In 2013 Ms. Connor who was a train guard for Queensland Rail was injured when an unfortunate accident saw that she was struck by a train door she was attempting to hold open when the train took off. When the train door struck her, it pushed her off the train where she was then dragged along the platform by the moving train.
Not long after the accident, Ms. Connor started the process of making a compensation claim due to the injuries she sustained due to the accident. These injuries included bruising of the cheek, soft tissue injury to the left buttock and abrasions of the right lower leg. Queensland Rail accepted these injuries to be a direct result of the accident.
Then in April 2015, Ms. Connor attempted to re-open her application seeking compensation of other injuries she alleged to have sustained from the accident. These allegations included lumbar spine injuries and physiological injuries. These injuries were initially rejected in July 2015 and then further rejected again in October 2015 after Ms. Connor sought a review by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.
Ms. Connor again attempted to further re-open a claim for a right knee injury in October 2015. This injury was also rejected and Ms. Connor did not go the Regulator for a review.
In February 2016 Queensland Rail issued a notice of assessment in relation to the accepted injuries. Each of the accepted injuries was awarded a permanent impairment of 0% which resulted in Ms. Connor having nil whole person impairment.
In March 2016, Ms. Connor caused a notice of claim for damages to be served on Queensland Rail. This claim included both the accepted and rejected injuries. Ms. Connor believed she was entitled to seek damages for the rejected injuries, Queensland Rail opposed this view.
In November 2016 Ms. Connor and Queensland Rail proceeded to trial whereby at Court it was deemed that Ms. Connor had no entitlement to damages in consequence of the rejected injuries.
This has set a strong precedent for future workers’ compensation matters. If you are thinking of making a workers’ compensation claim then it is important to take note of decisions such as this matter. Be sure to list all of your injuries in the early stages of the claims. If the workers’ compensation insurer does not approve these injuries then it is important to get in early and make an appeal within the required time limits.
If you do not attempt to appeal a decision by a workers’ compensation insurer during the statuary claim then you can not include the rejected injury or injuries in the common law claim.