AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS – WHAT IS A FAIR AVERAGE?

Posted on Oct 20, 2014

When it comes to calculating weekly Workers Compensation payments sometimes the ‘average’ just isn’t right, as the Workers Compensation Tribunal decided in a recent case. A person who is incapacitated as a result of a work injury is entitled to weekly payments of income maintenance calculated in accordance with the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. The way that the rate of those payments is calculated is set out in section 4 of the Act which states that it is, “the average weekly amount that the worker earned during the...

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$600,000 FOR NOT WEARING A SEATBELT – WHO’S AT FAULT?

Posted on Oct 14, 2014

A woman who was left a paraplegic after suffering catastrophic injuries in a car accident appealed the decision of a Court to reduce her damages of $2,400,000 by nearly $600,000 because she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. The case involved provisions under the Civil Liability Act that reduce a person’s claim for damages as a result of a car accident by 25% if they were not wearing a seatbelt regardless of whether that was the reason for the injury. It also concerned a separate section that reduces a passenger’s damages by 50% if the accident...

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YOUNG DRIVERS BE AWARE

Posted on Oct 13, 2014

On 28 July 2014 a new Graduated Licensing Scheme replaced the old licensing system. It is important for young drivers on a provisional licence to be aware of the changes and, more importantly, how those changes will affect drivers. The main changes apply to P1 drivers under the age of 25 years, both current P1 licence holders and those who obtain their licence after 28 July 2014. It is now an offence to drive with more than one passenger aged 16 – 20, and it is also an offence to drive between midnight and 5am. There are exceptions to...

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THE EFFECT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON DIVISION OF PROPERTY

Posted on Oct 9, 2014

The Federal Court has recently considered how domestic violence toward a wife should be taken into account in the division of matrimonial property both in terms of her contributions and also to her likely future employability. The Family Law Act gives the Court discretion to alter property rights to ensure that there is a just distribution between the parties. Generally, this takes into account both the contributions made by each party as well as their future needs. For some time the occurrence of family violence has been a relevant factor...

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CAN I GET WORKERS COMPENSATION IN SA IF I’M INJURED IN ANOTHER STATE?

Posted on Oct 7, 2014

An SA social worker on a three-month placement on Christmas Island who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of her involvement with survivors of a boatload of asylum seekers that foundered on rocks with many passengers drowning had her claim for Workers Compensation rejected on the basis that she was not employed in SA. The injured worker, who was employed by Life Without Barriers (an Australian public company with branches across Australia) disputed the decision to reject her claim in the Workers Compensation Tribunal, which...

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A HANDWRITTEN NOTE THAT COULD CHANGE A WILL

Posted on Sep 29, 2014

Uncertainty arose when the author of a will who left her property to her two children also left a separate handwritten note saying that her son could ‘use’ the house for as long as he ‘needs’ it. Was the note part of her will? If so, how long could her son use the house? These issues had to be considered in a recent case in the Supreme Court. The deceased executed her last will and testament in January 1993 which included the wording, “I give my residence as at the time of my death to my executors on trust for my said son … until...

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JEWELLERY – OR A $10,000 KNUCKLE DUSTER?

Posted on Sep 25, 2014

Photographs of Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg were shown to a Court in defence of a man charged with possessing a knuckle duster when police seized his 9 carat gold two-finger ring valued at approximately $10,000 to $15,000. The solid 9 carat gold item measured 70mm long and 40mm wide with openings for two fingers and the letters “F”, “I”, “N” and “K” embossed on top covering almost the entire face. The police officer who seized the item concluded that it was a knuckle duster on the basis that he considered it had been designed to...

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I WANT TO RELOCATE WITH MY CHILD

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

What happens after separation if one parent wants to move with their child to live at a location significantly distant from the other parent? Recently the Family Court had to consider the future living arrangements of a child when her mother appealed against an order refusing her permission to relocate to Pilbara in northern Western Australia from Perth where the child’s father lived. Notably, the child’s parents had separated before her birth and her father had spent relatively little time with her so that the mother was almost the...

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I’M A WORKER NOT A STRIPPER

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

Showgirls at an Adelaide striptease venue are ‘workers’ because their elaborate dresses and other apparel are their ‘tools of trade’ but in contrast their makeup, cream, strawberries and neon paint were the materials with which they worked. The issue arose when the Supreme Court was called upon to determine whether the showgirls came within the definition of a ‘worker’ under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. According to The Palace Gallery, their showgirls were independent contractors and not workers because they...

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COURTS GET TOUGH ON TRUCK DRIVERS

Posted on Sep 22, 2014

In four separate cases in a row the Supreme Court has emphasised the need for Courts to be tough on penalties for heavy vehicle drivers who record false information in their work diaries or drive for excessive periods. Only a month ago the Supreme Court reviewed the penalties to be imposed for truck drivers who make false or misleading logbook – or work diary – entries and that case has now been referred to in increasing the penalty given by a Magistrate in four different cases (See our article PENALTIES FOR DRIVER’S WORK DIARY (LOGBOOK)...

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