Patient Transport Officer receives $20,000 compensation for lower back injury

Published 19 Mar 2018

Our client was employed as a Patient Transport Officer with a local Hospital. His work duties involved lifting sick and injured patients in and out of the patient transport vehicle. At times, patients would weigh in excess of 150 kilograms, which caused a significant strain on our client’s lower back.

Our client’s injuries developed after he was lifting a patient weighing over 120 kilograms. Following the lift, he noticed a sharp pain in his lower back as well as a tingling sensation with pins and needles in his legs. He reported the injury to his employer and carried out the rest of his shift.

When the pain did not improve, he attended upon the care of his General Practitioner who referred him to an Orthopaedic Surgeon for management of his pain symptoms. The surgeon suggested a course of conservative treatment including medication, physiotherapy and cortisone injections. Unfortunately, despite such treatment, he did not find a drastic improvement in his pain symptoms.

His surgeon eventually recommended a lower back operation which our client underwent. Following his surgery, he found that his pain symptoms had decreased significantly and he was no longer suffering from pins and needles in his lower back.

Our client has now been able to return to his pre-injury duties with his employer.

The workers compensation insurer fortunately compensated our client in relation to his wage loss for the time off work he was required to have following his surgery. The insurer also paid for his medical expenses including the cost of surgery and rehabilitation.

Following some recommendations from his close friends, our client contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners to enquire whether he would be entitled to any other forms of compensation following his workplace injury.

We advised our client that in addition to his statutory wage and medical expense entitlements, he would also be entitled to another form of compensation known as a lump sum claim. Lump sum claims are available to injured workers who sustain a Whole Person Impairment of 11% or greater. Given that our client advised that he had undergone back surgery, we advised him to proceed with a lump sum.

Following our client’s instructions, we had him assessed by an Orthopaedic Surgeon who determined that his impairment was over the 11% threshold. We then served the doctor’s report on the insurer and demanded that they compensate our client for his permanent impairment.

The insurer accepted our doctor’s opinion and compensated our client in the amount of $20,000 for his injury. Generally the insurer has the right to arrange their own assessment with a medico-legal doctor to provide an independent opinion on the injured workers impairment. In this case however, Gerard Malouf and Partners used a very well-known doctor who was respected in his field.

Gerard Malouf and Partners have been practising personal injury for over thirty years and have a very highly respected panel of medic-legal doctors who assess Whole Person Impairment. We pride ourselves on using the best possible doctors so that we ensure that we maximise your compensation potential.

If you have suffered a workplace injury and you would like to enquire about your compensation entitlements, contact Gerard Malouf and Partners on 1800 004 878 to arrange a free consultation with our highly trained workers compensation solicitors.