MOTORCYCLE CRASH VICTIM PAID A LARGE COMPENSATION PAYOUT
Published 24 Apr 2013
We recently obtained an outstanding result in a matter that appeared to have little chances of success.
Our client was riding his motorcycle in Blacktown when he collided with a Motor Vehicle crossing his lane to access a side street. As a result of the accident our client suffered a broken leg, a soft tissue injury to his back and motorcycle was written off.
The driver of the motor vehicle at fault had compulsory third party insurance but no third property insurance.
We initially represented our client in the Local Court in a claim for property damages related to his motorcycle. We were successful on that occasion and recovered the full cost of the motorcycle from the driver.
We then represented our client in the Motor Vehicle Accident claim with respect to the injuries suffered by him in the collision. The CTP Insurer denied liability and we commenced proceedings in the District Court of NSW.
Prior to his accident, our client was an apprentice electrician and a security guard. As a result of the accident, our client was off work for 4-6 months and then he gradually returned work selling electrical components first and resuming his studies later.
The CTP Insurer’s solicitors argued the issue of liability stating that our client was partly liable for the accident and alleged that our client’s speed was over the limit. The CTP Insurer’s solicitors also argued that the economic loss claim was too high for a student.
We countered those arguments by obtaining reliable evidence and an expert report on the accident reconstruction that clearly supported our clients claim. We also showed that notwithstanding his young age, our client had a good employment record and would have been able to earn significant income.
Our client’s medical assessment showed that he’s compensable injuries did not cause him to suffer whole person impairment in excess of 10%. Accordingly, our client was not entitled to make a claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life in this matter.
After commencing proceedings in the District Court of NSW, we served the Defendant’s with all the evidence in support of our client’s case and arranged for a Informal Settlement Conference to be held at the Defendant’s solicitors offices in Sydney.
Our compensation lawyers attended the Informal Settlement Conference, with our client and a barrister specialised in Motor Vehicle Accident claims. After a lengthy negotiation which went for several hours, we were able to settle our client’s claim for an amount of $200,000.
During the course of the negotiation, the Insurer lawyers revealed that they obtained the criminal record of our client and that he was charged with assault and convicted of other misdemeanours. In this case we were able to argue that those findings had no relevance with the case at hand. However, it is important a claimant to bare in mind that insurers often access claimant’s criminal background and use it to undermine claims.
In the circumstances, we were successful in countering this argument and secure a good outcome for our client but claimants should always disclose their criminal records to their lawyers so that a counter-argument can be prepared in advance.