Liability Denied by Motor Vehicle Accident Insurer but Merimbula Woman Receives Huge Compensation Payout

Published 27 Oct 2014

We recently obtained an outstanding result in a matter where our client’s previous solicitors ceased to act on the basis that the matter appeared to have little chances of success.

Our client turned to Gerard Malouf & Partners for their expertise in motor vehicle accident claims. Mr Vrege Kolokossian, Managing Partner and Accredited Personal Injury Specialist, took carriage of the matter.

Our client, a mother of a young child, was the passenger in a car driving along a main road just outside the town of Dubbo. The car was being driven by our client’s partner. Our client’s partner was speeding and lost control of the car causing the car to flip over itself and collide with a tree.

Prior to the accident our client had obtained employment as a cook. Our client lived in a holiday resort town and for most of her working life she had obtained work on a casual basis working as a cook, waitress, cleaner and sales person. Because of her injuries she had not been able to return to work and it is unlikely noting her injuries that she would be able to do so. Also, our client’s injuries prevented her from being able to perform domestic tasks to care for both herself and her young child.

By the stage that we received instructions in the matter proceedings had already been commenced in the District Court of NSW.

Mr Kolokossian immediately took the necessary steps to obtain our client’s file from her previous solicitors.

The Defendant’s solicitors admitted liability, but argued that our client was at the least partially liable for the accident. The allegations were that our client was a voluntary passenger in a motor vehicle being driven by a person who did not hold a drivers licence, and she asked her partner to drive knowing that he did not, and never had, a valid drivers’ licence; and that our client was a voluntary passenger in a motor vehicle driven by a person who was impaired as a consequence of the consumption of drugs where she knew that he had taken drugs. Our client denied these allegations.

Mr Kolokossian briefed a barrister specialised in Motor Vehicle Accident claims, and arranged appointments to have our client medically and financial assessed.

Our client’s medical assessment showed that her compensable injuries caused her to suffer whole person impairment in excess of 10%. The Defendant accepted that our client’s injuries exceeded 10% of whole person impairment, and accordingly our client was entitled to make a claim for pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life in this matter.

We served the Defendant with all the evidence in support of our client’s case and arranged for an Informal Settlement Conference.

We attended the Informal Settlement Conference, with our client and a barrister specialised in Motor Vehicle Accident claims. Unfortunately the matter did not settle at the Informal Settlement Conference.

The matter was listed for Hearing, but after a lengthy negotiation which went over a period of several months we were able to settle our client’s claim before Hearing saving our client significant costs. The matter resolved for $465,000 and our client was very happy with the outcome.

We are a highly focused and specialised law firm being small enough to care, yet large enough to have solid financial, medical and expert resources to match the big defendants and insurance firms. Our “no win no fee” arrangements and written guarantee to reduce fees in the unlikely event of a poor result is unmatched in the legal industry Australia-wide.