Between 2013 and 2014, there were over 106,000 serious compensation claims made by injured workers in Australia, according Safe Work Australia. The worst affected were labourers, making a total of more than 25,500 claims, followed by trades workers and personal service workers. Regardless of your occupation, if you get injured while at work you may be able to make a claim for work injury damages to compensate for any harm and financial loss you suffer as a result.
However, making a claim is not always a straightforward process. To ensure you understand your rights and receive the damages you're entitled to, it's important to seek advice from a legal professional. So how can you tell what you qualify for?
In order to make a claim for work injury damages, an individual must meet a certain criteria:
If you fulfil these requirements, it's likely that you'll be able to make a claim. However, one of the more challenging aspects of the criteria is the requirement that injuries be caused by employer negligence. Negligence can take a number of forms. For instance, the employer may have failed to provide a sufficiently safe working environment, they may not have supplied personal protective equipment, or allowed you to work in uncontrolled and unpredictable conditions. Perhaps they did not give you adequate safety training, maintain equipment properly, or just generally failed to supervise the work. In circumstances such as these, the employer can be held responsible for any injuries you receive.
Nevertheless, sometimes an incident is entirely the fault of the employer, and other times both the injured worker and the employer contributed to it. This can complicate a work injury damages claim, which is why you need an experienced lawyer to help you manage the process and ensure you get the compensation you should. Strict time limits apply to make a claims so get in touch with Marshall & Gibson Lawyers on 1800 675 417 to find out more.
Our client was working in an industrial facility and another worker who was operating a welding machine caused an explosion, resulting in our client sustaining severe burns to his body and consequential psychological injury.
A claim for Workers Compensation was made and liability was accepted. Once our client’s injuries had stabilised we arranged for him to be assessed by our medico legal doctor and a claim for Whole Person Impairment was made on his behalf.
The claim for Whole Person Impairment was referred to the Worker’s Compensation Commission and an Approved Medical Specialist doctor was appointed and our client received an award for Whole Person Impairment for his injuries.
As our client’s Whole Person Impairment exceeded the 15% threshold we were then able to prepare a Work Injury Damages Claim on his behalf by arranging for our consultant engineer to prepare a report on liability and for our client to undergo a series further medico legal assessments with our medico legal plastic surgeon, medico legal psychiatrist and a functional and vocational assessor in order to establish that our client had very little work capacity.
As the case did not settle at mediation proceedings were filed in the District Court of New South Wales and eventually our client’s case resolved for $750,000 inclusive of cost/ clear of Worker’s Compensation payments.
Our client was employed by labour hire company who sent our client to work as a packer at a warehouse where he was under control, direction and supervision of the warehouse company.
Our client, who was 67 years of age at the time of his accident, was allocated a task by the warehouse company of loading a consignment of twenty boxes weighing between 10-15kg onto the top shelf of a storage/dispatch cage at a height above our client’s shoulder height, when he sustained an injury to his right shoulder as a result of having to throw the boxes over the side of the cage.
Our client underwent shoulder surgery and was off work for 10 months following the surgery.
He then returned to work on light duties but continued to suffer from shoulder symptoms and experienced an exacerbation of these symptoms whilst holding on to a pole on a train whilst travelling to work.
As a result of the exacerbation of his symptoms, he was certified by his doctor to work 4 hours a day/5 days per week. Unfortunately, his employer could not accommodate him with these restrictions and his employment was terminated.
Our client initially made a Workers Compensation claim against his employer, the labour hire company, where he received payments of weekly compensation benefits for time off as well as payment of his medical/treatment expenses as well as surgery expenses.
He also received an award of 9% Whole Person Impairment as lump sum compensation for his shoulder injury, which equates to $12,375.
As our client was sent to work as a labour hire worker at a warehouse site and was not under the control, direction or supervision of his employer at the time, he was able to commence a negligence action against the warehouse company in the District Court of NSW.
This negligence action against the warehouse was for compensation for pain and suffering for his injuries, past and future economic loss, past and future medical expenses and past and future domestic care.
As part of the preparation of his case, we arranged for our client to be assessed by our medico-legal orthopaedic surgeon and arranged for our medico-legal occupational therapist to attend our client’s home to assess his ongoing domestic assistance needs which resulted from the accident.
In addition to the medical side of the case, we also arranged a view of the warehouse accident site by our consultant engineer, who was then able to prepare a report on behalf of our client to address the issues arising from the unsafe system of work which resulted in our client’s injuries.
