Golf handicap indicates severity of employee's injury

Golf handicap indicates severity of employee's injury

A recent decision from the County Court demonstrates the wide range of inquiries the Court must make when considering whether a person is entitled to lump sum compensation for a work related injury.

An employee who sustained an ankle injury over the course of his employment in August 2012, made an application for a serious injury certificate when his injury did not heal.

This was rejected by the Victorian WorkCover Authority, and the matter was referred to the County Court for a final decision.

A serious injury certificate is required in Victoria in order for an injured person to receive damages for pain and suffering and economic loss. This is obtained by demonstrating that the injury has had an impact on a person's activities of daily living, including their ability to undertake social, domestic and recreational activities. Without a serious injury certificate, an employee is prohibited from suing their employer for negligence.

In delivering his judgment, His Honour Judge Dyer examined a number of aspects of the employee's evidence, including the frequency in which he played golf before and after the injury, and his golfing handicap prior to and post his ankle injury.

His Honour described the Plaintiff (the employee) as a stoic individual who did not exaggerate or manipulate his evidence, and accepted that the Plaintiff had been restricted in his capacity for daily living, and relied on medication and a moon-boot to persist as best he could.

In His Honour's view, the employee had suffered a serious injury, and can now pursue a claim for pain and suffering damages against his former employer.

Injuries at work can have a profound impact on a person's ability to function and perform ordinary tasks. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury as a result of/ over the course of their employment, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.

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