Mental Health Care and the Responsibilities of Care

What is mental health?  ‘Mental health’ is often used as a substitute for mental health conditions that affect a person’s mood, thinking and behaviour.  The signs and symptoms of a mental health condition depends on the disorder and circumstances of the person. Some examples of mental health conditions may include (but are not limited to):  Mental health conditions can cause distress, impact on day-to-day functioning and relationships.  Without appropriate mental health support or treatment, a person who suffers from mental health issues can fall victim to further issues.  Why is mental health important? Mental health is an important component for everyone. From childhood, through to adulthood, our mental health affects how we think, feel, and behave. It is also a key player in our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and impacts how we can handle stress, empathise with others, and make decisions.  Nurturing and supporting our mental health allows us to realise our full potential, cope with the stresses of life and make meaningful contributions to our community. Some people with high levels of mental health have may include:  What is duty of care in mental health services? Mental health services exist to meet the needs and preferences of people with mental health conditions as well as to assist in their mental health recovery. It is an expectation by Australian Law that people with a mental health condition receive safe and high-quality mental health support and treatment when they are unwell.  Mental health statement of rights and responsibilities The Mental health statement of rights and responsibilities provides a framework to guide policy and practice as well as inform mental health carers and those with mental health conditions.  Access to this publication is free and can be found at the Department of Health website, or simple download the pdf here – Mental health statement of rights and responsibilities. If you need help understanding the Mental health statement of rights and responsibilities document, talk to our mental health negligence lawyers today.  Our mental health negligence lawyers are happy to assist you with any concerns you might have about your duty of care as a mental health carer and can provide you with expert legal advice. How do we define mental health carers? Mental health carers are trained practitioners, peers or family who provide mental health care, supportand assistance to people who need mental health services.  Mental health carers may be the following:  Mental health carers do not include people that: Employer’s duty of care to employee’s mental health Under Australian Law, employers have a similar duty of care as mental health carers.  Understanding the risk of your employees’ mental health and psychological injuries in the workplace is a critical part of managing and promoting mental health and wellness. Employees can make mental health negligence claims against their employer if there is evidence that their employer failed to act on their concerns and complaints in the workplace. For example, bullying that led to a mental health condition or worsening of an existing mental health condition.  Setting clear policies and procedures to manage risk and complaints can help employers educate their employees and ultimately support the mental wellbeing of employees in their workforce.  Contact our workplace lawyers today for help in creating and communicating a mental health policy and procedure at your workplace to manage mental health risk and promote positive mental health.  If you are an employee who wish to give your employer notice regarding a possible negligence claim due to mental health condition, contact our office for an obligation free discussion. Reach out to our mental health negligence lawyers now for legal advice and representation on your case.

Gym Injuries

The desire to take care of our body leads many of us to the gym, the perfect place to work on our physique and health. But what happens when you end up causing yourself more harm than good? Injuries at the gym can arise from any number of situations, ranging from things like overworked muscles through to faulty equipment or an unsafe environment. If you have injured yourself at the gym, you may feel a little hesitant to go back in case something happens again. You may also feel disheartened to see your hard work being lost while you are side-lined with an injury. As such, it is something that every person who visits  the gym looks to avoid! You may also be wondering about your options if you have been injured at the gym. If you believe that your gym has failed in their duty of care to you and other visitors of the premises, you may be eligible to claim gym injury compensation. Can you Sue a Gym for Injury? When signing up for a gym, you will almost always have a written contract to sign. Gyms will often do this to protect themselves from liability in the event their members injure themselves whilst on premises, among other reasons. This, however, does not mean that you are not eligible to make a claim for compensation in the event of injury whilst in the gym. They still owe their patrons and clients a duty of care, which leaves them liable if a breach results in injury. Can you Sue a Personal Trainer for Injury? Gym negligence cases can be complicated further by the popular working arrangement that many modern gyms deploy, where personal trainers are not employed by the gym but are instead listed as contractors. In this case, the personal trainer still owes a duty of care to their clients and breaching this leaves them liable. It is similar to situations where a personal trainer that is not attached to a gym at all is responsible for you and owe you a duty of care. For example, if they run outdoor workshops or boot camps the same duty of care applies. Gym Negligence Case Examples Perhaps the most famous case of gym negligence from recent years involved the untimely death of a 15-year-old boy in a Brisbane gym in late 2017. The teenager had been attempting to bench press roughly 100 kilograms, and in failing to do so was pinned beneath the weight without being discovered for an unclear period of time. The rules of the PCYC gym in which the incident occurred state that those under the age of 16-years-old were required to be supervised when using weights equipment. Not only was the gym negligent in upholding this policy, but they were negligent with basic supervision as the teen remained trapped for an unconfirmed amount of time. Had the gym seen his predicament earlier, they may have been able to save his life. This is an extreme example of a gym failing in their duty of care for a visitor. There are numerous, more common incidents that may warrant a gym injury compensation claim. These may include a personal trainer pushing you to perform an exercise out of your means, faulty equipment that fails and causes injury or an unsafe environment that causes a preventable injury.  If you’re unsure about whether your injury would warrant a compensation claim, contact the expert team at Sinnamon Lawyers. For more information about the duty of care that you are owed in a gym, read our FAQs about accidents on private and public property.