Prior to the District Court hearing of the case, the parties convened a mediation.
Although there were some discrepancies between various witnesses who worked at the warehouse alongside our client with regards to the system of work and the height of the cage our client had to throw boxes into, together with our client being over retirement age at the time of his injury, we were able to negotiate a settlement of the case for $150,000.
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.
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.
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.
Our client was a team member of a construction group which were resurfacing a suburban footpath in Sydney. Our client was operating the “Stop/Go” sign when a car drove through the construction area at high speed. And in order for our client to avoid being hit by the car, he jumped backwards.
Unfortunately, as our client jumped backwards to avoid being struck by the car, an excavator machine which was working directly behind our client ran over his right foot resulting in a serious crushing injury to the foot and ankle.
Our client was able to claim Workers Compensation for his injury and liability was accepted so the workers compensation insurer paid him weekly benefits of compensation for time off work in addition to payment of all of his medical expenses, which were substantial.
The driver of the car at fault did not stop and was never identified and therefore, in addition to his Workers Compensation rights, our client was able to bring a Motor Accidents personal injury claim for his injuries through the Nominal Defendant. A claim can be made through the Nominal Defendant in various circumstances, for example where the vehicle is uninsured or unidentified.
The claim was accepted by the Nominal Defendant.
In addition to our client’s physical disabilities, which included constant severe pain in his foot and the inability to walk without the aid of forearm crutches, he also suffered severe psychological effects from the injury due to his pain levels and an uncertain prognosis.
After obtaining qualified doctors reports to support his claim from orthopaedic surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, psychiatrists and an occupational therapist to assess our client’s ongoing treatment needs and requirement for home care, we were able to commence proceedings in the Motor Accidents Authority on his behalf.
Our client was assessed by the Motor Accidents Authority appointed Neurosurgeon as having a 34% whole person impairment due to his injuries to his ankle and foot. We were therefore able to bring a claim on his behalf for general damages for pain and suffering, past and future economic loss, loss of superannuation, past and future treatment expenses, past and future domestic assistance as well as house and car modifications.
The claim was eventually settled between the parties ffor over $2 million.
At Marshall & Gibson Compensation Lawyers Sydney we specialise in personal injury claims resulting from workplace injuries and motor vehicle accidents. In this case our client was a construction worker who sustained a serious injury to his foot and ankle after jumping out of the way of a speeding car, leading to his right foot being run over by an excavator machine. Our client was able to lodge both Workers Compensation and Motor Accidents personal injury claims, resulting in substantial damages being awarded.
We have a proven track record having won over 99% of our motor vehicle accident injury and workers compensation cases. We’re so confident in our legal expertise with workers compensation and motor vehicle accident injury 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 senior compensation lawyers.
Our client was employed as an office worker and she sustained repeated bullying and harassment at the hands of her supervisors over a period of time, in addition to excessive workload arising from a monthly quota of sales targets which our client had to meet.
As a result of her injuries she was certified totally unfit for work and a Worker’s Compensation Claim was made.
Liability for our client’s weekly benefits and medical expenses was denied by the Workers Compensation insurer and we therefore arranged for her to be assessed by our medico legal psychiatrist and a claim was lodged in the Worker’s Compensation Commission claiming weekly benefits and medical expenses. This claim was resolved in our favour at the Worker’s Compensation Commission.
Once our client’s psychological injuries had stabilised we arranged for her to be assessed by one of our medico legal psychiatrists. Our claim for Whole Person Impairment was again disputed by the insurer and a further claim was lodged with the Worker’s Compensation Commission. The Worker’s Compensation Commission arranged for our client to be assessed by one of its Approved Medical Specialist doctors and our client received a favourable result and was awarded 22% Whole Person Impairment for her injuries.
The award of 22% Whole Person Impairment enabled our client to proceed with a Work Injury Damages claim for economic loss. The Work Injury Damages claim was set down for a mediation at Tweed Heads New South Wales which was the closest venue to where our client resided. The case did not settle at mediation and proceedings were subsequently commenced in the District Court of NSW at Lismore and the case subsequently resolved for the sum of $375,000 inclusive of costs and clear of Worker’s Compensation payments made to date which was an excellent outcome for our client considering the insurer had initially denied liability and contested the matter at every stage along the way.
Our client sustained injury when he fell off a motorcycle and he was taken to his local hospital for treatment.
An x-ray was performed showing a minor lower back injury and our client was advised to take one week off work and then resume his normal duties as a construction worker.
