Navigating the complex nature of compensation law on your own can be difficult. However, there are key concepts that, once cleared up, can result in a successful work injury claim. A recent case highlights the importance of getting in touch with experts who are well versed in Australian legislation.
Chivalrous act results in serious injuries
The company denied any liability, based on the claim that the injuries were not caused by his employment.
While working for Linfox Australia in 2010, the plantiff suffered serious injuries from an altercation with another individual as he was delivering fuel to a petrol station.
The employee intervened when he saw a man throw objects at a woman in her car and sustained injuries for his act. Linfox initially agreed to accept liability for medical treatment and incapacity benefits for the harm to the victim’s face as well as a serious knee injury.
However, in 2014 the company denied any liability, based on the claim that the injuries were not caused by his employment. Despite the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia (AAT) initially agreeing with Linfox, the Federal Court recently ruled that Mr O’Loughlin was in fact working at the time of the incident and therefore should continue to receive workers compensation.
The plaintiffs company refused to accept liability for his injury.The plaintiffs company refused to accept liability for his injury.
Why was the case initially rewarded to Linfox?
The AAT defined the incident as an interval from the victims work as the injuries he suffered were not directly due to his employment. This ruling was dismissed by the Federal Court. According to Justice Bromberg, an interval is defined as a time period between working hours.
In this case, the plantiff was still actively participating in his job, the hose was still connected to the underground tank and the delivery had not been completed.
Justice Bromberg ruled that the AAT should not made the decision based on whether his work caused the injury but whether he was working at the time. As the driver was undertaking a delivery, the injuries were sustained during his job.
Workers compensation is not limited to accidents sustained while undergoing work. Despite this, companies may try to refuse liability even if you are legally entitled to cover, as this case demonstrates.
If you have been injured in the course of your work and are looking to make a claim against your employer, contact the team at PK Simpson for advice on how they can assist you through the process.