Having liability accepted for a psychological work-related injury can be very difficult, even more so because the connection or relationship to work can be (and is often) less obvious than in workcover claims involving only physical injuries. However in the following recent legal cases, the courts accepted that there was a psychological work-related injury present.
Depending on the circumstances and the particular facts of your particular situation you may be able to claim workcover compensation if you suffer from severe stress in your workplace. However, as we have previously reported, stress claims can be -and often are- extremely challenging to prove and litigate.Set out in this article are the most frequent questions asked about workcover and stress claims.
The following article re workplace bullying was submitted by “Harry Hatzis”, as a Guest Post, and focuses on the credibility of a bullied worker, providing some insightful tips. Harry is writing an academic legal thesis on workplace bullying, victimisation, harassment and racial discrimination and whether the laws provide adequate redress to psychiatrically injured workers.
The following article re workplace bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation was submitted by “Harry Hatzi” (Facebook name Harry John) as a “Guest Post“. We were not quite sure whether or not to publish it as it may come across as an advertisement for a legal firm or lawyer, under disguise. However, given Harry appears to be genuinely interested in the topic (and writing a thesis), we have decided to publish the article.
The workcover system is, in my seriously injured opinion, designed to do one thing and that is to remove all “responsibility” from the injured worker, and alas, remove all control from the injured worker, which –all too often– leads to desperation, frustration and a myriad of secondary psychological injuries.The following somewhat controversial article aims to make injured workers think hard and show a potential way to stay in control of their claim.
Workcover stress claims can be extremely challenging to file and to litigate against. And they are getting tougher and tougher. There are many legal requirements that need to be satisfied in order to have a viable case. In order to submit a WorkCover claim for stress, it’s necessary for your legal team to demonstrate that you have suffered an ‘injury’ – at work – and within the meaning of the WorkCover legislation. This means you cannot typically claim for experiencing stress as an emotion, but rather, you are suffering from a clinical medical condition.
In Victoria, the impairment threshold for a primary psychiatric injury is a whopping 30%. Only if you have been assessed as suffering from a “serious” primary psych injury (i.e. 30% WPI or more) can you obtain a lumpsum in Victoria (currently around $77,000). What’s worse, if you cannot sue for additional compensation under common law if your injuries are NOT the fault of your employer (or any other person), leaving many severely psychiatric injured workers with very little or no compensation at all.
The following psychologically injured worker has been working as an emergency medical dispatcher. His/her is one of the voices callers hear when they dial 000 and ask for an ambulance. No training can fully prepare a dispatcher for the stress of taking calls from emergencies and people in desperate situations. Sometimes the outcome is traumatically evident: the casualty dies while still on the line… But what if that casualty is your own son or daughter?
Many injured workers are forced to repeatedly attend IME psychiatrist assessments and even Medical Panels to have their workcover benefits continued. Many find this continual harassment debilitating and very traumatic, such as injured worker “A” who shares her/his story and experience…
In September 2014, Peter Doulis, a Victorian teacher driven to the brink by unruly students including one who made a flamethrower in class has been awarded around $1.3 million in compensation by the Supreme Court, by means of suing the state government for damages under the negligence/common law. Many ‘stress’ victims were gobsmacked at the size of the amount in compensation awarded. Let’s have a look at what the $1.3 million compensation awarded really means for Mr Doulis (and anyone else in a similar situation.)