Unfortunately his condition did not improve over the next few weeks and he obtained a second opinion. A CT scan performed at another hospital showed mid-level fractures to his spine which were not diagnosed by the first hospital he went to.
After consulting our firm, we obtained all of his treating doctor’s records and arranged for a medico- legal opinion from an emergency physician to state that our client’s mid-back injury was not correctly diagnosed or treated by the hospital and that an appropriate physical examination was not performed by the hospital.
We subsequently obtained further medico legal evidence from a psychiatrist, an occupational physician and a functional and vocational assessment to determine our client’s ongoing capacity for work, if any.
Proceedings were commenced in the Supreme Court of NSW and the case was referred to mediation several times but did not resolve.
The case was subsequently listed for a 5 day hearing in the Supreme Court but we were able to resolve the matter a week before the hearing for an excess of $900,000.
Our client was employed as a labour hire worker and was sent to work at a construction site in Rouse Hill.
Our client sustained a disc prolapse as a result of having to push and roll out heavy Geofabric material when he sustained injury to his back with pain radiating down both legs.
He was taken to hospital where he remained an in-patient for approximately 7 days. He did not return to work following the injury.
A workers compensation claim was made and liability was accepted. Our client received ongoing payments of weekly benefits, medical expenses and an award for lump sum compensation.
His condition did not improve over time and on occasions his back pain became so great that he had to stay in hospital overnight.
As our client’s injury occurred on a construction site and he was under the control of a contractor, in addition to his workers compensation rights our client could also commence a negligence claim against the contractor.
In preparation of this claim we obtained our client’s treating doctor’s records, in addition to medico legal reports from an orthopedic surgeon, a psychiatrist, a functional and vocational assessor and an occupational therapist to assess our client’s home care requirements. Liability expert evidence was also obtained from an ergonomist regarding the mechanism of work and the risk of injury with regards to the work the plaintiff was performing.
Proceedings were commenced in the District Court of NSW and the parties conducted both an informal settlement conference and mediation, however, the offers made by the defendant were too low.
The case was eventually allocated to a 5 day hearing and we were able to resolve the case from the morning of the first day of hearing for $550,000 all-inclusive, which was almost twice as much money as what the defendant was offering us at the previous settlement conference.
Our client was employed as a supervisor on a construction site where he sustained injury to his back whilst attempting to undo large bolts on a construction project. He sought treatment from his GP and was referred to a neurosurgeon who diagnosed him as having a large disc protrusion at L5/S1.
A worker’s compensation claim was made against his employer who had the control of the construction site and this claim was accepted. Our client received payment of weekly benefits and medical expenses.
He subsequently underwent several microdiscectomy procedures over the next few years and resumed work on light duties.
As his symptoms did not improve our client subsequently underwent a spinal fusion procedure.
After his condition had stabilized we arranged for our client to be assessed by our medico legal neurosurgeon to bring a claim for Whole Person Impairment on his behalf. He was subsequently examined by an orthopedic surgeon on behalf of the insurer and the parties agreed to a 24% Whole Person Impairment assessment for his injury.
By exceeding the 15% Whole Person Impairment threshold our client was entitled to bring a claim for work injury damages for his injuries.
In preparation of our client’s claim we arranged for him to be reassessed by our medico legal neurosurgeon in addition to obtaining a functional and vocational assessment report, a report by a medico legal psychiatrist for his consequential psychological injuries. A liability report from a consultant engineer was also obtained to address the mechanism of injury and how this could have been prevented with the aid of mechanical assistance.
The parties subsequently conducted a mediation in the workers compensation commission but the case did not settle.
Proceedings were subsequently filed in the District Court of NSW and a further settlement conference was arranged prior to the hearing date but unfortunately the case still did not settle. Parties attended court for the hearing of this case and the morning of the first day of hearing the defendant significantly increased their offers of settlement, whereby the claim was able to be resolved for $750,000 inclusive of costs and clear of workers compensation payments, which was an excellent result for our client.
If you or anyone you know has suffered an injury in the workplace, you know that the moments immediately following the incident can be pretty hectic. You’re torn between many different competing priorities. You want to get immediate medical help; you also care about ensuring the job continues without interruption. You might additionally be thinking about filling out paperwork to get time off work and/or workers’ compensation.
It can be hard to balance all of the above in the moments right after an injury happens. Obviously, the long-term goal is to get healthy so you can eventually return to work, but that might take a while, and you don’t want to skip any steps on the way there. Make sure you follow the entire process.
