Worker receives a $275,000 settlement for trip and fall on mat in aged care facility - Marshall & Gibson Lawyers

1
Nov

By MG-bonfire

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Our client was employed as a residential care worker for a disability services company. At 47 years of age she sustained an injury during the course of employment at her usual place of work when she answered to a call from one of the patients at the aged care facility.

In response to the call, our client walked from her office to the back room of the residence with the aid of a flash light only and tripped on a mat in the patient’s room, falling to the floor and sustaining injury to her right knee, which then developed into consequential injuries to her left hip, left knee, left ankle and lumbar spine over the next few years.

A Workers Compensation claim was made against her employer and liability was accepted.

Unfortunately, our client’s injury became worse over the next few years which resulted in her having to undergo an initial arthroscopy to her knee and subsequently a total left hip replacement.

Once our client’s condition has stabilised following her last surgery, we made arrangements for her to be assessed by one of our medico-legal orthopaedic surgeons who provided an assessment of whole person impairment and following which we made a claim for lump sum compensation on her behalf.

The Workers Compensation insurer did not agree with our medico-legal doctor’s assessment of whole person impairment and therefore we lodged an application in the Workers Compensation commission to have our client’s level of whole person impairment determined by one of the Workers Compensation Commission’s Approved Medical Specialists (AMS).

The AMS doctor appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission awarded our client a 19% whole person impairment and she received a payment of lump sum compensation in accordance with that assessment of $28,600.

In addition to receiving the lump sum compensation benefit and continuing weekly benefits paid by the Workers Compensation insurer, our client was now in a position to consider bringing a Work Injury Damages claim as her level of whole person impairment exceeded the 15% whole person impairment threshold.

We therefore arranged for our liability expert consultant engineer to prepare a report in support of our client’s case and obtain further updated medical evidence from our client’s treating doctors and our medico-legal orthopaedic surgeon.

After we had provided the insurer with the necessary Section 282 particulars and served our Pre-Filing Statement, we then made arrangements for our Application for Mediation for a Work Injury Damages Claim to be lodged with the Workers Compensation Commission.

Our client’s claim did not settle at Mediation as the settlement offer of the insurer was insufficient to adequately compensate her for her injuries, and we therefore commenced Court proceedings by filing our client’s Statement of Claim in the District Court of NSW.

A subsequent Court-ordered settlement conference was conducted with the insurer, but again the case failed to resolve as the settlement money on offer was insufficient.

However, on the first day of the Court hearing date and after a further series of negotiations we were able to resolve our client’s claim for $275,000.