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I’ve injured my back at work, what do I do?

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Please note that this post was written for Queensland audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

I’ve injured my back at work, what do I do?

You have injured your back at work, now what?

Step 1. Medical Certificate

As soon as possible attend your usual doctor and request a medical certificate.

Step 2. Make a Claim

The second step is to make a claim to WorkCover Queensland online, over the phone, or by completing a WorkCover Queensland Claim Form. WorkCover will make a determination based on the following criteria:

  • The claim was made six months from the date of injury;
  • The person claiming is considered to be a worker;
  • A work-related incident caused the injury?; and
  • The person’s job was a significant contributing factor to their injury (this means a large part of the cause)?

Workcover will contact you to collect information then advise you of their decision to accept or deny your claim within 20 business days.

If your claim is accepted, WorkCover will pay you weekly benefits for lost wages at the rate of your usual earnings. They will also arrange and fund treatment and rehabilitation.

Once you have an accepted claim, it is best to make an appointment to speak with one of Zaparas’ WorkCover Lawyers to clarify any queries you may have on 1800 927 272.

If your claim is denied, you can lodge an application for review with the Office of Industrial Relations.

If your employer is a self-insurer, you will need to make a claim to their insurer rather than WorkCover. WorkSafe’s list of self-insured employers can be found here. We recommend speaking to your human resources department or your direct manager about your employer’s claims process.

Step 3. Permanent Impairment Assessment

WorkCover will continue to provide rehabilitation for your back injury until your treatment providers consider that your injury will not improve with any further treatment. WorkCover will then engage an independent medical assessor to assess your back injury for a permanent impairment.

Based on the impairment percentage, WorkCover will offer you a lump sum payment. If your permanent impairment assessment is below 20%, you must decide whether to accept the lump sum amount OR commence a common law claim. If your permanent impairment assessment is 20% or more, you may accept the lump sum amount AND commence a common law claim.

If you have not already consulted Zaparas Lawyers regarding your WorkCover claim, we recommend seeking advice at this stage in order to understand your prospects in a common law claim.

Step 4. Common Law Claim

If your employer’s negligence contributed to your back injury, then it may be advised to commence a common law claim. Contact Zaparas Lawyers to find out more information on the common law process.

Step 5. Closed Claims

If your injury has resolved and you have returned to work, WorkCover will close your claim.
If you cease contact with WorkCover, do not adhere to rehabilitation and treatment advice or do not attend appointments, WorkCover will close your claim.