Pedestrian Settles Case For $430,000 After Being Struck By a Motor Vehicle

Published 13 Jan 2014

We acted for Mr X who was sitting on the footpath waiting for a friend to pick him up. Whilst he was sitting on the footpath another vehicle drove into him and dragged him along the road before driving off. As a result of the accident our client sustained significant injuries including a head injury, a dislocated shoulder, severe burns to the hands and legs, and severe psychological injuries.

A Personal Injury Claim Form was lodged on Mr X’s behalf and the insurance company denied the claim on the basis that there were conflicting versions from witnesses as to way in which this collision occurred.  Furthermore, Mr X was wearing dark clothing and was seated on the kerb with his legs outstretched and the insurer argued that he had caused the incident. The insurer also argued that even if the driver was negligent Mr X had contributed to the accident by wearing dark clothing which meant that he could not be seen and by sitting on the roadway. 

Because the claim was denied by the insurer proceedings had to be commenced in the District Court at Sydney.

ACTION TAKEN

The claim was commenced by way of a Statement of Claim in the District Court at Sydney and an expert was retained to prepare an opinion on liability. A dispute arose between Mr X and the insurer as to whether Mr X’s injuries were likely to exceed the 10% whole person impairment threshold. The doctors that we had arranged for Mr X had formed the view that Mr X’s injuries were greater than 10% whole person impairment. The insurer refused to agree and for that reason the dispute was referred to an independent assessor from the Motor Accidents Authority who certified that Mr X’s injuries were greater than 10% whole person impairment. The insurer attempted to lodge a review of this application and they were unsuccessful.

After the review application the insurer invited our offices to participate in a settlement conference via the telephone. After extensive negotiations with the insurer over the telephone the insurer made an offer of $430,000.00 which the barrister strongly recommended should be accepted by Mr X. Whilst Mr X believes that he was entitled to more he was not prepared to gamble such a large offer by proceeding to Court particularly as the liability aspect in this case was difficult and was strongly contested by the insurer. Accordingly, Mr X instructed our firm to accept the offer of settlement which was going to clear him the sum of $300,000.00 after all deductions. 

CONCLUSION

Given the complexity of the matter we achieved an excellent result for Mr X who did not want to risk going to Court and possibility obtaining a verdict that was less than the fairly significant offer made to him by the insurance company.

Mr X was benefitting by receiving a lump sum amount which was tax free and intended on purchasing a small business to re-start his life.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and would like advice as to whether you have a claim then please feel free to contact our accredited personal injury specialists who deal with these types of matters on a day to day basis. They will be happy to meet with you on a ‘no win/no fee’ first consultation free basis to look over your case and provide an opinion. Please contact our offices on our toll free number 1800 004 878.