Many people suffer neck injuries such as whiplash and other neck injuries in car accidents, but many also sustain neck injuries at work and need to claim workers’ compensation. Severe neck injuries can result in stiffness and severe neck pain ranging from an irritating, dull ache to a debilitating, burning nerve pain that can radiate from the neck through to the shoulder and down one or both arms. Workers who have suffered neck injuries can attest to the debilitating pain and discomfort that may ensue.
Suppose you have sustained a neck injury at work. In that case, the first thing to do is to report it to your employer and seek medical treatment, making sure you tell the doctor how the accident happened so there is a record for any neck injury compensation claims. Should you claim, the amount of compensation you may receive will depend on the severity of your neck injury, your pain, medical treatment requirements, and your injury’s impact on your life and ability to work.
Example of a Neck Injury Compensation Claim
Our personal injury lawyers at PK Simpson had a client called Mandy who worked in a nursing home caring for dementia patients for 12 years. She sustained a neck injury which caused her severe pain and required surgery. Mandy loved her job as a personal carer (PC), even though it was demanding work. Her employment often required constant and strenuous bending and lifting, pushing wheelchairs or getting heavier residents into lifters. Since her workplace was short-staffed, her workload was high and often stressful.
Mandy’s Workplace And Duties
As part of her duties as a PC, Mandy had to help residents put their shoes on and off, help them get out of bed to shower and get dressed for their breakfast if she was on a morning shift. Mandy spent much of her workday bending, lifting, and tending to residents’ needs answering buzzers and comforting vulnerable older people. There was rarely time to take a breather.
On the evening shifts, PCs helped residents with their meals and to get ready for bed. The morning and evening showers were particularly stressful, and since the nursing home was short-staffed, it meant PCs had to rush to get through all 18 residents. Mandy was unhappy about having to rush since residents needed time and patience.
On night shifts, PCs also had to mop all the floors on the ward, answer buzzers and deal with residents’ needs throughout the night. Then in the morning, the showers had to be done before 7 am. The Nursing Home employed just one PC on night shifts.
Dealing with Dementia Patients
Mandy was fully aware as a trained carer that people with dementia often had no control over their behaviour, and sudden outbursts of anger and aggression were common. On one evening shift that began at 3 pm, Mandy had to help another PC bring residents to the dining room after their nap for afternoon tea.
One new resident, a very tall, heavy man, was reluctant to get out of bed. But Mandy’s supervisor told her he hadn’t showered in the three days since he arrived at the facility, and she had to get him up. The supervisor said he could walk by himself and didn’t need a lifter as far as his records were concerned, and he had no behavioural issues.
How Mandy’s Neck Injury Occurred
Mandy tried to coax the man out of bed and go with her to the bathroom, but the man refused to budge. She pulled the blankets down and gently tried to encourage him to sit up, to no avail. As she bent over to pull his slippers from his drawer, the man suddenly leapt out of bed and punched her in the middle of the back and over the head. Mandy reeled, breathless, ended up on the floor in a bit of a daze but got up and quickly left the room. She felt dizzy and reported the incident to her supervisor, who told her to sit down.
She continued her shift even though she still felt shocked and a bit dizzy, so the next day when her neck was stiff, she called in sick and decided to see her GP. He asked her how the injury happened, she explained it, and he referred her to a specialist and for XRays and scans.
Mandy’s Workers’ Compensation Case
Mandy’s condition worsened, and the tests showed she needed cervical spine fusion surgery to relieve her severe pain due to a pinched nerve and compressed spinal cord as a result of the resident’s attack. She came to our personal injury compensation lawyers at PK Simpson and lodged a workers compensation claim which the Nursing Home’s Insurer accepted. After her surgery, Mandy instructed our lawyers to help her claim lump-sum compensation.
The Neck Injury Comp Process
Mandy had to wait until her neck surgery and condition had stabilised to determine how much impact it would have on her ability to go back to her job. Working with our medical experts, our lawyers secured an assessment of 25 per cent Whole Person Impairment (WPI); therefore, we claimed lump sum compensation under Section 66 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987.
However, the insurer denied any liability for this claim, so our lawyers began the Workers Compensation Commission proceedings. We wanted an approved medical specialist to support a binding assessment of permanent impairment. We successfully achieved a binding assessment of 25 per cent WHI, which meant Mandy received a lump sum amount of compensation.
Mandy’s Claim for Work Injury Damages
Due to her WPI assessment, Mandy was then eligible to claim Common Law Work Injury Damages for her neck injury. Our lawyers advised Mandy that she could potentially claim negligence against the nursing home for failing to provide safe working conditions, which led to her neck injury.
At PK Simpson, we have a ‘no win no fee’ policy, so Mandy decided to pursue a neck injury claim for Work Injury Damages. During a mediation, our lawyers negotiations led to Mandy’s neck injury compensation of over $300,000.
Why You Should Call PK Simpson Lawyers
If you have suffered a neck injury at work and want to claim compensation, don’t hesitate to contact PK Simpson personal injury lawyers for a free consultation to assess your legal rights and provide you with free advice. Whether you live in Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Wollongong, the ACT, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or Darwin, we can help you with a neck injury compensation claim.
If you have an eligible claim for workplace neck injury compensation, our personal injury lawyers can represent you on our ‘no win no fee’ basis. We are experts at neck injury claims. Phone 1300 757 467 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.