Our client worked as a business development manager in a permanent full-time role for a few years and had always worked in similar roles throughout his career. He was happily married, had two adult children, and enjoyed socialising with friends, attending car races and playing golf.
He had no prior psychiatric difficulties and worked in the same organisation for a years without any difficulties. Problems started almost immediately when a manager was put in place and the pattern of behaviour directed at him, over time, caused his psychological injury.
Internal mediations were called to attempt to solve the growing conflict however, there was no resolution and the behaviour continued. Our client sought medical treatment to assist with his continued stress while at work, and ultimately was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety. He lodged a Workers Compensation claim and was unable to return to work, until a couple years later, he found part-time work as an administrative assistant.
Our client sought advice from one of our expert personal injury lawyers with respect to the possibility of a lump sum claim. We obtained investigator statements and other medical evidence on behalf of our client.
Expert opinion reports on our client’s psychiatric injuries were obtained and our Independent Medical Examiner assessed him with a combined Whole Person Impairment rating of 15% for his injuries. An application for lump sum compensation benefits was lodged which the insurer disputed as the insurer’s Independent Medical Examiner assessed him with a combined Whole Person Impairment rating of 14%. In order to pursue a section 66 permanent impairment lump sum claim in respect of a psychological injury, the injured worker requires a minimum of 15% Whole Person Impairment.
An application to Resolve a Dispute was filed with the Personal Injury Commission and a Medical Assessment Certificate was requested by the Commission. Our client was ultimately assessed at 15% whole person impairment by the Personal Injury Commission. Notification of this assessment was forwarded to the insurer and they did not appeal this decision. A Certificate of Determination with orders confirming that our client was entitled to lump sum compensation was issued. Our client was awarded a sum more than $35,000.
We advised the client about lodging a claim for Work Injury Damages, also known as a common law claim for negligence. Reports from suitably qualified experts were obtained about our client’s work environment to provide opinions as to whether:
- the employer was negligent for failing to provide Work, Health, and Safety training,
- the employer provided safe system of work, and
- sufficient training was provided to carry out the client’s job adequately.
A mediation was organised with the insurer where we provided the relevant expert opinion reports on liability, investigator’s statements, medical evidence, and income loss documents. Ultimately, the insurer made an offer that our client was happy to accept to resolve his claim.