13 November 2013

"Winning" payout for workplace injury?

| Padoof
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The Canberra Times has an article in today’s paper about an injured worker “winning” a payout;

Is it just me who thinks that the use of the word “win” is trivialising the injury and infers an element of luck in receiving a compensation payout?

As a result of a workplace injury in 2010, I’ve had surgery three times (twice this year). I’ve lost years of enjoyment with my kids, can’t do many things I used to enjoy and feel like a broken, sore, bitter woman. No amount of compensation will ever give me back what I have lost and any compensation to be paid is not “winning” in my books. It is to cover future medical expenses and loss of earnings for an injury I didn’t have to have.

Shame on you Christopher Knaus for your poor choice of words.

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Yeah I see what you’re getting at. Sometimes we don’t treat injured workers well, particularly we don’t even treat ourselves kindly when injured, trying to be brave soldiers rather than entitled bludgers. So “winning a payout” sounds more like winning the bogan lottery than receiving fair compensation for what basically amounts to anything from negligence to a deliberate “work them into the ground because protecting them is too expensive” strategy.

I guess technically he didn’t win a payout, he won an expensive battle and was awarded damages, half of which goes to lawyers which is one good motivation for judges to keep the compensation much higher than the person may need to get a fresh start once the injury heals or to get set up so that he can afford to live on disability if the injury can’t be healed and the symptoms can’t be managed.

wildturkeycanoe4:55 am 14 Nov 13

Wow, it only took 6 years for the victim to get his million dollar “jackpot”, which will probably not last him till retirement. How will he get by being unable to work after that? How has he managed to live for the past 6 years, with a W/C system that leaves an injured worker on reduced wages after 6 months? I don’t think the win was nearly enough. Just work out how long you could survive on a million, especially with extra medical expenses you’ll have for the rest of your life. With a modest income of say, $70k, that is about fourteen years [no tax paid]. Then what does an older, unemployable person do except go onto the welfare system?
My sympathies to anyone on W/C, it’s a horrible, painful and stressful system that only makes the injury harder to bear.

Write to the paper. Seriously do it.

Instant Mash9:48 pm 13 Nov 13

Broke my back at work… WINNING!

We’ll he did have to win it didn’t he? If his previous employer admitted that they’d done the wrong thing and caused the injury, it wouldn’t have ended up in court in the first place. This guy had to fight to get compensation – a fight he evidently won.

To be honest, I think it probably is just you who thinks the use of the word ‘win’ is trivialising the injury. Understandable perhaps given your history, but nothing I read in that story suggested to me that the man involved was lucky at all. Reading between the lines, I guess you think that the term suggests that the recipient didn’t deserve their payout?

Reading what happened to this man, I’m sure he feels like he’s won too. A battle at least, if not the war.

My sporting team’s wins* are always due to superior skill.

*Note losses are due to bad luck or poor judgement by officials.

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