Self-employed carpenter receives a $300,000 settlement after sustaining an eye injury at work

Self-employed carpenter receives $300,000 compensation after sustaining an eye injury caused by not wearing protective goggles.

Our client was a self-employed carpenter who ran his own company. He sustained an injury to his eye when he was working on a residential house refurbishment project whilst operating a nail gun.

The injury happened when the nail gun our client was using automatically inserted two nails into the bridge, and on firing the nail gun, one nail exploded causing shrapnel to hit our client’s eye.

At the time of the accident, our client was not wearing any protective goggles as he was working in hot conditions and his goggles would constantly fog up.

Our client was taken to hospital where he remained for one week. He subsequently underwent further surgery which included an intraocular lens transplant.

His ongoing symptoms included cloudy vision, light and glare sensitivity, headaches, weeping and difficulties with depth perception. In addition to these symptoms, our client developed psychological injury due to his inability to resume his pre-injury employment and the effects the injury has had on his personal life.

Our client made a Workers Compensation claim with his company and this claim was accepted by the insurer. He received payment of all of his ongoing medical expenses as well as ongoing weekly benefits.

In addition to his Workers Compensation entitlements, our client already had Income Protection insurance in place through his super fund, which was then used to supplement his income in addition to receiving Workers Compensation benefits.

We made arrangements for our client to be assessed by our medico-legal ophthalmic surgeon who provided an assessment of 19% whole person impairment in respect of our client’s eye injury. This assessment was accepted by the Workers Compensation insurer and the client received lump sum compensation for this claim in addition to his ongoing payments of weekly benefits and medical expenses from the insurer.

As the parties had reached an agreement that our client met the 15% WPI threshold to bring a common law action, we then prepared a Work Injury Damages claim on his behalf.

In addition to the report from the ophthalmic surgeon, we arranged for our client to be assessed by our medico-legal psychiatrist and we obtained a report from a forensic accountant to support our client’s claim for future economic loss, noting that he was being paid a salary by his company.

The matter was referred to Mediation in the Workers Compensation Commission, but did not settle at this stage as the insurer made a very low offer to settle the claim. We then filed a Statement of Claim in the District Court.

The main issues in the case were the degree of contributory negligence of our client for not wearing protective goggles at the time of the accident, and the fact that he went back to work on light duties a few months after the accident and continued working on an ongoing basis although in a reduced capacity.

Despite these issues, we managed to reconvene a further settlement conference prior to the hearing of the case and resolved his claim for $300,000.

Deciding whether legal help is necessary

After a work injury, there are all sorts of compensation you might be entitled to. You deserve payment for the time you’ve missed, the treatments you’ve paid for and the pain and suffering you’ve been subjected to. If there are any hangups with getting this money paid out, consider getting legal help.

Workers compensation lawyers Sydney

At Marshall & Gibson Compensation Lawyers Sydney we specialise in workers compensation claims resulting from workplace injuries and we are ready to take your call.

We have a proven track record having won over 99% of our work accident injury cases. We’re so confident in our legal expertise with workers compensation claims that with our “No Win-No Fee” basis, you only pay if we win your claim for you.

Call us today on 1800 675 417 or send us an email for your free, no obligation case evaluation by one of our expert compensation lawyers.


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