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Injured at work… But working out of the office?

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The modern workplace is undergoing rapid change.

With the development of flexible working schemes, teleworking, and an increasing number of people working from home, work life is not the same as before. A change in the nature of how we work also means more and more grey areas emerging around work injury and compensation.

For example, what happens if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in a workplace accident – only the accident took place outside of the office?

You might be on the way to meet a client, in transit on the way to work, working from home, or taking your morning tea or lunch break, when misfortune befalls you. Your entire financial situation, lifestyle, and future plans can change irrevocably in an instant.

As frightening as this situation is, there are things you can do to make your life easier and improve your circumstances if you’re injured at work and aren’t in a traditional office. Employers have an obligation to provide safe places for their employees to go about their day to day work, and in recent years that obligation extends from typical offices into teleworking environments.

Here are five steps you can take to make sure you have the best chance at a compensation claim:

1. Seek medical advice

Seek medical attention and treatment as soon as possible after the incident has taken place. Even if you do not consider that your injuries are particularly serious, it is still important to get yourself checked out. Not only can this help prevent any further damage from taking place, but it is also more likely that injuries you might not be aware of will be identified.

 2. Notify your employer

To make sure that you are not excluded from the right to make a compensation claim down the track, it is important that you follow all procedural steps required of you. This includes notifying your employer – in writing – of your injury within 30 days of becoming aware of the injury or illness. If it is not recorded in your employer’s register of injuries within that timeframe, you may not be entitled to pursue your compensation claim.

3. Keep your own records

It is important that you maintain detailed records of everything related to your injury. This includes notes of telephone conversations with your employer, a calendar of time taken off work, dates on which you attended medical appointments, notes as to when certain symptoms appeared, and possibly a description of what you are no longer able to do.

Don’t forget to record details of the actual injury as well, including date, time, and place. Not only will this make it easier for the insurer and your employer to process your claim, but as some claims may take a number of years to be finalised, it will be important to have easy access to details down the track.

4. Don’t forget the paper trail

A big component of making a worker’s compensation claim is complying with requisite procedures. This includes completing prescribed forms, such as a Certificate of Capacity or a Worker’s Injury Claim Form. Don’t let your claim become invalid because you have failed to stick to procedural requirements.

5. Obtain advice from a personal injury lawyer

Workplace injury law can be a complicated and process-driven field. Obtaining advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury can help make sure that you are aware of your rights, including whether or not you’re eligible for WorkCover compensation, how much compensation you may be entitled to, and any obligations that you need to fulfill in order to secure your compensation.

Suffering an injury during the course of work is unquestionably an unfortunate and devastating possibility, and even more frustrating if it happens outside a ‘typical’ office working environment.

If the worst does happen, it is always good to be aware of your legal rights to pursue a claim and compensation, so that you and your family can focus on your speedy recovery.

About Chantille Khoury

Chantille Khoury is a Principal at leading law firm Law Partners , a trusted specialist personal injury law firm that specialises in motor vehicle accident, workers compensation, superannuation/total and permanent disability and public liability claims. The firm has helped thousands of people who have suffered personal injury to access entitlements that make a difference to their quality of life.

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