Compensation advice please…

By 28 December, 2013 18

In late 2009 I was living in an ACT Government housing property, on this particular day I had a washing machine delivered, the delivery driver moved my old washing machine outside and I stayed in the laundry to sweep the area underneath where it had lived for a number of years. I was done sweeping and moved directly over where the machine had been when the floor gave way and one leg fell through, I could feel the dirt under my foot, my other leg remained on floor level so I’d sort of done the splits. The delivery driver helped me out of the hole. At that time my only injuries were a few scratches down my leg and a massive case of kill me now embarrassment. A few weeks later I started getting back pain so went to my GP, I was sent for a cat scan and it was revealed that I had two bulging discs in my lower spine. In the mean time the housing contractors had assessed the hole and determined that it was more than likely white ants, they covered the hole with a plank of wood and said the whole floor would probably need to be replaced. The board remained there for my rental duration (around six months) with no further action. I was prescribed pain relief and told that if pain persisted I may require surgery. After six months the pain finally went away and I was able to live relatively normal except for occasional back pain until recently when I’ve had a painful sciatic ‘flare up’, I’m back on pain medication and have been referred to a neurosurgeon to discuss possible surgery. When it first happened I looked into legal advice in regards to my injury and the right to compensation but it didn’t go any further than an online enquiry. At the time I was a Mum of two boys and because of the pain I don’t feel like I was in any shape to think clearly when it came to my legal rights let alone day-to-day living. With this latest flare up though I’m left rethinking my rights and if I’m entitled to try for compensation or if because it happened so many years ago now I have forfeited my right to sue. I can imagine the fight I’d have trying for compensation against the ACT Government but I’ve been genuinely injured through no fault of my own and as an ongoing problem it could be something I have to live with for the rest of my life. My housing manager was advised of my health issues as a result of a rotting floor and all he said was to seek legal advice. There would be maintenance records and a letter to my housing manager stating the issue, medical records from 2009 and also now and I could possibly track down the delivery driver that witnessed my fall and also assisted me on the day but at this point I think time is of the essence.

So If there’s anyone that can offer some advice, that would be great.

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18 Responses to Compensation advice please…
#1
gooterz2:58 pm, 28 Dec 13

Listen to what he said. Go seek legal advice from a lawyer/solicitor.

#2
liability6:15 pm, 28 Dec 13

You are technically out of time to commence Court proceedings.

Whilst you can apply to the Court to commence proceedings out of time, the fact that you were obviously aware of your right to make a claim, and chose not to at the time, will go against you.

You need to see a lawyer ASAP for some advice. You need to call a firm that specialises in these sort of compensation claims, like Maliganis Edwards Johnson or Stacks. Give them a call and they will no doubt offer you a free appointment to discuss the merits of the case.

It will be an uphill battle, but you will have a chance. expect the ACT Government to fight against the Court granting you an extension of time to commence proceedings. Also, if you are granted an extension, you should realise that the matter will most likely drag on for at least a couple of years before it is settled, one way or the other.

#3
utah6:59 pm, 28 Dec 13

“In late 2009 I was living in an ACT Government housing property…. “

You’re welcome. Seriously, have we ever had a thank-you note on here from one of our thousands of Govvie (hopefully injured) housing residents?

Like Gooterz said, seek legal advice; most compensation lawyers will give you the first consultation free. Bring all of your records to the consult, and don’t settle for the first lawyer you talk to, settle for the one you trust.

#4
BimboGeek7:03 pm, 28 Dec 13

Lawyers’ first appointments are always free. It is now legal for ambulance chasers to work on a no win no fee basis so you don’t need to pay them upfront (although they may be more expensive). See a couple of them with someone who is good at business. They won’t take on the case unless they think they can get a reasonable outcome for themselves but it’s up to you to make sure they will also get a good deal for you. Good luck.

#5
gooterz7:42 pm, 28 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

Lawyers’ first appointments are always free. It is now legal for ambulance chasers to work on a no win no fee basis so you don’t need to pay them upfront (although they may be more expensive). See a couple of them with someone who is good at business. They won’t take on the case unless they think they can get a reasonable outcome for themselves but it’s up to you to make sure they will also get a good deal for you. Good luck.

The first isn’t always free for the better ones. I’d double check before you go.

#6
Tarinedier7:44 pm, 28 Dec 13

“At the time I was a Mum of two boys”

My condolences.

#7
BornNBred7:54 pm, 28 Dec 13

You’re absolutely right utah, thank you immensely for supporting me during my time in government housing. I could point out the fact that I was in paid employment the entire time I lived in housing, so I probably helped support you with a Medicare claim you may of made, or tree trimming in your suburb, road maintenance or even your garbage collection. I don’t require a thanks though, I understand the need for community assistance regardless of someone’s personal situation but you are most welcome that I helped support your lifestyle also.

