Irish Man in his Early Thirties Receives $200,000 in Compensation Following Injury on Building Site Whilst on Working Visa in Australia

Published 11 Jul 2017

In this matter, we acted for a client who suffered injuries after tripping over building materials and rubbish left in a common thoroughfare of a building site. As a result of the incident, our client fell heavily on the concrete ground, causing him to suffer a number of injuries.

Our client sought a personal injury lawyer to investigate his claim and contacted Gerard Malouf & Partners for advice on his rights and entitlements to compensation.

Upon completing our initial investigations, we advised our client of his rights and position with respect to bringing a claim against the owners of the building site. After obtaining our client’s instructions, we commenced proceedings in the District Court of New South Wales against the owners of the building site.

It was alleged that the Defendant failed to take adequate precautions for the safety of legal entrants to the building site, including a failure to ensure that common thoroughfares in the site were kept clean and free of building materials posing trip hazards.

The Defendant denied that they were negligent in the circumstances leading to our client’s accident.

In order to assess the extent of our client’s injuries and ongoing disabilities, we arranged for our client to be examined by an orthopaedic specialist and obtained an expert report. The purpose of this report was to ascertain a diagnosis of our client’s injuries and disabilities arising from the subject accident and a prognosis as to the extent that his compensable injuries will impact upon our client’s future.

As the Defendant strongly denied that they were negligent in the circumstances, it was important for us to arrange a liability expert to view the premises and provide an expert report. We were able to arrange with the Defendant for our liability expert to attend the site for the purposes of providing a report. Having inspected the subject area, our expert came to the conclusion that our client was exposed to a risk of harm due to the building materials and rubbish left in the common thoroughfares of the building site. In the circumstances, it was further concluded that no adequate provision of skip bins were provided to dispose of these trip hazards on that particular floor of the building site.  

After proceedings had been commenced and our client’s initial medical appointments had been finalised, our client moved back overseas to Ireland with his wife.

Given the inherent communication barrier with our client living in Ireland, it was more important than ever to maintain effective communication with him about the progress of his claim. This included arranging international calls well in advance to advise him accordingly and obtain his detailed instructions throughout the progression of his claim.

Whilst maintaining regular contact with our client and upon completion of the service of our client’s medical and liability expert evidence, we were in a position to invite the Defendant to participate in an Informal Settlement Conference with the prospects of resolving the matter.

With both parties willing to negotiate and discuss the resolution of our client’s claim, we were able to successfully resolve the matter at this conference.

Our client was pleased with the outcome of his claim and with our continual efforts to maintain communication throughout his claim given the inherent geographical and communication barriers.

If you are an overseas visitor and have suffered injuries as a result of a hazard whilst in Australia, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact our offices on 1800 004 878 to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced solicitors.