Workplace injuries can come in many forms, including physical injuries such as broken bones and psychological injuries such as stress, anxiety and depression. In Queensland, employees who suffer from injuries as a result of their employer’s conduct may be able to bring a common law claim.
Proving negligence in a common law claim
To succeed in a common law claim for injury against an employer, the employee must be able to prove that the employer was negligent. This means that the employee must be able to show that the employer had a duty of care to the employee, that the employer breached that duty of care, and that the employee suffered an injury as a result of that breach.
In the case of a psychological injury, the employee will need to provide evidence that their employer knew or ought to have known that the work conditions were causing the employee to suffer from a psychological injury and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent or mitigate the injury.
Common law claim payouts for injuries
In Queensland, common law claims for injuries may result in payouts to the employee for a variety of damages. The most common types of damages awarded in such claims include:
- General damages, which are intended to compensate the employee for their pain and suffering as a result of the injury
- Special damages, which are intended to compensate the employee for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as medical expenses.
- Loss of earnings, which are intended to compensate the employee for any income lost as a result of the injury, including future loss of earning capacity.
The amount of damages awarded in a common law claim for injury will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, including the severity of the injury, the employee’s age, earning capacity, and the employee’s future prospects. The court may also consider other factors such as the conduct of the employer and the length of time it took for the case to resolve. It’s important to note that, in Queensland, the damages awarded in common law claims are generally capped by legislation, these caps are adjusted by the government every year, and are different depending on the type of claim and the date of the injury.
Common law settlements
In Queensland, common law claims against employers can also be settled out of court through a process called a settlement. A settlement is an agreement between the employee and the employer to resolve the claim without the need for a trial. The terms of a settlement are typically confidential, meaning that the details of the settlement agreement are not disclosed to the public.
Settlements can be advantageous for both parties, as they provide a degree of certainty and closure to the employee, and also minimise the risk of an unpredictable outcome at trial for WorkCover and the employer. However, it’s important for the employee to have legal representation before and during the settlement process, to ensure that the settlement is fair and reasonable and to have a lawyer review the settlement agreement.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of your employer’s conduct, it is important to seek legal advice to understand your rights and options. An experienced lawyer can help you to navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Don’t wait, contact No Win No Pay Law today and take the first step towards getting the justice you deserve.
Call (07) 3067 3026 now or book an appointment online.