Supreme court rejects compensation claim based on surveillance


We’ve said it a million times, the most important thing is to be honest about your injury, condition, restriction(s), to be yourself at all times, to be aware that you will likely be under some form of surveillance at some stage during the life of your claim (definitely if you proceed with a common law damages claim) and that you should never forget that you also need to give your lawyer(s) and barristers the very best opportunity to secure the best outcome for you!

It is not the first time that we hear of injured workers’ cases being thrown out by Judges based on malingering or exaggeration, and evidenced by substantial video surveillance.

Supreme court rejects compensation claim based on surveillance

A decision to reject a Sunshine man’s claim for compensation following a workplace injury six years ago has been upheld in the Supreme Court.

Josip Kalinic’s application for pain and loss of earnings compensation was dismissed in the County Court in September last year after surveillance footage tendered as evidence showed him walking four kilometres to Sunshine railway station on two occasions without any apparent discomfort.

Mr Kalinic, 52, told the court he could only walk for up to 30 minutes and was unable to stand without pain after being injured while working as a fitter and turner in August 2007, when a large steel plate fell onto his left lower leg, lacerating and crushing soft tissue.

He returned to work on modified duties after surgery, but his employment was terminated on November 17, 2008.

Surveillance video showed Mr Kalinic walking “relatively extended distances”, in stark contrast to his claims that he was in constant pain and lived a very restricted lifestyle, which he compared to “like house arrest”.

In one video, Mr Kalinic was shown walking his dog for nearly an hour at a brisk pace on June 29, 2011.

On two other occasions, on May 12, 2012 and May 16, 2012, he walked four kilometres from his Sunshine home to the train station, even though he had a driver’s licence.

Mr Kalinic also told his doctor he could only stand in one position no longer than five minutes, but he was filmed standing in one position on a train into the city for 25 minutes.

“In my view, the level of activity that the appellant displayed on May 16, 2012 and on the other surveillance film was inconsistent with the picture painted,” Justice Ross Robson said last week.



One Response to “Supreme court rejects compensation claim based on surveillance”

  1. Your behaviour after a work injury can really make or break your case.

    It all comes down to being honest – with yourself, your doctors, your lawyer and your family. If you are injured, don’t pretend that you are not. Don’t “tough it out.” If you do so, and end up worsening your injury, that can jeopardise your benefits.

    Don’t exaggerate either. Insurance companies often monitor (spy upon) workers who have an injury that is preventing them from working. They’ll actually use surveillance to watch you. Their goal is to catch you doing something that you said you couldn’t do, or something that your doctor told you not to do.
    They want to prove that you either aren’t as hurt as you’re claiming or that you are making things worse by not following your doctor’s orders and that they shouldn’t have to keep paying.

    Be honest with your doctor. Obviously, don’t tell them you’re hurt when you’re not. What we’re mostly talking about, however, is being clear about what is hurting and why. If your doctor doesn’t have the opinion that your work caused your injury, then your case could be over. You need to explain your work duties, what you were doing when you got hurt, etc. And call back or make another appointment if your symptoms or pain worsen.

    And always be upfront with your lawyer. It’s the only way they can do everything they can to help you get the benefits you need. Much of the success of your claim lies in your own hands. If your job caused you an injury, the law says that you get your medical expenses covered and weekly pay for lost wages while you’re unable to work. If you need help getting started or if you’ve hit a roadblock (denied claim, stopped benefits, etc.) and you have questions, let us know, AND consult a personal injury lawyer (the sooner the better).

    workcovervictim3 December 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm