SO now there is a little more certainty for injured workers and the solicitors representing them.

Mr Ronald Goudappel had been fighting hard for his right to continue his workers compensation lump sum claim. Resulting from this High Court decision it is now confirmed his right to lump sum compensation ceased as he did not meet the whole person impairment threshold of greater than 10% and therefore his claim is not valid.

This decision is in the main a negative for injured workers and some matters will need to be closed, however there is a silver lining to this black cloud. According to the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO) directive, workers who made a lump sum claim prior to 19 June 2012 can still make a lump sum claim after 19 June 2012 with new conditions. The High Court decision does not preclude workers from continuing or making a new lump sum claim.

The High Court decision does however stipulate that all the lump sum claims after 19 June 2012 must meet the new threshold of greater than 10% whole person impairment. In practice this threshold is only reached by major injuries and/or surgery. For the vast majority of injured workers this threshold will probably not be reached and therefore will receive no lump sum compensation.

If you are a community member with a past or current workers compensation claim you should still contact your solicitor to discuss your options, particularly if you suffered a major injury or have undergone surgery since your injury. Your solicitor is best to discuss your particular situation

Of course, PK Simpson is a firm specialising in Personal Injury. And yes, that gives us a vested interest for injured workers – but equally it gives us a first-hand view of the impact of these decisions on individuals through no fault of their own.

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