Compensation claims for injuries on Queensland construction sites

Construction sites are dangerous. We commonly see workers suffering serious (often life changing) injuries. If you suffered injury on a construction site, it’s important that you seek legal advice because there may be a number of defendants who have to pay you compensation at the same time. Please read our guide below to learn what you can claim, and what the process involves.



Type of injuries we commonly see


Who will pay you compensation?

If your accident happened at a construction site, probably the first thing you would organise is going on WorkCover (more on this later).


However, beyond WorkCover, it’s likely that you may be able to claim compensation from more than one defendant. You can get paid from two (or more) defendants at the same time.


The reason for this is that at a construction site (particularly at a large site), typically there are lots of trades from different companies who all work at the same time. So, if something happens to you, your employer as well as the principal contractor or some other contractor could all be at fault. (The employer is often a labour hire company).


It’s important to seek legal advice to make sure you claim from everyone who is liable to pay you compensation. If you claim from more than one defendant, you can get paid more.


We can advise you whether you should claim from more than one defendant, and if so, when those claims should be made.


What compensation can you claim?

Briefly, these are the things you can typically claim:

  • Damages for pain and suffering
  • Lost income, including super (past loss of income)
  • Income which you may lose in the future until retirement (loss of future earning capacity – this can be very large)
  • Medical costs your have already incurred (past medical costs)
  • Medical costs you may incur in the future (future medical costs, such as surgery, physio, rehab)
  • Travel, medication and other out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses you may incur in the future
  • Gratuitous and/or paid services received from someone else, or which you may need in the future.


How does WorkCover work for injured construction workers in Queensland?

In Queensland, every worker is covered by WorkCover. In most cases, the workers’ compensation insurance company is WorkCover Queensland.


If you suffer an injury at work, as a first step, it’s important that you notify WorkCover Queensland. You can also ask your employer to notify them. But make sure that this happens.


Once WorkCover is notified, they will tell you if they accept the claim. They will then start paying your weekly wages (not all but most of it) and they will also cover medical costs. (There are a lot of things WorkCover won’t pay initially, such as any future loss of earnings, or future medical bills – we can claim these for you later. Further on this below).


Eventually, when WorkCover believes that your condition won’t get better, they will send you to an Independent Medical Assessment (or IME – see our dedicated page here). In practice, WorkCover has a panel of specialist doctors and they will send you to one of them for an examination. (This doctor is going to be different from your treating doctor). If the WorkCover doctor thinks your condition is “stable and stationary” (meaning it won’t change much), then WorkCover will stop paying your wages and medical bills.


This is important: WorkCover can (and will) close your claim even if you still can’t get back to work.


Next step: Claiming more compensation after WorkCover closes the claim

After WorkCover has closed your claim, often the situation looks something like this: you are left with a permanent injury, your ability to work is reduced, you can’t work as much as you used to and you need ongoing medical/physio treatments.


What can you do now?


The good news is that you are entitled to claim more compensation. In short, we will claim common law damages from WorkCover, and we will also claim damages from any other person or company who was at fault for your accident.


Here is what we do then:

  • obtain all relevant evidence in your case.
  • send you to see a specialist that we choose to properly assess your medical condition and how it may impact you in your future.
  • determine the cost of all medical treatment, physio etc that you will need in the future
  • accurately assess what your career would have looked like if the injury had not happened. We consider wage increases, likely promotions, opportunities to start your own business and so on.
  • determine how your injuries will impact your career. For example, are there work tasks that you can’t perform any more? Do you have to retire early? Will you miss out on overtime? Will you miss promotional opportunities? Will employers discriminate you because of your injuries?
  • based on the above, we assess your potential loss of income until retirement
  • calculate all your out-of-pocket expenses (past and future)
  • calculate all gratuitous and paid services which you have received or may need in the future


These are the things that we will recover on your behalf from WorkCover and anyone else who may have been at fault.



When we have all the evidence that we need, we will advise you in writing about the likely value of your claim. (Take a look here at our legal advice process).


We will then meet with you and together we will decide on the amount of the damages that you should receive in your claim. We will then obtain this amount for you either through settlement negotiations (which works in most cases) or through a court process.


I want to discuss my claim, what should I do next?

Our first step is a face-to-face meeting with Oszkar Denes, our principal solicitor. Find out more about Oszkar here.


The meeting is completely free. We will get a bit more information from you about your injuries, and we explain the claim process.


Please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page or call us on (07) 3063 2268.


Free book offer: what to expect in your injury claim

Many firms try to rush you to sign up with them without carefully considering your options. We encourage you to first learn about your personal injury claim. You should ask yourself:

  • How do you calculate your compensation amount?
  • How should you choose your lawyer? Do you just choose by firm name regardless of who is really in charge of your matter? Has your lawyer ever argued a case in court?
  • What is a no win – no fee agreement? How much will it cost?

Our book is available to you free of charge. You don’t have to be a client to receive this book. Head to the order page and we will be happy to send you a copy straight away.

Oszkar Denes Seven Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim

25% Cap on legal costs

In all of our personal injury compensation matters, we act on a  No Win – No Fee basis. What that means is, there’s no upfront cost to you.


In Queensland, most compensation firms will charge you 50% of your compensation amount – the maximum allowed at law. This is very expensive. Our fee is different. We will cap our fee at 25% . Remember also, these are the maximum fees we will charge. If our fee in your claim is less, then we charge the lesser amount.


Before you engage us, we will provide you a written Disclosure Notice and a Client Service Agreement. These documents set out in detail the service we provide, as well as our fees and outlays. Before you sign anything, you can take these documents home with you, and study them with your family. You can take as long as you need, there is never any pressure from us. If anything in these documents doesn’t make sense to you, we can discuss it with you and you are free to ask another lawyer to give you advice.  And remember, no win – no fee agreements come with a 5 day cooling off period for extra peace of mind.