If you’ve been involved in a workplace injury, handle first things first – do what’s best for yourself physically. This is especially important if you’ve had a bad accident. For example, according to The Geelong Advertiser, a construction worker in his 30s recently suffered abdominal injuries after being crushed between a scissor lift and a building at a Surf Coast worksite.
In this situation, the man had to be rushed to a hospital and restored to stable medical condition. This was clearly priority one. If you ever have a situation like this that could possibly be life-threatening, be sure to take care of yourself first before getting into the paperwork and everything else.
After taking care of your basic medical needs, your next priority should be to carve out a long-term plan for returning to work. WorkCover Queensland notes that devising such a plan should be a collaborative plan involving the employee, co-workers, supervisors and medical experts.
It’s important to go through the entire process without skipping any key steps. This should include filling out claim forms, getting treatment and contacting a lawyer to resolve any disagreements that come up.
If you need legal help getting to the bottom of a workplace injury dispute, there’s no one better to trust than the experts at Marshall and Gibson Lawyers. Go with us, and you’ll get a bevy of expertise plus a proven track record for getting results.
Talk to us today for a free case evaluation and find out where you stand. No matter what sort of workplace issue you’re dealing with, large or small, you can never put a price on getting peace of mind.
Everyone wants to go into work each morning and be a fast, efficient, productive worker, but the truth is it’s hard to balance that with being safe. The harder you work – especially in settings that require a lot of physical labour – the more you expose yourself to potential injury.
Sometimes, though, those injuries aren’t entirely your fault. Have you ever witnessed a situation where someone gets hurt and the employer is at least partially to blame? A quick glance at the latest newspaper reveals that this happens all the time – and when it does, the injured party is often entitled to a pretty penny in compensation.
No one wants to get injured in the workplace, but the good news is that if you do, you could be paid handsomely for it. Consider, for example, an incident that recently occurred at a Woolworths supermarket location in Queensland – dock worker Michael John Perkins injured his back and suffered painful lumbar disc protrusion. His accident compensation, according to The Brisbane Times, came out to $650,000.
This might seem steep, but it became a reality because Perkins was able to argue that the nature of his job required him to handle “awkward, persistent and arduous loading dock work.” Because he demonstrated that his employer was at fault, he got paid. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may want to pursue legal recourse too.
If you ever become injured, there’s a detailed process you should undertake. There are a series of key steps – namely reporting the injury, pursuing medical treatment and, of course, consulting with personal injury lawyers. You don’t want to leave any of these out.
WorkSafe Victoria notes that in many of these injury scenarios, a primary goal is to get the employee back to work quickly. This might be true to an extent, but you also want to balance this need with a desire to get the compensation you deserve.
Fighting a legal battle over a workplace injury might seem like a taxing process, but it becomes far easier to handle if you find a compensation lawyer in Sydney who’s able to take your case. Fortunately, at Marshall and Gibson Lawyers, we have a staff full of them.
Contact us today and receive a free case evaluation from an expert who knows all the angles. There’s no risk in giving us a call on 1800 675 417, and the benefits in the long run could be staggering.
For anyone that has ever been injured and had to take a significant period off work to recover, there comes a time when you have to decide a date for returning to work. There will inevitably be a determination from your treating general practitioner (GP) that you are fit enough to return to work – although you may have limitations as to what you can physically do. But even if you have been signed off by your GP as medically capable, the decision to head back to work is by no means an easy one.
If your injury was sustained as a result of a workplace accident, there can be associated emotional issues to work through in addition to any physical limitations. Even if the injury did not arise at the workplace, you may be suffering associated anxieties with the thought of having to return to work.
However, returning to work can assist in a faster recovery and has three tremendous benefits.
Earning your own money allows you to maintain a lifestyle you once had, and does wonders for self-confidence. It alleviates the stress associated with money troubles, and even if you have been receiving compensation during your time off work it is more rewarding to earn the money that you receive.
Returning to work is great for you physically. There have been many studies done to research whether or not physical activity can directly have a positive impact on a person’s mental health, and evidence suggests that this does work.
Of course, it is important to be aware of your limitations. If you work within your own comfort zones, physical activity can have incredible benefits for your recovery time. But if you overdo it, you could be setting your recovery time back by weeks or even months. It is recommended that you have a professional trainer or exercise physiologist do at least your first activity session with you following an injury, as they can advise you on the best exercises and what techniques to use.
