If you suffer from a workplace injury, you can access lost wages and payment of medical expenses through the Workers' Compensation scheme. 

You don’t need to prove anyone’s fault to be eligible.

Typically, employees are covered by the employer's insurer.  In Victoria this is the WorkCover compensation scheme.

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What is a WorkCover claim?

Under the Victorian workers’ compensation scheme, there are three types of claims:

  • a WorkCover claim
  • an Impairment Benefit claim
  • a Common Law claim.

The WorkCover claim and the Impairment Benefit claim are ‘no-fault’ claims. This means that you do not need to establish that another party was at fault in how you sustained your injury.

A Common Law claim is a ‘fault-based’ claim and can only be made if you have sustained a serious injury as a result of negligence by your employer and/or another party.

In some cases, you may be able make all three claims in relation to the same injury.


Our WorkCover lawyers can help with a claim for

No Win No Fee Personal Injury Lawyers

Are you in need of expert legal advice and assistance to navigate the complex world of work injury compensation? Look no further. Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers, a law firm based in Melbourne, are dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our team of experienced work injury lawyers is committed to delivering high quality legal representation and support, making your journey through the claims process as smooth as possible.

One of our Specialisations:

Work Injury Compensation: Our expert work injury compensation lawyers specialise in representing individuals who have suffered workplace injuries. We understand the challenges you face, and we're here to help you secure the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Why Choose Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers?

No Win, No Fee Service: At Redlich's, we offer a "No Win, No Fee" service, which means you don't pay legal costs unless we win your case. This aligns perfectly with our commitment to making justice accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.

Dedication to Your Rights: Our team is passionate about advocating for your rights. We tirelessly pursue your case to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible. We know the law, and we know how to apply it in your favour.

Extensive Experience: With 50 years of experience in work injury compensation, Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers are well-versed in the intricacies of the legal system. We use this knowledge to your advantage.

Unwavering Support: We understand that the aftermath of a workplace injury can be devastating to you and your loved ones. Our team is here to provide you with the legal support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Comprehensive Legal Services: Our expertise extends to a wide range of work-related injuries and dependency claims. These include all types of physical injuries, psychological injuries and other conditions or diseases which have been caused by the nature of your employment. This includes pre-existing injuries or conditions which have been aggravated, accelerated, exacerbated or have recurred due to your work duties.

If the insurer rejects your WorkCover claim, rest assured, we can assist you. We often represent injured workers who have a rejected WorkCover claim.

If your WorkCover claim has been accepted, we will provide you with advice and assistance about your potential lump sum entitlements to enable you to claim the compensation you are entitled to. We have the skills and knowledge to handle all types of work injury claims, including claims that require going to Court. We run cases in the Magistrates’ Court, County Court and Supreme Court.

Servicing Victoria: While our headquarters are in Melbourne, our services are available to clients across Victoria and we have a number of offices around Victoria. We have a deep understanding of the local legal landscape and are well-prepared to represent your interests effectively.

When you partner with Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers, you’re not just getting legal representation; you’re getting a dedicated team of professionals who are compassionate and committed to helping you get back to better. Our No Win, No Fee service makes quality legal support accessible to everyone, ensuring that your rights are represented and defended.

If you’ve experienced a work-related injury and are seeking compensation, look no further than Redlich’s Work Injury Lawyers. Contact us now to schedule an obligation free discussion and take the first step towards securing the compensation you deserve. Your journey begins with us.

What are my options?

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim you may be able to access multiple levels of compensation based on the severity of your injury/illness and whether your employer was at fault.

Level 1: No fault benefits

WorkCover benefits include "weekly payments" of lost income and a financial contribution towards medical expenses such as:

  • ambulance and hospital expenses
  • doctors and other medical attendances (including travel expenses)
  • medications and aides
  • personal and household expenses
  • rehabilitation costs (including counselling and household assistance).

Level 2: Permanent injury lump sum payment

The calculation of this payment is based on the level of your assessed permanent impairment.  This payment is available regardless of fault.

This is separate, and in addition to, weekly payments and medical & like expenses.

Level 3: Sue for further compensation

If your injury/illness is determined to be a "serious injury" and was caused due to the fault of another party, you can sue for further monetary compensation.  This refers to the "pain and suffering" you have endured and will continue to endure; and for the "economic loss" of wages and superannuation you would have earnt into the future.

This is separate to weekly payments and medical & like expenses.

Often, cases resolve prior to attending court.


How do I make a WorkCover claim?

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Seek medical treatment

Even if your injury/illness appears to be minor, if you are involved in an accident at work it is important to visit a doctor to start an early record of symptoms, their cause and impact on your life.  This appointment will provide the historical background which will be critical to the success of your WorkCover claim.