Duty of Care in Aged Care & Nursing Homes

Duties & Responsibilities of Care Duty of care is a concept that may not be obvious to conceptualise. How far does a duty of care reach? What does it cover? The term does have a specific definition as according to The Department of Health of Australia, who outlines it in a summary as: “The principle of duty of care is that you have an obligation to avoid acts or omissions, which could be reasonably foreseen to injure or harm other people. This means that you must anticipate risks for your clients and take care to prevent them coming to harm. Remember that harm encompasses both physical and emotional harm.” From this definition, we can understand that a duty of care is the responsibility of an employer or care institution to provide a safe place where workers or residents are not placed in the way of reasonably foreseen harm. This is most relevant in the context of a traditional working environment but can also be applied to a hospital or care institution such as an aged care home. What is the Duty of Care in Aged Care? In an aged care context, the overarching duty of care concept is similar to other personal injury cases, but there are some slight differences. The Charter of Aged Care Rights outlines the rights of Aged Care and Nursing Home residents, as well as the duties and responsibilities of those tasked with the care services. All aged care providers which are Australian Government funded are required to comply with the Charter. The Charter has been formulated so that the duty of care towards Aged Care residents is clear for all of those involved, including residents and providers.  What Are Some Examples of Duty of Care in Aged Care? Some examples of the rights that those in aged care have include, but are not limited to, the following: A full list of your rights as an aged care recipient can be found here. Breaches of Duty of Care in Aged Care Breaches of the duty of care for Aged Care residents are unacceptable, and something all Aged Care providers should have zero-tolerance. However, they do happen occasionally. An example of a breach in the duty of care for an Aged Care resident could include any of the rights mentioned above. If your elderly loved one has told you of an occasion or number of occasions where their carers or nurses have left them feeling disrespected, neglected or discriminated against, call the Australian Elder Abuse hotline on 1800 ElderHelp (1800 3535 374) or contact us today. Through this hotline, you can find advice and resources to assist yourself and others. You can also provide a formal complaint through the My Aged Care website. Breaches in the duty of care in Aged Care homes take several forms and are serious offenses. If you believe your loved ones or others in an Aged Care facility are experiencing any of the above poor treatment and a duty of care has been breached, call the Australian Elder Abuse hotline or contact us today.

Lawyers Vs. Solicitor Vs. Barrister Vs. Attorney

So, you need a legal representative for some reason, but you’re not sure who you need? You’ve heard the titles lawyer, solicitor, barrister, and attorney thrown around but never needed to know who they are or what their job title entails. We are here to explore the different titles of lawyer, solicitor, barrister, and attorney and uncover what each do and who you need to talk to! What is a lawyer? “Lawyer” is probably the most common legal representative title you have heard. It is a general term used to describe a person who has studied law, completed practical legal training and has been admitted to the Supreme Court. In Australia, any lawyer practicing law or engaging in legal work must have a current practising certificate and must be insured. Most lawyers will have their practising certificate on display in their office. If you cannot see their certificate and are unsure whether they are qualified to practice law, you can ask to see it. The role of a lawyer is to listen to your problems, give you legal advice, discuss your options, take instructions on how you want to proceed with a claim and help you to understand how the law applies to your case. When you work with a lawyer, they must: If your case is taken to court, your lawyer may represent you. In Australia, lawyers can be classified as either a solicitor or a barrister. Depending on your case or legal problem, you may have to deal with a solicitor or barrister, or both. What is a solicitor? As mentioned above, “solicitors” are a specialisation of the job title of lawyer. Solicitors only need to be admitted to the Supreme Court of the state or territory they want to practice law in. You can hire a solicitor to assist you with your legal problem and they will take responsibility for the day-to-day management of your case. When you work with a solicitor, you may expect that they can: Solicitors may work in a private law firm, as a sole practice or in a Government or community sector (for example Legal Aid). What is a barrister? In contrast to a solicitor, a “barrister” is a lawyer who has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the state they want to practice in and have a practising certificate from the Bar Association in their state. Barristers act as advocates before Courts and Tribunals and work solely in Chambers rather than law firms. When a barrister is admitted to practice, they are sworn in as ‘Officers of the Court,’ in which they play a fundamental role in maintaining the law in Australia’s Government. Barristers represent people in court and can provide specialist opinions in an area of the law. If you have a complicated legal problem and are required to go to court, your solicitor will refer you to a barrister and instruct them on your case. Your solicitor and barrister may work together to represent you in court and aim to provide you with the best outcome for you. In the situation where you have a solicitor and barrister working on your case, you may expect to find the solicitor preparing your case for court and your barrister speaking for you at a court hearing. A barrister’s role may include: What is an attorney? The term ‘Attorney’ is not commonly accepted in Australia. You have probably heard attorney used in American sit-coms but in Australia, if someone mentions an attorney, they are most likely talking about a solicitor or barrister. You might be asking “is an attorney and a lawyer the same thing?” In the United States, the terms attorney and lawyer are often used interchangeably. To be a lawyer or attorney in the US means that the person has passed the bar exam and has been approved to practice law in their area of jurisdiction. So, when do I need a Solicitor or Barrister? The type of lawyer you will need will depend on your legal problem and several other factors. In most cases you will deal with a solicitor first to get legal advice and determine the best course of action for your case. If your case is taken to court, you will engage with a barrister who will legally represent you at court hearings. If you’re unsure where to start, contact Sinnamon Lawyers and we can give you advice on your case and discuss your options with you.  

