A night out to dinner, results in severed finger but significant compensation payout

Published 02 Sep 2014

Tim was a young man who had gone out to dinner with family members in Sydney and had, after dinner, decided with his brothers to go to a nightclub.

As they were getting into a cab they pulled up on the side of a one-way street in the CBD area. Tim had opened the door and as he was getting into the back seat. A van travelling in the same direction failed to keep a clear distance and struck the door of the taxi and as a result significant injury suffered to the tip of his finger which in fact was severed. 

Tim was immediately taken to hospital with the severed portion of his finger and fortunately microsurgery was able to replace the tip of the finger. Of course he lost significant feeling and movement but after extensive physiotherapy and treatment he regained almost 95% of movement in the finger.

Tim was a very fortunate young man and was able to continue his studies and get on to full-time work although he would always have the legacy of the injury and the slight disfigurement as a reminder of the accident.

The insurers role in this was from the very outset to play a very” hard ball” position. They denied the claim on the basis that they said that their driver was driving along and that Tim in fact open the door in a dangerous situation and was not keeping a proper lookout. We at the very start advised Tim that we believe that he had strong prospects of succeeding without any discount.

Tim’s trust and faith in GMP and the senior solicitor Reg Kolokossian was in the end rewarded with a very favourable settlement result.

Of course we obtained medical evidence to support the history of the injury and the extent of any ongoing level of impairment. Once the insurer denied the claim we immediately were on the front foot and commenced court proceedings. We obtained all the relevant clinical and hospital records as well as records confirming Tim’s   earnings and wage loss due to the time of that he had because of the injury.

The insurers in due course instructed solicitors to act on their behalf. The solicitors were well aware of our firm approach to the claim and the fact that we were not prepared to compromise our clients claim under any circumstances. They agreed to participate in a settlement conference. Extensive submissions were prepared by the writer with regards to showing the true value of the claim. Tim’s injuries were   assessed under the motor accident compensation act and his level of impairment did not exceed the 10% threshold. We successfully argued that his claim was still very valuable and notwithstanding the fact that he was not incurring any ongoing loss the matter settled for a remarkable figure in excess $150,000. Needless to say the next night out with his family would be on him. Tim and his family were over the moon with the result which they had not expected and were very appreciative of the efforts of the whole firm.

Gerard Malouf and partners compensation lawyers were entrusted with this young man’s claim and paid back that trust by aggressively moving towards and obtaining a very successful settlement figure.