Depending on how and where you were exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation in addition to a common law claim. In some states, the rights to common law compensation has been limited or replaced with a statutory scheme.
If you were exposed in more than one State, you are entitled to obtain compensation in the most beneficial way possible.
Segelov Taylor can ensure you make the correct application, and maximise the compensation paid.
The main other forms for compensation are set out below.
Dust Diseases Authority
The Dust Diseases Authority (the DDA) is a NSW government body that provides compensation if you develop a dust disease, including mesothelioma, as a consequence of employment in NSW. Payments by the DDA are in addition to amounts recoverable under a common law claim for compensation. The DDA will pay you (and after your death, any surviving dependant) a pension, and will cover all medical and other reasonable expenses. They also pay any dependant a lump sum on death as well as pay your estate funeral expenses of up to $15,000.00.
Workcover Queensland is a Queensland government body that provides compensation if you develop a dust disease, including mesothelioma, as a consequence of employment in Queensland. Where mesothelioma arises from exposure to asbestos in employment in Queensland, such an application is required before a a common law claim for compensation can be made. Workcover Queensland makes payment on a scale set by law. The amount payable reduces as the claimant becomes older.
Worksafe Tasmania is a Tasmanian government body that provides compensation if you develop a dust disease, including mesothelioma, as a consequence of employment in Tasmania. Where mesothelioma arises from exposure to asbestos in employment in Tasmania, no common law claim for compensation can be made and the only compensation is that paid by Worksafe. It is important to note that if you have exposure while employed in a different state as well as Tasmania, or have exposure not as a result of employment (such as home renovation) a Common Law claim may be available in addition to the Worksafe amount.
Comcare / Department of Veteran’s Affairs
If you were exposed to asbestos as a Commonwealth employee, or as a member of the armed services you can make an application for compensation through Comcare or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. This compensation is sought as an alternative to a common law claim, and means that a common law claim cannot be pursued. Generally the amount paid by Comcare or the Department of Veteran’s Affair’s is less than amount that would be obtained in a common law claim.
It is important to obtain legal advice before making the election between Comcare/DVA and a common law claim.
If you make a common law claim a dependant may be able to make a “Dependency Claim” on Comcare/DVA after your death.
Accident Compensation Act – New Zealand
If your only exposure to asbestos was in New Zealand, the only compensation available is under the Accident Compensation Act which abolished common law claims for New Zealand exposures. However a common law claim will still be available to New Zealanders (and others) who were exposed to asbestos in Australia even if they now live in New Zealand, or were also exposed in New Zealand.