A Victorian woman was recently awarded $250,000 in the Country Court after the Victorian WorkCover Authority (VWA) refused to offer any compensation for her broken ankles.
Slater & Gordon WorkCover lawyer John Karantzis said his client was forced to take the matter to trial after VWA refused to make an offer of compensation for pain and suffering for the workplace accident.
Karantzis said his client had a severe fall down a set of carpeted stairs at her workplace in 2006: “My client suffered injuries to her back and neck and broke both of her ankles in the fall. She had been descending down the stairs at a normal pace before slipping and falling.
“The injury highlights the need for employers to provide their employees with a safe workplace.”
The injured woman was hospitalised, had surgery to both ankles and had to undergo rehabilitation before being able to return home.
“She was limited to a wheelchair for about two months after the accident and then had to take part in exhaustive and demanding physiotherapy so she could learn to walk again,” Karantzis continued. “To this day, she continues to need treatment for pain to her ankles, back and neck.”
Prior to the judgment, the VWA would only grant the injured woman a Serious Injury Certificate in recognition of her pain and suffering but refused to offer any damages. But the jury of six unanimously awarded her $250,000 for pain and suffering damages after a five-day hearing.