Common Law Claims

Compensation for work-related injuries

If you were injured at work, in most cases you may be able to sue your employer or another party for damages under a common law claim.

What are common law claims?

When an employer or other party has breached their duty of care an employee may be able to claim damages or compensation for an injury that occurred at work. For this to happen the employee must establish fault (negligence) by the employer or other party. In our experience, this can be shown in most cases.  To be entitled to sue for damages, you must have suffered a serious injury, as defined by the WorkCover legislation. In Victoria, this type of claim differs from a WorkCover claim where benefits are available to all workers regardless of fault.

WorkCover benefits and common law damages in Victoria

If you are injured while on the job you have the right to receive compensation. Typically this would involve making a WorkCover claim. However, depending on the circumstances of your accident or illness you may be able to make a common law claim instead of, or as well as, a WorkCover claim.

The primary difference between the two comes down to fault. Unlike WorkCover which is a no fault scheme, seeking damages under common law requires the worker to prove the accident was due to another person’s negligence. This does not necessarily mean a claim against the employer but could also be against a third party e.g. a contractor working in the same location. A claim could even be made against multiple parties.

Why you need the best workers compensation common law lawyers in Melbourne on your side

Whether you are applying for benefits under WorkCover or making a claim under common law, or both, you should get independent legal advice to ensure you receive maximum compensation. This includes payments for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings and enjoyment of life.

At Arnold Thomas & Becker we have been personal injury compensation experts for over 50 years. Our team of dedicated lawyers are down-to-earth, friendly and approachable but fearless when it comes to securing the maximum benefits available for our clients. If we believe the case is likely to be successful, in most circumstances we will pursue your claim on a no win, no fee basis. This includes paying for out-of-pocket expenses.

As at 30 June 2023, the maximum amount claimable in a common law claim was $2,125,300.

What to expect during your common law claim

After establishing that you have suffered a serious Injury, negotiations must be undertaken to attempt to resolve the matter. If the matter is then not resolved, court proceedings may then be commenced. Usually, a worker argues that the fault or negligence of someone else, including their employer, another business or company or co-workers caused or contributed to their work injuries.

Time limits for common law claims

Time limitations apply and you usually have 6 years from the date of your injury to commence proceedings. In some cases, courts will grant extensions to these time limitations. If you believe you have a common law claim, you should contact us to discuss your potential rights as soon as possible.

For more information call 1300 333 300 and speak directly to a lawyer today and meet them tomorrow. There is no obligation and your consultation is free.

Have a few questions?

If you believe you have a common law claim to raise it is best that you call to talk to one of our lawyers directly on 1300 333 300. But if you have a few general questions you’d like to ask first, leave your details below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.