Here in New South Wales, bringing a claim for negligence against your employer is no easy matter. Unfortunately state governments have over time changed the rules for being allowed to bring a negligence claim. The basic rule to remember is that you may have the most glaring example of negligence against your employer, but in order to bring the case and be awarded a lump sum, you must have “a whole person impairment of at least 15%”.
So what does this mean in practical terms? Well, often here at Taylor & Scott we see clients with injuries that don’t yet reach the 15% whole person impairment threshold.
So what do we advise? We advise our clients to stay in touch with us. We monitor their situation and see if their injury deteriorates over time which may then get them over the 15% whole person impairment threshold.
For example, Joe falls into an unguarded penetration on a building site. It is an obvious case of negligence against his employer. Unfortunately his knee injury does not get him to 15%. Through monitoring his claim over the course of several years, we now know that Joe needs a total knee replacement. Joe has the surgery and finds that his days of climbing scaffolds, working at heights, doing heavy lifting and carrying are beyond him. He is now only fit for very light work and is suffering a serious loss of weekly income. Having monitored Joe’s case over the years at Taylor & Scott, we are now able to advise Joe that his whole person impairment exceeds 15% and so we can now start a work injury damages claim. In this case we can secure Joe’s ongoing wage loss up to retirement age in one lump sum.
Example two: Bill suffers a lower back injury at work. It is a clear cut case of negligence against his employer. The doctors recommend conservative treatment. This involves physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, epidural injections and a return to light work. Time marches on. Over the next several years, Bill tries every form of conservative treatment but he is in pain and it is increasing. Eventually his medical experts recommend a spinal fusion. Bill has the surgery. Again, the surgery is partially successful but the biggest problem is that Bill is no longer fit for his job as a formwork carpenter. Here at Taylor & Scott we are able to advise Bill that having had the surgery, his whole person impairment is now greater than 15%. Our litigation team is now in a position to launch a work injury damages claim for Bill in which a lump sum is sought to recover all of Bill’s wage loss up to retirement.
So the message we try and give our clients is that in many cases, we just have to wait. Here at Taylor & Scott we continually monitor our client’s claims. This may be over several years. We are not interested in selling our clients “down the river” for short term monetary gain. If in our view it is in our client’s best interests to wait, we will be forthright and give this advice. You only get one chance to bring a work injury damages claim and therefore it is most important to have highly experienced work injury damages expert lawyers whose number one priority is to ensure that you, the injured worker, obtain maximum compensation.
In our experience, the majority of work injury damages claims resolve at a mediation. The issue of any time limits is not relevant at a mediation, it is only relevant if the matter proceeds to Court.
So, if you’ve been injured and are unsure as to what your permanent impairment may be, please contact us on 1800 600 664 or email our litigation team by using the contact form on this page. We offer to see you and explain your rights. If it means we have to wait years to ensure you get maximum compensation, we are prepared to do so. All of our work injury damages claims are run on a no-win/no-pay basis meaning you don’t pay Taylor & Scott any costs unless and until you win your case.
At Taylor & Scott, “We Care For You”.