Worker's Compensation Lawyers Darwin

Most workers injured at work in the Northern Territory will be covered by the Northern Territory worker's compensation scheme. However, some workers in the Territory will be covered by the ‘Comcare scheme’ (or a similar scheme that applies to most maritime workers and military personnel). If you are unsure which scheme applies to your workplace accident in the NT, speak with our worker's compensation lawyers in Darwin so we can assist.

6 key tips when claiming worker's compensation in the Northern Territory

If you have sustained a workplace injury which is covered by the NT scheme, then there are a few things that you should keep in mind. 

  1. There is no general government-owned ‘fund’ that covers worker's compensation in the Territory (unlike in Queensland and some other states/territories). Apart from the NT Government (who are ‘self-insurers’), every employer covered by the NT scheme pays a premium to a private insurance company to cover their workers for compensation when they sustain a workplace injury.

  2. Most employers in the NT will, therefore, usually be quite strict in assessing new worker's compensation claims and will also review accepted claims from time to time to determine if they should be cancelled (stopped).

  3. If your application for NT worker's compensation is rejected or cancelled, you need to speak to a lawyer who is experienced in dealing with NT worker's compensation insurers. Cameron Hall has significant experience in dealing with NT worker's compensation claims and will be able to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.

  4. The law dealing with Northern Territory worker's compensation claims is quite complex. It is always better to be ‘safe than sorry’ and contact a lawyer experienced in NT worker's compensation law to get advice as soon as you can. Even if your claim has been accepted, you should know where you stand and ensure that you are paid everything you are entitled to under the scheme.

  5. Strict time limits apply to making a claim for compensation after a workplace accident. Worker's compensation insurers in the Territory will usually apply this strict time limit (usually 6 months from the date of the workplace injury). It is very important that you contact your employer and advise of your injury as soon as it happens – even if you are not sure if you will make a claim at that stage.

Advise your employer, preferably in writing, about your injury as soon as you can after the accident. If you can’t advise them in writing, speak to your employer about your incident and the injury you sustained and confirm that conversation and the details of the accident in an email or a text message. This will avoid any dispute down the track that you did not advise your employer of your injury within the timeframe provided by the Act.

  1. Keep records of everything! Write it down (just use the ‘notes’ app on your phone). You should keep details such as:

  • date and time of the injury;

  • how the injury occurred; 

  • names of any witnesses, including their contact mobile numbers, if possible. 

You should also start to record details of any lost earnings (if you are not making a claim straight away) and any out-of-pocket expenses that you incur (such as medical treatment expenses).

What compensation and benefits are available after a workplace accident in the NT?

Injured workers covered by the NT worker's compensation scheme are entitled to a range of benefits, including:

  • weekly compensation for lost income;

  • medical treatment expenses;

  • domestic and care services;

  • home and vehicle modifications;

  • reimbursement of travel expenses to attend treatment related to the injury;

  • a lump sum permanent impairment claim for pain and suffering.

What if my application for NT worker's compensation is rejected or payments are cancelled (stopped)?

You should receive a Notice of Decision that your application for compensation has not been accepted or that your claim has been cancelled (stopped). This will come from the insurer (not the employer). If you are employed by the NT government, the notice will be issued by its claims administrator, Gallagher Bassett.

The notice might refer to the ‘internal dispute resolution option’, but in our experience, you are better off proceeding straight to the formal ‘mediation’ service provided by NT WorkSafe.

Our worker's compensation expert, Cameron Hall, can help you with the mediation process and can usually have NT WorkSafe direct the insurer to pay your legal fees for us to represent you at the mediation. This means we can usually provide advice and represent you at the mediation at no cost to you.

A strict time limit of 30 days from the date you receive the Notice of Decision applies for requesting a mediation.

So, if your claim is rejected or cancelled, we strongly recommend that you contact us as soon as you receive the Notice of Decision to discuss your options.


Should I consider an offer to “pay me out”?

The short answer is ‘yes’. You should always consider any offer to settle.

This is called a 78A payout – a section of the Act which allows an injured worker and employer/insurer to negotiate to pay an injured worker a lump sum to finish up their claim.

This is always an option that an injured worker on NT worker's compensation benefits should consider. There are many good reasons to do so, but this is a complex area and not something that can be explained in a FAQ answer! 

We strongly recommend you contact Cameron Hall Compensation Lawyers to get upfront, no-obligation advice about your options to ensure ALL your rights are protected. We can assist you with negotiating the best possible lump sum resolution, taking into account all your unique circumstances.


I’m not sure I’m getting paid the right amount of weekly benefits

You should definitely review the calculation of your weekly payments if you think it is incorrect. Errors can occur both in the information given to the insurer by the employer (about how your wage is calculated), or the claims officer can make a mistake in working out what you should be paid.

Contact us to discuss your concerns, and one of our compensation lawyers will review your situation at no cost and advise you of your options.


Speak to an NT worker's compensation lawyer

The NT worker's compensation scheme is quite different to other states and territories. 

It’s crucial that you seek guidance and assistance from a lawyer experienced in the Northern Territory worker's compensation system.

At Cameron Hall Compensation Lawyers, we have over 25 years’ experience in worker's compensation claims in the NT.

We will always provide a free initial consultation, so it costs you nothing to find out where you stand.

Free compensation law advice

QLD 07 3310 8729 NT 08 8943 0606

Call or email a compensation lawyer today. Your first interview is completely free, so it costs you nothing to find out where you stand.