Life changing accident

LIFE CHANGING: Jake Rowbotham and Nowra lawyer David Nagle fear proposed changes to workers’ compensation will lead to less coverage for employees.WHEN 20-year-old Jake Rowbotham’s foot was crushed by an unrestrained 1000kg concrete block that fell from a forklift, his future was forever changed.The North Nowra resident was building a shed at Manildra when the accident occurred.Medical specialists have told the apprentice carpenter to find a new line of work as his ankle will eventually need to be fused, rendering it a solid mass.Slater & Gordon lawyer David Nagle, who is representing Mr Rowbotham, took the apprentice’s case to the NSW parliamentary inquiry into workers’ compensation.“In NSW someone with similar injuries to Jake could be awarded an $11,000 lump sum payment.“In Victoria or Queensland a person crippled with a similar injury can receive more than $500,000,” Mr Nagle said.Mr Nagle said if the proposed changes were passed, someone with injuries like Mr Rowbotham would be awarded no compensation.Mr Rowbotham left school in year 10 to begin a pre-apprenticeship course to pursue his dream of owning a carpentry business.“One day I’m going to work and looking forward to finishing my apprenticeship and, with a bit of luck, running my own business.“Now, because of the accident, all I can do is basic work and will never be able to work full time as a carpenter.“My foot has plates, wires, 16 screws and my second toe was sheared in half.“Every day I’m in pain, the only time I get a break from it is in my sleep.”Proposed changes include:• Removal of coverage for workers injured travelling to and from work.• Time caps on weekly income benefits of no less than five years for less seriously injured workers.• Removal of pain and suffering as a separate category of compensation.• Increasing the threshold for permanent impairment lump sum payments from the current one to 10 per cent whole person impairment up to at least 15 per cent.• Abolishing the entitlement of dependence of deceased or injured workers to make nervous shock claims.• Excluding strokes and heart attack unless work is a significant contributor.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.