Injured workers are entitled to recover lump-sum compensation commensurate with the degree of impairment which results from their injuries if it can be established that the degree of impairment is at least 11%.
Changes were made to the Workers Compensation Scheme in 2012 to provide that a worker was only entitled to make one claim for lump-sum benefits referrable to an injury. That is, if a worker makes a claim for lump-sum benefits commensurate with the injury which they have sustained and is paid compensation accordingly then that worker is not entitled to make any further claim in the future if there is a deterioration in that injury.
This is just another example of the government amending the legislation so as to restrict the level of compensation available to injured workers.
Therefore, it is important that when a claim for lump-sum compensation is made on behalf of an injured worker that worker has reached maximum medical improvement. It is to be ensured that the injured worker has undergone all relevant medical treatment required including any rehabilitation. Only then can a proper assessment be made as to the degree of impairment which results from the injury. It is therefore important for the injured worker to communicate with their lawyer and to inform them exactly as to what treatment they have had and what treatment they are likely to have in the future.
The difficulty is often seen in cases involving back or neck injuries. Often a treating orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon will advise that at some time in the future, with any deterioration, the injured worker may require surgery. Accordingly the injured worker must make a decision as to whether they are to undergo the surgery for the purpose of attaining maximum medical improvement and making a claim for compensation at that time or alternatively to delay any claim that they may have until after the surgery occurs at some time in the future.
Much confusion arose as a result of the legislative changes so further amendments were made to the workers compensation scheme to permit an injured worker who may have made a claim for lump-sum compensation before 19 June 2012 to make one further claim should there have been an increase in their level of impairment resulting from any deterioration of their condition.
Accordingly, if you made a claim for lump sum compensation prior to 19 June 2012 and received compensation you may still have available to you a claim for further lump-sum benefits if there has been any deterioration in your condition.
For over 40 years Brydens Lawyers have been the experts in the prosecution of claims for injured workers so as to ensure that they receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled. Contact us today if we can help you get your life back on track.
For over 40 years now Brydens Lawyers has been operating a ‘No Win – No Fee”, policy which, simply put, provides that if a personal injury or compensation client is unsuccessful in their claim then Brydens Lawyers will not raise a tax invoice for having acted on behalf of the client. That is, if the claim is unsuccessful we do not get paid. More information about how this works can be found on our No Win – No Fee page.