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29.3 Legal Actions for Injuries under 1971 and 1930 Acts
Under the 1971 and 1930 Acts, actions against third parties where successful, also affected compensation entitlements but to a different degree.
- Where the employee recovered all of the amount sought (i.e. the court did not discount the damages awarded for any contributory negligence by the employee) liability to pay any compensation under the Act ceased and only resumed after the employee demonstrated with receipts etc. that all of the amount awarded by the court had subsequently been disbursed in injury-related expenses (i.e. medical treatment, aids and appliances, lost wages etc.).
- Where the courts discounted the amount awarded because of the employee's contributory negligence, the Commonwealth is still liable to pay compensation, but each payment is to be reduced in the same proportion as the court's discount for negligence. For instance if the court determined damages but then discounted these by (say) 3 — 0%, the Commonwealth is only liable to pay 30% of the compensation which would have been otherwise payable (i.e. if not for the award by the court). Furthermore, this partial or restricted liability continues in force until the client can demonstrate that the amount actually received from the court has actually been disbursed in injury related expenses (i.e. medical treatment, aids and appliances, lost wages etc.).