Ms C Motor Vehicle Accident Claim for Compensation

Published 21 Oct 2010

Ms C suffered from nervous shock arising from the death of her mother in a horrific motor vehicle accident. On the 7th February 2009 Ms C received a phone call from her aunt that a vehicle collided with her Mum’s car. A vehicle had crossed into the incorrect side of the road and impacted heavily with her Mum’s white Honda Civic.

Ms C suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, shock, depression, difficulty sleeping and loss of motivation. The treatment she requires is psychologist care.

GMP received instructions from Ms C on the 31st March 2009. She was advised that she had entitlements to make a claim on the death of her mother because she was a direct relative of her late mother and because she had sustained a psychological disorder.  GMP assisted the client with completing a personal injury claim form, obtaining a medical certificate and lodging the claim with the relevant CTP insurer (QBE).

It was explained to Ms C that her entitlements emanated from Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1944 (NSW), s 4(1) which “gives an action to family members (spouses including defacto, parents, children) to recover for nervous shock where another family member has been killed, injured or put in peril. This liability is limited to circumstances where the shock was sustained following exposure to the actual sight or sound of the accident”.

GMP handled all correspondence with QBE’s CTP claims department. The CTP insurer promptly accepted liability (for the vehicle considered at fault for the accident) upon lodgement of our claim.

In order to try and handle the matter in a prompt manner Garbis Kolokossian (Solicitor) from GMP made sure all relevant particulars had been obtained from the client in a proficient and time effective manner.

Upon obtaining all relevant particulars and doing his best to investigate the nature of the injuries suffered by Ms C GMP organised for the client to be assessed by a doctor (psychiatrist) on the 23 February 2010. The client’s injuries were assessed as exceeding the requisite 10% whole person impairment as required under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act to entitle her to receive an award of non-economic loss.

Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 - s131 indicates that “No damages may be awarded for non-economic loss unless the degree of permanent impairment of the injured person as a result of the injury caused by the motor accident is greater than 10%”.

Ms C’s solicitor made our client position very clear to the CTP Insurer from the beginning. The report that had been obtained was being relied upon and due to the fact that the CTP Insurer did not want to accept the degree of impairment as provided in the medical report provided to GMP the solicitor lodged the matter with the Motor Accidents Authority to have our client injuries assessed by an independent Medical Assessor.

GMP lodged an application with the Motor Accidents Authority (MAS) on 7/4/2010. It was no surprise that CC Assessment surpassed that 10% Whole Person Impairment threshold and gave CC an entitlement under the Motor Accident Legislation for compensation for non economic loss (pain and suffering).

Upon receiving the Assessment from the Motor Accident Authority, a teleconference was organised between the solicitor and CC and it was explained to CC that the main heads of Damages claimed are:

  • Non Economic Loss
  • Past Treatment Expenses (Past Out of Pocket Expenses)
  • Future Treatment Expenses (Future Out of Pocket Expenses)
  • Past Economic Loss
  • Future Economic Loss
  • Past Superannuation Loss
  • Future Superannuation Loss
  • Past Gratuitous Care
  • Future Gratuitous Care
  • Past Paid Care
  • Future Paid Care

During that conference, thorough Submissions were drafted and the matter was being prepared.

CC was a client who as a result of her psychiatric condition, could return to work however would continuously suffer from mood swings, loss of memory and an overall reduced competitiveness in the open labour market.

As the culture of this firm goes, an Informal Settlement Conference was organised between the Solicitor and the CTP Insurer and fierce negotiations commenced. These negotiations lasted the most part of the day at which point the client was informed that an offer of $240,000.00 was made.

The client (Ms C) was ecstatic. She merely wanted a result that left her anything between $50,000.00 - $100,000.00 and appreciated the extra effort that her Solicitor Garbis Kolokossian who consulted with the team leader Mr Ray Abbas (Senior Associate and Accredited Law Specialist) had gone to obtain the best possible result in the shortest possible time.

The solicitor from the firm was able to keep fees down and move the file quickly due to his capacity to understand complex legal issues, identify problems and address them. The solicitor had not briefed a Barrister which was also able to save the client between 10,000.00 – 15,000.00 in extra disbursements.  An overall GREAT result.