The recent workers compensation changes of 19 June 2012 had abolished pain and suffering lump sum benefits, which had been available for injured workers in the past. Following the legislative changes, many of our clients had the misfortune of missing out on the additional lump sum amount for pain and suffering.
There has been a recent Court of Appeal decision of Goudappel vs ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd where an injured worker sustained an injury however, he had not reached the necessary threshold to make a lump sum claim for impairment (not pain & suffering). His claim had no bearing on further lump sums for pain and suffering.
Dissatisfied with the changes and the determination of the Workers Compensation Commission, the injured worker proceeded with the claim in the Supreme Court to determine whether he should be entitled to a lump sum amount even though he had not satisfied the new threshold of 11% whole person impairment. The argument submitted by the worker was that he had made a claim prior to the changes and therefore he was not required to satisfy the impairment threshold. He was successful.
Consequential to this decision was the resurrection of pain and suffering.
After having resolved many lump sum impairment claims for our clients in the past 8 months, we had not been able to claim a further amount for pain and suffering. However, as pain and suffering in most cases were resurrected for those injuries which had occurred prior to 19 June 2012, we had set a task to ensure that our clients were paid a lump sum amount for pain and suffering accordingly.
Through a rigorous process, we had retrieved all those files where a worker would have been entitled to a component for pain and suffering. We had initiated negotiations with the insurer for further lump sum claims for pain and suffering.
The success of our negotiations has been outstanding. Our clients have been overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised to find out that they will receive further compensation. The amounts in compensation we are receiving from the insurers’ have been quite astounding.
Of course, our extra work has been free of charge but we have been rewarded in seeing very satisfied and happy clients, who have sustained significant injuries.