Claims for workers compensation are generally only approved if a specific set of criteria have been fulfilled, an Administrative Appeal Tribunal case has highlighted.
In the case of one truck driver who was injured on the job, the tribunal determined he was not eligible for compensation due to the fact he did not abide by policies and procedures specified by his employer.
Andrew Douglas of Smart Company noted that while the driver did sustain a serious injury – a disc protrusion in his lumber vertebrae – when his truck rolled over, the fact he unfastened his seatbelt and took cover under the truck's dashboard meant that he had voluntarily put himself at a greater risk of injury.
Douglas points out that in any workplace when an employer sets out specific procedures and policies, the onus is on the employee to abide by these rules.
"The lesson here is very clear," he wrote.
"The failure by an employee to follow the policies and procedures may lead to his or her claim for compensation being rejected."
In this case, the driver's action – unlocking his seatbelt and taking cover – meant he voluntarily submitted himself to an increased risk of injury.
His decision to not wear a seatbelt in a situation where an accident was inevitable "clearly reflects the full understanding of and acceptance of the risks of not wearing a seatbelt," according to G Kenney of the Administrative Appeal Tribunal in the judgement.
If you are unsure of whether or not you qualify for workers compensation for an injury suffered on the job or while travelling to or from your place of employment, you may wish to speak to a personal injury lawyer about your options.
Experienced personal injury lawyers can assess your case and determine whether or not you are eligible to make a claim.
Personal injury lawyers often work alongside medical teams, which can provide evidence on your injuries. They can also assess the circumstances surrounding your injuries and identify whether you are an ideal candidate for compensation.
A no win no fee lawyer can be an excellent first port of call if you are uncertain about what kind of compensation you are entitled to.
This is an excellent option to consider if you are worried about costs, as you will not be charged a fee unless your case proceeds and is successful.
You may even wish to look for a law firm that offers a commitment to reduced fees if you are unhappy with the level of compensation you receive.