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Employer's liability for workers' compensation
Under workers' compensation legislation in most States, the employer's liability to pay weekly compensation (periodic payments) for total or partial incapacity for work can be redeemed in certain circumstances by the payment of a lump sum.
Workers' compensation – 'schedule payments'
Where a permanent disability results from an accident, State legislation may make 'schedule payments'. Schedules or tables of specified injuries and losses of faculties can be useful where it is necessary to identify what portion of a lump sum is in respect of lost earnings or lost capacity to earn.
Workers' compensation – 'pain and suffering payments'
Some States also have provision for 'pain and suffering' payments within the statutory scheme. These payments are:
- excluded from the value of the lump sum in cases where it is necessary to identify what portion of a lump sum is in respect of lost earnings or lost capacity to earn, and
- the 50% rule does not apply.
Workers' compensation - employer negligent
Where an employer is alleged to have been negligent, a person may also seek damages at common law as well as pursue his or her rights to workers' compensation. If the common law case is settled in the claimant's favour, the amount of compensation to be assessed under the compensation recovery provisions is the amount of the damages payment, less any repaid periodic workers' compensation payments.