Is my injury serious enough for a workers compensation claim?

Making a claim for workers compensation is not something people do everyday, so it’s understandable to feel unsure or uncomfortable about lodging a claim. If you are in doubt about whether to make a claim, it is always best to consult a workers compensation lawyer.

Why is it important to make a workers compensation claim sooner rather than later?

A claim for workers compensation should be lodged as soon as possible. Under the Workers Compensation legislation in NSW the claim should be lodged within 6 months of the accident or six months from the date of diagnosis if your injury is a medical condition arising out of the nature and conditions of your work.  The longer you delay in lodging a workers compensation claim, the more challenging it will become for you to provide the necessary evidence to have your claim accepted by the Insurance company.

In particular, you may find:

  • The accident site has been repaired. A key issue that arises when a claim for workers compensation is delayed is lack of evidence from the accident site. If an accident occurs, the site will be cleared very quickly and if, for example, the reason for the accident was dangerous machinery, the incriminating piece of equipment may already be repaired or replaced by the time you lodge your claim.
  • Lack of contemporaneous medical records. Not only do memories fade, but you may also not have any documented evidence to show details of your injury or the progress of your injury. If the injury has become considerably worse, it may be difficult to prove the initial injury without accurate record keeping. It is therefore very important to report your injury to your treating doctor or another GP as soon as possible after the accident or after you develop symptoms so there are recent notes of how your injury occurred. In order for you to lodge a claim for workers compensation it is essential that you obtain a Workcover Approved Certificate of Capacity/Certificate of Fitness from your treating GP and provide it to your employer as soon as possible. This will be the first step in making a claim. Your Employer or the Insurance Company may require you to complete a Workers Compensation Claim Form after you have provided your employer with the Certificate of Capacity/Certificate of Fitness. If possible, it would be advisable for you to check the completed claim form with your lawyer before submitting it to the insurance company or to your employer. Masselos and Co Lawyers are very experienced in making sure your claim form is in order before providing it to the relevant party.
  • CCTV evidence is no longer available. CCTV affords valuable evidence for workers compensation claims. Many private companies may only keep CCTV recordings for a few days so any evidence that may be relevant may not exist if you don’t act quickly.
  • Witnesses are difficult to locate. If you delay lodging your claim, witnesses may not be available. People move around and there is also the unfortunate possibility of them passing away. 

Even if you think there is a slight possibility that you may have a workers compensation claim, it is important to protect your rights and make the claim as soon as possible. 

If you are unsure about whether you should lodge a claim, the no win no fee lawyers at Masselos & Co are here to assist. 

Time limitation for workers compensation claims

There is a limitation period within which workers compensation claims must be made in NSW. In NSW, a workers compensation claim must be made within 6 months of the injury. This time limit may be extended; however, you will be required to present evidence to explain the delay.

It is important to note that you should provide your employer with notice of your injury as soon as possible after your accident or as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. This can be done by recording the injury in the Notice of Injury Book at your workplace or speaking to your employer about your injury or condition. If you report your injury through a conversation, it is a good idea to keep a note of the date you reported the injury and who you spoke to. If the notification of injury is in writing it would be helpful to keep a copy of the written notice. 

Just because you report an injury, it does not necessarily mean you will be lodging a claim for workers compensation. This is especially true if at the time of reporting the injury or condition you do not require treatment or time off work or modification of your work duties. However, if you require medical treatment or time off work or a modification to your work duties it will be necessary for you to get a Certificate of Capacity/Certificate of Fitness from your treating doctor and provide it to your employer, in effect making a claim for workers compensation.


To help you determine whether you have a claim serious enough to lodge for workers compensation, we’ve put together a brief checklist. 

Generally, if you answer the following in the affirmative, it is more than likely that you may be entitled to make a workers compensation claim:

  • The injury is impacting your ability to perform at work
  • The injury is impacting your quality of life
  • The injury was caused due to the negligence of your employer or your work colleagues
  • The injury was caused due to dangerous conditions that could have been avoided and was the responsibility of your employer  

Is it worth getting a personal injury lawyer?

If you’re still unsure whether you have a claim for workers compensation, it is definitely worth consulting a personal injury lawyer. The experienced team at Masselos & Co can help bring clarity to your questions and concerns. Book your free consultation today.  

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