Injured worker’s $950,000 compensation for injuries resulting from heavy and repetitive lifting

Published 19 Feb 2018

It is all too often where workers would sustain spinal injuries at work where they do heavy and repetitive lifting. For one of our clients that was exactly what happened. Fortunately for him the workers compensation insurer accepted liability for his workers compensation statutory entitlements. Although they did not accept liability on negligence, at GMP we were able to have his negligent claim resolved for a very considerable amount.

Through both his workers compensation entitlements and work injury damages claim, the benefits paid by the insurer was just over $950,000. This includes payments for medical expenses, weekly compensation, lump sum benefits and damages for his work injury damages’ claim (Common Law Negligent Claim).

Due to the nature and conditions of his employment, this client was exposed to continuous heavy lifting at work that resulted in him sustaining significant injuries to his lower back and neck. As a result of these injuries, our client had to undergo various surgical procedures to minimise the pain and discomfort he was in. The pain and discomfort was barely alleviated by the surgery and his restriction for work continued.

Injuries caused due to heavy repetitive lifting can be avoided and this is through a properly set up structure to ensure each workers safety. Shared lifting, regular rest, proper lifting method training and the provision of lifting equipment are a few procedures that can make up that structure.

As usual, to bring a work injury damages claim for our client it had to be established that his injury met a minimum threshold requirement of 15% Whole Person Impairment. Even if the employer was negligent there is no rights for a common law negligent claim unless the injured worker has a rating of at least 15% Whole Person Impairment.

Once the threshold was satisfied, we were then able to pursue a Work Injury Damages claim and in order to succeed in this claim, we are required to prove that the employer was indeed negligent. Your employer has a duty of care towards you, and their failure to uphold their duty of care will ultimately be a detriment to them in a Work Injury Damages claim.

After the mandatory mediation and informal settlement conference that yielded no result, we were prepared to take this matter to court as we believed our client was deserving of a higher amount of compensation then what was being offered by the insurer. Several days before the matter was scheduled a hearing, the parties were able to agree on a settlement that was conducive to our client. The settlement figure was beyond the normal scales of settlement amounts in Work Injury Damages Claims.

Throughout the process of the claim, our team at Gerard Malouf and Partners were able to show that over a significant period of time, the employer was guilty in not providing our client with a safe system of work. It is important to note that sometimes injuries do not occur from a single act or event but rather are developed over a period of time. In these instances, your employer will still be responsible for your injuries.

As mentioned above the result was beyond the normal ranges achieved in this jurisdiction and it is these types of results that we at GMP lawyers strive to achieve for each of our clients. We will endeavour to fight for peoples’ rights and throughout the processes of a claim we just feel that clients have trust in us. It is a trust that the GMP lawyers will achieve the best possible outcome in compensation. It is a trust built not only at the conclusion of the case but throughout each stage leading up to the conclusion of the case.