The Importance of Evidence in Workers Compensation Claims
A recent case before the Workers Compensation Commission of New South Wales, has highlighted the importance of having evidence to support a claim for workers compensation.
In this case the worker claimed lump sum compensation for an injury to her neck and right shoulder, during the course of her employment as a cleaner.
The insurer admitted liability for her right shoulder injury but disputed that her neck injury was a result of her employment. The worker relied on her doctor’s report’s from the time of the injury. However, these doctor reports made no reference to any neck or back symptoms experienced by the worker at the time and only referenced the worker’s injury to her right shoulder. The only reference in the reports to the workers back and neck, was in relation to a mention of the worker’s prior problems with her back and neck and how these problems flared up from time to time.
The only additional evidence the worker had in support of her neck injury were, statements from herself and her husband. These statements were not given much weight, on account of the time that had elapsed between the injury and the time the statements were written.
In the initial proceedings before the Arbitrator, it was held that the worker had failed to satisfy that she had injured her neck at work. This failure was on account of a failure of the worker’s doctor reports not mentioning any back or neck injury, coupled with the fact that the only statement provided by the worker in support of her injury, were statements from the herself and her husband. The worker needed to have other evidence supporting her neck injury, such as witnesses to the incident that caused the injury, statements of friends or family or additional medical reports providing support to her neck injury.
The worker appealed this decision. Unfortunately, the grounds of appeal submitted were unsupported by proper submissions on why the Arbitrator’s finding was wrong.
When considering the merits of the appeal the Commission noted that the grounds of appeal were completely unsustainable and unsupported by any reasoned argument.
The Commission rejected the grounds of appeal holding that the appeal was completely without merit and had no prospect of success.
This case illustrates the importance of obtaining expert legal advice from a lawyer experienced in workers compensation. This expert advice and guidance will ensure that the evidence required, to support your claim for workers compensation is gathered as soon as possible. In addition, your expert compensation lawyer will be able to gather the evidence that is of consequence to your workers compensation claim, such as expert medical reports and witness statements.
If you have been injured at work, you need to act quickly to ensure that your claim for workers compensation has the highest possible prospects of success. This requires solid evidence to support your claim and the sooner this evidence, such as witness statements, is prepared, the more weight will be given if there is a dispute about your injury and whether it was work related.
If you have suffered a workplace injury you need to speak to Frank Boitano, an Accredited Compensation lawyer, an expert in workers compensation law.
Call Barwick Boitano today on (02) 9630 0444 or email email@example.com for an appointment.
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