If you need time off work, request a "certificate of capacity" from your doctor.

Most doctors, therapists and pharmacists should be able to bill the WorkCover insurer directly.  If they cannot, request a receipt for the treatment and send it in to your insurer to claim within six months of treatment.  Keep a copy of the receipt.

02
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Notify your employer

You need to notify your employer within 30 days of becoming aware you have a work injury/illness.

Further, you only have six years from your date of injury/illness to sue your employer if they were at fault.  This date may be extended in some circumstances, such as if you have only recently become aware of the seriousness of your injury/illness.

It is important that you do not sign anything without obtaining legal advice first.

03
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Lodge a WorkCover claim

WorkCover claim forms are available at the post office, one of our offices or you can request one by calling WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

If you have medical expenses or need to take time off work, you will need to complete a WorkCover claim form and provide it to your employer.

If you are claiming for time off work, you also need to have a "certificate of capacity" from your doctor.

If you need assistance completing your WorkCover claim form, please call a member of our legal team on (03) 9321 9988.

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Contact us

Even if you don’t think your injury is serious, we recommend discussing your injury/illness with a lawyer while the details are fresh in your mind.

Your time is important to us, so when you call (03) 9321 9988 during business hours Monday - Friday, your call will be answered by a member of our legal team.  We will be able to advise you on your potential rights and entitlements, and offer a free face-to-face meeting at an office closest to you.

Legal services are provided on a No Win No Fee basis.

Awards and Accolades

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Leading law firm

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers

Victorian Work Injury Compensation (2018 – 2019)

Second tier law firm

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Victorian Work Injury Compensation (2020)

Third tier law firm

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers

Victorian Work Injury Compensation (2023)


Frequently Asked Questions

Read all WorkCover FAQs

I have been injured at work – what should I do?

If you have been injured at work, you need to notify your employer within 30 days of you becoming aware of your work related injury. A good way to formally notify your employer is to fill out the Register of Injuries, which must be kept at each workplace.

You should seek any medical treatment necessary. It is helpful to tell your doctor or health provider the circumstances of your work-related injury from the first consultation.

Make a claim

If you incur medical expenses or need to take time off work, you will need to complete a Worker’s Injury claim form. You can access an online claim form from WorkSafe’s website. Printed forms are available at the post office, one of our offices or request one by calling WorkSafe on 1800 136 089.

Your employer may also be able to provide you with a copy.

In the claim form there is a section dedicated to when your injury/condition occurred and when you first noticed it. If your work injury or condition developed over a period of time, it is acceptable to write ‘injured over the course of employment’ on the claim form instead of a specific date and time of injury.

If you require assistance completing your claim form, you can contact one of our expert lawyers for free advice on (03) 9321 9988.

The claim form must be given to your employer either by hand or post.

Obtain a ‘Certificate of Capacity’ from your GP

If you are claiming for time off work, you also need to have a WorkCover Certificate of Capacity from your treating General Practitioner (GP). An ordinary medical certificate will not be accepted.

The initial WorkCover Certificate of Capacity should cover a period of no more than 14 days and all subsequent certificates should be for a period of up to 28 days.

Lodge with the insurer

Your employer has 10 days from when it receives your claim to forward the claim to its authorised insurer (also known as claims agent). It is possible to lodge a copy of a claim yourself with the authorised insurer. This is recommended in circumstances where your employer is refusing to receive your claim, or where an employer cannot be located/found, no longer operates or if there is doubt as to whether the claim form will be passed on to the authorised insurer within the required time. Penalties can be imposed on employers when claims are not forwarded to the authorised insurer.

Once the authorised insurer receives a claim it has 28 days to accept or reject the claim. If it rejects the claim it should provide written notice of the rejection. If it does not reject the claim within 28 days, then the claim is treated as accepted. Normally, before deciding whether to accept or reject the claim, the authorised insurer or claims agent will arrange for you to be examined by one of their doctors.

If you are concerned that your injury or condition could cause you to have ongoing problems, it is worthwhile to seek legal advice while the circumstances of the injury are still fresh in your mind. For free initial legal advice over the telephone, call Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to speak directly to a member of our team.

How long do I have to make a WorkCover claim?

There is no strict time limit to bring a ‘no-fault’ WorkCover claim, but you do need to notify your employer within 30 days of you becoming aware of your work related injury.

A good way to formally notify your employer is to fill out the Register of Injuries, which must be kept at each workplace.

You only have six years from your date of injury to bring a common law claim against your employer. This date may be extended in some circumstances, such as if you have only recently become aware of the seriousness of your injury.

How long does the authorised insurer have to accept or reject my claim?

Once the authorised insurer receives a WorkCover claim it has 28 days in which to accept or reject the claim.

