash can include neck pain and stiffness, spasms, headaches, shoulder pain and stiffness, jaw pain, ringing in the ear, backpain, dizziness, fatigue and a loss of a range of motion in the neck.
If you suspect you may have whiplash your treating doctor can diagnose clinically by a thorough physical exam. The evaluation should include the observation of the your ability to move your head to the left and right, backward and forward and side to side. Your doctor will try to detect areas of pain and tension by observing and touching the muscles in your neck, head and upper back and shoulders. Strength, sensation and reflect testing should also be undertaken to detect and confirm any problems.
Soft tissues injuries such as whiplash cannot been seen on X-rays. Further specialised imaging such as CT Scans or an MRI may be recommended to ensure the accurate diagnosis of whiplash. However, they are not generally required as a doctor can usually diagnose with the physical exam.
If you have been diagnosed with Whiplash, then your Doctor will likely recommend over the counter pain medication. Additionally, you can attempt the following to minimise your pain;
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.
If your whiplash injury has an impact on your future, get in touch with one of our TPD lawyers today to see how we can assist with a compensation claim to minimise the impact on your life.
How are Fees for my Personal Injury Claim charged?
We are focused on ensuring that our clients get the best value in their personal injury claim, while still maintaining the costs of running a sustainable practice. If you have ever wondered about how Law Firm’s charge fees for their personal injury claims then read on.
Our staff members are classified under different titles depending on their skills set and experience. For meetings, conferences and phone calls our staff each have a different hourly rate dependent on their role. We charge per a unit of time (6 minutes) which is a portion of the set hourly fee. Perusing of documents, drafting and correspondence is charged per hundred words and is subject to different prices depending on whether it’s general communication verse detailed legal correspondence. Per 100 words verse charging hourly takes away any concern that our staff are slowly taking their time to fluff out legal fees. We track our time carefully using our software system, despite care taken and to the client’s benefit this software will never encapsulate the total hours we spend on each personal injury claim.
Large Scale Claim Fees.
At the end of the claim we weigh up work done verse the 50/50 rule. For large scale claims we organise for an individual cost assessor to go through the file and assess those final legal costs because for large claims our legal fees won’t even come close to 50 % of the total settlement. For large scale claims our clients benefit with our firms zero uplift fee. Many of our competitors charge a 25% uplift fee on their final legal costs as they see it as an entitlement to get more in their legal fees due to carrying the costs of the claim for an extended period and acting on a speculative basis.
John’s claim settles for 500 thousand dollars. Revolution Law arranges a legal fee cost assessment which comes in at 60 thousand dollars. Revolution Law charges this fee. Competitors who entitle themselves to an uplift fee charge an additional 25% fee which in this example equals an extra 15 thousand dollars.
We don’t believe in enforcing such an ‘entitlement’, you pay for work done and we wear the costs of running our business.
Small Scale Claim Fees
For small-scale claims we will leave the decision up to the client whether they wish to get the claims cost assessed or just opt for the 50/50 rule. Clients recognise that for an average of 18 months of detailed legal work our costs are completely fair and reasonable. Clients who have engaged in other legal work with upfront costs are appreciative that they’ve had the benefit of the No Win No Fee policy in which their compensation is protected by the 50/50 rule.
Jessie’s claim settles for 30 thousand dollars. After a total of 5 thousand in disbursements is paid back the remaining amount is 25 thousand dollars. Revolution Law can only charge 12,500 in legal fees even if we have conducted 35 thousand dollars’ worth of legal work.
Legal Fees Suck.
Yes, they do, we get that. The expenses of running a law firm isn’t a walk in the park either. Running a matter for 18 months without charging any upfront fees or even requiring clients to fund their own medical reports and outlays is risky. It’s a part of business. Our clients pay for a service provided and we work hard to ensure that our clients get the best possible outcome.
Why bother with a lawyer when you can run the claim yourself?
Simply put, even after legal fees are charged we will get you a better result in your hand. Averages of compensation payouts have been released in the 2017 Claimant Research Report conducted by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC). These averages saw that Self-litigants averaged a total settlement amount of $13,481.94 and the average amount received in hand was $10,281.94. Comparatively, Claimants who were represented by a Lawyer averaged a total settlement amount of $93,305.46. The average amounts received in hand was $51,295.77.
