WHEN A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM HAPPENS AT WORK

The issues that can arise when a person is injured at work as the result of a car accident were highlighted in a recent District Court case.

The plaintiff was hit by a car while crossing the road to do her employer’s banking. As she was entitled to Workers Compensation a claim was made, although there was a delay before she began to receive weekly income maintenance payments. When there is a delay in paying an injured worker compensation for lost income then they are entitled to interest and in this case, as a result WorkCover had to pay her over $3,000 interest on the backpay.

In addition to compensation for lost income, she was paid under the WorkCover claim for medical expenses, and a lump sum for permanent disability caused by the accident to a total of $46,055.16.

There are limitations on the amounts payable under Workers Compensation that don’t apply when a person sues the driver of a car who is responsible for the accident. Therefore, the woman also commenced a claim against the driver for damages. The result of that case was that the Court found that her losses were just over $237,000, however that amount was reduced by 10% on the basis that the Court found the woman to be 10% responsible for the accident. The basis for that sort of reduction is referred to as ‘contributory negligence’ and the result was that the woman was awarded $213,820. A Workers Compensation claim, however, is not subject to any reduction for contributory negligence.

The WorkCover legislation provides that if the injured worker recovers damages from a third party who was responsible for the accident, then the insurer is able to recover back from the worker any compensation paid for that work injury. So in this case WorkCover claimed back from the injured woman the $46,055.16 that had been paid to her under her Workers Compensation claim on the basis that she was going to receive the $213,820 damages. The woman argued that since her damages had been reduced by 10% for contributory negligence then she should only have to pay back to WorkCover 90% of the compensation she had received under her Workers Compensation claim.

The District Court ruled that this was not the case and that WorkCover were entitled to recover the full amount that it had paid in compensation. The only limit on how much it can recover is that it cannot exceed the amount of damages that the injured person received from the other party. So in this instance, if the woman had actually been 90% at fault in the accident, then WorkCover would basically have been entitled to receive all of the damages she was awarded.

Some might consider that a real issue of fairness relates to the interest paid by WorkCover. The amount recovered by WorkCover included that $3,000 interest that it had paid to the injured woman because she had not been paid her entitlement to income maintenance when it was due. The woman separately argued that this interest component should not be recoverable by WorkCover because it was not ‘compensation’ paid to her by the insurer. The District Court concluded that since ‘compensation’ means ‘any monetary benefit payable under the Act’ then the requirement to pay interest is such a benefit, and WorkCover were entitled to claim it back.

As this case shows, when a work injury occurs in circumstances that give rise to a separate claim for damages against a third party it is very important to engage a firm that specialises in both areas of personal injury law. Websters Lawyers have personal injury lawyers who specialise in car accident injury claims and Workers Compensation claims. They can advise you how these two claims interrelate and how to handle the claims taking into account such issues as any potential WorkCover recovery so as to minimise the costs and maximise the amount you receive. A separate claim for damages isn’t limited to car accidents, but can arise whenever the work injury occurs as a result of the negligence of another party and if your unsure whether or not that is the case contact Websters Lawyers to arrange a free initial consultation to find out more.

Cocca v Salkeld (No 2) [2014] SADC 157

FREE FIRST INTERVIEW

NO WIN NO FEE*

LOCAL LAWYERS FOR LOCAL NEEDS

GET THE RIGHT LAWYER FIRST

call now

*Conditions Apply

Testimonials

Having such a short time frame I was very impressed with the outcome made by [my solicitor]. Excellent and timely manner

Sebastian

Kurralta Park

Very professional mannerism and overall great outcome was delivered by Websters Lawyers.

Nicholas

West Ryde NSW

Helpful, explained fully, patient, excellent service.

Kerry

Ridgehaven

Patient and helpful in explaining the process.

Brian

Ridgehaven

Call Websters Lawyers for a most professional and friendly service. All understanding with [my solicitors] and the reception staff. Thank you so much.

Christine

Magill

Making my will was effortless on my part, with everything explained clearly. Well done to all.

Christina

Highbury

Great service, professional, explains things clearly, definitely recommend Websters Lawyers.

Garth

Upper Hermitage

Patient, professional, good communication about procedures and probable outcomes.

Jeffrey

Brompton

Thank you for all your work over the course of the case. You [both] were always very approachable and I appreciated your understanding and professionalism in all areas.

Alexis

Christie Downs

All in all my experience was great. Thank you for your time and expertise.

Christina

Seacombe Gardens

My matter was dealt with efficiently and was explained in an understandable language. A pleasant experience.

Mary

Ridgehaven

Practical and very helpful. Reasons and explanations given where needed

John

Ridgehaven

I stumbled across Websters in the Yellow Pages and I rang, explained my situation and immediately they took my case on. Greatly appreciate their services.

Diane 

Ridgehaven

The service from Websters Lawyers was outstanding. [My solicitor] was caring, had patience and was very professional. Wonderful personality.

Julie

Yorketown

[My solicitor] made everything so simple to understand. [The receptionist] was wicked too, would recommend them anytime. Level of entire service was outstanding.

Craig

Golden Grove

 

I had dealings with Websters over 20 years ago. They were my first choice when I recently needed legal advice. Both legal and office staff were professional, courteous and accessible at all times. Everything was explained up front in a clear and concise manner. I would not hesitate to recommend their services.

Rod

Dernancourt

It has truly been a pleasure communicating with you throughout the process. I really appreciate your patient and speedy replies to my questions and requests. You were always able to provide an easily understood response and this helped me deal with the process. Your friendly and positive manner encouraged me to seek your advice.

