Com­pen­sa­tion made in a va­ri­ety of ways

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - All copy pro­vided by Turner Free­man lawyers; turn­er­free­mannsw.com.au

IN 2012, an over­haul of state work­ers com­pen­sa­tion leg­is­la­tion re­duced the en­ti­tle­ments avail­able to many peo­ple with work in­juries and re­stricted the el­i­gi­bil­ity to make some claims.

Those re­stric­tions limit the le­gal re­course avail­able to some peo­ple, but in many cases other leg­is­la­tion can lead to a bet­ter out­come.

A re­cent ex­am­ple in­volved a hard­ware store em­ployee who was in­jured af­ter a col­league ac­ci­den­tally struck him with a fork­lift while they were both work­ing.

The fork­lift, used solely to move items around the store, was not reg­is­tered for ue on public roads, and for that rea­son wasn’t cov­ered by a com­pul­sory third party in­sur­ance pol­icy.

While work­place in­juries are gen­er­ally cov­ered by the Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion Act, in some cases other leg­is­la­tion ap­ples.

In this case the Mo­tor Ac­ci­dents Com­pen­sa­tion Act was more ap­pro­pri­ate.

There is no re­quire­ment that this mo­tor ve­hi­cle be reg­is­tered, or even that it is used on a public road, and the def­i­ni­tion of a ve­hi­cle is not re­stricted to cars, trucks and mo­tor­bikes.

In­juries cov­ered by this Act ex­tend from di­rect in­juries – caused by be­ing struck by a ve­hi­cle – but also in­juries sus­tained while tak­ing ac­tion to avoid a col­li­sion or another dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion caused by the neg­li­gent op­er­a­tion of a ve­hi­cle.

The Mo­tor Ac­ci­dents Com­pen­sa­tion Act also has a sec­tion that specif­i­cally ad- dresses ac­ci­dents that give rise to work in­juries, which are in­juries caused by the neg­li­gence or fail­ure of an em­ployer.

A work­ers com­pen­sa­tion claim would have re­quired the in­jured man to demon­strate at least a 15 per cent whole-per­son im­pair­ment, and even then it would have re­stricted him to seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion for past and fu­ture eco­nomic loss.

On the other hand, mo­tor ac­ci­dent com­pen­sa­tion al­lowed him to make a claim for eco­nomic loss, past and fu­ture treat­ment ex­penses, and even as­sis­tance around the house with tasks he was no longer able to com­plete.

Pic­ture: MATT SUL­LI­VAN

Mikayla, 15, and Holly Souter, 12, Sam Wil­lis, 17, and Tayla Arkley, 13.

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