The Workers Compensation legislation allows for consequential injuries sustained to workers as a result of an initial injury.

Most people commonly think of consequential injuries as an injury that has occurred as a result of over-reliance or overcompensation with respect to one body part as a result of an injury.

For example, if someone has sustained an injury to their right hand, they may be avoiding using the right hand and as a result they overcompensate with their left hand causing injury. Alternatively, an injured worker may have sustained an injury to their left knee and as a result they are walking with a limp potentially causing consequential injuries to their right knee and lower back.

Most people may not be aware that gastrointestinal and/or urological problems issues that may arise from taking too much medication as a result of their workplace injury can be classified as a consequential injury.

Recent examples

Turner Freeman recently acted for an injured worker who sustained an injury to her back whilst assisting an elderly gentlemen to bed whilst performing her job as a disability support worker.

The workers compensation insurer disputed that the worker sustained a consequential urological condition as a result of her injury.

We successfully argued on behalf of that injured worker that she had suffered ongoing bladder issues since the accident. Given that the applicant had never experienced such a significant urological condition, we were able to link these issues the worker was experiencing to her workplace injuries.

Turner Freeman have also successfully acted for an injured worker who was claiming the cost of a gastric bypass operation. The injured worker claimed that as a result of the numerous medications that the injured worker was required to take as a result of their physical injuries, that injured worker had significantly gained weight. That weight gain was causing many problems for the injured workers health and as a result, their treating doctors recommended a gastric bypass operation.

We were successfully able to link the need for that surgery to their physical injuries and the medications they were required to take as a result of those injuries, and accordingly obtained a ruling that the insurer pay for the costs of the surgery.

Final remarks

Consequential injuries are not always straightforward. Some workers may have sustained consequential injuries and they might not be aware that their additional injury relates to their initial workplace injury. It is important that consequential injuries be identified as soon as possible and be claimed accordingly on the workers compensation insurer.

Get in touch with us

If you are unsure on whether you have sustained a consequential injury or wish to obtain general advice, do not hesitate to contact your local Turner Freeman office on (02) 8833 2500.