Experience and expertise lead to successful common law claim for work-related injury in New South Wales – Employment and HR



Australia: Experience and expertise lead to successful common law claim for an injury at work in New South Wales

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We recently acted for an employee who suffered a psychological injury at work in New South Wales following a death the worker witnessed. The worker won his case with his claim for compensation for industrial accidents and a claim for damages for industrial accidents (common law claim).

The injuries sustained by the worker were accepted as having left him with at least 15% overall impairment. Internal and external investigations took place into the incident at work and these helped us to argue that the worker’s injuries resulted from the employer’s negligence, paving the way for the common law claim. .

Finally, we were also able to provide Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) benefits for our client as part of his retirement pension policy. We provided medical evidence demonstrating that he could not return to his usual job, nor to any other job for which he had education, training or experience as set out in the definition of TPD from the fund. retirement.


The case was complex and technical. Although the workers’ compensation insurer accepted responsibility and paid weekly compensation and medical treatment costs, the worker was fired and blamed for the death. An agreement was reached with the employer regarding the alleged unfair dismissal and an act (written agreement) was concluded between the employer and the worker.

Investigation of the workplace incident that resulted in the death of a worker

It was necessary to become familiar with the technical standards of safety at work as we had to provide assistance to the worker who was initially unfairly blamed for the death during the employer’s internal investigation.

We assisted the worker by reviewing the draft external investigation report and providing appropriate comments on that report. As a result of the internal investigation, an external investigation was conducted by a government agency and we supported the worker who was called as a witness in the employer’s successful criminal prosecution regarding the death of the worker.

Workers’ compensation, common law and TPD claims accepted

Following the conclusion of the investigation process and the court findings against the employer, we were able to pursue the claim for damages for workplace injuries and expedite it to a positive conclusion within a period of time. relatively short.

Over $ 1,000,000 successfully secured for injured worker

Initially, the insurer argued that the act of employment precluded the claim for industrial injury damages on the grounds that the sums paid for the wrongful dismissal were considered damages and we were able to counter this argument by citing recent case law. about. In addition, they denied that the employer was negligent and they blamed the worker for contributing to the accident, while the criminal case against the employer clearly proved that the employer was completely at fault. .

Finally, we reached an agreement with the insurer to pay the worker in excess of $ 1,000,000; the amount of compensation reflecting:

  • the severity of his injury affecting his ability to return to work;
  • its relative youth; and
  • the absence of contributory negligence.

Contributory negligence means that the worker caused or contributed to the injury by his own actions or by failing to take the necessary precautions. Such a finding will reduce the amount of damages payable to a worker. While initially the worker had been blamed for the accident, it became clear from the ancillary court findings regarding the lawsuits against the employer that only the employer was at fault.

Our client was particularly satisfied with the result

We were delighted to receive the following review from our client.

Positive: Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value

We had a complex personal injury case at work that required the team to learn highly specialized information in a particular area. They took the case and learned all the technical components with great enthusiasm.

They got the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) application for us, which was also quite complex. We were also able to settle Worker’s Compensation Damages (WID) with the previous employer and were very pleased with the amount of our settlement that the team had worked hard to secure on our behalf.

From start to finish they were always available to discuss any questions we had and treated us honestly like family. We highly recommend working with Hall Payne.

In summary

If you are the victim of a workplace accident and you believe that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injuries, after filing your workers’ compensation claim, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer. experienced in workers’ compensation claims as soon as possible.

It is essential that you are informed from the outset of your right to lump sum compensation in order to enable your lawyers to investigate your right to ordinary damages. We will arrange an assessment of the person’s overall impairment as soon as possible, to maximize your chances of reaching the 15% threshold required to be eligible for a claim for injury at work.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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