Anyway……

Thanks heaps for all replies, I sort of figured it was a lost cause based on the time frame but I’ll see how I go. Thanks again fellow rioters. :)

#8
Woody Mann-Caruso8:07 pm, 28 Dec 13

You’re welcome. Seriously, have we ever had a thank-you note on here from one of our thousands of Govvie (hopefully injured) housing residents?

Statistically, it’s pretty likely that I pay more taxes than you. A lot more. I’ve searched everywhere for your thank-you note to me for subsidising your roads, libraries, police, hospitals, and other infrastructure and services – after all, we both drive on the road, but I pay more for it than you – but buggered if I can find it. Just put it here, thanks.

#9
gooterz9:00 pm, 28 Dec 13

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

You’re welcome. Seriously, have we ever had a thank-you note on here from one of our thousands of Govvie (hopefully injured) housing residents?

Statistically, it’s pretty likely that I pay more taxes than you. A lot more. I’ve searched everywhere for your thank-you note to me for subsidising your roads, libraries, police, hospitals, and other infrastructure and services – after all, we both drive on the road, but I pay more for it than you – but buggered if I can find it. Just put it here, thanks.

I’m pretty sure you all wear clothes made in China/India. Food grown by farmers, lives given by animals and parts of trees.

How far to do you want to take it ? seriously..

#10
no idea9:29 pm, 28 Dec 13

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

You’re welcome. Seriously, have we ever had a thank-you note on here from one of our thousands of Govvie (hopefully injured) housing residents?

Statistically, it’s pretty likely that I pay more taxes than you. A lot more. I’ve searched everywhere for your thank-you note to me for subsidising your roads, libraries, police, hospitals, and other infrastructure and services – after all, we both drive on the road, but I pay more for it than you – but buggered if I can find it. Just put it here, thanks.

So WMC when will you post a thank you letter to all the people that pay more tax than you for subsidising you?

#11
Pork Hunt9:41 pm, 28 Dec 13

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

You’re welcome. Seriously, have we ever had a thank-you note on here from one of our thousands of Govvie (hopefully injured) housing residents?

Statistically, it’s pretty likely that I pay more taxes than you. A lot more. I’ve searched everywhere for your thank-you note to me for subsidising your roads, libraries, police, hospitals, and other infrastructure and services – after all, we both drive on the road, but I pay more for it than you – but buggered if I can find it. Just put it here, thanks.

What is your view on jury service?

#12
Genie10:17 pm, 28 Dec 13

You’re about 4 years too late. You need to lodge claims within 10 business days of the injury.

Usually you won’t get paid out until your injuries subside, but during the settlement period costs can be covered. I have a car accident mid 2008. Took 5 years to settle as my injury just wouldn’t heal. It was a massive long drawn out process, but was worth the time and effort to ensure that I didn’t have to pay for my medical costs and physio bills.

#13
PorkChops10:25 pm, 28 Dec 13

I can’t offer advice on the compensation side of things, but I can highly recommend Dr Speldewinde at Capital Rehabilitation in Deakin. I’ve suffered chronic back pain for years (bulging discs) but he’s been able to give me a great deal of relief.

#14
cleo2:29 am, 29 Dec 13

Hi yes it is too late to do anything legally about it, don’t bother contacting any lawyers, as they won’t do anything especially if it’s government. The best you can do is find a pain management doctor and arrange to have a nerve block done in hospital, you can leave the same day, but you have to have someone with you the first night. I have sciatica, very painful, I was also falling over, having the nerve block is the best thing I could do.
Good luck

#15
carnardly10:23 am, 29 Dec 13

so you have evidence that the fall into the hole caused the bulging discs? I mean it’s possible that you had 2 bulging discs (albeit unbeknownst to you) prior to falling in the hole isn’t it?

#16
BimboGeek11:16 am, 29 Dec 13

Don’t be put off. I don’t know if negligence applies here but if you can make an argument that the landlord should have noticed the termites then you might have a case. Back when I did a few law subjects IIRC statute of limitations for such a claim was 7 years. There’s no harm in seeing a lawyer about it, they know what they are likely to be able to win.

#17
Masquara5:11 pm, 29 Dec 13

Disk damage is usually an “age and wear” condition … a fall into a hole, where your legs took the impact (hence the “splits”) , might be less likely to cause the condition than landing very hard on your bum and jarring your spine badly. The fact that you had scratches down your leg might be an indication that your leg took the impact. It really doesn’t sound like a “cause disk damage” scenario, but good luck arguing your case!

#18
Woody Mann-Caruso6:13 pm, 29 Dec 13

@no idea: So WMC when will you post a thank you letter to all the people that pay more tax than you for subsidising you?

I’m not the no-talent arseclown who thinks people less well off owe me something because I’m privileged enough to be able to afford my own place. That would be utah. Your username is apt.

@Pork Hunt: What is your view on jury service?

It’s a citizen’s duty. Why?

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