A process worker from the outer western Sydney area receives over $400,000 in compensation for an work related RSI injury. It is always a challenge to receive good compensation for injured workers who have sustained an injury due to the repetitive nature of their work. Many of the insurers and their doctors indicate that repetitive type of work injuries including RSI, carpel tunnel syndrome and other nerve problems to the upper limbs are hereditary rather than work related.
There is no doubt that one off incidents or accidents at work are far easier to prove as being work related injuries. For instance, it is easier to make a claim in workers compensation if a worker had injured their wrist by tripping over debris on the factory floor as opposed to having a wrist injury as a result of the repetitive nature of work.
The pain, symptoms and incapacity caused by these injuries are very similar however, injuries caused as a result of repetitive work have always been scorned by insurers. Insurers are supported by their medico-legal assessors who have for years suggested that these types of problems are constitutional or hereditary and not work related.
These types of claims do pose a challenge for us at Gerard Malouf & Partners in showing substantiate causal link between the nature of the repetitive work and the injury. The appropriate evidence would include both contemporaneous medical records, medico-legal reporting and factual evidence by the injured worker and possibly a co-worker who understands the process of their work. Factual evidence is essential and what is required is a detailed statement or Affidavit setting out the type of repetitive work done, how often this is repeated on an hourly basis and then setting out how many hours this is done in a day and week.
For one of our clients who was not educated in Australia had limited working skills in this country her work role was restricted to process work. In her home country she worked in a less strenuous type of job involving retail.
Following the onset of her symptoms she was adamant that her injuries had resulted due to the repetitive nature of her work. After contacting us for advice and once we were able to show that employment was a substantial contributing factor, we then proceeded through the normal course of pursuing a work injury damages claim. One of our points of argument was that there should have been a rotation of work and if there was a rotation of work, then this type of injury would not have occurred. Consequential to this, the employer considered our viewpoint and agreed to settlement discussions on the eve of the hearing date. Through discussions the parties were able to resolve the claim and the outcome was most rewarding.
At Gerard Malouf & Partners compensation lawyers Sydney, we understand that we will be faced with adversity from insurers and from their legal representatives. However, we are well equipped with knowledge and experience to deal with this and the outcome in this particular matter speaks for itself.