Claiming Loss of Opportunity after a Serious InjuryPublished on Posted on
Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.
In serious injury applications, one of the main aspects examined is whether an injury has had an impact on a person’s lifestyle and/or work. Loss of opportunity cases generally involve younger adults, however, can also apply to older adults. We commonly see this in cases where a person is unable to perform or has lost the opportunity to work in their preferred employment because of the injury/ies he or she sustains in an accident.
To consider- What loss are you claiming as a result of the accident? What has changed in your circumstances?
Zaparas recently argued loss of opportunity in a serious injury matter involving a claim against Transport Accident Commission (TAC). Prior to the transport accident, our client was working in an industry which required heavy manual work. He had qualifications, skills and training in this area of work.
At the time of the accident our client had temporarily ceased working in this industry (where he was skilled) and was working in a different industry however, was still expected to perform heavy manual labour work.
After the accident, the claimant remained working in this industry but employed other workers to do the heavy manual work while he performed lighter duties. We claimed that our client not only lost the opportunity to work in an employment field he had training and skills for but had also lost the ability to perform heavy manual labour work. We argued that the loss of work in our clients chosen industry, one of which he had all required training and skills, had a serious effect on our client’s life given he enjoyed being active and doing physical work.
The defendant initially rejected our application on the basis that our client was in a better position and employment than he was prior to the accident.
We did not agree with this and took the matter to court. The court found in favour of our client and commended our client’s attempt to remain active and employed. The court accepted that there were restrictions now imposed on our client’s work life including his ability to perform heavy manual labour work and/or return to the previous job he had skills and training in prior to the transport accident.
Not all cases are the same
When claiming loss of opportunity, what needs to be considered is that all cases are different.
In some cases if a person did not have the skills or training for a particular job at the time of an accident, but it can be proven that they were genuinely planning to work in this employment field and acquiring the necessary skills or training to perform this job if not for the accident, then there may be grounds to show that there was a potential loss of opportunity.
It is important to seek legal advice and ensure that you share all relevant information and documentation with your lawyer. Together with other relevant information, opinions from doctors and experts, this may then enable your lawyer to consider the prospects of your case based on the information you have given.
If you feel that you have a loss of opportunity (in employment) because of an injury you sustained in a transport accident contact Zaparas Lawyers today. Our TAC team are experts in road accidents and can assist you in making a claim.