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Must-Knows

work accident compensation

If you have suffered an injury at work, you are entitled to make a claim for workers compensation benefits.

By | Must-Knows

If you have suffered an injury at work, you are entitled to make a claim for workers compensation benefits. The entitlement to make a claim for workers compensation benefits arises if employment is a substantial contributing factor to the injury.

The statutory entitlements generally available under a workers compensation claim are as follows:

  1. Lump sum payment if the impairment assessment is at least 11%.
  2. Weekly payments of compensation for periods of incapacity
  3. Medical expenses for treatment incurred as a result of the injury

If your injury was caused by the fault of your employer and your injury is assessed as at least 15% WPI, then you may be entitled make a work injury damages claim. Unlike the workers compensation claim which is a no fault scheme, you must establish that the negligence of your employer was responsible for your injuries to be successful in a work injury damages claim.

The entitlements available under a work injury damages claim are as follows:

  1. Past and Future Economic Loss including loss of superannuation

In preparing your workers compensation claim, an assessment will be made if a work injury damages viable if your injury is assesses above the required threshold and negligence can be established against your employer.

Motor Vehicle Accident

Injured in a motor vehicle accident after 1 December 2017? You may be entitled to make a claim for statutory benefits under the Motor Accident Injuries Act

By | Must-Knows

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident which occurred after 1 December 2017, you may be entitled to make a claim for statutory benefits under the Motor Accident Injuries Act.

The statutory benefits payable are as follows:

  1. Funeral expenses
  2. Weekly payments for loss income
  3. Treatment expenses and care

If you were at fault in the accident, the above benefits are available for the first 26 weeks after the accident only. No further benefits may be claimed.

If, however, you were not at fault in the accident, you are entitled to claim the above benefits for the first 26 weeks. Beyond the first 26 weeks, you are entitled to ongoing payments of statutory benefits only if your injury is assessed as non-minor and you were not wholly or mostly at fault in the accident.

Minor injury is defined as a soft tissue injury being “An injury to tissue that connects, supports or surrounds other structures or organs of the body (such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, fascia, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels and synovial membranes), but not an injury to nerves or a complete or partial rupture of tendons, ligaments, menisci or cartilage”. For a psychological injury, a minor injury is defined as an injury which is not a recognised psychiatric illness.

The insurer is required to make a determination of fault and whether an injury is minor within three (3) months of lodgement of your claim. The decision will be based upon the available evidence including any radiological investigations and treating doctor reports for minor injury determination.

If the insurer has determined that you were mostly or wholly at fault or sustained a minor injury in the accident, you are entitled to lodge an internal review with the insurer. Should the insurer confirm the decision, you are entitled to apply to the Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) for determination of the disputes.

If you are unable to alter a determination of wholly or mostly at fault or minor injury made by an insurer, then your entitlement to statutory benefits cease. Further, you are not entitled to make a damages claim which is only permitted if fault can be proved by the owner or driver of a motor vehicle and the injury is non minor. Provided they can prove fault, the injured person may claim the following damages:

  • Damages from non-economic loss if injury is assesses at greater than 10% WPI
  • Damages for economic loss

There are procedures and time limits that must be complied with to make a claim. Gajic Lawyers can provide you with the right advice to assist you with your claim.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Act Reviewed. Claim back your missing weekly payments!

By | Must-Knows

In June 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeal of NSW made a vital decision in the case of Hochbaum v RSM Building Services Pty Ltd and Whitton v Technical and Further Education Commission t/as TAFE NSW [2020] NSWCA 113 for injured workers who have missed weeks of compensation after receiving 260 weeks of weekly payments.

Previously, Section 39 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 was understood to have meant that an injured worker who has received weekly payments for up to 260 weeks (5 years), will not receive further weekly payments until they have a confirmed 21% Whole Person Impairment (“WPI”) or greater.

For injured workers who were on weekly payments prior to the major workers compensation amendments in 2012, if they did not have greater than 21% WPI, their payments would have ceased from 26 December 2017.

Often it would take many months or up to a year before an injured worker’s dispute for permanent impairment would be resolved and in that time, injured workers did not receive weekly payments.

The Court of Appeal reviewed the interpretation and purpose of Section 39 and held it was not the intention of Section 39 to bar injured workers from receiving weekly payments. There is no wording in the Act that states an injured worker must have a 21% WPI or greater to obtain weekly benefits beyond 260 weeks.

What does this mean for you?

