What is a Work Related Injury?

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What is a Work Related Injury in Gold Coast WorkCover?

The Gold Coast WorkCover definition of a ‘work related injury’ is not always as simple as it sounds. You may be able to claim WorkCover Qld (or your employer if they are self-insured) benefits when you have been injured in a work accident.

But to do so, you must satisfy the definition of “injury” within s32(1) of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003:

(1) An injury is personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment if—

(a) for an injury other than a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is a significant contributing factor to the injury; or

(b) for a psychiatric or psychological disorder—the employment is the major significant contributing factor to the injury.


Did you know that 85.5% of WorkCover rejections are made because the claimant did not fit the definition of ‘injury’ under the legislation?

The definition of injury is a major issue of dispute for workers who are seeking WorkCover benefits after a workplace accident. The law is very complicated and it is very common for injured workers to underestimate how seriously this issue can affect their claim and right to compensation.

Gold Coast WorkCover disputes can be a difficult challenge for a claimant who does not have the benefit of legal experience or training to address their complaint. This opens them up to the serious risk of compromising their legal rights when they try to work through the legal system.

For all Gold Coast workers, it is important to understand the definitions in this section of the legislation:

What does “personal injury” include?

A personal injury includes many different types of injury such as:

  • Physical injuries (e.g. torn ligaments, sprains & strains, industrial deafness, broken bones, burns, etc.)
  • Psychiatric or Psychological Disorders (e.g. stress, depression, phobia)
  • Diseases (e.g. Asbestosis, Q-Fever, etc.)
  • Aggravating a pre-existing condition
  • Death of a worker

What does meaning of “Out of, or in the course of employment” for physical injuries entail?

A physical injury can happen out of, or in the course of employment if the accident happens:

  • at work
  • traveling to and from work
  • on a break from work
  • traveling for work
  • while visiting other workplaces or sites for the purposes of your job
  • at home, if the accident happens due to employment related circumstances

When the law speaks about employment in this context, it is not referring to the fact of being employed, but rather, what the worker does in the employment.

For example, if you are employed as a driver and you are injured while using the company car for personal purposes, then you may not be entitled to workers compensation. However, if you are injured while undertaking assigned duties by your workplace then workers compensation may apply to you.

What is the meaning of “employment is the major significant contributing factor” for psychological or psychiatric disorders?

The term “significant” in the dictionary means “importance; of consequence” and should be given its regular dictionary meaning. Whether any particular matter is a “contributing factor” depends on the individual merits of the case.

Thus, for a psychological or psychiatric injury to fall under the definition of the Act, the person’s employment must be an important contributing factor and the injuries must be a consequence of that employment.

An arbitrator or the court will determine this issue as a question of fact.

What does this all mean to you?

Even seemingly miniscule definitions in the legislation can change the entire outcome of your claim. If you are not prepared to address these little details, then your claim for workers compensation may be affected in a negative way.

East Coast Injury Lawyers Has a Solution for You

East Coast Injury Lawyers is led by accredited specialists in personal injury who can provide the legal experience necessary to improve the chances of your claim’s success.

Would you like to know more about how our firm can assist you? Contact us today for a RISK FREE, no obligation legal consultation. Our initial assessment comes at no cost to you or your family.

All you have to do is contact us at 1300 720 544 or fill in our simple case review form so that one of our accredited specialists in personal injury can contact you as soon as possible.

We will help you with the free initial advice you need on whether or not you should pursue a claim for workers compensation.

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