Associate - Currently on maternity leave
LL.B, GDLP, BA
Aleksandra ReesP: (08) 8216 3306
Aleksandra graduated in 2013 and was admitted to both the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Supreme Court of South Australia in April 2013. Aleksandra works in the areas of motor vehicle accident, workers compensation and public liability claims.
Aleksandra is currently on maternity leave.
Member – Law Society of South Australia
Can I claim compensation if I contract Hepatitis A from contaminated food?
Can I claim compensation if I contract Hepatitis A from contaminated food?
Over recent times, there have been several examples in the media of consumers who have been affected by Hepatitis A, including through the consumption of frozen mixed berries, and more recently, frozen pomegranate seeds which led to the death of a 64 year old Australian woman.
Hepatitis A is one of five strains of Hepatitis (a liver disease), which is contracted when infected faecal matter is ingested. One of the common ways in which Hepatitis A is spread, is through poor hand hygiene. Therefore, there are many examples of people contracting Hepatitis A when consuming foods prepared by people with poor hand hygiene.
Although symptoms of Hepatitis A are treatable, they can cause significant pain and discomfort, requiring time off work. According to the SA Health Topic in relation to Hepatitis A, symptoms can last one to two weeks, or several months in severe cases. In addition, people who have been infected by Hepatitis A will likely have to pay for treatment expenses.
If you have been infected by Hepatitis A, and if it can be linked to the consumption of food or produce, such as from a frozen foods company, café, restaurant or otherwise, you may be entitled to compensation, which can include for:-
- pain and suffering;
- time off work;
- additional care that you have required; and
- past and future medical expenses.
If you have been infected by Hepatitis A, or if you have suffered from any other food poisoning, call 1800 324 324 and speak to one of our public liability specialists for expert advice.
“Non-Seriously Injured Workers” who require surgery may be able to claim compensation.
“Non-Seriously Injured workers” are people with a whole person impairment of 29% or less. If you are a “Non-Seriously Injured worker” who was receiving weekly payments until 28 June 2017, your entitlement to medical expenses will expire as at 28 June 2018.
If you are a “Non-Seriously Injured Worker” who suffered an injury after 1 July 2015 and require surgery after your entitlement period for medical expenses has ended you can still make an application for funding to cover the cost of that surgery only if an application is made prior to the expiry of your medical expenses entitlement period.
How do I lodge an application with a workers’ compensation claim agent?
A lawyer can help you with the preparation and lodgement of the application to make sure it complies with the relevant law. Seeking legal advice about this matter is urgent because further information (like a report from your doctor) may be required to complete the application.
Whole Person Impairment Assessment
If you have not already undergone a Whole Person Impairment assessment, you should arrange this as you may be eligible for a lump sum payment for economic loss and pain and suffering.
What do I do about my ongoing medical expenses?
Medical expenses such as medication, physiotherapy appointments and doctors’ appointments will need to be paid for by you (or claimed on Medicare or with your private health insurer, where possible).
We recommend that you meet with your usual doctor as soon as you can for advice in relation to any ongoing/further treatment that you may require so that, where possible, medical treatment (like radiological scans) can be arranged and medication scripts can be filled, before 28 June 2018 (whilst those expenses are still compensable).
DBH are here to help.
If your medical expenses are coming to an end and you need assistance, contact Duncan Basheer Hannon on 1800 324 324 and speak to one of our workers’ compensation specialists for professional advice.
What is a workplace accident?
A straightforward example of a workplace accident is; you’re climbing up a ladder at work and you fall off breaking your leg. That’s a really straightforward example of a physical injury that can be sustained in the course of your employment. Another example is a psychiatric injury that can often appear over a period of time, serval months, and several years. Sometimes there are things that build up over time that create a psychiatric illness in a worker, which will lead to a workplace injury.
What happens at your first meeting with a lawyer?
At the first meeting, one of my first questions will be; “have you lodged a Return To Work SA claim form?” This is really important and it constitutes any workplace claim for any workers’ compensation. If you have lodged a claim form has your claim been accepted? In which case the matter is much more straightforward. If the claim has been rejected we would need to take further steps to for example issue an application for review in the South Australian Employment Tribunal. In addition to the claim form, I would also be asking the worker to provide any copies of any medical reports or prescribed medical certificates, otherwise known as WorkCover certificates which they have got from their doctor or another medical provider.
What is the timeframe for a claim?
The sooner the better. Particularly if your claim has been rejected. You only have one month from the date of the rejection to dispute the rejection of your claim. In any event I would recommend that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining the injury even just to gain some preliminary advice about what you should do.
If you have injured yourself at work and require advice, contact DBH by free calling 1800 324 324 or send us a message to arrange a no obligation appointment.
“I have just injured myself at work. What do I do?”
Unfortunately, workplace injuries do happen. Workplace injuries can include a minor cut to a finger which might require stitches, a broken leg, lower back pain requiring physiotherapy, psychological symptoms – the list is endless.
If you have sustained an injury in the course of your employment, and you require time off work or treatment, there are a number of steps that you should take, including the following:-
- Reporting the incident to your manager or supervisor at your earliest convenience.
- Seeking medical treatment.
- Lodging a ReturnToWorkSA Claim Form. This is accessible from the ReturnToWorkSA website – https://www.rtwsa.com/
- Obtaining a ReturnToWorkSA Work Capacity Certificate. This is different from a standard medical certificate which your doctor might give you for a common cold or flu.
- Lodging the ReturnToWorkSA Claim Form and Work Capacity Certificate with ReturnToWorkSA.
If your claim for workers compensation is accepted, you will be entitled to compensation which can include:-
- medical expenses,
- weekly payments, and
- possible lump sum payments for pain and suffering, and future loss of earning capacity.
If your claim is rejected, it is extremely important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible, and in any event within one month of the date of receiving the letter advising that your claim has been rejected.
For more information about lodging a workers compensation claim, or workers compensation matters generally, contact Duncan Basheer Hannon by free calling 1800 324 324 or send us a message.