Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers wins Serious Injury Certificate for injured worker

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers wins Serious Injury Certificate for injured worker

Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers has obtained a Serious Injury Certificate for an injured worker following an application to the County Court. The worker made an application of a Serious Injury Certificate in relation to a knee injury sustained in March 2010. The application was rejected at first instance by WorkSafe and court proceedings were issued seeking a Serious Injury Certificate from the County Court. A significant issue in the case - and the issue which appeared to be central to WorkSafe's rejection - was that prior to injuring his knee at work in March 2010, the worker had previously injured the same knee on several occasions over a 15 year period. At law, a worker can only make a claim for injury sustained in compensable circumstances (i.e. arising out of employment). In cases like this one, when a body part has been injured on multiple occasions in both compensable and non-compensable circumstances, it is necessary to 'disentangle' the consequences flowing from the compensable incident(s) from the non-compensable incident(s). Accordingly, the worker's application in this case focussed on the contrast between his current functionality and his functionality immediately before the March 2010 incident. That is to say, the 'before' in this before-and-after analysis had to acknowledge the fact that his knee was already impaired at the time that the compensable injury occurred. At law, it must be proven that 'very considerable consequences' flow from the compensable injury. Therefore, as a general rule, the more significant the impairment was prior to the compensable injury, the harder it will be to establish that the consequences flowing from the compensable are, of themselves, 'very considerable'. The worker in this case succeeded at Court in establishing that, notwithstanding his pre-existing difficulties with the knee, he was able to function quite normally prior to the compensable injury. For example, in the weeks prior to the injury in March 2010, the worker was able to play numerous rounds of golf. The evidence showed that he had been unable to play a round of golf since the injury in March 2010. Redlich's Work Injury Lawyers prepared this matter for court, and it was heard before His Honour Judge Misso in early April 2014. In his judgment delivered on 29 April 2014, His Honour found that the worker's injuries satisfied the definition of'serious injury' under the law. He found that the Plaintiff has suffered interference with almost every aspect of his daily living , including restriction of movement, interference with sleep, the need for medical treatment and the need for painkilling medication. The victory means that the worker can now seek common law damages for the pain and suffering he has experienced as a result of his work related injury. Suffering an injury at work can have considerable consequences on the lives of you and your family. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at work, we invite you to contact one of our injury experts on (03) 9321 9988.

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