Regardless of a worker’s age, the workers compensation insurer is liable to contribute to compensation. Of course, liability falls on the insurer if the injuries sustained resulted from employment and if employment was a ‘substantial contributing factor’ or in some instances, a ‘main contributing factor’ to the injury.
In this particular case, our client who was approaching retirement age, was only required to show that employment was a substantial contributing factor causing the injury. Obviously, showing that employment was a ‘substantial contributing factor’, is less stringent than having to show employment was a ‘main contributing factor’.
Though he had almost reached retirement age at the time of his injury, the insurer had contributed a substantial amount in compensation. These included payments of medical expenses, weekly compensation payments for lost wages and a lump sum payment for his impairment.
As his injury had resulted in a permanent impairment and the rating of the impairment satisfied the threshold of 15%, he was then permitted to pursue a Work Injury Damages claim (Common Law negligent claim). As such, we commenced this further proceeding on behalf of our client.
By the time we reached the stage for mediation of the Common Law claim, our client had already passed retirement age. Although there was no claim for future economic loss in the Common Law proceedings, we were able to reach a resolution for past loss of wages and loss of superannuation which had resulted from the injury. The Common Law claim did settle at mediation, with both parties agreeing to a final figure of settlement.
The total sum of compensation paid to and on behalf of our client, both under his statutory workers compensation rights and Common Law proceedings together, had exceeded $350,000.00. The majority of that amount of compensation paid, was made up for economic loss, being for lost wages and superannuation. This included weekly compensation payments and the final outcome in the Common Law proceedings.
Even though our client had reached close to retirement age at the time of his injury and even past retirement age when he had concluded his Common Law proceedings, the insurer remained responsible. That would be the case in any situation and even if the injury had been sustained when an employee had already past retirement age. Age is not a barrier to compensation that is payable on behalf of and to an injured worker.
If ever in doubt as to whether you have rights for workers compensation, be it age related or otherwise, you should always ask and the right place to start would be at Alliance Compensation & Litigation Lawyers. At Alliance Compensation & Litigation Lawyers, we have a number of solicitors that will give you the right advice of your entitlements, assist you in commencing the claim and work with you throughout the process of the claim until it is concluded.