Recovery of damages (civil action)

SAET can award financial compensation for injury or loss experienced by a worker if SAET finds that the injury or loss was caused by the negligence, or other tort, of the employer and arose from employment.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you have suffered a compensable work injury as a result of an employer’s negligence, tort or breach of statutory duty, and the injury or loss arose from employment.

You can apply if your family member has died as a result of an employer’s negligence, tort or breach of statutory duty, and the death was caused by employment.

What do I need to do?

You must seek legal advice before making your claim. You will be able to claim the cost of that advice.

What can I expect?

You should note that in bringing a common law action:

  • your injury must be compensable, have stabilised and have resulted in a ‘whole person impairment’ (WPI) of 30% or more
  • any damages are restricted to those related to economic loss only
  • you are not entitled to an action against your employer to recover damages in respect of any treatment, care or support services
  • you are not entitled to both a redemption and common law damages for future economic loss
  • if, after being assessed at 30% WPI or more, you seek to pursue common law damages for future economic loss, you cannot pursue a redemption of a liability to make weekly payments
  • you cannot start an action for common law damages or enter a redemption agreement until you have made an election
  • any election to pursue common law damages must start within three years of the injury date.

What forms are relevant?

  • A20 – Application – General civil action

This can be downloaded from the forms page.

Is there a cost?

The filing fees in this jurisdiction are set according to the District Court scale. Visit the fees page for more information.

Where can I find more information?

You must seek advice from a lawyer if you wish to commence a common law action.