Injured While Working From Home

As the Covid-19 situation continues to develop worldwide, many businesses have had to adapt to the new working conditions that are being enforced upon them. With social distancing and isolation efforts being put in place, we are seeing many workplaces opt for working from home where possible. What does this mean for your rights as a worker? How Does Working from Home Effect My Rights? In short, the new working from home arrangements do not impact your right to compensation if you are injured as a result of your employment. You are entitled to make a claim for Workers’ Compensation if your injuries came about as a result of your employment, irrespective of where it is that you are working from. Essentially, claiming Workers’ Compensation while working from home is a definite possibility but is, of course, dependent on the particulars of your case. Employer Responsibilities As always, your employer is responsible for ensuring that your working environment is suitable to work in without unnecessary danger. This includes in your own home if working from home! If your employer does not adequately consider the health and safety of its workers in this way, they can be found liable to any resulting injuries. As a result, if your employer is found to be negligent in their duty of care then you can also be entitled for a Common Law Claim. What Can I Claim Compensation For? As is the case with Workers Compensation claims when not working from home, you can claim compensation for injuries that result from your employment. This includes but is not limited to physical injuries, psychological disorders, or aggravations of pre-existing conditions. An example of an injury that may arise from working at an improper desk at home could be issues with your posture. In Queensland, your total compensation is based on a number of factors including loss of income, medical or rehabilitation expenses, loss of super, pain and suffering and more.  If you want more information about what it is you can claim Workers’ Compensation for if you’ve been injured while working at home, you can view our Workers’ Compensation page here for more information on claims.  I’ve Been Injured While Working from Home: What’s Next? The process of claiming Workers’ Compensation while working from home is very similar to if you were claiming compensation for an injury in a more normal working environment. If you have been injured while working from home, we strongly advise that you seek the advice of expert personal injury lawyers if you want to make a claim for Workers’ Compensation. This ensures that you get the most from your claim, so that you can focus on recovery. For an obligation-free assessment of your Workers’ Compensation claim, contact Sinnamon Lawyers today. There are time restrictions on claiming Workers’ Compensation, so do not hesitate to begin your claims process.

