Back Injury at Work – Compensation Guide

We understand how stressful and confusing workers compensation and figuring out what you’re entitled to after a back injury can be. At WT Compensation Lawyers, we want to give you the resources needed to secure fair compensation and rebuild your life.


Back injuries are a leading cause of workplace pain and suffering in Australia, impacting thousands of workers each year. This Safe Work Australia report reveals that trunk and back pain were some of the most common types of compensated work-related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) in Australia, making up 45% of injuries.

Understanding Back Injuries at Work

Causes Notes
Lifting heavy objectsThis accounts for 30% of workplace back injuries, which highlights the importance of proper lifting techniques and using assistive equipment. 
Repetitive motionsActivities like bending, twisting, or reaching repeatedly can strain the back over time. Implementing ergonomic workstations and regular stretching breaks can help.
Poor postureYou may develop poor posture because of your work. However, maintaining good posture while sitting, standing, and lifting reduces the risk of injury.

Early Intervention is Key

  • If you get medical attention quickly after noticing back pain, this can speed up your diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Early intervention minimises the risk of long-term complications. 
  • Report work-related back injuries to your employer and WorkCover to ensure that you receive proper medical care and access to compensation. (Safe Work Australia)

Pain and Suffering Due to Back Injuries

  • Back injuries can have a significant emotional and psychological impact, and can cause anxiety, depression, and stress. 
  • Compensation for pain and suffering acknowledges this emotional damage and helps individuals manage the financial burden associated with recovery. 

How to Make a Back Injury Claim

Steps to Make Back Injury Claim - Guide from WT Compensation Lawyers
How to Make Back Injury Claim - Step-by-Step Guide

To make a back injury claim, you’ll need to visit a doctor to get medical attention and a medical certificate (work capacity certificate). Then you’ll need to report your injury to your employer. We’d also suggest getting legal advice as soon as possible because workers compensation claims have strict time limits. 

Step 1: Get a Consultation

At WT Compensation Lawyers, we recognise that filing a work injury claim can be overwhelming. We also understand the physical and emotional impact that workplace injuries can have. That’s why we offer a free, compassionate consultation to discuss your situation and explore your legal options. 

During this consultation, we’ll need to collect important information about your back injury, including when and how the injury happened. WorkCover will need these details when you file your claim, so we’ll help you get all your ducks in a row. Contact us to begin your journey towards fair compensation.

Step 2: Collect Evidence

Our team will help you gather medical reports, witness statements, and other relevant documentation to strengthen your claim. WT Compensation Lawyers will guide you through this process and assess your case based on tangible evidence.

Step 3: Assess Your Claim

You won’t need to do anything at this stage. This is when we’ll assess your case and review the specific details and strengths of your claim. Moreover, we’ll be able to evaluate the potential legal outcome of your case. We’ll also use this assessment to develop a legal strategy and approach for your case. 

Step 4: Submit Your Claim

We’ll help you complete the forms and lodge your WorkCover claim online. WorkCover will then investigate and assess your claim and supporting documents. WorkCover will contact you if they need further documents or information related to your case. 

Step 5: Negotiations and Settlement

Based on your situation and evaluation of your claim, we will negotiate with the opposing (or at-fault) party or file a lawsuit against them if necessary. Our objective is to reach the best outcome possible, whether through a settlement or a court ruling. Notably, proceeding to court for workers compensation or WorkCover claims is very rare. 

Step 6: Compensation Payout

If your claim is successful, you’ll receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you’ll also be able to pursue a common law claim, which will compensate you for pain and suffering. 

Payouts vary depending on how severe an injury is, the impact on your ability to work, and how much medical treatment you need. Your lawyers understand the various compensation avenues, including common law claims, and they will empower you to make informed decisions. 

At WT Compensation Lawyers, we offer invaluable support throughout your claim. We will navigate the legal complexities, negotiate on your behalf, and fight for a fair settlement that reflects your injury’s impact.

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


What is WorkCover Back Injury Compensation?

Suffering a back injury at work can be debilitating and financially stressful. Thankfully, Australian workers have WorkCover, a compensation scheme that provides financial support if you’re injured on the job.

What does WorkCover pay for?

WorkCover can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent impairment benefits if your back injury is related to your work. This includes costs associated with diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and assistive devices.

