It is often very tricky to successfully obtain damages for an injured worker’s loss of earnings in circumstances where they have suffered an injury at or near retirement age.
In a recent case, Adviceline successfully assisted a teacher who worked at a special school settle his claim for both pain and suffering and loss of earnings.
In 2015, during the course of his employment, our client attempted to restrain an aggressive student to prevent him from hurting himself and other people. While doing so, our client suffered a kick to his right shoulder leaving him with permanent and significant injuries.
Our client approached us for assistance in lodging a Serious Injury Application to seek damages for pain and suffering and loss of earnings. Due to our client being 64-years-old at the time of the incident, the Victorian WorkSafe Authority (VWA) initially refused to grant our client his claim for loss of earnings due to his age, arguing that he did not suffer from any loss of income as he was close to or at retirement age.
We disputed this by issuing Court proceedings in the County Court, however, leading up to the hearing date, the VWA accepted that in this instance, our client should be able to claim both pain and suffering and loss of earnings. The Court proceedings were therefore dismissed, and not long after, both parties arranged to settle the case.
We were able to achieve a fair amount for our client’s claim which recognised his pain and suffering and that he has suffered a loss of income since his injury up until the date of settlement. Despite being a courageous and willing litigant, our client was very pleased that further court proceedings did not have to be issued in his case and that the matter was ultimately settled without a day in court.
If you have sustained an injury during the course of your employment, it is important to seek legal advice early. Contact our team of WorkCover lawyers for assistance on (03) 9321 9988.