Have you been hurt at work? Don’t be silenced by insurers, know your worth.

Lewis v Woolworths Limited [2018] ACTSC 200

Case summary:

In 2018 United Legal took on the case of a Young Woman who worked at a major retail store in Canberra. Workplace Health and Safety is incredibly important, and when employers fail to maintain this health and safety there are a number of victim rights which come into play.

In this case, The Young Woman suffered an accident in which she had a large stock cage crash into her during the course of her employment. She was suffering from back pain which was aggravated as a direct result of the accident. In response to a work place injury you need a work place injury lawyer.

She came to visit United Legal Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers for a consultation. United Legal listened to her story. They liaised with the insurer, and made many arrangements for her to see medico-legal doctors, these are doctors with expertise in their field who are qualified to inform the court on their opinion of how the plaintiff has developed the injuries, and how these injuries, have, do, and will continue to impact the quality of life and economic prospects of the plaintiff.

The Court recognized that the Young Woman suffered an injury that constrained the options she was able to enjoy in her future due to it impacting her ability to fully concentrate on tertiary studies. So what is compensation? If you have ever wondered how much compensation for an injury at work?

The breakdown below may be helpful. Looking at this case provides an interesting example as to how costs may break down in work injury compensation. Of course, as every injury is different, every case is different.

These amounts don’t indicate what you would necessarily get in a personal injury case, however is a good demonstration of how the court considers different aspects of loss accruing from a personal injury.

The plaintiff was awarded a total of $543,243 in damages.

1. General Damages:

This is the amount that accounts for how much she has or will lose as a result of the injury Her general damages were $170,000: of this, $60,000 was for past economic loss, $110,000 was for future economic loss. She also was awarded $3000 of interest on this value.

2. Past out-of-pocket expenses:

This is the amount the plaintiff has spent on treating her condition. In this case the plaintiff was awarded $12,098.

3. Future out-of-pocket expenses:

This is the amount, based on expert medical evidence, that the plaintiff will need to spend on medical treatment in the future. In this case the plaintiff was awarded $30,881.

4. Past loss of earning capacity:

This is the amount that the plaintiff could have earned, but for the injury, between the date of injury and the date of judgement. In this case it was awarded as $14,660 inclusive of superannuation.

5. Future loss of earning capacity:

This is how the injury has diminished the plaintiff’s ability to earn into the future. In this case the plaintiff was awarded $285,000.

6. Future Griffiths v Kerkemeyer Damages:

Griffith v Kerkemeyer damages are damages that are for the care given by those around the plaintiff (family, partner, friends) that are recoverable at common law. These include things such as cleaning for someone, cooking for them, driving someone around, because they are no longer able to do it for themselves as a result of their injury.In this case the damages were $26,109.

Why this is important?

This breakdown isn’t to tell you this is what you could get! But rather to demonstrate how many different factors the court takes into account when looking at how someone should be fairly compensated for the devastating effects of an injury.

The sad truth of the matter is that it may not always be the case that an insurance company has your best interests at heart when they are initially dealing with you after an injury. If you feel that you have not had your interests looked after fairly, come and consult a lawyer for free.

As you can see above, it is obviously very important to keep records of every way in which an accident impacts you or your family, so that it can be used to calculate the fair amount of your claim.

We have the resources, the experience, and the care to deal with your claim and to do the work to know what your claim is worth, and how to get a result that will result in compensation for the loss of quality of life and earnings you may have gotten as a result of an injury.

If you would like to read a copy of this decision please see this link: http://bit.ly/35e0Qj9

For any other questions you have, call us! We’re here to help.

For our legal support services Contact us at (02) 6295 2283

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