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Accident impacts on witnesses and family members

Personal Injury Lawyer – loss and trauma

Sometimes accidents can have a debilitating effect not only on the victims of injury, but also on close family or witnesses to the incident.

The witness or close family member of the victim may experience symptoms of secondary trauma, which often mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts suggest that this insidious form of stress can be as debilitating as experiencing the trauma in person.

Those experiencing symptoms of secondary trauma should speak to their doctor about coping strategies and seek professional counseling where possible. This will assist them in managing the potential health impacts and help prevent the development of ongoing mental injuries.

If a person has experienced the sudden death or significant injury of a family member, they may also be deprived of the financial support or care that they would have received but for the victim’s injuries.

There may be compensation available if the death or injury was the result of another’s negligence. This could include compensation for financial losses, care, medical and funeral expenses. There may also be separate compensation available for witnesses or family members who are diagnosed with consequential mental harm.
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Return to Work Plans

Compensation Lawyer – Return to Work Programs

For workers who are receiving compensation for work-related injuries, navigating a Return to Work Plan can be confusing.

This is often because of the number of stakeholders involved.

Insurers will usually arrange for a Return to Work Program to be prepared by a rehabilitation provider on their behalf in collaboration with the injured worker, the employer and the injured worker’s GP.  They must also consult with the worker in preparing an injury management plan.

The rehabilitation provider’s role includes coordinating the worker’s recovery with their return to work, identifying suitable employment opportunities aligned with their current working capacity and preparing the Return to Work plan. The plan must also outline the procedure for a requested change in rehabilitation provider, and how the worker will be told of this opportunity.

The employer must not dismiss an injured worker due to injury within 6 months of their incapacity. They are required (among other obligations) to implement the Return to Work Program, co-operate with the insurer, provide retraining or alternative job opportunities where appropriate and advise the worker that they can choose to nominate their own treating doctor.
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Everyday hazards and injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer Parramatta – Public Liability

Accidents sometimes occur when they are least expected – for example, when taking a walk down the street or doing the grocery shopping.

Often people are unaware of their legal rights when they are injured in those circumstances. They may be unaware that the owner or occupier of the premises has a duty to take reasonable care to prevent certain hazards.

Public liability covers a broad range of claims where injuries are sustained as a result of the negligence of an owner or occupier. Examples of such claims include slip and falls, food poisoning, dog attacks, sporting and playground accidents.

In the event of such an injury, you may be able to bring a claim against the owner or occupier’s insurer.  Depending on the extent of injury, this could include entitlements to lump sum compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages and domestic assistance.

If you or someone you know is injured in such circumstances it is important to:
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Part 2: Things to know when making a workers compensation claim

Making a workers compensation claim might be important for your long term health and benefit, but at the time it can also be stressful and confusing. Knowing the facts, your rights and what to do next is the first step in resolving a difficult situation.

Continuing on from Part 1 of this article, below are a few things you should remember when considering making a workers compensation claim:

4.  The earlier you make your workers compensation claim, the better

It will ensure that you are provided with the time and resources for early treatment and quick recovery where possible.

Be aware that once you have made a claim, you may be sent for independent assessment by the insurer’s medical doctor, who will provide an opinion for insurance purposes rather than for treatment advice.

Continue to consult your treating doctors (medical expenses may be covered if your claim is successful) to ensure that you are doing all you can to fully recover from your injuries.
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Changes to Motor Accident Scheme in NSW

The NSW Government has now passed the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 and it is expected to become law later this year. The new compulsory third party laws will change the insurance scheme for people who are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

The proposed law establishes a hybrid scheme. The benefits available to injured people will now be determined based on whether their injuries are soft tissue or minor psychological injuries, or more significant injuries.

The aim is to provide all injured people with income and other support after they lodge a claim.

The changes are similar to the NSW Workers Compensation scheme; provisions will be made for a form of statutory income, and medical and care benefits paid for up to six months without the need for fault to be proven.

If you have suffered personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident, speaking to a lawyer can help clarify your options and entitlements.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers can provide practical solutions and exceptional results in relation to your compensation claim, on a No Win, No Fee basis.  Call 1300 773 529 or email a personal injury lawyer at info@matthewsfolbigg.com.au. We can then arrange an initial telephone conference to discuss.
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