The question how much compensation do you get for silicosis claims – does not of course, come with a simple answer.
Silicosis is a serious and potentially life threatening disease that is caused by prolonged exposure to silica dust. Silica is a mineral commonly found in rocks, sand, and soil. When silica particles are inhaled, they can cause scarring in the lungs, leading to silicosis. This disease is most commonly found in workers in industries such as mining, construction, and sandblasting, where exposure to silica dust is high.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of silicosis workers compensation cases in Australia, especially in New South Wales (NSW). This has led to an increase in compensation claims for silicosis. But how much compensation do you get for silicosis claims in NSW?
Silicosis Workers Compensation claims in NSW
Compensation for silicosis claims in NSW can vary depending on several factors, such as the severity of the disease, the extent of exposure, and the age of the claimant. A common law claim for negligence also means that a worker can claim for past and future economic loss, which significantly increases the potential damages that may be awarded to a claimant.
In NSW, the Workers Compensation Act 1987 provides for compensation for workers who have contracted an industrial disease, such as silicosis, as a result of their work. The compensation can cover medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation expenses and vocational re-training expenses. If the disease is sufficiently serious a worker may also be entitled to lump sum compensation. A common law claim for negligence significantly increases the range of damages that can be awarded.
There have been several reported compensation payouts for silicosis in NSW. In 2019, a former stonemason was awarded $466,000 in compensation for silicosis after working with engineered stone for over a decade. This was one of the highest compensation payouts for silicosis in NSW at the time. In 2020, a former worker at a sandblasting company was awarded $738,000 in compensation after contracting silicosis.
The factors that contributed to these high compensation payouts were the severity of the disease, the extent of exposure, and the age of the claimant. In both cases, the claimants had developed severe cases of silicosis due to prolonged exposure to silica dust. They were also relatively young, with long working lives ahead of them, which increased the potential loss of income.
Elements that impact compensation payouts for silicosis claims
To achieve the highest amount of compensation possible for silicosis claims in NSW, there are several key elements that need to be considered:
1. Early Diagnosis: It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect that you have silicosis. Early diagnosis can lead to better treatment outcomes and can also help to strengthen your compensation claim.
2. Medical Evidence: The strength of your compensation claim will depend on the medical evidence supporting your diagnosis. This includes medical reports, X-rays, CT scans, and other tests that can provide evidence of your exposure to silica dust and the extent of your disease.
3. Legal Representation: Having skilled and experienced legal representation from one of Lawpoint’s workers compensation lawyers can help to increase the likelihood of a successful compensation claim. We can guide you through the claims process and help to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. If the matter goes to court, we work very closely with the leading barrister in Australia for Dust Diseases, Spiro Tzouganatos.
4. Evidence of Exposure: It is important to provide evidence of your exposure to silica dust, such as work records, witness statements, and other documentation. This can help to strengthen your claim and increase the likelihood of a successful payout.
If you need help with your silicosis workers compensation claim, contact Lawpoint today.
Safe Work Australia also provides excellent resources on silica dust and silicosis. Learn more here.
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