If you have been cut off from weekly payments after 260 weeks, from 26 December 2017 and:

  1. Attained 21% WPI or greater after that date and did not receive weekly payments from that date up until the time you attained 21% WPI or greater;
  2. Have not been examined and/or assessed by a medical specialist for greater than 12 months
  3. Awaiting surgery for your work-related injury;
  4. Your injury and symptoms have not stabilised and you cannot be assessed for permanent impairment;

Then contact our office to speak to our workers compensation team who will advise whether you are entitled to back pay of weekly compensation and any reasonable and necessary medical expenses for your work-related injury.

Common Law Claim

If your motor vehicle accident occurred after 1 December 2017, you may be entitled to make a claim for Common Law Damages

By | Must-Knows

Am I entitled to make a Common Law Claim

If you have lodged an “Application for Personal Injury Benefits” and the insurer has determined that you are not wholly at fault in your accident and your injury is not a “minor injury” you are entitled to make a claim for common law damages.

What is a “minor injury”

A “minor injury” is any one or more of the following:

  1. A soft tissue injury (an injury to tissue that connects, supports or surrounds other structures or organs of the body (such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, menisci, cartilage, fascia, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels and synovial membranes), but not an injury to nerves or a complete or partial rupture of tendons, ligaments, menisci or cartilage.
  2. A minor psychological or psychiatric injury (a psychological or psychiatric injury that is not a recognised psychiatric illness).

What does a Common Law Damages Claim entail

A common law claim comprises of the following heads of damages:

  1. Pain and suffering (non-economic loss). To receive pain and suffering, your injuries must exceed a threshold of 10% Whole Person Impairment. This is commonly determined by a SIRA accredited medical assessor.
  2. Economic loss:
    1. Past and future loss of earnings; and
    2. Past and future loss of superannuation.

When can I make a common law claim

A claim for common law damages can be made any time after 20 months from the date of your accident or before 20 months if the insurance company has accepted that your injuries are greater than 10% WPI.

To see if you can make a claim for Common Law Damages, contact Gajic Lawyers today.

What is Contributory Negligence

Have you been assessed with a minor injury and are having your treatments cut off after 6 months by the Insurer?

By | Must-Knows

Please note that you may still be able to obtain further treatment after the six month period if the following criteria can be met:

The Treatment is for any of the following:

  1. medical treatment, including pharmaceuticals
  2. dental treatment
  3. rehabilitation
  4. aids and appliances
  5. education and vocational training
  6. home and transport modifications
  7. workplace and educational facility modifications

The following situations apply:

  1. The treatment and care will improve your recovery or
  2. The Insurer delayed approval for the treatment and care expenses or
  3. The Treatment and care will improve your capacity to return to work and or usual activities

Accordingly, call Gajic Lawyers now for a free consultation and see how we can assist you.

how long personal injury claims

What you must know about timeframes to lodge your claim in QLD

By | Must-Knows

Did you know that there are strict timeframes for lodgement of QLD motor vehicle claims under the new legislation?

The notice must be given:

within three months if it is to be given to the Nominal Defendant because the motor vehicle or the driver cannot be identified; or
in any other case whichever of the following dates is earlier:
within nine months after the motor vehicle crash or, if symptoms of the injury are not immediately apparent, the first appearance of symptoms of the injury;
if you have a solicitor managing your claim, within one month of the first consultation with the solicitor.
Your claim could be rejected if you lodge outside the timeframes. Early lodgement of your claim will assist in early access to treatment and rehabilitation if required.

If you are under 18 years at the time of the crash, different timeframes apply. For children, timeframes to lodge a claim do not commence until the child turns 18.

Road Accident in South Australia

Ensuring you get the best financial outcome

By | Must-Knows

Unrepresented claimants will often be offered a settlement amount from insurance company that is well below what the claim is worth. Our solicitors are regularly negotiating settlement sums well in excess of what the insurer initially offered an unrepresented claimant. For example, we had an unrepresented claimant approach our firm with a final offer from the insurer of $14,000 inclusive of all medical treatment, lost income and legal costs. After further work and negotiations on that claim by our experienced Parramatta personal injury lawyers, the claimant has a current offer of 550,000 all-inclusive of legal costs – 46 times more than the insurer’s initial offer!

Dealing with insurers directly will never get you the best outcome.

10 things you can do after a motor accident in New South Wales

What happens when they are forced to take time off work due to your motor vehicle accident?

By | Must-Knows

Usually when it is available a victim will use their sick leave or annual leave entitlements in the hope that these will be reimbursed as part of their claim. Unfortunately it is not the case that 100% of entitlements will be repaid. In some cases only a fraction is paid. The insurer’s aim is to reduce that recovery to a minimum. In these cases, you may be out of pocket. To ensure you minimise this loss, you must speak to a Parramatta personal injury lawyer today.