If it rejects the claim, it should provide you with written notice of the rejection. If the authorised insurer does not provide written notice of its decision within 28 days, the claim is deemed to have been accepted.

Normally, before deciding whether to accept or reject the claim, the authorised insurer will arrange for you to be examined by one of their doctors.

Who is covered under WorkCover?

In order to be covered by WorkCover, the following criteria must be met:

  • you must be a worker
  • the injury must be a work-related injury.

WorkCover is a workers’ compensation ‘no fault’ scheme established by law to compensate Victorian workers who are injured at work or who suffer from a work-related illness.

Workers are covered by the scheme regardless of who was at fault.

In certain circumstances, independent contractors may be eligible for workers compensation under the WorkCover scheme.  For instance, a contractor who works regular hours with one employer over a period of time may be eligible, even though tax is not deducted from their pay.  Clothing outworkers and local councillors as well as others are also considered ‘deemed workers’ under workers’ compensation law.

If you are unsure whether you will be considered a worker and eligible for benefits, contact Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 for free legal advice.

How is a work injury damages claim calculated?

There is no set formula to calculate damages for a work injury as the amount of compensation you receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your accident and injuries. Additionally, there are statutory maximums that apply to WorkCover damages claims, and damages cannot exceed these set amounts.

To calculate economic loss, an assessment is made between your pre-injury and post-injury work capacity applying an actuarial discount. You must not calculate your economic loss by calculating your annual income and multiplying that amount to your retirement age. This will give you an unrealistic and unattainable figure. At law, there are discounts that must be applied to future economic loss including what lawyers refer to as 'vicissitudes of life.’  This refers to some other life event which may have impacted on your ability to work until retirement age.

For work injury damages claims, there are minimum and maximum amounts of compensation you can receive. Each year, these amounts are indexed and this generally occurs on 1 July.

It is crucial to speak with a lawyer to fully understand your entitlements. Call our advice line on (03) 9321 9988 or submit an online enquiry to get in touch with our legal team for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What happens if you can't return to work after injury?

If you have an accepted WorkCover or TAC claim and you are unable to return to work, the insurer or the TAC will pay you weekly payments if you have an incapacity for your employment due to your work injury. 

For all WorkCover claims, you will be entitled to be paid 95% of your pre-injury average earnings for the first 13 weeks, and thereafter at 80% up until 130 weeks. If you are still unable to return to work after 130 weeks, then you will be entitled to weekly payments at the rate of 80% if you have ‘no work capacity’ which is likely to continue ‘indefinitely.’

It is important to note, if you are unable to return to work, your employer may seek to terminate your employment. However, they have an obligation to offer you your pre-injury employment or suitable duties for 52 weeks.

If you have an accepted TAC claim and you are unable to return to work, you may be entitled to income support payments as follows: (1) loss of income payment for the first 18 months calculated at 80% of your pre-injury accident earnings, (2) loss of  earning capacity payments from 18 month to 3 years calculated at 80% of your pre-injury accident earnings,  and, (3) loss of earning capacity payments after 3 years only if the degree of your impairment is 50% or more.

You will also be covered for the cost of reasonable medical and like expenses, which may consist of GP visits, medication and physiotherapy treatment, among others.

There are two types of lump sum claims you may be able to pursue under the WorkCover & TAC schemes: an impairment benefit claim and a common law claim for damages. We invite you to contact Redlich’s on (03) 9321 9988 to discuss these entitlements.

For public liability claims, there are no immediate entitlements available to support you. Therefore, if you are unable to work after an injury in a public place, your avenues of income support include your leave entitlements at work, income protection benefits though your superannuation, Centrelink support and common law damages only if you have a ‘significant’ injury which was caused by the negligence or fault of another party.

Another option may be a total and permanent disability payment (TPD) through your superannuation.

Can you sue a company for a work injury?

Yes, you can sue a company for a work injury in Victoria. This is known as a Common Law claim. In order to commence a Common Law claim, you must establish both of the following elements: that you have suffered a serious injury and the serious injury was caused by the negligence or fault of your employer and/or a third party.

You must make a formal application to the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) to establish that you have suffered a serious injury. There are two ways in which to do this: you have a 30% or more whole person impairment as determined in your lump sum claim (This is called a ‘deemed’ serious injury) or you have less than a 30% whole person impairment but are granted a serious injury certificate by the VWA. Even if you have a 30% or more whole person impairment, you are still required to make a formal application to the VWA who will automatically grant your application for a serious injury certificate.

You will need a lawyer to assist you in making a serious injury application. You will also need to demonstrate that you have suffered at least one of the following: permanent, serious impairment or loss of a body function; permanent, serious disfigurement; or permanent, severe mental or permanent, severe behavioural disturbance or disorder.

