Truck Driver Workers Compensation Claims receives $800,000

Published 16 Mar 2013

The Plaintiff, Our client was a truck driver employed by a trucking company. His duties were to drive his truck and pick up crates and drop off the empty pallets to his company’s base in Seven Hills.

On or about 23 April 2007, our client drove his truck onto his employer’s premises and parked the truck in the loading/unloading dock. It was dark and raining. As Our client was attempting to open the curtains on his truck one of the forklifts that was being operated on his employer’s premises, one of the unregistered forklifts that was being operated on his employer’s premises came around the bend and ran over his foot, causing him some serious injuries including a fracture of the foot.

As a result of the accident, Our client lodged a Workers Compensation claim against his employer. The Workers Compensation insurer paid him weekly benefits of compensation.

WAS OUR CLIENT ENTITLED TO ANY OTHER COMPENSATION?

Our client approached the offices of Gerard Malouf and Partners on 27 July 2007. Our client initially thought that he only had workers compensation rights as the accident occurred on his employer’s premises and the vehicle that struck him was unregistered and an uninsured vehicle. Our client was provided with advice that he could sue the Nominal Defendant on the basis that the vehicle that struck him was uninsured and unregistered. A Personal Injury Claim Form was served onto his employer and proceedings were commenced in the District Court pursuant to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act NSW 1999.

Our client was asked by the Nominal Defendant to prove that he had effected due search and enquiry. To do so, Our client made enquiries with the Union, placed an advertisement with the local newspaper, contacted his old fellow employees and queried whether they were aware of any registration number for the vehicle, contacted his old employer and made enquires with him about the registration status of forklifts in the company, commissioned investigators to take witness statements and make enquires about the worksite and the forklift in question.

After conducting all of the above, the Nominal Defendant was ultimately satisfied that Our client had adequately discharged his obligation to effect due search and enquiry.

The matter was listed for Hearing in April 2013 however; the Nominal Defendant invited the Plaintiff to attend their offices to attempt to resolve the matter informally.

CONCLUSION

Following extensive negotiations with the Defendant’s solicitors, the Plaintiff was offered the sum of $800,000.00 inclusive of his legal fees and workers compensation payback. Once those deductions were made, the Plaintiff was still extremely happy about the final result noting that the accident had substantially changed his life, he had to change his employment because of his inability to drive trucks and he had to move into a smaller house because of his inability to perform the domestic and handyman work around the home. His settlement of $800,000.00 included a component for pain and suffering, his wage loss, and his need for care around the house.

All in all we achieved an excellent result for our client.

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