Factory Worker Awarded $570,000 Payout After Workplace Fall.
Christian, 44, has been in manufacturing most of his life, and worked in his last role for almost ten years before a workplace injury disrupted everything. He tripped on a pothole inside the warehouse where he worked and severely damaged his shoulder as he fell. Even simple daily tasks became a struggle, and things just kept getting worse.
The floor of the warehouse was old and crumbly, resulting in patches that were worn down and sometimes became potholes. Everyone who worked there was aware of it, and the manager had made an announcement to the forklift drivers to be mindful, but nothing had been done to fix the issue. Christian caught his boot in a pothole and fell, causing a complete dislocation of his shoulder and a significant rotator cuff tear. He also damaged his brachial plexus, a network of nerves in his shoulder, which partially paralysed his right arm.
The injury was debilitating. Christian qualified for workers compensation payments which covered some of his lost wages and medical treatments, but when it became clear that his health wasn’t improving, he felt stuck. “It felt pretty bad, not working,” Christian explained. “It felt worse when I realised I wasn’t getting better.”
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He could barely move his arms, and the pressure on his family began to mount. “I couldn’t even pick up my kids, that was the worst part,” he says.
Christian felt like the injury was his own fault for not being more careful. He didn’t realise that it was the company’s responsibility, not his.
A friend told Christian to get in touch with Law Partners. Christian was matched with his solicitor Peter, who explained Australia’s no-fault workers compensation policy. The policy means that even if Christian had been in the wrong, he would still be covered. Peter took the time to get to know Christian personally, which allowed him to build a case for a work injury damages (WID) payment.
Peter arranged a doctor who was experienced managing workers compensation patients to review Christian’s injuries. The doctor assessed Christian as having a whole person impairment (WPI) rating of 23% and referred him for a shoulder reconstruction. The workplace insurer denied the request for surgery, stating that it was unnecessary.
Peter was not only able to overturn the denied medical treatment costs, but also pursue a Work Injury Damages claim. The fact that Christian’s company had warned employees about the pothole proved that they knew it was an issue and hadn’t fixed it, which is workplace negligence. Combined with Christian’s WPI clearing the required minimum of 15%, they were able to proceed with a WID claim for a lump sum payment to cover Christian’s future medical expenses and lost wages.
The matter went to mediation where Peter was able to reach an extremely favourable settlement for Christian, totalling $572,000.
“Law Partners looked after me every step of the way,” Christian says. “I’d recommend them to anyone.”