Running a personal injury claim requires experience, expertise and time. The average figures of in the hand amount in the MAIC report shows that claimants can be some 40 thousand dollars better off with their in-hand payout even after legal fees. These figures speak for themselves and at Revolution Law we would be upfront with you when we initially assess your file if we think you could get a better in hand figure running the matter yourself.
Compensation Payouts for Motor Vehicle Accident Claims.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you are wondering about compensation and monetary payouts then read on to find out the answers to the questions you are really asking.
Can I make a compensation claim after a car accident?
If you have been injured in an accident of which you are not at fault for then the answer is yes. Injuries can include anything from whiplash, broken bones and paralysis. It doesn’t matter if you are the passenger, another driver or a pedestrian, you have the right to bring forward a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s CTP insurer. If you are unsure of whose fault it was or have some odd circumstances then speak to one of our Lawyers for free about the accident.
How much are car accident compensation payout figures?
To give people a range that is specific to their case is impossible during the initial stages of their claim. Each claim is unique and compensation figures are based on a range of factors which are specific to the claimant. Before we can discuss figures we have to gather and analyse evidence, determine the extent of the injury, review your current economic loss and your predicted future loss, finalise what impacts the injury has on your life and so forth.
Averages of compensation payouts have been released in the 2017 Claimant Research Report conducted by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC). You can review the report here.
• On their own, self-litigants averaged a total settlement amount of $13,481.94.
• The average amount self-litigants received in hand was $10,281.94.
• Injured claimants that opted for Legal representation averaged a total settlement amount of $93,305.46.
• The average compensation payout legally represented claimants received in their hand was $51,295.77.
Should I run my own personal injury claim?
If your intention is to save money on legal fees then read on. Firstly, personal injury firms like Revolution Law operate on a No-Win No-Fee basis. If we don’t win your case, then we won’t charge you any fees. But it’s not just about engaging a lawyer with no risk to you and without the requirement of having to pay upfront fees – it is the fact that to get the type of compensation payout results shown in the MAIC report requires easily 100 plus hours of detailed legal work from experienced and experts.
The average figures in the MAIC report evidence’s that claimants can be some 40 thousand dollars better off with their in hand payout. This is after legal fees are taken into consideration. These figures speak for themselves in the reality of engaging a lawyer.
Why Choose Revolution Law?
This is an absolutely shameless plug about the fact that we are proud of what we do and we love getting the best possible results for our clients. It’s a great feeling being able to see our clients move forward with financial security for their family after a traumatic event taking so much.
In your initial free consultation, we can easily assess your matter to see if it has any merit. We have no problems in being upfront with you. If we think you can get a better result without legal advice, we’d tell you!
Our fees are capped at 50% of your final payout. It doesn’t mean that we will charge you that much, it just means that if we do an extreme 500 hours of work and you only get a terrible settlement offer of only 20 thousand dollars then we can only take 10 thousand dollars in fees. Don’t stress too much, our lawyer will go through a full fee disclosure before you even sign up. We have nothing to hide and no the importance of being clear with fees.
Speaking about fees, it should be mentioned we have No Uplift Fees. Most firms charge an additional 25% on their fees if they have been successful on your matter. That is their way of trying to bump their fees up as much as possible. You pay for what you should, we don’t need a success fee because that is your entitlement.
Another one of our bonuses which can save you thousands is that carry the costs of obtaining medico-legal reports, plus the costs of gathering other evidence. Most firms use a third party which charges the client an exorbitantly high-interest amount which you have to pay back from your compensation. It’s the cash converters of the Legal world and it’s costly. When you are with us, we carry these expenses and the best bit is, we won’t charge you any interest and if your matter doesn’t settle then our business will bare those expenses so that you can truly walk away without any financial commitment.
Lastly, the Director and owner of the firm not only works at the office but is still actively engaged in overseeing and checking up on all clients throughout their claim’s process. You can get in touch with him at any stage throughout your claim. This firm is personal, you are not a number. Your success is our success.
A lot has been written about Ryan’s Rule and despite this there remains a misconception that Ryan’s Rule can only be applied when the patient is a child. This is absolutely not the case.