If a serious injury certificate is granted to you, you will have the right to pursue a Common Law claim for your injury. You must then prove fault or negligence by your employer and/or another party.

Your employer has a legal duty to take reasonable care for your health and safety whilst you are at work. This means they are required to provide you with a safe place of work, a safe system of work and safe plant and equipment. An employer can be negligent if they breach this duty. If the employer’s breach of that duty results in your suffering a serious injury, you may have the basis for a Common Law claim.

You have six years from the date of the injury to commence a Common Law claim. We recommend that you seek legal advice well in advance of this date. If you believe you may be out of time, you should contact a lawyer urgently.

Can I be fired after an injury at work?

Your employer cannot terminate your employment on the basis that you are unfit to perform your pre injury duties within a period of 52 weeks of incapacity.

Unfortunately, after the 52 week period, if you are still unfit to perform your pre-injury duties, your employer is no longer obligated to keep your job open for you.

If your employer terminates your employment, you will still be entitled to receive your WorkCover benefits. Your entitlement to weekly payments of compensation may continue up to 130 weeks if you remain unfit to perform your pre injury job and after 130 weeks if you have no work capacity for any employment which is likely to continue indefinitely.

How do I claim compensation for work-related injury?

There are three types of claims you may be able to make in Victoria when you suffer a work-related injury: a WorkCover claim, an Impairment Benefit claim, or a Common Law claim.

  • WorkCover Claim

To make a WorkCover claim, there are three steps you will need to take.

1.    The first step is to make sure you have reported your injury to your employer and your treating doctor.  You should seek medical treatment immediately.

2.    The second step is to obtain a medical certificate. This is called a certificate of capacity in Victoria and can be obtained from your usual doctor.

3.    The third step is to lodge your WorkCover claim with your employer and in some cases, WorkSafe. This is the step that starts your claim.

Make sure to keep copies of the claim form and the medical certificate before you give the originals to your employer or insurer.

  • Impairment benefit claim

An Impairment Benefit claim is a ‘no-fault’ claim. This means that you do not need to establish that your employer and/or another party was at fault in how your injury was sustained. To receive a lump sum payment under an Impairment Benefit claim, your injury must be stable and meet the permanent impairment threshold.   An injury is considered stable after you have had, and recovered, from any significant medical treatment you need, such as surgery. Ordinarily, 12 months from the date of injury is the earliest an Impairment Benefit claim can be lodged.

The permanent impairment threshold is considered to be 5% for musculoskeletal injuries, 10% for non-musculoskeletal injuries, and 30% for psychiatric injuries.

An Impairment Benefit claim can be made by completing a claim form and lodging it along with supporting medical documentation, such as clinical records and medical reports. It is important that all of your injuries arising out of the same event or circumstances are included on the claim form as you cannot make another claim for injuries that were not included on the claim form.

When your claim has been lodged, the insurer will arrange a medical examination(s) by a specialist doctor who will assess your level of permanent impairment. In some cases, the insurer will obtain assessments from multiple specialist doctors. There is no time limit to make an Impairment Benefit claim.

It is very important that you receive legal advice before accepting a lump sum payment under an Impairment Benefit claim. In some circumstances, it is appropriate to challenge the insurer’s assessment of your impairment.

  • Common law claim

A Common Law claim can be commenced once you have established that you have suffered a serious injury. In order to qualify for damages, you must also provide that your serious injury was caused by the negligence or fault of your employer and/or a third party.

A Common Law claim starts when you make a formal application to the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) to establish that you have suffered a serious injury.

A serious injury is defined as a permanent, serious impairment or loss of a body function; a permanent, serious disfigurement; a permanent, severe mental or permanent, severe behavioural disturbance or disorder or loss of a foetus.

There are two ways in which to do this: you have a 30% or more whole person impairment as determined in your lump sum claim (this is called a ‘deemed’ serious injury) or you have less than a 30% whole person impairment but are granted a serious injury certificate by the VWA or a Judge of the County Court. Even if you have a 30% or more whole person impairment, you are still required to make a formal application to the VWA who will automatically grant your application for a serious injury certificate.

If a serious injury certificate is granted to you, you will have the right to pursue a Common Law claim for your injury. You must then prove fault or negligence by your employer and/or another party.

Your employer has a legal duty to take reasonable care for your health and safety whilst you are at work. This means they are required to provide you with a safe place of work, a safe system of work and safe plant and equipment. An employer can be negligent if they breach this duty. If the employer’s breach of that duty results in you suffering a serious injury, you may have the basis for a Common Law claim.

You have six years from the date of the injury to commence a Common Law claim. We recommend that you seek legal advice well in advance of this date. If you believe you may be out of time, you should contact a lawyer urgently.

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