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Workers Compensation?

By little_spark 14 February 2010 24

A good friend of mine works for a government department here in Canberra which deals with people face to face daily.

Recently, she was involved in a nasty incident in the workplace. An object was thrown at her by a disgruntled member of the public, resulting in  a trip to the hospital, a tetanus shot and 6 stitches to her face.

The workplace has now upped security by placing glass around the work station meaning objects can no longer be thrown and she, along with other work collegues recieved counselling, but is this enough?

She isn’t sure if she would be entitled to anything (workers compensation?) and I don’t know where to send her. Legal Aid are unable to provide advice for this matter.

Can anybody offer any kind of advice? Anything would be appreciated.


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Workers Compensation?
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Claims 1:43 pm 14 Mar 11

Get her to call CLAIMS on 1300 214 900 – the website is located at

Katietonia 7:54 am 17 Feb 10

hellspice said :

pug206gti said :

Victims of crime in the ACT is a joke.

It’s not a joke its basically non-existent and a joke !!

Yep the guy that broke into my father’s house, and assaulted him…. and was then assaulted back, received victims of crime compensation, yet my father did not in his own house. Poor little burgular claimed it was self defense, after attacking my father first.

dtc 2:54 pm 16 Feb 10

There is a bit of confusion here. A clear distinction needs to be made between workers comp payments (Comcare in the PS) and common law damages.

You are entitled to Comcare payments for losses arising out of an injury suffered in the course of your employment. You do not need to establish fault – if you are injured and it was during the course of your employment, you get it. It covers medicals, time off work etc, both from the direct incident (the attack eg the stitches and time off work) and consequential injuries (eg stress leave or counselling etc). The benefits you are entitled to are set by statute and may not be great at times and Comcare may want to control your medical treatement etc to some extent. However, you should not need a lawyer for this – it only becomes an issue if Comcare considers there is no link between the claim and work/the incident or if there is fraud etc. You don’t get a lump sum by way of compensation unless you have a significant permanent injury. The employer has some rehab obligations, for example if going back to the same job is difficult.

However, for common law damages you need to prove negligence (fault) on the part of the defendant. So, for example, negligence by the Dept in failing to take appropriate measures to protect staff. This is a question of fact and may be complicated. If you win you get the same payments as workers comp (expenses etc) plus damages for ‘pain and suffering’ and some other bits and pieces. You can also sue the assailant, but probably s/he will have no money so that is pointless.

Be careful because there are complexities involved if you are entitled to comcare but want to sue the Cth in common law. You need to have a minimum level of incapacity, for example. If you are thinking of a common law claim, then you need to see a lawyer/someone who knows what the consequences are. Don’t try to run a common law claim on your own (well, you can, but its like you probably wouldnt build your own house or put in your own filling).

The third potential is a victims of crime claim. Minimal money. Its a statutory scheme and there are various pre-requisites etc to being entitled.

(disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, if any comments are incorrect you get your money back)

hellspice 2:40 pm 16 Feb 10

pug206gti said :

Victims of crime in the ACT is a joke.

It’s not a joke its basically non-existent and a joke !!

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