Your Rights for Workers’ Compensation

Knowing your legal rights is key to making a successful workers’ compensation claim. You could be entitled to a payout if you’ve been injured at work, but securing damages isn’t always a straightforward process. We can offer advice on this area of the law so you have the financial freedom to regain your quality of life. Workers compensation claims can be complex, but you don’t need a law degree to understand your rights. When building your case, be sure to take note of these basic entitlements. Choosing a Healthcare Provider After sustaining an injury at work, finding a doctor you can trust is an important part of the recovery process. In addition to providing you with medical treatment, your doctor may also need to verify your injuries. This is why it’s important to seek medical advice from someone you can rely on to represent your best interests. Your employer or insurer may encourage you to see a doctor of their choosing, but you have every right to decline this recommendation. In cases that rely on medical evidence, being treated by an impartial doctor can give your claim a greater chance of success. If you’ve been visiting the same GP for years, they’re probably the best person to treat your injuries. Returning to Work Once you feel ready to return to work (and have clearance from your doctor), your employer should support this process. Even if you can’t work in the exact same capacity as before, you’re still allowed to re-join the workforce. For example, if the role you performed prior to your injury involved physical labour you’re no longer capable of, your employer could reassign you to a desk job. Employers who can’t make suitable duties available need to provide a valid reason for this. Even though it usually makes good business sense for businesses to support the return of injured employees, discrimination is still common in these circumstances. If your employer fails to support your return to work, this may need to be addressed through further legal action. Appealing Your Claim If WorkCover doesn’t accept your claim, there are steps you can take to appeal this decision. WorkCover will assess your entitlement to damages based on a range of different factors, including: After reviewing your claim, WorkCover will reach a decision regarding your entitlement to damages. If you’re unhappy with their decision, you can appeal it through the Workers’ Compensation Regulator’s review process. If you’d like to learn more about your rights when making a Workers Compensation, contact Sinnamon Lawyers today.

Work Accidents: The Most Common Workplace Injuries

Workplace accidents can happen to anyone. While some professions are inherently more ‘risky’ than others (e.g. a builder is more likely than a marketing manager to get hit by a falling hammer), there’s no such thing as an injury-proof job. All industries, environments and roles come with some degree of risk – nobody is  immune to workplace injuries. Here’s a list of some of the most common workplace injuries you should be wary of. 1. Lower Back Pain This all-too-common injury affects many workers, particularly those whose job involves sitting for most or all of the day. Lower back pain is the most common cause of disability and is also one of the leading reasons for people taking time off work. To combat back pain in your workplace: 2. Impact from a Falling Object You may think falling object accidents only happen on construction sites. But if your workplace has tall shelves or high storage areas, this is a real risk for you too. If something heavy falls onto your head or your foot, this can cause a serious injury. To reduce the risk of falling objects in your workplace: 3. Fatigue We all know how dangerous fatigue can be for drivers. However, we often overlook how risky this can be in the workplace. Over-exerting yourself can lead to sprains and serious injuries, especially if your work is physically demanding (e.g. heavy lifting or using manual machinery). To fight fatigue in your workplace: 4. Mental Health Problems Workplace fatigue doesn’t just put you at risk of physical strains; it can also lead to mental health concerns like stress and anxiety. Whether there’s already an underlying condition or not, factors like long hours and difficult colleagues can lead to negative consequences for your emotional wellbeing. To reduce the chances of mental health problems in your workplace: 5. Trips and Falls Tripping and falling is an accident that really can happen in any workplace – and it does. Quite often. All it takes is an out-of-place cable or an unsigned spill to leave a worker with cuts, bruises, sprains, or worse. The injury sustained can be even more severe if you fall from a height (e.g. down a flight of stairs or off a piece of scaffolding). To lower the risk of trips and falls in your workplace: 6. Injuries from Repetition Doing the same thing for hours on end can lead to severe strains on your body. This can include obvious things like using a jackhammer for too long, but it also applies to looking at a computer screen for an unreasonable length of time. To combat the risk of repetition-caused injuries: Your workplace is statistically one of the most likely places for you to sustain an injury – even just based on how much of your time you spend there. So it makes sense to take all possible precautions to keep yourself and your colleagues safe from these common workplace injuries. If you have had an injury at work, contact Sinnamon Lawyers today for personalised advice. 

What you need to know: Motor Vehicle Accidents

It’s important to know what to do in any emergency situation (particularly one with legal implications) but too often, it’s difficult to understand what your rights & obligations actually are. We’ve tried to simplify this and put it in layman’s terms for you in our “What you need to know” series which kicks off with Motor Vehicle Accidents. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there are a few things you need to do at the scene of the accident whether the accident was your fault or not: Once you leave the scene of the accident, there are a few more things you’ll have to do: Some useful phone numbers: We hope this has helped clarify things for you when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. If you have more questions about motor accidents, we have explored 6 FAQs on our blog. Of course, this is a fairly complicated area of law and we recommend seeking professional advice when attempting to make claims. Sinnamon Lawyers specialise in motor vehicle accidents and are ready to help you.

What To Do Immediately After An Accident

There is some very important information that you need to collect, following an accident. That information includes the following: With this and some other information you are able to provide notification to the compulsory third party insurer of your claim and begin the process of claiming damages for you. Claiming for Damages You are able to claim damages including; Many people are unaware of their right to claim future economic loss. We would encourage you to educate yourself on the facts should you be involved in a car accident. Visit the section of our website about compensation claims from motor vehicle accidents and feel free to contact us for an obligation free consultation about your claim.

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