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Work accident compensation claim – Claim Amounts and Steps

Updated on October 29, 2010

Getting injured at work can be stressful and take both time and money away from you while you are recovering. In unfortunate circumstances the injury could hamper your ability to work and can have lasting negative effects. A work accident compensation claim can help you recover your losses and get you back on your feet again.

Common Work Injuries

Some of the most common injuries that happen in the workplace are things like a hernia, back injuries and injuries to your extremities like hands and feet. Some of the typical injury claims that are submitted include; Factory accidents, Industrial illnesses, repetitive strain injury, accidents from tripping or falling and other more industry specific accidents like acoustic shock.

The more common the injury the easier it usually is to file a claim against and settle. The levels of compensation for such injuries are generally familiar to both your employer and your insurer. Complications will arise only for a more obscure accident at work claim or when there is some disagreement regarding the amount of compensation to be paid between one of the parties.

It’s Nothing Personal, and Your Employer Knows That

You needn’t feel awkward about filing a claim as it is really nothing personal. Your employer will have the right commercial insurance in place to cover any claims from employees and as such any money that you receive will not be from them personally but rather the insurer. Employers understand this and in the same way that you are protecting yourself against the loss of income or even future earning potential while you are out injured so too is your employer protecting their business by taking out commercial liability insurance against such claims.

In the rare event that you Employer should victimise you for making an injury claim against them then there are other employment laws for unfair dismissal and workplace harassment that you can pursue. In most cases though your employer will welcome the claim as it gives them the opportunity to make appropriate changes and shape their policy to prevent a recurrence or even more serious accidents and subsequent claims in the future.

work accident compensation claim
work accident compensation claim

Should You Make a Claim?

Although accidents in the workplace are a common occurrence many people are still reluctant to make a claim against their employer for a number of reasons. Either they do not know how to go about the process properly or more commonly are afraid there will be some sort of backlash and may end up losing their job entirely. It is important to realise that any apprehension regarding the former is largely unfounded and you do have various forms of legal protection in your favour should that be the case.

Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe environment for you to do your job. This includes provisions for materials and equipment, training and supervision and also the actual building or site where you work.This responsibility extends to travel for work and as such you could also be eligible to apply for a car accident injury claim if you were driving as part of your work

What to do After an Accident.

There are several important steps that you need to take after an accident to ensure that you can file your claim and be successful. Taking the following steps will help make sure you don’t miss out on anything that you may need to provide your solicitor or the insurer.

The first thing you need to do immediately after is to report the accident to your manager. You should ensure that the event is recorded in detail as soon as it is safe to do so. Your HR should have their own procedure for making such records and it is also a good idea to make a note of them yourself while it is still fresh in your mind. These records should include the names of any witnesses.

From here you can find out if something similar has happened in the past. If you can find reliable records of a previous incident then your chances of a successful compensation payout will increase dramatically. With this information you can reasonably show that your employer may not have made any attempts to rectify the problem or make the workplace safer.

Be careful about giving any written statements to your employer directly as this information may affect what types of injuries you can claim. You may have suffered an injury that you are not immediately aware of and any pre-emptive statements from yourself could deny your chance for the proper compensation you are entitled to. 

Making Your Claim

Once the above steps have been taken you should seek legal advice from a specialist personal injury claim solicitor. This should be done soon after to both recount the accident and for the best advice on how to progress with any potential claim. To claim for any injury that happened at work you will need to be able to prove that any injuries that you sustained happened while you were on the job. The evidence for this can include the employer records that we mentioned above but are also not limited to other forms including witness testimony and ambulance and other medical records.

From here your solicitor will go on to prove that the liability for these accidents actually falls on your Employer. This process may involve you giving the evidence against them though again in the long run your accident injury claim will be helping them to avoid more costly legal proceedings in the future as well as making the workplace safer for you and your colleagues.

Personal Injury Compensation Amounts

The amount that can be recovered from successful personal injury accident claims will depend on the seriousness of the injury and the length of recovery. The amount will also factor in the associated medical expenses and losses to your income and possibly future earnings. Below is a guide to the compensation amounts you may receive from some workplace injuries.

Back Injuries

For back injury claims compensation amounts are as follows;

Ligament and muscle damage: Maximum $10,500

Moderately severe back injury: Maximum $24,000

Severe back injury: Maximum $140,000

Spinal accident/injury Involving Paraplegia Maximum $235,000

Spinal injury involving Quadraplegia: Maximum $330,000

Head Injuries

Minor injuries with no brain damage: Maximum $10,500

Minor brain damage: Maximum $35,000

Moderate brain damage: Maximum $185,000

Severe brain damage: Maximum $330,000

Work Accident Injury Claims
Work Accident Injury Claims

Injuries to Arms and Legs

In the case of your hands, the compensation amount will vary according to your dominant hand.

Severe dislocation: Maximum $5,500

Loss of thumb: Maximum $45,000

Fracture of one finger: Maximum $4,000

Partial loss of little finger: Maximum $5,000

Loss of middle finger: Maximum $13,000

Loss of index finger Maximum $16,000

Effective or total loss of one hand: Maximum $90,000

Effective or total loss of both hands: Maximum $170,000

Injury to your wrist: Maximum $6,500

Total loss of function in wrist: Maximum $50,000 

Lower leg fracture (simple): Maximum $8,000

Upper leg fracture (simple): Maximum $12,000

Complicated fracture : Maximum $45,500

Very serious with multiple fractures: Maximum $115,000

Amputation - One Leg Maximum $120,000

Amputation - both Legs Maximum $235,000

Post Traumatic Stress

Post Traumatic stress disorders can be quite varied and can often be grouped with other claims common to road and traffic accidents like a whiplash accident claim or other car accident injury claims. These are usually classified by the time it takes to recover

Complete recovery within 1 - 2 years: Maximum $7,000

Ongoing minor symptoms: Maximum $20,000

Future disability: Maximum $50,000

Severe symptoms: Maximum $85,000

Eyes and Hearing

Minor injuries with some pain: Maximum $7,500

Impaired vision: Maximum $18,000

Loss of sight single eye: Maximum $50,000

Total blindness: Maximum $225,000

Occasional tinnitus: Maximum $10,500

Severe tinnitus: Maximum $40,000

Loss of hearing - one ear: Maximum $40,000

Total loss of hearing: Maximum $95,000

Asbestos Related Injuries

Pleural plaques: Maximum $35,000

Pleural thickening: Maximum $65,000

Absbestosis: Maximum $88,000

Mesothelioma: Maximum $95,000

Lung Cancer: Maximum $80,000

Vibration White Finger: Maximum $35,000

The dollar amounts listed above are a rough guide to what you may be entitled to receive with a successful claim. You should be careful to check with your solicitor how much of this amount you will actually receive after your legal fees have been paid and what other miscellaneous costs you may be left to cover. 

You should also be wary of the no win no fee trap that many people fall into. As with anything else if it is too good to be true then it likely is. If your solicitor is intelligent enough to get their degree then they are intelligent enough not to work for free. So have a written record of their costs before you go ahead with your claim. Most importantly try to compare several different lawyers and solicitors against each other to both judge the claims amounts and also increase your chances of finding someone you are comfortable with handling your claim.


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