Hit & Run Pedestrian in Tamworth Receives Significant Compensation After Insurer Denies Claim

Published 30 Sep 2015

Our Tamworth client was crossing the road at 1 o’clock in the morning at a well lit intersection when she was struck by a motor vehicle which failed to stop. She ultimately received significant compensation even though the insurer denied liability alleging she was affected by alcohol.

Our client decided to go out with her friends one evening and on her way home sustained significant injuries when the car hit her whilst she was crossing an intersection.

She was conveyed by ambulance to hospital as a result of multiple physical injuries as well as a head injury. She eventually ended up coming under the care of the Lifetime Care Authority as a result of the head injury due to the allegation of brain damage. Our client at the time of the accident was working full-time. Even though the vehicle that struck our client failed to stop, the insurer denied liability on the basis that our client was partly affected by alcohol.

Our client sought the advice from Reg Kolokossian, Accredited Personal Injury Specialist at Gerard Malouf & Partners who immediately advised that the insurer’s position was totally wrong and typical of insurance companies trying to deny the claim.

We arranged for our senior Solicitors to attend upon our client in our Tamworth serviced offices and obtained instructions to pursue the claim.

As a result of the insurer’s denial of liability, we immediately sought an exemption from the Motor Accidents Authority and commenced proceedings at Court so as not to unnecessarily delay the matter.

Regrettably however, the insurer further sought to delay the matter by requesting that our client be a preliminary participant under the Lifetime Care Authority as a result of the alleged head injury.

The insurer’s delay tactics unfortunately delayed the claim however, the matter was able to proceed once it was confirmed that our client did not have long standing significant brain damage.

As part of the preparation of the matter, we obtained detailed statements from our client and family members. We collated material from her employers including her tax returns to confirm that she had been in steady employment for a number of years and what her income levels were. We arranged for our client to be medically examined by our own Doctors at no cost to our client in accordance with our no-win/no-fee policy.

The no-win/no-fee policy at Gerard Malouf & Partners is like no other in that we cover all expenses with regards to obtaining medical reports. We pay for the Doctor’s Reports. We also assist our clients with travel expenses in getting to Doctor’s appointments. This is of particular importance to our clients in regional New South Wales who often have to travel into major City areas to have independent experts medically examined and to provide Reports.

Our client was grateful for the fact that we were able to provide that level of service and financial assistance. Ultimately, after collating all the relevant medical evidence and the economic loss details, it was clear that our client was never going to be able to go back to full-time employment.

In further support of our client’s claim, we sought the expertise of a vocational psychologist in particular to report about the difficulties of injured victims obtaining employment especially in rural New South Wales where it is very hard to obtain employment as a result of the restricted job market. Most people in rural New South Wales have physically demanding jobs and our client was no exception. Her job was one requiring her to be on her feet, lifting, carrying and was physically demanding on her. Her injuries were such that she was no longer able to attend to that employment and it was necessary for us to utilise our expertise to obtain supportive evidence from a vocational psychological to report on the restricted job market, the difficulties someone with an injury has in obtaining even part-time employment.

This expertise was necessary in ensuring that all aspects of our client’s claim had been properly prepared. Notwithstanding the efforts by the insurance company and their Solicitors to continuously delay the matter, we finally had the matter listed for Hearing.

Under the Motor Accident Act when an injured person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and has been under the influence of alcohol, the Act stipulates that there shall be a finding of contributory negligence on the basis that alcohol would have impaired an individual’s judgment when crossing a road. It was necessary to provide our client with realistic and reasonable advice as it was clear that a Judge hearing the matter would ultimately make a finding that a pedestrian under the influence of alcohol was partly responsible for the accident due to the alcohol.

We then organised a pre Hearing settlement conference bringing all the parties together with a view of trying to settle the matter so as not to unnecessarily incur the costs of going to Court over 4 or 5 days.

We obtained our client’s instructions and through skilful negotiations were able to resolve the matter.

Our client was not entitled to receive compensation for her pain and suffering as her injuries did not exceed the requirement under the Motor Accident Compensation Act in terms of level of impairment being greater than 10%. Our client’s injuries were found to be less than 10% and notwithstanding this fact, we were still able to secure an amount of compensation in excess of $300,000.00.

Injured victims in regional Australia and in particular, regional New South Wales are significantly at a disadvantage by virtue of distance and availability of medical treatment.

Gerard Malouf & Partners specialists in servicing all of regional New South Wales through its various serviced and satellite offices. Our Solicitors have travelled as far north to Tweed Heads across to Moree, Bourke and Griffith.

We pride ourselves on our ability to service regional New South Wales and ensure maximum compensation is obtained for our clients.