$900,000 car accident compensation claim dismissed – why?

Date: Oct 17, 2017

A motor vehicle compensation case and appeal came to a close earlier this month when the judge ruled in favour of the defendant. 

In the case of El-Mohamad v Celenk, the plaintiff – Ms Abir El-Mohamad – was rear-ended in 2010 in by the defendent, Ms Aydan Celenk. From this accident, she claims she suffered 19 separate continuing disabilities and therefore sought damages in excess of $900,000.

However, the plaintiff had been in another accident in 2009 – one in which she also filed a claim for damages that she ultimately withdrew. The question then became whether the injuries Ms El-Mohamad suffered were as a result of the 2009 accident or the 2010 one. 

Due to insufficient evidence provided by the plaintiff that the injuries were caused by the collision with Ms Celenk, the judge dismissed the proceedings.

Ms El-Mohamad appeals 

The plaintiff appealed this decision on eight separate grounds, most notably that the judge failed to give adequate reasoning for his decision. During the following appeal proceedings, the trial judge stood by the previous decision, claiming that there was conflicting evidence (or lack thereof) regarding the nature of the collision and Ms El-Mohamad's previous injury.

There was some dispute over what transpired on the day of the accident – the plaintiff claims that the defendant hit her car at full speed. The defendant, on the other hand, argues that the accident was not severe, and the cars were hardly damaged. This is supported by photographs of the vehicles and the fact that the plaintiff neglected to give detail regarding the specific damages when she made the claim.

The plaintiff's credibility was also called into question during the proceedings. Medical records show that the injuries Ms El-Mohamad sustained in the 2009 accident are the same ones about which she had been complaining to doctors after the 2010 collision. The plaintiff, however, argues that her earlier injuries were exacerbated by the more recent accident.

Ultimately, the judge ruled in favour of the defendant, saying he was "not satisfied that any disability or pain resulted from the minor collision [with Ms Celenk]."

What are the takeaways?

This case highlights the importance of solid and comprehensive evidence in motor vehicle compensation claims cases. The plaintiff lost the case because she provided conflicting evidence regarding her medical history, the severity of her injuries and the accident itself.

If you've been injured in a car accident, it pays to have a qualified and experienced team of motor vehicle accident lawyers on your side. Please contact a member of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for more information.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts or email your enquiry.