As we are heading into the School holiday period with families going on holidays or attending the various Commonwealth games events this article serves as a timely reminder that Ryan’s Rule can be enacted when at a hospital if you as the parent, carer or family member are concerned about the health care being provided to your loved one of any age.
By way of background the Rule came about after Ryan Saunders a 2-year-old toddler boy died in 2007 due to the hospital’s failure to diagnose and to provide appropriate medical care to him. He died from an undiagnosed Streptococcal infection, which led to Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Following Ryan Saunders tragic death, the Coroner, Queensland’s Health Quality and Complaints Commission (now Office of the Health Ombudsman) and Health department were critical of the care provided and recommendations were made and implemented to prevent it happening again.
In summary Ryan’s Rule;
Is a three-step process to support patients of any age, their families and carers, to raise concerns if a patient’s health condition is getting worse or not improving as well as expected;
applies to all patients admitted to any Queensland Health public hospital and in some Hospital in the Home (HITH) services. It is important to note here that it does not apply in Private Hospital, although other complaints process are available in these hospitals;
The Ryan’s Rule escalation process is as follows:
Step 1: Talk to a nurse or doctor about your concerns. If you are not satisfied with the response, go to the next step.
Step 2: Talk to the nurse in charge of the shift. If you are not satisfied with the response, go to the next step.
Step 3: Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or ask a nurse to phone for you, and request a Ryan’s Rule Clinical Review. You will need to provide the following:
Ward and bed number (if known)
Your contact number
Once the Rule is enacted, a nurse or doctor will undertake a Ryan’s Rule clinical review of the patient and the treatment they are receiving. This is where for instance any gaps in treatment, diagnosis and/or review of the treatment being provided can be scrutinised.
Ryan’s Rule is implemented as a last resort if all other complaints process highlighted above fails.
Ryan’s Rule gives voice to the parent, carer and family member with legitimate concerns about the health care being provided to their loved ones. No longer do you have to look helpless from the sidelines it provides a sense of empowerment and validity to their concerns.
Share this article with a friend, family member, neighbor or even a stranger it may just help to save a life.
It might shock you to know that as a Personal Injury Lawyer, Compensation Lawyer or Injury lawyer I do not chase Ambulances.
Compensation lawyers in the mind of the average person seems to conjure the image of a Lawyer with a brief case chasing after an Ambulance.
I can assure you that most Compensation lawyers did not spend four to five years at university, 6-12 months of college of law and then another two years of supervision to chase an ambulance to secure claimants.
It does not help the image when the urban dictionary goes to the trouble of including and defining Ambulance Chasers as; “ an unethical lawyer, especially those who represent plaintiffs in personal injury actions.”
The origin of this popular phrase if Google is to be believed; “……. dates from late 19th century; from reputation gained by certain lawyers for attending accidents and encouraging victims to sue.”
And henceforth all who dare to work in the field of compensation were tarnished.
At its core the role of a Compensation Lawyer is to help claimants injured through no fault of their own navigate the complexities or road blocks of accessing their entitlements, so they can get back on track. The compensation lawyer is often;
The one who knows the ins and outs of your injury claim;
The one who knows the impact of the injury and claims process on you and your family;
The one who is there for the highs and lows;
The one that listens to you, and
The one in your corner from the beginning through to the end of your claim when all others have lost interest in your injury claim.
A Compensation Lawyer typically works in all or some of the following areas;
Motor Accident claim;
Work Injury Claims;
Public Liability Claims;
Medical Negligence Claims, and
Just as there are good and bad people there are also good and bad lawyers. Some tough questions to ask before engaging a Compensation Lawyer are;
Will you be accessible;
Will you return my calls;
Are you an expert in your field;
Will you be upfront with me;
Will you be charging an uplift on the legal fees, and;
Are you a lawyer.
The position remains in Queensland that the Compensation Scheme is heavily regulated. Aside from the ethical implications of ‘chasing ambulances,’ it is insulting to suggest or surmise that the only way we are capable of helping those in the need of our services is to queue in front an ambulance or the like.
In summary as a Compensation Lawyer my central motivation remains to help others and I take immense pleasure meeting a claimant for the first time, navigating them through the highs and lows of the compensation process and coming out at the end with an outcome which sets them and their family back on track. To make a living from this is bonus.
