Pedestrian Wins $225,000.00 after being struck by a car whilst crossing on a green walk signal

Published 06 Nov 2012

Mr F was involved in a car accident on 19 August 2010.

On that day, it was bright and sunny and at about 10:00 am he was attempting to cross the intersection at the Boulevard in Punchbowl. He waited on the traffic light until the signal turned green indicating to him that he could cross. As he was nearing the other side of the road the Defendant failed to stop and collided into his left side, knocking him to the ground.

As a result of the collision, Mr F suffered injuries to his right shoulder, right eye, neck and right leg. He also had bruising on his left side due to the impact with the motor vehicle.

An Ambulance was called and he was conveyed by Ambulance to hospital where his injuries were investigated and he was discharged the same day.

The next day he saw his family doctor and complained about headaches, dizziness, sore neck, nausea, pain in the right shoulder and pains the knee. The family doctor referred Mr F to have further investigations which revealed that he did not suffer from any significant abnormality. Despite that, his pain persisted and he had physiotherapy treatment which relieved some of his symptoms.

After regular physiotherapy his physical symptoms settled however, his psychological symptoms continued to cause him grief. As a result, he was referred by his general practitioner to a psychiatrist who was familiar with his condition as he had suffered from pre-existing psychological problems that were unrelated to the accident. The psychiatrist treated him for his injuries and prescribed anti-depressant medication.

CLAIMS PROCESS

Because his injuries did not improve, Mr F contacted the offices of Gerard Malouf and Partners on 2 September 2010. He was given a blank Personal Injury Claim Form and the Medical Certificate which he took to his General Practitioner to complete. He then returned the documents to our offices and they were lodged with NRMA Insurance Australia Limited within the six (6) month period. Mr F was advised that he had six months to lodge the claim and that the accident should be reported to Police. All of those elements were complied with and the claim was registered by NRMA Insurance Australia Limited who eventually accepted liability but alleged that Mr F contributed to the accident to the extent of 20%.

Medical appointments were arranged for Mr F with an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon, Psychiatrist, Ophthalmologist and an Occupational Therapist. Each of these medical reports was used for the following reasons:-

a.            To ascertain whether Mr F’s injuries were greater than 10% Whole Person Impairment

b.            To ascertain the exact need for future treatment

c.            To ascertain the exact need for future care

d.            To ascertain whether the injuries were likely to continue to effect Mr F’s ability to return to employment

Upon receipt of the medical reports, a conference was arranged with Mr F and particulars provided in response to a list of questions that were sent by NRMA Insurance Australia Limited. Also, an offer of settlement was formulated and submitted to NRMA Insurance Australia Limited for their consideration.

A dispute arose between the parties as to whether Mr F’s injuries would exceed the 10% Whole Person Impairment threshold. The medical reports obtained by Gerard Malouf and Partners provided an opinion that Mr F’s were greater than 10% Whole Person Impairment.

NRMA Insurance Australia Limited refused to accept that Mr F’s injuries were greater than 10% and as such a dispute arose which could only be resolved by the Motor Accidents Authority. A MAS 2A Application for Permanent Impairment was made and lodged with the Motor Accidents Authority, Medical Assessment Service (MAS) who arranged independent medical examinations for Mr F with a number of doctors. Mr F attended an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon, Ophthalmologist, ENT Specialist and a psychiatrist. He was assessed as having 7% Whole Person Impairment as a result of his right shoulder injury and 5% Whole Person Impairment as a result of his loss of smell and taste. The combination of these two impairments came to 12% Whole Person Impairment. Because the client’s injuries were assessed as being greater than 10% Whole Person Impairment he was entitled to non economic loss.

CONCLUSION

A settlement conference was arranged with NRMA Insurance Australia Limited at their offices at 388 George Street Sydney. After settlement discussions, the claim settled for $225,000.00 inclusive of legal costs. The settlement covered the client’s damages including damages for pain and suffering, past and future treatment expenses, past and future domestic care and past and future wage loss.

We achieved an excellent result for our client and he was happy with the result and our professional expert service.

We are highly specialised and focused lawyers with our law firm being small enough to care intimately for our clients but large enough to have the solid financial, medical and expert resources our clients need to match the big insurers we fight everyday.