The Importance of Documenting Injuries at Work: A Look at Rooke v Workers’ Compensation Regulator [2024] QIRC 8

In the world of workers’ compensation, the devil is often in the details. A case that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) decided recently, Rooke v Workers’ Compensation Regulator [2024] QIRC 89 , highlights the need to carefully record any injuries that happen in a work accident and the consequences when you don’t.

Why Documenting Injuries Matters

When you’re injured at work, it’s crucial to document all areas of your body that are affected. This documentation serves two primary purposes:

  1. Medical Treatment: It helps doctors understand the full extent of your injuries, which can guide them in providing the most effective treatment.
  2. Compensation Claims: It provides a clear record that can be used when filing a workers’ compensation claim and when later suing your employer in negligence.

The First Medical Appointment

Your first medical appointment after a workplace injury is a critical opportunity to document all your injuries. Be sure to describe all areas of your body that hurt, even if some pains seem minor compared to others. These details can be crucial in diagnosing your condition and planning your treatment and making sure the insurer plays for the treatment.

Incident Forms

Just as it’s important to describe all your injuries to your healthcare providers, it’s equally important to note all injured body parts on any incident forms related to your workplace injury. These forms are often used as evidence in workers’ compensation claims, so their accuracy is paramount.

The Rooke v Workers’ Compensation Regulator Decision

The case of Rooke v Workers’ Compensation Regulator [2024] QIRC 89 shows the need for careful injury documentation. This decision highlights how important it is to record injuries accurately in workers’ compensation claims. In this case, the worker didn’t document all the injuries by reference to body part, that he suffered in the work accident, and the outcome was that he couldn’t claim compensation and damages for those injuries not documented later on.

Workplace injuries can be stressful and overwhelming. However, taking the time to thoroughly document your injuries – both for your healthcare providers and on any related incident forms can make a significant difference in both your recovery and your workers’ compensation claim and common law negligence damages claim.

Please note that this is a general guide and does not constitute legal advice.