Sometimes due to bad luck, or a combination of factors outside of our control, we may end up being involved in an accident with more serious and permanent consequences. Not only do you have the trauma and shock of the accident to cope with, the road to recovery can be a long one, placing additional stress on you and your family.
Nobody wakes up in the morning expecting the worst to happen, especially when your injury could have been caused by someone or something outside of your control.
Anyone who has been involved in a car accident as a passenger or a driver knows how frightening an experience it is. Time slows down for the split second before impact, then snaps back to real-time with the sound of the impact, broken glass, and the explosion of airbags deploying.
Seatbelt pre-tensioners and advancements in passive and active car safety have dramatically reduced the risk of injury, however the forces involved in a serious accident are huge, and those can take a toll on our neck and spine, resulting in serious injuries.
HANS devices (Head And Neck Support)
Head and neck support devices are now common place, and often compulsory in many forms of motorsport. Our spine is made up from 33 separate vertebrae and when we’re subject to the forces of a car crash this places tremendous strain on our back and neck. The HANS device limits the movement of the driver’s head and neck if they are involved in an accident. Unfortunately, it’s not practical for us to drive around with a HANS device just in case we’re unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident.
Whiplash is a common injury to the neck caused by hyperextension or rapid back and forth motion of the head. The jerking motion strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck and may cause the discs to bulge. Whiplash can lead to headaches, stiff muscles, or neck pain. It is important that a doctor examine a spine injury carefully. Whiplash is different to a spinal fracture or spinal cord injury and the symptoms usually improve with conservative treatment.
When the ligaments and/or discs connecting two vertebrae together are stretched or torn, the bones may come out of alignment. For example, when the rapid forward motion of the upper body against a seat belt pulls apart the vertebra and stretches the ligaments. A dislocated vertebra can cause instability and spinal cord compression. They usually require stabilisation surgery or a brace.
Spinal fractures occur when bone is broken and the ligaments are torn. These fractures are usually unstable, tend to be very debilitating, and often require surgery and ongoing rehabilitation.
Motorcycle and Bicycle Accidents
As a motorbike rider or cyclist the sad fact is that if you are involved in a road-related accident there’s a very high chance that you will come off worse. Whilst insurance may cover some or all of your loss due to the damage to your motorbike or cycle, it may not cover your consequential losses, or compensate you for time off work or your reduced earning capacity.
Journey-to-Work Incidents and WorkCover Claims
It’s worth noting that if you are injured in a road incident as part of your journey to and from work, or during work hours you maybe entitled to make a WorkCover claim:
“If you are injured on a journey between your home and place of employment, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. This may include if you:
- are injured while on a journey between your home or workplace and a place of trade or training, which you were required to do as part of your work
- have an existing WorkCover claim, which required you to go from your home or workplace to a place for medical or rehabilitation treatment when you experienced an accident that caused further injury
- were travelling between employment with one employer and employment with another employer.” 1
Slips, Trips and Falls
While car and road incidents make up 45% of all spinal injuries, 20% of serious back injuries are due to slips, trips and falls.
If you are unlucky enough to have suffered a serious back injury at work it is unlikely that you will be able to return to work. Whilst you may have accrued sick leave under your relevant award, this will be dependent on how long you have been with your current employer, and how much sick leave you have taken prior to the incident.
If your ability to work or your earning capacity has been reduced due to a serious injury, you may be entitled to make a claim under your superannuation fund, also known as a TPD claim.
Compensation for Temporary and Permanent Disability (TPD)
A TPD claim entitles you to the payment of a lump sum if you have suffered an illness or injury that prevents you from returning to work in the same capacity as before.
Successful TPD claims in Brisbane can be substantial and may help to ease the financial burden on you or your family during the difficult time that follows injury, illness and disability.
TPD Claims Process – Get Expert Advice
Pursuing a TPD claim can be a complex and lengthy process. If not lodged correctly, claims on superannuation insurance quite often get rejected and this can bring about more stress during a time when you least need it. At Splatt Lawyers, we’re here to help. Our TPD claim lawyers are experts in their field and highly experienced at making successful TPD claims. We can help you understand the benefits you’re entitled to, guide you through the TPD claims process and advise you on what to do if your claim has been denied or delayed.
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