Injured Receptionist Awarded $250K Work Injury Damages Payout.
A receptionist’s role is a varied one that requires flexibility in the workplace. However, it was while completing a task that was completely within her duties that Olivia, 54, was injured. She was eventually successful in a workers compensation and a Work Injury Damages claim resulting in having her medical treatments covered, and a lump sum payout of over $250,000.
While working for an accounting firm as a receptionist, she was regularly required to lift heavy boxes, often high over her head. Olivia had asked her employer multiple times for the shelving to be lowered but nothing had been done. The repeated strain eventually resulted in a rotator cuff tear.
“Life changed significantly,” Olivia remembers. “All of these little things that I had always taken for granted, that I suddenly couldn’t do anymore.”
Olivia was unable to go about her normal life, including her job. Frustration, and then depression set in.
The fact that Olivia had drawn the issue to her employer’s attention multiple times and no action was taken put her company at fault, but they denied responsibility. Consistently having to move and lift heavy boxes put stress on her shoulders. Lifting them high above her head was a hazard that was repeatedly ignored and ultimately saw her suffer an injury which impacted every area of her life.
Her position was considered static, and Olivia’s employer pressured her to continue work as normal, despite her pain and discomfort. They did not provide any support or care for her, and she was forced to contend with the injury on her own.
The pain worsened, and when Olivia’s doctor eventually recommended operating on the damaged shoulder, she felt stuck. Surgery would be expensive, and the insurer had denied responsibility and refused her claim. She didn’t know where to turn.
Fortunately, Olivia had a friend who worked as a solicitor at Law Partners and recommended she seek some advice, but she was hesitant initially. She had worked for her company for 10 years and felt that making a claim would be doing the wrong thing by her employer, but she was running out of options. Her friend convinced her to simply come in and have a chat with no commitment to taking action. That became the first step for getting back to normal.
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She describes her experience with Law Partners as “seamless.” Olivia’s solicitor Chantille had everything under control.
Due to Olivia’s repeated requests for her employer to alter the situation, and their lack of action, there was proof of negligence. The paper trail of email requests and inaction was further supported by other employees who had also complained about the strain of moving the boxes. Repeated calls for change had been ignored and the job could not be completed without continuing to lift the heavy containers. Employees were forced to repeatedly engage in unsafe behaviour to simply do their jobs and knew that they would not be listened to when they tried to speak up.
After initial engagement with the insurer, they offered to settle, but Chantille was confident that there was ample evidence available to pursue a Work Injury Damages claim. This type of payout is available when the injury is severe enough to meet the threshold and there’s evidence to prove that the injury was caused by an employer’s negligence.
The pattern of behaviour and lack of adequate safety measures was compounded by the employer’s failure to act when informed of the dangers of the situation. Confirming the experience with other employees who could attest to their employer’s inaction only strengthened the claim.
Chantille was able to successfully overturn the insurer’s decision to deny the claim.
Chantille was able to successfully overturn the insurer’s decision to deny the claim. The compensation that Olivia was entitled to was enough to cover her medical bills and time off work as well as paying for the surgery she needed. The additional lump sum payment awarded for Work Injury Damages amounted to over $250 000.
Olivia now has a role as a receptionist in a new workplace, one where she can complete the job she loves. This is supported by the financial security her successful claim provided, which means she never has to remain in an unsafe work environment again.
“Law Partners changed everything for me,” she says. “They took the time to understand what happened, and then helped me get back to what I wanted to be doing.”
If you’ve been injured while working and you’re unsure about whether you’re eligible for compensation or need help with your claim, there’s no cost to have a chat with a workers compensation lawyer. Call Law Partners on 13 15 15 for free advice today.
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