While we don’t ever want to be involved in an accident, the fact remains that there may come a time when you will be. And if that day arrives, you want to be well prepared and to know what you need to do.
There are legal obligations that you need to adhere to, and you’ll also want to ensure that you are protected in the event of being at fault, or if you were not at fault and need to seek personal injury compensation.
This is a short guide for what you need to do if you have been involved in a road accident.
When the Accident Has Just Happened
First of all, you need to stay on the scene. Make sure everyone involved in the accident is safe, and if someone has been injured or killed, you will definitely need to provide a police statement.
You need to call 000 (triple zero) if there is an emergency, an injury requiring medical attention, or a death. Also, if there is a hazardous environment or a threat to public safety from things like downed power lines or spilt fuel or goods, you’ll also need to call emergency services.
If you suspect that drugs or alcohol are involved, you’ll need to call Policelink on 131 444. Call Policelink if a driver fails to provide their information or if a driver has an impairment or a disability and requires police assistance. You need to:
Exchange information with the other people involved in the crash
Arrange for your car to be moved (if it is safe to do so)
Report the accident to the Queensland Police Services within a 24-hour period
If you have returned to your unattended vehicle and found minor damage (and the other driver has already left the scene), you can also report this to the police to help with an insurance claim.
You need to provide the following ‘required particular’ information to the other driver:
Your name and address (plus the name and address of the vehicle owner if you don’t own the car/vehicle)
The registration number of the vehicle
Anything else necessary to identify the vehicle
Take pictures of the accident, the position of the car(s) and any injuries for you or anyone else who has been in the car with you.
After the Accident
We recommend that you seek legal advice if you were the at-fault driver, or if you have been injured. If you haven’t got the other person’s name or details but you have their registration plate number, it’s possible to find their information by searching online at the Department of Transport. If you have been involved in an accident and were at fault, the police may charge you with a traffic offence which means it’s vital that whether you were at fault or not, you seek legal representation.
Seek Medical Attention
While many people feel fine immediately after an accident, it can be shock that is masking an injury, and a true representation of how you feel might not appear until a day or a few days later. It’s vital that you get a comprehensive medical assessment immediately after your accident, especially if you are feeling any pain, discomfort, dizziness or numbness anywhere in your body.
This is the best thing for your physical health but also ensures that you are protected in the event that you need to seek personal injury compensation. After all, it may be tough to prove that your injuries were as a result of your car accident if you wait days or weeks after the crash.
You may be seeing specialists and visiting multiple healthcare professionals. Make sure that you take detailed notes of anyone that you visit. Keep it all in a diary or monitor it somehow – along with the total costs you spend. Keep your receipts if you need assistive devices like crutches or a wheelchair, and also keep records on the following:
A journal or daily diary about your injuries and any of your medical treatment. Be specific here – really specific – about how much pain you are in, any inconvenience, any loss of function or missed opportunities due to your injury and any household jobs that you can no longer do. Also, keep track of who has been ‘picking up the slack’ so to speak, with household tasks and duties.
Any medical correspondence from practitioners (including phone calls, emails and appointments)
Any special food, treatment aids or anything else related to your injury
Travel to and from appointments
Pictures of injury progress
Financial losses or lost opportunities at work or professionally otherwise
Seek legal advice and representation
We are here for you to make the compensation process simple. While a claim is never easy to go through, we can make the whole process smooth and as hassle-free as possible, leaving you free to concentrate on getting better and being there for your family. Without legal advice, you will find it very difficult to access the full range of compensation that you are entitled to.
We are Brisbane’s expert TPD personal injury lawyers and would like to speak with you about your accident and help you move forward. Contact us today on 07 3416 4999 or get in touch online for a free consultation.
Have you been injured at work? We empathise. This can be a very stressful time, especially if you are unable to work for an extended period of time and have a family and financial commitments to think about.
Our goal as your legal representation is to help you with compensation so that your injury management is timely, safe, secure and comfortable. We want to help you return to work if possible, and to make the transition from working to recovery, and back to work again, smooth.
