Consequential Injuries Worthy of Investigation
RMB Lawyers Senior Associate ANNE BARLOW explains why it can pay to investigate compensation for consequential injuries:
During the course of his employment, one of our clients sustained a sprain to his left wrist when he tripped on a concrete mixing arm.
Despite rehabilitation, he continued to experience significant pain for which he consulted a specialist in Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine. Our client was treated with steroid infusion therapy. A rare but documented complication of steroid treatment is the development of cataracts.
Shortly after this treatment, our client developed acute onset bilateral cataracts for which he required surgery. Post-operatively, he developed significant visual field defects and now requires glasses. He also suffers from ongoing symptoms in his left shoulder extending to the left wrist and hand.
Where an injury produces a permanent loss of use of the injured body part, a worker is entitled to a lump sum payment of compensation if their level of whole person impairment (WPI) is assessed as greater than 10%. This is tax-free and paid in additional to other statutory benefits such as weekly wage payments and medical expenses.
The initial injury to our client's left wrist was moderate however, combined with the impairments to his left shoulder we obtained an assessment of 16% WPI, equating to $38,560.
Given that our client had developed vision impairment as a consequence of the initial injury, we also arranged for his WPI to be assessed by an ophthalmic surgeon. The WPI rating for this condition was 69% which equates to $459,550.
Not only does this allow a client to make a substantial lump sum claim, it also places him over the threshold to receive weekly wage payments until one year past retirement age, medical and treatment expenses for life and potentially bring a claim in negligence against his employer.
This is an example of how RMB properly investigates all aspects of a claim to maximize the compensation for our clients. Many workers are not aware that consequential injuries are compensable, even if the injury didn't happen at work.
If you have a consequential injury or condition which you believe may be related to your workplace injury, contact RMB’s team of workers compensation specialists to arrange a free consultation.
If you have a valid workers compensation claim we will apply for a Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO) grant to provide you with legal advice and assistance. If approved, you will not be required to pay any legal fees.
Have you or your business had an issue with workers compensation. If you think you may have a claim, please contact us. We'll be able to help you via a quick phone call, or ask us a question via email.