I had a workers compensation settlement a while ago for a back injury, but over the past year I have lost all feelings in my legs and am now confined to a wheelchair.
I am under hospital care for further operations. Am I able to go back and make a further claim or see if I can get a larger settlement?
You are able to make a further claim for workers compensation if your workers compensation settlement involved compensation for lump sum permanent impairment and your initial claim was made before 19 June, 2012.
This is because of the changes made to the Workers Compensation legislation in 2012, which changed the law to allow only one claim to be made for permanent impairment compensation in respect of an injury.
The changes to the Workers Compensation legislation in 2012 caused alot of confusion over what entitlements injured workers would receive in the event that their initial injury worsened after receiving a worker’s compensation settlement.
In addition to being able to make a further claim for permanent impairment compensation, if your initial claim was before the 19 June 2012, you will also benefit from a minimum level of permanent impairment that you need to show to obtain lump sum compensation. This minimum level is a permanent impairment of more than 10%.
The current maximum lump sum payment for permanent impairment injuries is $220,000 if your injury occurred after the 1 January, 2007.
You really need to seek expert legal advice on the impact that the changes to the Workers Compensation legislation in 2012 will have, on whether you can make a further claim for workers compensation. In addition, whether this further claim will include payment of your current medical and rehabilitation expenses.
This expert legal advice will take into account the recent decision handed down by the High Court on the 16 May 2014 in ADCO Constructions Pty Limited v Goudappel & Anor.
In this decision the High Court found that an entitlement to make a further claim for compensation for a permanent impairment would be affected by a number of factors. In essence, if the worker had not specifically made a claim for compensation for permanent impairment prior to 19 June 2012 then they would be limited in what further workers compensation they would be entitled to receive.
To ensure that your entitlement to make a further claim for workers compensation is handled correctly and expertly seek expert legal advice as soon as possible from lawyers who practice in the workers compensation field on an everyday basis and understand the complexities of this area of the law.
If you have already received a workers compensation settlement but your injuries have got worse, you need to speak to an expert workers compensation lawyer on whether you can make a further claim for workers compensation. This is particularly important due to changes to the Workers Compensation legislation in 2012. Call the expert workers compensation lawyers at Barwick Boitano today on (02) 9630 0444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Frank Boitano is an Accredited Specialist and works on a No Win No Fee basis.
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