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A claim for compensation can be made if you have been injured at work. Compensation is available for a proportion of your wage loss depending on how long you are unable to work and medical and treatment related expenses as well as rehabilitation and retraining expenses if necessary.
Depending upon the level of impairment suffered from the injury, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation for that impairment, in addition to wages and medical expenses.
If the injury occurred as a result of your employer’s negligence, again, depending upon the level of impairment, you may be entitled to additional lump sum compensation over and above wages, medical expenses and the lump sum mentioned above.
Workers compensation claims can be complicated and time limits apply to lodging claims for compensation and negligence. Amendments to the law in 2012 have reduced the rights of most injured workers and you should seek legal advice as early as possible about your rights. Since 2012, limits apply to the length of time you are entitled to wage loss and medical expenses. This affects workers injured before 2012.
Stephen Churches is an accredited specialist in personal injury law who can advise you of your rights and guiding you through the claims process. Most disputes about workers compensation are decided by the Workers Compensation Commission (www.wcc.nsw.gov.au) and Stephen can appear for you if a dispute does happen.
If a dispute arises, Stephen will apply to the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) who in most cases will pay your legal fees, including cost of medical reports.
Motor vehicle accidents
You may be entitled to compensation if the injury, either physical or psychological, is caused by the fault of another person. Depending upon the severity of the injuries, claims can be made for pain and suffering, wage loss, treatment, rehabilitation and medical expenses, provision of domestic/nursing services, alterations to your home and loss of superannuation.
Some compensation is now available if you are injured in a “blameless” accident except for the driver. No fault compensation for some expenses is now available for children under the age of 16.
Stephen Churches is an accredited personal injury law specialist who can assist you in the claims process and appear for you should your claim need to be assessed. The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) administers these claims in New South Wales. They provide useful information (www.sira.nsw.gov.au).
Time limits apply in reporting the accident to police and lodging claims, so you should seek advice early.
The Lifetime Care and Support Service also provides treatment, medical rehabilitation and domestic/nursing services for people who have suffered catastrophic injuries in motor vehicle accidents, without having to prove negligence. If you have been catastrophically injured and it was by the negligence of another then, in addition to the Lifetime Care and Support Service, you still have a claim for pain and suffering, wage loss and superannuation loss.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, for example in a slip or fall, or by the negligence of a professional such as a doctor, you may have a claim for compensation. Injuries can be physical and/or psychological. The claims could include damages for pain and suffering, medical and treatment expenses, wage loss, loss of superannuation, domestic/nursing expenses and home alterations.
These types of claims are usually decided by a Court and time limits apply.
The introduction of the Civil Liability Act by the NSW government means negligence claims have been heavily modified. In certain circumstances this can restrict your ability to sue and also limit the damages that can be awarded.
If you purchase a product that is defective and causes injury, you may be eligible to make a claim. A number of laws can be relied upon such as the NSW Sale of Goods Act and the Australian Consumer Law. Even if the product was imported into the country, the law deems the importer to be the manufacturer and a claim could still be viable. Time limits apply.
If you relied upon a person for financial support and that person dies by the negligence of another, then a claim is available for the loss of that support. This is usually available to the partner and children of a loved one, but can apply to other situations as well. The support lost can be direct financial support and indirect support such as the loss of that person’s services to you in caring for a home or motor vehicles. Time limits apply.
If you have suffered injury as a result of an “act of violence”, a claim can be made against Victims Services, a government body. You do not have to deal with the offender at all but time limits do apply and the compensation available is strictly controlled.
Compensation is also available for medical expenses and wage loss, although you must use all of your leave entitlements and claim against Medicare and any private health insurance before seeking reimbursement fromVictims Services.
If you have suffered a psychological injury, Victim Services may pay for counselling. The law no longer allows your lawyer to assist you in these claims. Victims Services has helpful information (www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/vs).