Separovic Injury Lawyers Blog

Employer's cannot avoid paying workers' compensation.

Posted by Tony Separovic on 20 July 2018 16:02:59 AWST

Worrying trends in workers' compensation claims. 

Employers are required to meet many financial and legislative obligations in order to run a successful business. Prosecution results published by WorkCover WA suggest that employers are increasingly attempting a range of tactics to avoid the responsibilities imposed on them by the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 ("the Act").      


Many employees who have been injured or become sick at work are not aware that employers are simply not able to avoid their workers' compensation liabilities and risk significant fines, legal proceedings and conviction if they do.


Workers' compensation - what is it?

If you sustain an injury at work or suffer a work related illness you may be entitled to make a claim for workers' compensation. To make a claim you must be defined as a worker, however, the Act relies on a wide definition of the term 'worker' and includes full-time, part-time, casual and seasonal workers on a wage or salary. Workers' compensation includes payments for financial loss, treatment expenses, medical and rehabilitation expenses and travel and lodging expenses.


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Tags: Personal Injury Compensation, Workers' Compensation

Proportionate liability and personal injury compensation.

Posted by Tony Separovic on 19 July 2018 17:00:34 AWST

Background into the personal injury compensation industry.

In 1994, concerns regarding the cost of liability insurance coupled with growing perceptions that the law of joint and several liability was not being administered consistently, led the Commonwealth and NSW Attorneys General to commission an inquiry. The inquiry was conducted by Professor Jim Davis and one of its key recommendations was that the joint and several liability of defendants where negligence caused property damage or economic loss be replaced by liability which is proportionate to each defendants degree of fault.

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Tags: Personal Injury Compensation

Injured as a pedestrian? Claim personal injury compensation.

Posted by Tony Separovic on 02 July 2018 13:58:34 AWST

Pedestrians and road injury compensation claims. 

While possibly sounding counter-intuitive pedestrians are the largest group of road users. Most of our daily activities - commuting to work, dropping children at school, food shopping, catching up with friends or taking the dog for a walk all involve us using roads as a pedestrian.       


It is safe to say that certain societal stigmas exist towards pedestrians that are injured by other road users. Here, it is often assumed that the pedestrian is at fault because they must have been j-walking and that they have no right to be on the road.

This is a problem because pedestrians obviously have legal rights to use roads and are entitled to compensation if they are injured by other road users.    

Despite recent reductions in road accidents, in 2017, the West Australian Road Safety Commission reported 15 pedestrian fatalities which is unfortunately in line with the proceeding 5 year average of 14 fatalities per year. 


Can I claim personal injury compensation if I have been injured as a pedestrian? 

If you were a pedestrian, in Western Australia and were injured in an accident involving a car, motorcycle, truck, bus or any other motor vehicle, you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation. To be eligible to lodge a claim your injury needs to have been caused, at least in part, by a negligent motor vehicle driver, rider or operator. (There is an exception to this general rule in the case of catastrophic injury).


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Tags: Road Accidents

Workers' compensation claims – how are they assessed?

Posted by Tony Separovic on 26 June 2018 13:29:27 AWST

Once an employee has lodged a Workers' Compensation Claim form and a First Certificate of Capacity with their employer, the employer has 5 working days to lodge these documents with their insurer. The insurer is then required to make a determination regarding the claim and notify the employee within 14 days of receiving the claim form.

Unfortunately many employees making workers' compensation claims are unaware of the legal protections that should be provided to them by their employers and workers' compensation insurers.


What if my employer does not lodge my workers' compensation claim with the insurer?

The Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) ("the Act") requires the employer to forward your Workers' Compensation Claim form and First Certificate of Capacity to its insurer within 5 working days of having first received these documents. If the employer does not comply it risks being fined by WorkCover's compliance division.  


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Tags: Workers' Compensation

Do compensation payments impact social security benefits?

Posted by Tony Separovic on 10 May 2018 14:56:35 AWST

Personal injury compensation and social security. 

Unfortunately some of us who suffer a personal injury at work, on the road or in a public place are injured so badly they are not able to return to work. Often these people rely on financial support from social security in order to sustain themselves into the future. Others may have been receiving some form of social security benefit prior to their personal injury occurring.

Many of these people are unaware that making a successful compensation claim and receiving compensation payments can have an impact on their eligibility to claim future social security benefits and can even result in a debt being owed to Centerlink.  


What is compensation?

The Social Security Act 1991 ("the Act") defines compensation as a payment that is provided in regards to lost earnings or lost capacity to earn resulting from a personal injury being suffered.  

