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Legal Update

Injured worker wins compensation for loss of teeth and dentures

Furniture retail employee Ms. Figallo was struck on the jawbone by a table she was carrying as she moved through a showroom door one day at work, causing significant injury to her jaw including loss of teeth. She lodged a claim for workplace injury, and this was accepted by Return to Work SA (RTWSA).
However, as a result of her injuries Ms. Figallo required dentures to her lower jaw and these dentures continued to cause her difficulty when she spoke or chewed, causing her discomfort and embarrassment. Ms. Figallo was assessed for her remaining impairment but RTWSA rejected the claim for compensation, despite the clearly sustained permanent impairment that she suffered due to an injury at work. Upset at the lack of support received, Ms. Figallo sought assistance from Mahony’s Lawyers about obtaining a lump sum for permanent impairment. Mahony’s Lawyers lodged an appeal in the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) and argued that the decision RTWSA made was wrong and that Ms. Figallo was entitled to compensation for permanent injury to her teeth.
Mahony’s Lawyers argued that if an injured worker loses teeth and requires dentures, when someone assesses the damage of the injury, they must include any damage from the dentures within this assessment.
Mahony’s Lawyers argument was accepted by SAET and Ms Figallo was awarded compensation for her ongoing injuries. If Ms Figallo did not seek expert legal advice on her entitlements, she would not have been granted compensation.
Competent legal advice can be vital to the success of your claim, and if you should have a similar experience to Ms. Figallo, it is recommended that you seek swift legal advice.

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