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What do you do if you’ve sustained an injury at work? The first thing to remember is that Workers Compensation works on a no-fault basis. In the preceding section, we talked about an employer’s obligation to provide a safe workplace. This obligation applies even if the employee was arguably careless in the way they were doing their job. So, regardless of the circumstances your injury arose, you may well have a claim.
Workers compensation claims are available in a very broad range of situations. You can lodge a claim for an injury sustained while travelling to or from work. You can lodge a claim even if you are a casual or part time employee. You can lodge a claim for a condition, which has developed over an extended period, such as industrial deafness or RSI.
State law imposes time limits for bringing a claim. You may be able to bring a claim after this period in certain situations – for example, you were not aware that you had contracted an injury or condition – but it is best to bring your claim as soon as possible.
There is more than one way to bring a claim. You can either lodge a claim with WorkCover or seek damages at common law. A claim on one basis generally nullifies the right to bring a claim on the other, so it is best to seek advice as to which option is best for you.