Yesterday we received the following story and complaint letter (written to The Human Right’s Commission: “firstname.lastname@example.org”) from a Western Australian injured worker, who, like countless of other injured workers, has been ill-treated by his/her employer and workcover insurer…
WA Injured Worker Complaint about employer treatment after a work accident
Complaint about employer treatment after a work accident
I saw your site and thought you might appreciate my story so far.
The injured worker’s complaint letter
I am writing regarding the treatment I have received from my employer’s and their insurance company following a work accident. I am a community support worker for “unnamed.”
On July [X] 2013, I was travelling from one client to the next when I was rear ended at high speed while stationary. I found myself trapped in my car as I had been pushed over the lines was too scared to open my car door. I was taken by ambulance to [X] hospital where I was immobilised and told initially that I had neck fractures. A follow up CT scan showed there were no fractures and I was allowed to go home wearing a neck brace 24/7. I was in this brace for a month, and was able to remove it after the results of an MRI scan were approved by my orthopedic surgeon. My car was very badly damaged but repairable and I was unable to drive. The other driver was charged by police.ICWA (Insurance Commission of WA) have accepted my claim however I was recently told after previous delays that my worker’s compensation claim is still not accepted by my employer’s insurance without any explanation.
The matter is in the hands of my solicitor who has requested explanation from them and awaits response. It is booked for conference with work cover [in the near future]. I am having continued physiotherapy treatment for neck injuries and……psychologist treatment for stress, much of which is contributed to by the fact that I have had no income since the accident (other than holiday pay), and have had to use my own finances borrowing from savings to support myself including travel and medical & and my [child]. Without this money we would have become homeless as a result of the incident.
I had no idea that working out on the road in community would be so dangerous for me or that it could result in what has happened to me and for my family; I also had no idea that I would not be covered in the event that someone should do the wrong thing on the road and cause me injury while working for [X].On top of the strain of all of this I am seeing additional specialists for the insurance company and they have approached my GP for his opinion in regard to a return to work program while still not yet accepting the claim, …
…reimbursing my costs or providing any lost salary for almost 3 months!!! Apparently I am expected to recover without any finances to support me for 3 months, and now also go back to work without pay?
I also asked my employers to complete a form to claim for my lost wages to claim them from ICWA, however they are refusing to assist me with this also and I now will also need to follow up with ICWA in order to attempt to resolve this avenue of compensation.I am telling my story here as I am aware that what has happened to me could happen to anyone and may be happening to others; for many people they would not emotionally or financially survive this kind of treatment and hardship.
I am concerned that the conduct of my employers and their insurance company is not ethical and needs to be addressed. I would appreciate your thoughts and advice in relation to these matters.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.