You may have read in the media recently that recent retiree Anthony Watmough was being denied any insurance payout for his career-ending injury. This will force his club to front up the remainder $1.2 million of his contract, a further financial strain which the embattled board would have undoubtedly liked to avoid.

TPD and ‘pre-existing’ injuries

It appears that the issue in Watmough’s matter is that the insurer QBE has deemed the injury that ended his career into his four-year deal was ‘pre-existing’. This denial of an insurance benefit due to classification of an injury as ‘pre-existing’ or contributed to by employment is an issue encountered constantly by Turner Freeman Lawyers.

To speculate, it would appear that Mr Watmough’s injury has been denied on the basis that his career as a rugby league player did not materially contribute to the alleged pre-existing knee condition and that this injury pre-dates the insurance benefit held by the club. This is an issue commonly encountered by individuals pursuing Workers Compensation claims and Total and Permanent disablement benefits provided by superannuation funds.

Whilst it is likely that other thresholds may have to be satisfied for Watmough to access this insurance benefit, this is a situation negated by Turner Freeman Lawyers on a day to day basis.

In this case, it is fortunate that Watmough is unlikely to be out of pocket, given that in any case that the club is unsuccessful in appealing that the knee condition ‘was ‘pre-existing, he will be allowed to pursue a pay-out of the remainder of his contract.

However, at Turner Freeman we are aware that in many cases, for injured workers, where an injury is deemed as ‘pre-existing’ and an insurer denies a claim, a financial fall back is often hard to find. Further, the road in appealing that an injury pre-dates an insurance benefit is often confusing for an injured worker.

Fortunately, at Turner Freeman Lawyers, we have a number of legal practitioners who practice in this area of law and have a dealt with thousands of denied Total and Permanent disablement and Workers Compensation claims. For more information about our Personal Injury and Compensation law services contact 13 43 63 today.