The final benefit is an emotional one. Everyone carries a sense of self worth. Your job may define an aspect of you are: whether as a professional, as a hard working parent, or as a committed employee. By returning to work you can reclaim this identity, as it often gets lost when you are suffering from a physical injury and unable to do your job. This can energise the soul which benefits you emotionally.
Once you have determined to return to work, it is important to ensure there is a plan in place for that transition. The plan should involve a team approach, and the crucial members of that team are you, your employer, and your treatment provider.
It is important to contact your employer to advise them that you feel ready to return to work. They may have a return to work policy that can be implemented, and you should discuss this policy prior to your return. Ensure your employer understands the nature and extent of your injury or injuries, and any associated physical limitations. Encourage your employer to contact you treatment provider (or vice versa).
With open communication about timeframes, expectations and limitations, your employer can reasonably accommodate your transition to work. If your employer is not receptive or accommodating, if there is no identified plan of support, then you can contact your union representative or a legal representative to discuss. Legally your employer has an obligation to ensure your health and safety at work, which includes acknowledging your physical limitations and accommodating them appropriately by adjusting your responsibilities in your employment.
Also before you return to work you should speak with your treatment provider to discuss any concerns about your injuries. Your treatment provider can give you alternatives to how you may perform a physical task, or may outline your physical limitations so that you don’t push yourself. This way you can be confident of a transition that encourages rather than threatens recovery.
Whatever the plan to be implemented for your return to work, one matter cannot be over-emphasised – you, personally, should get involved in the development of that plan. Your voice and your concerns ought to be heard and addressed; after all, it is your injury. Do not feel that if you speak up you may jeopardise your employment. If you have concerns about this, it is recommended to speak with a lawyer who specialises in personal injury law, employment law or worker’s compensation. Having a clear idea of your rights can give you the confidence to speak up and assert your rights.
Ultimately, returning to work should be something to look forward to. It’s financial, physical and emotional benefits will improve your outlook on life and sense of self-worth. The decision is stressful, but having an open discussion with your employer and treatment provider about a plan to assist your transition may alleviate that stress. And hopefully this will give you the confidence to return to work, safely, and happily.
You probably understand the huge costs of many workplace health and safety hazards. By taking the appropriate precautions, it is possible to prevent many of these hazards.
There is no denying that some hazards are less likely to be an issue in the workplace you provide than in other workplaces. However, it is vital to determine the hazards that pose most risk to your business and your employees.
Most common health and safety hazards in workplaces:
When steps are taken to prevent the health and safety hazards in the workplaces that you provide, it is obvious that the risk of injury and illness to workers is reduced. Injuries and illness can also hinder continuity, compromise the welfare of your employees and cause significant loss of time and money.
Comprehensive, insightful and informed planning can help you to forestall many of these problems and issues.
With thought and planning, a safer workplace can be created by reducing the most common risks to health, safety and wellbeing.
Managing health and safety hazards in the workplace is a legal obligation of every NSW employer (and employers across Australia), and a significant way in which to minimise workplace injury and disease.
Business owners will also appreciate that the indirect costs of workplace injury and disease, including absenteeism, low workplace morale, retraining, declines in productivity, the need to backfill positions and loss of skills and experience, can also be minimised when dangerous situations in the workplace are effectively identified and remedied.
All employers have a responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace and to protect the health and safety of staff. This in itself is a completely valid reason for risk management in the workplace and being committed to ongoing identification of dangerous situations. However, some owners recognise that effective risk management decreases the likelihood of their business being involved with NSW compensation lawyers.
When thinking about dangerous situations in the workplace, hazards, risks and exposure need to be considered.
A hazard is the potential for harm or an adverse effect on the health of an employee.
Risk is the likelihood that a hazard will result in injury or health problems for those that are present or near the workplace. Risk levels increase according to how severe a hazard is and the length of time and frequency of exposure.
Exposure refers to a person actually having contact with a hazard.
Essentially, a risk management process consists of four steps:
The first, and most crucial, step in minimising the likelihood of a workplace accident is identifying hazards. All situations and events that could lead to injury or illness need to be recognised, and their elimination needs a systematic approach.
Most importantly, trying to predict or anticipate every possible hazard in the workplace – the ‘what if? approach’ – is necessary.
Some types of hazards are easily identified, while others are less immediately recognisable.
Hazards can be divided into 5 different categories:
A number of methods and resources can help workplace hazards be identified. These include:
Risk management is an issue that affects the entire organisation. To effectively identify and redress dangerous situations, all managers and staff need to be involved.