Brand Barristers and Solicitors Perth

Level 3, 24 Outram Street, West Perth | Call +61 (08) 6260 0076

Pre-existing Injuries? You still have right to Workers’ Compensation!

You might be curious about whether you can still pursue compensation for aggravation of a pre-existing injury, even if you have already received payment for the initial injury itself. The answer is yes, you may still have the right to claim compensation.

This blog will help you understand and navigate the claims process for a pre-existing injury.

What does a pre-existing injury legally mean?

Western Australian (WA) legislation has allowed the definition of ‘injury’ to be applied to a broader set of circumstances. Section 5(1) of the Workers Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) defines the term injury as including:

‘The recurrence, aggravation, or acceleration of any pre-existing disease* where the employment was a contributing factor to that recurrence, aggravation or acceleration and contributed to a significant degree’.

 *Note, disease extends to any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect, or morbid condition whether of sudden or gradual development.

In determining whether the employment contributed to the recurrence, aggravation or acceleration of the injury, it must first be determined whether the worker undertook relevant employment. This extends to employment which contributed, or contributed to a significant degree, to the recurrence, aggravation or acceleration of the pre-existing injury.

To determine this, consideration must be given to:

–        The duration of employment;

–        The nature of, and particular tasks involved in, the employment;

–        The likelihood of the aggravation or acceleration occurring despite the employment;

–        The existence of any hereditary factors in relation to the aggravation or acceleration of the injury; and

–        Any matters affecting the worker’s health generally, including activities of the worker not related to the employment

We have extensive experience managing and advising on workers compensation claims. We will be able to assess your circumstances and determine if you have a claim that would qualify and, ultimately, be successful.

Do I need to lodge a new Worker’s Compensation claim?

Employers are liable to pay compensation for injuries to workers and are required by law to hold workers compensation insurance.

There are two ways you may be compensated for a pre-existing injury:

 1.     Your pre-existing injury did occur in your current place of employment or your previous place of employment and the recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, deterioration or exacerbation did occur as a result of work-related activities.

 2.     Your pre-existing injury did not occur at your current or previous place of employment, but the recurrence, aggravation, acceleration, deterioration or exacerbation did occur as a result of work-related activities.

We encourage you to reach out to us for a discussion about whether your circumstances qualify for compensation. Our experienced and professional team will provide you with practical advice based on your current situation.

How can we help?

We understand workplace injuries may be daunting and complex. You will be working directly with a Senior Lawyer supported by an experienced team. We will guide you through the workers compensation claims process in a practical and supportive way. 

We take care of the paperwork, the process, meeting deadlines and ensuring that you are receiving the right level of medical treatment. We will advise you on how best to work with your employer to effectively manage your day-to-day responsibilities.

Contact us today for an obligation-free meeting to assist in determining if you have an eligible claim and the appropriate next steps.


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