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QLD Personal Injury at Work - Seek Legal Action and Compensation?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Markab, 7 March 2016.

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  1. Markab

    Markab Member

    7 March 2016
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    So basically, I amputated my middle finger between the 2nd and 3rd knuckles (if you count upwards from the palm). The surgeon reattached and I'm currently undergoing hand therapy, so not sure of the function I will get back. I also amputated the tip of my index finger to just where the fingertip is. This happened at work during work hours and I have been accepted for workers compensation to receive my normal pay. I work in a production kitchen on a kettle and pump machine unsupervised. I have been working there for a month and a half.

    Whilst I had basic training on how to make the products, there was no training on how the machinery works. The pump became clogged so I used the tools that were stored right next to the machine to try to clean it and the accident occured when I attempted to unclog the machine. I'd not received any formal training on how to do this or what parts were moving parts and was not advised to turn the equipment off before doing so. I didn't switch it off at the power point as there is a foot pedal that needs to be depressed for the machine to opperate so I assumed nothing would be moving if it wasn't depressed.

    If you need more info, please let me know.

    I'd like to know if legal action for personal injury would be successful? If it is likely, should I try to come to a settlement with management prior to getting solicitors involved to save everyone those costs or is it recommend just to go staight to a solicitor?

    I love my place of work and would love to return to my position but this has been a traumatic experience and I feel I deserve compensation for the injury itself, mental stress and anxiety, which could have been prevented through proper training and not having easy access to the tools that allowed me to access the part of the machine that caused the injury.

    Any help on if I should just ask them myself or should I get a solicitor? Any idea on the amount I should be seeking? Just any help would be great.

    Happy to provide more info if needed.
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi Markab,

    I would speak with a personal injury lawyer about this. As you seem to be aware, in order to be successful in obtaining a compensation award, you must prove that your employer breached its duty of care toward you. Employers owe their employees a duty to have safe plant and work practices etc. This includes providing appropriate training. It will be up to a court to determine whether an injury such as yours was foreseeable and whether your employer took sufficient steps to mitigate against that risk.

    Many personal injury lawyers offer to take on your case on a speculative basis, or no win no fee. Many also offer free consultations.

    Since you have lost function in your hand and have a form of disfigurement, you would be entitled to compensation over and above your medical costs.

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