Day: April 26, 2023

Injured Off Road? What are My Rights?

In the context of off-road motorcycling or driving, an accident does not necessarily have to occur on a public road in order for you to be eligible to receive compensation.  For example, if you are injured whilst riding or driving a Victorian registered motorcycle or car on private land you may be entitled to receive compensation as a result of your injuries.

It is also important to consider what is public land.  Public land may include privately owned land, including by government, when the land is open to members of the public.  For example, when the land is readily accessible as there have not been adequate attempts made to prevent access to an area (i.e. inadequate fencing/gates and/or inadequate attempts to stop vehicles from being ridden or driven in the area).

In some circumstances you may be entitled to compensation even if the motorcycle or car you were riding or driving is unregistered.  However, the nature of the vehicle will need to be considered, i.e. whether the vehicle is capable of being registered.  Factors that will be considered include, whether the vehicle is used (actual usage) on public land or is intended to be used (having regard for the nature of the vehicle in question) on public land. While past cases are useful, each case will turn on its own facts.

The scheme surrounding transport accidents and your entitlements is complex and there are strict time limits that apply.  It is important that you get appropriate legal advice from the outset to ensure that your rights are protected.

We can help you navigate the scheme, maximise your entitlements and make the decisions that are right for your future.

If you have a query, please do not hesitate to contact our expert Transport Accident Team for a no obligation chat.

I’ve hurt my back at work – what should I do?

If you have suffered an injury to your back at work, you might be able to make a claim for compensation.

You may have suffered a back injury in the course of your employment due to heavy lifting, a slip and fall, or unsafe work practices generally. Your work may require repetitive movements such as lifting and bending, placing strain on your back by way of gradual process over the course of many years. Ultimately, there is a long list of possible work-related causes and it is important to remember that your injury does not necessarily need to have occurred as a consequence of a single incident.

As a first step, it is important that you report your injury to your employer as soon as possible and ensure a WorkCover claim is formally lodged with your employer within 30 days of you becoming aware of the injury.

Am I entitled to the cost of medical expenses for my back injury?

The simple answer is yes. If your back injury is accepted as being worked related and you require treatment, the WorkCover agent is obligated to fund the cost, so long as the proposed treatment is both reasonable and necessary. Often, it can be necessary for your treating Doctor to justify the treatment to the Workcover agent.

Of course, a back injury, whether niggling or traumatic – can be difficult to shake. You should discuss any proposed treatment options with your general practitioner as soon as possible following your back injury.

Once you have agreed upon a necessary treatment regime, your GP should be asked to write to the WorkCover insurer for funding approval.

Am I entitled to lost wages for my back injury?

Following acceptance of your claim, if you have a reduced capacity to perform your pre injury duties as a consequence of your work related back injury, you are entitled to weekly payments of compensation from WorkCover.

To demonstrate a reduced or total incapacity, you will be required to obtain regular certificates of capacity from a treating practitioner.

For the first 13 weeks, weekly payments are payable at the rate of 95% of your pre injury average weekly earnings (‘PIAWE’). After 13 weeks, you are entitled to 80% of your PIAWE. Unfortunately, overtime and shift allowances are included in your PIAWE for the first 52 weeks only.

Am I entitled to lump sum compensation for my back injury?


In some circumstances, where you have failed to fully recover from your back injury, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation.

Once your back injury has substantially stabilised, in the sense it is unlikely to significantly improve or deteriorate, you may be able lodge a claim for permanent impairment benefits. If your permanent impairment satisfies the necessary threshold, you may be entitled to a lump sum. You are not required to prove that your employer was at fault in causing your back injury, to be entitled to an impairment benefit.

Further, if you have suffered a ‘serious injury’, and you are able to prove that your employer or a third party was negligent in causing your injury, you may be entitled to common law damages. Damages may be payable to compensate you for pain and suffering as well as loss of earning capacity.

Subject to a range of circumstances, damages at common law can be significant.

How we can help

 The claims process can be quite complicated.  As soon as you become aware that you have sustained a back injury at work, you should get in contact with our team of  workers compensation lawyers for expert advice. We can guide you through the process on a no win no fee basis.

The earlier that an expert lawyer is engaged, the sooner we are able to understand and build your case. This will help to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

For a no obligation free chat, please call us on 1300 020 618.




The perpetrator has been convicted, now what?

If you have been injured as a result of a crime, you may be entitled to substantial lump sum compensation. This could include a claim against the perpetrator and/or the institution who failed to protect you from the crime.

If the perpetrator has either pleaded guilty or been found guilty of a crime, you can make an application under the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) to claim compensation from the perpetrator, for the harm caused to you or your family.

This includes all crimes that cause you physical or psychological harm, including:

  • Sexual assault
  • Assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Family violence
  • Murder, manslaughter or other crimes causing the death of a loved one.

What compensation can I claim?

In a Sentencing Act application, the courts can order that the perpetrator pay you compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering as a direct result of the offence
  • Reasonable counselling and medical expenses
  • Expenses actually and reasonably incurred or reasonably likely to be incurred

The perpetrator must have enough assets or the financial means to pay you compensation to make a Sentencing Act application viable. Prosecutors can also apply for a restraining order that limits the ability of the perpetrator to deal with their assets, to stop them from depleting their financial resources.

It is important to seek expert advice from a personal injury lawyer early, as you only have 12 months from the date of the conviction or guilty plea to make a Sentencing Act application.

What if the perpetrator wasn’t convicted?

If the perpetrator was not convicted, you cannot make a Sentencing Act application, but you may still be able to recover substantial compensation for your injuries.

You can still sue the perpetrator for common law damages, as the standard of proof is much lower in civil cases – you only need to prove the crime occurred and caused you injury on the balance of probabilities (that it was more likely than not), as opposed to the higher test of beyond reasonable doubt in criminal cases.

You can also sue the relevant institution for common law damages for failing to protect you from the perpetrator. These institutions can include schools, religious organisations, orphanages, sporting groups, hospitals, medical facilities, prisons, juvenile justice facilities and other government and non -government organisations.

Will a Sentencing Act application impact my other compensation entitlements?

Bringing a Sentencing Act application does not stop you from being able to sue for common law damages from the perpetrator and/or the institution that was responsible for the abuse. A Sentencing Act application also does not stop you from making a National Redress Scheme application.

What support services are available?

If you have been affected by abuse, you can contact the following organisations for support:

If you would like to have a confidential chat with our expert lawyers, please contact your local team at Fortitude Legal who will handle your enquiry sensitively, discretely and confidentially.