If you have suffered a work-related injury and have an accepted workers’ compensation claim, you may feel unhappy about how WorkCover has handled your claim or how your employer has managed your return to work.
This is not uncommon and we find that many people ask: can I sue WorkCover Qld?
Suing your employer for work related injury
If you have suffered a work-related injury and have an entitlement to statutory compensation, then you may be able to pursue a common law claim for your injuries against your employer – not WorkCover Qld.
The role of WorkCover Qld in workers’ compensation claims
WorkCover Queensland is the statutory insurer for all employers in Queensland. Unless an employer is self-insured or insured through the Commonwealth scheme, WorkCover Qld is the workers’ compensation insurer.
While a claim is technically against an employer, WorkCover Queensland is authorised under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld) to conduct the defence of a claim and settle the claim on terms that it considers appropriate.
When can you sue WorkCover Qld?
There are limited circumstances in which WorkCover Qld can be directly named as a defendant to a claim and these include:
- where the employer was an individual and can not be adequately identified, is dead or cannot practically be served;
- the employer was a corporation and has been wound up;
- if the employer was self-insured at the time of the event and WorkCover has since assumed the employer’s liability for the injury.
Why do people want to sue WorkCover Qld?
The reasons that people have for wishing to pursue a claim in negligence for their injuries are personal to the individual. However, it has been our experience that people most frequently tell us that there reason for wishing to take it further is one of the following:
- they are dissatisfied with how WorkCover handled their claim;
- they are unhappy with how their employer has treated them after their injury;
- they are worried about their future and what might happen, given their injuries;
- they don’t want something like what happened to them, to happen to anyone else.
Who can I sue for my injuries?
Depending on the circumstances giving rise to your injury, you may be entitled to sue entities other than your employer. For instance:
- if you worked on a construction site, you may have a potential claim against other contractors or the principal contractor;
- if you were employed by a labour hire employer, you may be entitled to pursue a claim against your host employer.
These claims are not regulated by the workers’ compensation scheme and you do not need an accepted workers’ compensation statutory claim to bring a claim against these other entities.