Often when people are injured at work, it is a highly anxious time. Workers wonder if their injury will be believed and whether they will be paid appropriate compensation for their injuries. There’s also the added stress of what to do if they cannot return to work. You have rights as an employee, and we will go over these in more detail here to make your workplace personal injury claim a straightforward process.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured at Work
Tell your supervisor or the person in charge at your workplace that you have been injured. Get a workplace injury report written up and be sure to sign it and get it completed. If you are injured to the point of needing hospital treatment, you will need to go to the appropriate medical centre for this.
If you are seeking medical treatment independently, be sure to let your treating physician know that you are being treated for a workplace injury.
Get the necessary paperwork together and take it to your employer or to WorkCover direct and start your application for compensation.
Go to the necessary appointments for your treatment and participate in your rehabilitation.
Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that your claim for compensation is completed successfully and fully.
Do I have to go to the doctor my employer recommends?
No. If your injuries are sufficiently severe, you’ll need to attend the nearest medical facility – but you’re also entitled to seek treatment from your regular doctor. At no time during the life of your injury can you be made to see a particular doctor or to attend a certain facility. You’re always entitled to seek a second or third opinion and to get treatment from a doctor who you trust.
Do I have to sign an authorisation form which allows my employer to seek information from my medical professional?
No. You are under no obligation to provide authorisation for your employer to speak to your medical professional. Privacy laws protect you, and your employer may try to get you to sign an authority to speak with your doctor directly. You are under no obligation to allow your employer to do this, and if you do not wish this to happen or if you would prefer to allow your employer to speak to your doctor through you, simply don’t sign an authorisation.
Who do I need to lodge my claim through?
Many employers will offer you advice and assistance in getting your claim started. But if you don’t want to deal with the claim yourself, you can lodge this through WorkCover or through legal representation.
When do I need to lodge my claim?
While it’s pertinent that you should lodge your claim as soon as possible if there’s an injury, you do need to make a claim within six months after becoming aware that you have an injury.
Can my employer fire me for making a compensation claim?
No. The laws around workers compensation protect you from being terminated from your employment for a period of twelve months after an injury (if the termination arises from your workplace injury). If you have been fired within a twelve-month period, it’s important that you seek legal advice as we may be able to speak with you about this matter.
What happens if my claim isn’t accepted?
If your claim for compensation is not accepted, please contact us immediately. There are appeals that can be lodged, and we can help you with this. Your injuries are important, and we can help you no matter what stage you are at.
Timeliness In A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claim
“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune” – Shakespeare
While Shakespeare may have been ambitious about leading on to fortune with regards to Personal Injury Claims, which are more about compensation than enrichment. That is to return the client to a position he or she would have been had the injury not occurred. Where Shakespeare is correct though is the importance of timeliness, “taking the tide at the flood” as it were.
Immediately after an accident, the most important thing you should do is look after your health. Then you can begin thinking about personal injury claims; bearing in mind that you can lose your right to claim for compensation if you fail to take certain steps within the required time frames.
It is essential to instruct a lawyer well before the expiry dates because there are procedures that must be done before commencing legal proceedings. Failure to act in time may result in you losing your right to claim compensation forever; or as Shakespeare would have it “Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries”
Here at Revolution Law, we offer a free first consultation, during which your claim will be assessed and you will be advised accordingly. We collect all the documents, medical reports and statements on your behalf and make sure that your claim is lodged in a timely manner. And ”On such a full sea we can now float, and take the current as it serves and not lose our venture”.
To find out more about lodging your claim in a timely manner contact us by phone or send us an email.
Word Is Getting Out About Revolution Law – What A Day
We have had some rapid growth in new personal injury clients occurring over the past few months particularly with our referral base where the word about our capped fees on no win, no fee personal injury claims is really getting out.
We’ve seen client enquiries and visitor numbers to our website increasing Gradually each & every month but today we literally saw an explosion in visitors and client enquiries alike.
Whilst we are extremely happy to see our firm excel, we actually find more happiness in being able to help everyday Queenslanders as we love nothing more than to see them from the start of their journey from the difficult times to the better times when we are able to provide some closure and obtain justified compensation but also go one step further to ensure that they always receive the majority of their settlement, rather than losing half.
So we thought we would share you in our success, not just today but our overriding success in helping others with the personal injury claims whether it be a motor vehicle accident to a work injury claim – we are there for you!
A snapshot of our successful day today (and it isn’t even over) with an explosion of Queensland Based Visitors