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Who was affected by changes to the Workers Compensation System?

In 2012, the NSW workers compensation system was overhauled resulting in drastic changes to benefits available to injured workers. However, not all workers were affected by the changes.

The following workers are exempt from all of the 2012 changes:

  • Police Officers;
  • Paramedics;
  • Fire Fighters;
  • Coal Miners;
  • Workers who make dust diseases claims.

If you are in this category you are able to make a workers compensation claim for an injury sustained while travelling to and from work. You can also make a claim for lump sum compensation for permanent impairment as many times as you wish, and you are not restricted by the minimum 11% whole person impairment threshold that applies to all other workers for physical injuries. You may also have a potential entitlement to pain and suffering compensation arising from the impairment.

Other benefits include:

  • Weekly compensation;
  • Medical and related expenses;
  • Home modifications and domestic assistance.

Of particular importance is the potential availability of a work injury damages claim in the event your whole person impairment is assessed at 15% of more. This means you may sue your employer for negligence in the event it can be proven your injury arose due to an unsafe system of work. Damages are restricted to past and future economic loss and interference with work capacity.

Brazel Moore Lawyers was recently able to achieve a significant settlement against a client’s former employer after he sustained psychological injury after continued and sustained exposure to trauma in his decade’s long career as a police officer. We argued an unsafe system of work arose due to his former employer’s failure to provide adequate training, psychological support and monitoring having regard to the likely psychological consequences of performing his duties attending critical incidents on a regular basis.

The workers compensation system in New South Wales is extremely complex and insurance companies are not renowned for treating injured workers like real people. If you are injured at work, it is imperative you seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer who specialises in this area to protect your legal rights.

Call Peter Moore on 02 43247699 for more information.

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