According to the survey by AAH, nearly 70 per cent of Australians would feel ashamed if they have to lodge a workers’ compensation claim against their employer, even if they were severely impacted by a workplace injury.
‘Peer group pressure’ was another issue named in the results, a factor that personal injury lawyers should consider when dealing with injured clients.
‘The biggest stumbling block’ for people wanting to make a claim against an employer was future employment prospects and fears over lost promotion opportunities, with 80 per cent of respondents stating that they would not make a claim for this reason, the study found.
For the accident helpline’s founder Liam Millner, this sentiment comes “from a place of fear and misunderstanding about personal injury law.”
He said many people fear they will “be overlooked when applying for new jobs if they have previously made a claim against a former employer.”
“One of the most significant questions in job applications is, have you ever made a workers’ compensation claim?” Mr Millner continued.
“It is unsettling for prospective employees and gives the perception that making a rightful claim is bad.”
An estimated 1.3 million Australians are “experiencing a personal injury problem over a 12-month period,” the AAH stated, with effects ranging from income loss, physical injury or stress-related illness.
According to the survey, only 18 per cent of Australian employees are prepared to take out workers’ compensation claims against bosses if they knew the company “would be personally liable for the damages tab.”
Mr Millner thinks that the workers’ compensation system is “flawed, biased and somewhat confusing.”
“It’s a worrying sign when nearly every person who contacts us share the same concern which is they feel as if their employer and insurance company have joined forces against them.”
“If you feel like you have a claim, seek independent legal advice,” he urged.