Injured workers beware. This is not always as good as it seems. Offers of lump sum compensation by WorkCover at the completion of your statutory benefits claim are often a lot less than a possible award for damages for your injury as a result of the employer’s negligence. The catch is, if you accept WorkCover’s offer, you are then precluded from seeking damages for your injury. This is specifically in relation to injuries where your Notice of Assessment states that your injury has resulted in a “degree of permanent impairment” that is less than 20%.
If you receive a Notice of Assessment and you believe that the offer is questionable, you do not have to respond to WorkCover. You can defer your decision until another time. In the meantime, we recommend that you contact us in order to discuss the offer, your options and your legal rights.
By way of example, our client was offered $7,100 based on WorkCover’s decision that her shoulder injury had resulted in a 3% degree of permanent impairment. Arguably, such an offer does not adequately take into account her inability to work in her usual occupation for the years to come, her ongoing need for treatment and medication and the true extent of her daily pain and suffering.
Motto of the story: Don’t sign or accept WorkCover’s offer of lump sum compensation without obtaining legal advice.
If you need assistance with a WorkCover matter contact McColm Matsinger Lawyers.