WorkCover will also compensate your lost wages with payments (weekly compensation), as well as any travel costs related to treatment for your injury. Moreover, WorkCover provides death benefits and covers funeral costs if necessary. 

What’s covered under permanent impairment?

If your back injury leaves long-lasting effects, you may be eligible for a lump sum payout based on the severity of your impairment. A medical professional will assess your situation and calculate the injury or any permanent impairment using a specific formula.

How Much Are Back Injury Compensation Payouts in Australia?

Generally, back injury payouts will depend on how severe your injury is. Using data from WorkSafe Queensland on Dominant Injury Items and General Damages, we’ve summarised the amount of compensation you can expect to receive below. 

Item NumberWCR CodeDominant Injury DescriptionRange of Injury Scale Value (ISV)Range of General Damages Awarded in AUD
8908900Extreme thoracic or lumbar spine injury36 –60$98,495 to $204,950
9009000Serious thoracic or lumbar spine injury16 – 35$32,965 to $94,430
9109100Moderate thoracic or lumbar spine injury – fracture, disc prolapse or nerve root compression or damage5 – 15$8,350 to $30,270
9209200Moderate thoracic or lumbar spine injury – soft tissue injury5 – 10$8,350 to $18,470
9309300Minor thoracic or lumbar spine injury0 – 4$0 to $6,675

Disclaimer:These compensation estimates are based on WorkSafe Queensland data and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with WT Compensation Lawyers for personalised guidance based on your specific situation. We’re here to take some of the weight off your shoulders by guiding you with expert legal advice and support.

Returning to work after a back injury will require a gradual and personalised approach. You should work with healthcare professionals and rehabilitation specialists to ensure a safe and successful transition back to your duties.

Back Injury at Work FAQs

After a work-related back injury, you can claim several expenses related to your recovery and well-being such as medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent impairment. Remember that the specific expenses you can claim depend on your individual situation and the laws in your province.

While not mandatory, seeking legal advice for a work-related back injury can be highly beneficial. Work injury claims can involve legal procedures and complexities you might not be familiar with. A lawyer can guide you through the process and help you meet all deadlines and requirements. 

Moreover, lawyers understand the factors influencing compensation and can help you gather evidence and build a strong case to maximise your rightful payout. If your claim is initially denied, your personal injury lawyer can assist you with appeals and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

If your work-related back injury claim is initially denied, don’t give up. Each WorkCover authority has a process for reviewing denied claims. This involves providing additional information or clarification to justify your claim. 

A mediator can facilitate a discussion between you and your employer or WorkCover to reach a mutual agreement. If mediation fails, you can appeal the decision with a tribunal, which will make a final judgement based on the evidence presented.

Contact Us

When it’s time to talk, we’re not just lawyers – we’re compassionate listeners. Join us for your free consultation, and let’s take the first step together towards securing the compensation you rightfully deserve.

What our clients say

Thank you WT Compensation Lawyers for your hard work, commitment and dedication towards settling my case. This was my first ever experience having the helping hand of a lawyer and I’m glad it was with your firm! Thank you very much for making everything seem so easy and clear for me to understand. I will definitely know who I can trust in regards to seeking legal aid

Asipeli Feki

Warm, kind, compassionate, knowledgeable… I could go on and on about Jono and his great team at WT Compensation Lawyers. The words thank you don’t even begin to describe how grateful I am to this great team of personal injury lawyers and for the way they help people and show that they genuinely care about their clients.

R Rasul

I am beyond grateful for the genuine assistance of WT Compensation lawyers to get through with my claim. Absolutely every single person I had contact with at the team were amazing. I especially want to thank Jono Wu who helped me achieve an outstanding outcome.

Virginia Su

Jono, Sinny and everyone at WT Compensation Lawyers are the best car accident lawyers in Brisbane I’ve come across. The genuine care, compassion and human kindness they show to their clients is clear from the very first moment you speak to them. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer and would not hesitate at all to refer any of my family or friends. Thank you guys always for all your great work.

Ru McKinnon

Big thanks to WT, Jono, Sinny and the entire team. I couldn’t be happier with boys and the help they’ve given me and my family over the years. Both my sister and partner had car accidents and got unreal results from their claim. These guys are talented, empathetic and genuinely want the best for their clients and I couldn’t recommend them more if you want the best car accident lawyers.

Tylor Bunting

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


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