Kathleen

Battery Hill QLD

[My lawyer's] service was prompt and efficient with all questions explained clearly with all our requests carried out within the laws. Overall service was very satisfactory.

John

Wynn Vale

[My lawyer] was excellent. 

Gordon

Glengowrie

Excellent service. Professional. Clear advice and instructions. Prompt actions. Overall 10/10!

Phillip

Ingle Farm

Overall, I was happy with my outcome and my lawyer, would definitely recommend [my lawyer].

Janet

Adelaide

[My solicitor] was excellent at helping us through preparing our wills which were particularly challenging as they involved assets in multiple countries. She was professional and knowledgeable and spent time tailoring the wills to our needs.

Jonathan

Greenwith

[My solicitor] was very helpful, respectful and polite. She made sure I understood the process and documentation of our wills.

Rachel

Greenwith

Professional. Smooth Transaction. 

Luke

Largs North

I found the whole experience from Receptionist to Solicitor excellent. They completely put us at our ease.

Ethel

Smithfield

This was a new experience for us and didn’t have a clue what to do. [Our solicitor] on our first visit put us at ease, explained what will happen, pointed out there was a strong case. [Our solicitor] was genuine in her approach, kept us well informed, explained actions several times with patience and understanding. Overall very happy with the service we received.

Stephen

Elizabeth Vale

[My lawyer] was very reassuring in her approach to my case. I felt that every possibility in terms of evidence to provide and possible outcomes were explained to me, The result of the case was the best possible outcome I could have expected.

David, Belair

 

With no previous dealing with the criminal justice system, [our solicitor] gave us excellent advice and guided us through a nightmare to achieve a just and correct outcome. [Our lawyer] was both forthright and compassionate in her handling of our case.

Malcolm, Belair

[My lawyer] explained all the legal terms in language I could understand – she was very easy to talk to.

Cameron, Munno Para

I felt confident knowing my matter was in good hands. Very professional!

Shravan, Christie Downs

Initial phone call was fantastic and the role of an executor was fully explained.

Penny, Henley Beach

The service I received was efficient and promptly finalised. The solicitor clearly explained the details and I was happy with how easy it was.

Dale, Fairview Park

[My lawyer] was exactly the lawyer I needed in a serious matter. The outcome was as predicted which was a fantastic result. I received prompt professional and personal service at all times. Capable and supportive in a very stressful period.

Jason, Munno Para West

I had any of my concerns answered to my satisfaction and understanding.

Valda, Ingle Farm

[My lawyer] is an excellent professional lawyer who assisted in achieving a great positive outcome/result. I sincerely thank you and your great staff for your assistance and guidance throughout my claim. Would highly recommend [my lawyer], staff and Websters Lawyers. Kept fully informed and guided, professionally throughout the matter.

Rena, Northgate

Our work was dealt with very efficiently and speedily. Our lawyer was very professional, at the same time as being approachable. Communication was great.

Christina, Highbury

My experience with Websters Lawyers was far beyond what I expected. From the moment I spoke to [my lawyer] she made me feel very comfortable and eased my stress. In my case I had a court appearance the day before we were scheduled to fly to Spain, Considering my first appointment with her was only 2 weeks before the court hearing, she was able to obtain the police statement and thoroughly work on my case within that limited time frame. She was very knowledgeable, understanding and confident which greatly relieved so much pressure from me and my family. At court, she explained everything thoroughly and advised me of all the possible outcomes. Price, service and result, very highly recommended. Thank you Websters Lawyers.

Rafael, Davoren Park

I have high expectations and they were met. Websters service was swift, courteous, professional and met the agreed budget. I will recommend Websters to my family, friends and colleagues. Thank you.

Peter, Forestville

I would recommend Websters Lawyers, especially for [my lawyer's] dedication and exemplary attitude and advice. She is the epitome of a good lawyer. The service was impeccable.

Pamela, West Lakes

[My lawyer] was very professional and I was made comfortable to understand.

Gregory, Penfield

I was very pleased with the end result and how well [my lawyer] conducted herself.

Sonya, Glanville

Very professional.

Jesse, Morphett Vale

[My lawyer] has been very prompt , reliable and provided a high level of communication.

Peter, Parkside

My experience at Websters was very positive. The stress was taken from me and I could not be happier with the outcome. [My lawyer] at Websters was professional, personable, available and caring. Thank you for making the experience stress free.

Magda, Holden Hill

Found my lawyer upfront and reliable – I would highly recommend Websters Lawyers.

Lee, Evanston Park

 

Top bunch of solicitors and admin staff. Very friendly and to the point service.

Bradley, Hallett Cove

Websters Lawyers were very professional in their service, I would be happy to recommend them.

Carole, Tea Tree Gully

We would not hesitate in recommending Websters for any legal matter. They are professional and courteous at all times and call back when they say they will.

David and Dianne, Lockleys

 

I fully recommend Websters Lawyers. This was the 3rd time myself & my family have used Websters Lawyers. In these stressful times we have found them to answer and guide us through the process needed to accomplish the legal requirements in a timely and courteous manner.

Dianne, Lynton

Solid, to the point, no hustle. Highly recommend.

George, Windsor Gardens

Contact Us

Adelaide Office :
T: ( 08 ) 8231 1363
F: ( 08 ) 8231 5529

Ridgehaven Office :
T: ( 08 ) 8395 8000
F: ( 08 ) 8395 8222

Smithfield Office :
T: ( 08 ) 8487 0150
F: ( 08 ) 8395 8222

© Copyright WebstersLawyers.com 2017 All Rights Reserved
Website By A to Z Marketing