Workplace incident at Barangaroo – Nervous Shock Claim
Lawyers have represented vast numbers of plaintiffs in successful nervous shock claims pursuant to the NSW Civil Liability Act 2002 since its inception.
Nervous shock claims can be brought by persons who have witnessed, at the scene, a victim being killed, injured or put in peril if it is accepted by the Court that they have genuine psychiatric illness arising from a circumstance that the defendant ought to have foreseen to be capable of causing a person of normal fortitude to suffer a recognisable psychiatric illness if reasonable care were not taken.
If a genuine psychiatric injury is suffered by a close member of the family of the victim who was killed, injured or put in peril, they need not have witnessed, at the scene, the relevant event.
The Civil Liability Act defines a “close member of the family” of a victim to include a parent of the victim or other persons with parental responsibility for the victim, or the spousal partner of the victim, or a child or step-child of the victim or any other person for whom the victim who has parental responsibility. The definition extends to siblings, half-brothers or half-sisters, step-brothers and step-sisters.
A “spouse or partner” is defined as a husband or wife or a defacto partner.
The Diagnostic Statistic of Psychiatric Injuries is used by qualified psychiatrists to report to the Courts on behalf of parties to litigation in relation to the effect that a particular event has had upon any witness to an event causing psychiatric injury.
Strict time limits apply in relation to bringing a claim for damages for personal injury, including psychiatric injury, pursuant to the Civil Liability Act. A three year limitation period is imposed in relation to commencement of court proceedings, which runs from the date of the relevant event.
It is expected that in relation to the unfortunate death of an innocent worker at Barangaroo in March 2017, there will be a coronial inquest that will shed light upon the circumstances that led to the death.
The findings of a coroner should not be pre-empted.
Any persons who have witnessed, and been psychologically affected by the unfortunate incident at Barangaroo are advised to consult medical practitioners for appropriate treatment.
Claims for damages for pure mental harm or nervous shock should only be brought by individuals who have suffered very significant psychological injury as a result of a particular event. The court process usually endures for beyond 18 months if matters are incapable of settlement.
The Civil Liability Act is designed to provide appropriate compensation to persons with significant injuries that negatively impact upon their ability to earn an income and which give rise to significant medical expenses.
The Courts, quite rightly, do not readily entertain cases that do not involve genuine psychiatric injury, as was intended by the legislators when the Civil Liability Act NSW 2002 was enacted.
BPC Lawyers have acted for injured plaintiffs for in excess of 35 years.
If you or one of your loved ones is affected by psychiatric injury which remains unresolved despite medical treatment, please contact one of our accredited specialists in personal injury law in NSW for a free initial consultation.
BPC Lawyers act in nervous shock claims on a “no win/no fee” basis.
In cases involving serious injury or death, there will usually be a coronial inquest following police investigations and WorkCover/WorkSafe investigations.
BPC Lawyers have assisted family members to protect their compensation rights by appearing in numerous coronial inquests, including those involving construction site accidents and deaths.
BPC Lawyers take very seriously their duty to only bring cases on behalf of persons in circumstances where there is at the very least, a reasonable prospect of success, which is consistent with our obligations pursuant to the Legal Profession Uniform Law.