In September 2016, Labor reprised its role as the workers' advocate in its decision to thankfully repeal the infamous Newman amendments to the Workers' Compensation & Rehabilitation Act 2003 which introduced the 6% impairment threshold for work injury claims in 2013.
Thankfully, injured workers in Queensland can now breathe a sigh of relief to know that from 31 January 2015, if they are hurt in the course of their work, and their injury is the result of the negligence, or wrongful act or omission, of their employer or a co-worker, they will be entitled to pursue a Common Law claim to obtain damages for all the loss and damage caused by their work injuries.
What this means is that injured workers who sustain injuries that interfere with their enjoyment of life, cause them ongoing pain and suffering, impede their employment or prejudice their employability, require ongoing medical treatment, medical aids or care and assistance, will be able to claim proper compensation for such loss and damage, no matter the percentage of permanent impairment they receive at the end of their workers' compensation claim.
The Personal Injury Lawyers rallied against the Newman legislation introducing the unfair 6% impairment threshold at the time of its inception, and continued to rally against it after it was hurriedly passed through Parliament without debate. We are relieved to see that this very unfair piece of legislation has been repealed and applaud the Labor Government for taking this much needed step.
Some work injuries are still subject to the Newman 6% impairment threshold
Unfortunately the repeal could not overcome the problems posed by the 6% impairment threshold for everyone, and there will still be some injured workers that remain subject to it. Any work injury occurring during the period 15 October 2013 to 30 January 2015 will still be subject to the 6% impairment threshold. Regretfully, the logistics of retrospectively repealing the Newman amendment from the date of its enactment were just too unrealistic, given so many work injuries had already been processed under the legislation. The repealing date of 31 January 2015 was reached as the date the Labor Government achieved power in Queensland, delineating the Newman regime ending and along with it, this unfair piece of legislation introduced whilst it held power.
Strict time limits apply when appealing impairment assessments at less than 6%
Workers injured during the period 15 October 2013 to 30 January 2015, which remain subject to the Newman 6% threshold, should take some heart in knowing two things:
- Firstly, The Personal Injury Lawyers have a specific team established to handle 6% threshold claims, which we call "The 6% Team". The 6% Team has a 99% success rate so far in achieving, and more often than not, surpassing the 6% DPI threshold required for injured workers to be entitled to sue for their injuries and gain the proper compensation they need. So if you have sustained an injury at work which is subject to the Newman 6% threshold legislation, then you need to contact us at The Personal Injury Lawyers on 1300 782 202 or submit an enquiry via our website as soon as possible, so we can ensure the steps necessary to meet the 6% DPI threshold are being taken. It is important that you act promptly as there are strict time limits that apply when seeking to appeal a degree of permanent impairment assessment by the workers' compensation insurer.
- Secondly, at the time of repealing the Newman 6% threshold law, the Government also introduced some increased compensation for those still subject to that law, in order to provide them with some relief from the unfairness of it. Under this new legislation, if you are subject to the 6% impairment rule, and you do not achieve a 6% or more impairment for your injury when it is assessed at the end of your workers' compensation claim, if your injury was the result of the negligence or wrongful act or omission of your employer or a co-worker, then you will be entitled to an extra compensation payment. Of course, it will not be as much as you could achieve via a Common Law claim for damages, but it goes a small way in providing some compensation to those unfairly excluded from pursuing such path.
The Personal Injury Lawyers’ 6% Team have a 99% success rate
If you have sustained an injury at work and would like some advice as to what you need to do to ensure any claims for compensation you have are protected, you should contact us here at The Personal Injury Lawyers on 1300 782 202 or by submitting an enquiry form via our website. We would be only too happy to assist you.