Workers Compensation Lawyers Cairns

No matter who is at fault, if you have been injured at work you have the right to statutory compensation through WorkCover’s no-fault scheme.

It is important to understand the difference been making a claim to WorkCover for statutory compensation and making a common law claim. The statutory benefits claim is accepted by WorkCover as a matter of course, except in exceptional circumstances.

Statutory Compensation

In Cairns and the rest of Queensland, it is compulsory for all businesses to have workers compensation insurance through WorkCover. If you have been injured at work and make a claim, WorkCover will generally cover your medical expenses and help cover your wage for a limited period when you are unable to work. Even if the injury at work was the worker’s fault, every worker is entitled to claim through WorkCover.

Statutory compensation benefits through WorkCover will usually pay you between 75% and 85% of your wage, depending on the amount of time you are unable to work. These benefits are only paid for a limited period. At the end of the period, you will be given a “whole person impairment assessment”, which is done by WorkCover doctors who review the nature and extent of your injuries, and the impact they have had on you, to determine a percentage rating. Following this assessment, a Notice of Assessment will be issued which generally includes a statutory lump sum offer from WorkCover.

It is important to note that if you accept this offer, you will be barred from proceeding with a common law compensation claim.

Common Law Compensation

If another worker or your employer contributed in some way to the incident that resulted in you being injured at work, you can make a common law claim for damages to cover all losses sustained as a result of the work injury. This can include:

  • Loss of past and future earnings
  • Loss of superannuation
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Medical aids
  • Care and assistance costs

When making a common law compensation claim an assessment will be undertaken by WorkCover or a workers compensation lawyer to consider these various categories, and an allowance is made for each one.


If you are making a statutory claim through WorkCover, you will usually receive a decision within 20 business days of lodging your paperwork.

Common law claims will take a little longer. If you can reach an agreement outside of court, the process usually takes around 12 months, however, if the claim goes to court, this can extend the timeframe significantly and you will need a workers compensation lawyer.

Legal Advice

Before accepting an offer from WorkCover, it is strongly advised that you get legal advice from a workers compensation lawyer. Preston Law are proudly Cairns owned and operated. Our workers compensation lawyers work on a no win, no fee basis.

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