The Department of Human Services notes that compensation can include:

  • a payment of damages;
  • a payment made under a scheme of insurance or compensation under a Commonwealth, state or territory law;
  • a payment (with or without admission of liability) in settlement of a claim for damages or a claim under an insurance scheme;
  • any other compensation or damages payment; or
  • a payment under a sickness or accident policy.
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Tags: Personal Injury Compensation

Suffering work related stress or other mental health issues?

Posted by Tony Separovic on 14 March 2018 10:46:27 AWST

Workers' compensation and work related stress, anxiety and other mental health complaints.  

Many Australian's find talking about work related stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns embarrassing. Australian's generally, have a reputation for being healthy, happy, hardworking, sports loving and resilient people. Contrary to this reputation, many Australian workplaces do not provide a safe and healthy environment for workers.


A recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that 20% of suicides in Australia are work related and that between 20% and 30% of workers will suffer from a serious mental illness at some point in their career.

This is a huge social problem which is estimated to cost the Australian economy $12 billion a year. Unfortunately, many workers are unaware that compensation can be claimed in regards to most work-related mental illness.


Work related stress or mental illness. Can I make a workers' compensation claim?

The West Australian workers’ compensation scheme aims to help workers return to work after suffering from a work-related illness or injury and compensates workers for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, medicines, travel and legal expenses while they are unable to work. If you have suffered from stress, anxiety, depression or other mental illness due to actions, events or exposures that occurred in the workplace you can make a claim for compensation. Safe Work Australia has highlighted the following key causes of mental stress in the workplace:   


  • Work pressure—mental stress arising from work responsibilities and workloads, deadlines, organisational restructure, workplace conflicts and workplace performance or promotion issues.
  • Work-related harassment &/or workplace bullying—repetitive assault and/or threatened assault by a work colleague or colleagues; and repetitive verbal harassment, threats, and abuse from a work colleague or colleagues.
  • Exposure to workplace or occupational violence—includes being the victim of assault by a person or persons who may or may not be work colleagues; and being a victim of or witnessing bank robberies, hold-ups and other violent events.
  • Exposure to traumatic event—disorders arising from witnessing a fatal or other incident.
  • Suicide or attempted suicide—includes all suicides regardless of circumstances of death and all attempted suicides.
  • Other mental stress factors—includes dietary or deficiency diseases (Bulimia, Anorexia).
  • Other harassment—being the victim of sexual or racial harassment by a person or persons including work colleague/s (SafeWorkAustralia).

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Tags: Work Accidents

Injured at work? Make a workers' compensation claim.

Posted by Tony Separovic on 19 February 2018 15:03:57 AWST

Workers' compensation claims - an introduction. 

Work related accidents and illnesses can be a cause of deep personal embarrassment and anxiety. Historically, Australian workplace culture has not necessarily looked after the best interests of workers and workers have had to ‘tough it out’ or ‘suck it up’ when dealing with work injuries or illnesses. This is a significant societal problem as workers’ compensation can be claimed in regards to most work-related injuries or illnesses.


Who can make a claim?

The West Australian workers’ compensation scheme aims to help workers return to work after suffering from a work-related illness or injury and compensates workers for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, medicines, travel and legal expenses while they are unable to work. The legislation provides a very broad definition as to who is a ‘worker’. Most of us are unaware that you can make a claim for workers’ compensation if you:

  • work full-time, part-time or casually; 
  • work seasonally or on commission;
  • work for a wage or a salary;
  • are an overseas worker;
  • are over the age of 65;
  • are employed in Western Australia but your work related incident occurred interstate or overseas; or
  • if you resigned from, were terminated or made redundant by the enterprise where you suffered your injury or illness.


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Tags: Workers' Compensation

Injured on the road? Claim personal injury compensation.

Posted by Tony Separovic on 13 February 2018 08:55:19 AWST

Road accidents and injuries can be embarrassing and many of us don’t want to talk about them. This is a huge problem because injury compensation can be claimed in regards to most road accidents.  


Who can make a claim?

Have you, a friend, family member or colleague been injured on the road? Many of us are unaware that claims for compensation can be made if:

  • you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist and were injured in a motor vehicle accident;
  • you were financially dependent on a close relative or de-facto killed in a motor vehicle accident; or
  • the other vehicle involved in the accident could not be identified or if it was unlicensed.


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Welcome to the Separovic Injury Lawyers Blog

We will share interesting, informative and up to date information and resources about personal injury compensation law in Western Australia, covering the following topics:

  • claiming Road Accident Compensation;
  • claiming Workers' Compensation;
  • claiming Work Accident Injury Common Law Damages arising from an unsafe workplace or a negligent act; 
  • claiming Public Liability Compensation;
  • claiming Criminal Injury Compensation;
  • developments in personal injury case law; 
  • coping with a personal injury and accessing medical and other services;
  • legislative change and its impact on personal injury compensation; and
  • useful resources to assist you in dealing with doctors, lawyers and the claims process.

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