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Mr Fisher: A workers' compensation case study

Mr Fisher was working as a baggage handler for Qantas at Cairns Airport in Queensland. While unloading containers from a Boeing 767, one of the containers became stuck on the mechanical floor of the hold of the aircraft. In order to free the container, Mr Fisher pulled forcefully on a strap attached to the container. The strap broke and Mr Fisher fell backwards on to the unloading platform, seriously injuring his neck.

Mr Fisher was a hard worker. Prior to the incident, he had always been employed, working as a deckhand, labourer and as a Telecom linesman. He had been working as a baggage handler since April 1993.

In his role with Qantas, moving luggage involved physical work, repetitive lifting, and twisting. This all had to be performed quickly to ensure that the aircraft was on time. Mr Fisher worked 38 hours a week and said that if it wasn’t for the incident, he would have kept working until retirement age.

In his findings, the judge considered Mr Fisher’s past and future economic loss, future loss of superannuation benefits and special damages, such as the future medical care Mr Fisher would need as a result of his neck injury. He was awarded a total of $225,035 in compensation. The full decision is available here.

How do I know if I'm able to make a workers' compensation claim?

There are legal options available if you have suffered a workers' compensation injury. Compensation claims can be made through the courts, which can be successful if it's proven that you suffered because of negligence on behalf of others, or the employer as an organisation.

I think I have a workers' compensation claim, what should I do next?

It's important that you contact a workers' compensation lawyer with experience in workers' compensation claims as soon as possible to make sure your interests are looked after.

The Shine Lawyers Workers' Compensation Team will be able to advise you of your entitlements. Advice is obligation-free, and your lawyer can come to you at home or hospital.

The Shine Lawyers No Win No Fee policy is available for workers' compensation claims. This is designed to help people whose financial circumstances might otherwise deny them access to legal representation.

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Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: August 3, 2017.

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