Sydney women injured by fall due to open traffic bollard hole at car yard awarded $100,000 compensation

Published 25 Oct 2016

We recently represented a young Western Sydney mother who had attended one of the car yards at Parramatta Road with her partner for the purposes of purchasing a car.  At the time, our client was walking along the front of the car yard when unbeknown to her, there was a circular hole in the ground where one of the bollards had been removed.  These bollards were used at the entrance of the car yard as a security measure and once removed, enabled vehicles to drive in and out of the yard.  Unfortunately for our client, she was walking behind one of the car salesmen who did not warn her of the hole and which was not visible to the client at the time.  As she was walking along her foot slipped into the hole, twisting her body and resultied in her falling to the ground sustaining injuries to her leg and lower back.

Initially, our client went to another firm, which after looking at the facts of the case took the view that they did not believe that there were prospects of success.  Our client, frustrated by this information, contacted Vrege Kolokossian at Gerard Malouf & Partners who initially thought there was a case that should be investigated and we quickly organised a conference for her to attend our Head Office in North Parramatta.

After going through the facts of the case, we formed a view that there was in fact very good prospects of succeeding on the basis that the car yard had created the risk by not covering the hole with a cap once they had removed the bollard from its position.

We advised our client accordingly and she instructed us to pursue to case on her behalf.  We proceeded to provide particulars to the claims managers acting on behalf of the car yard and obtained medical evidence in support of our client’s injuries.

We shortly thereafter commenced proceedings and arranged for independent medical examinations of our client in support of her claim.

We proceeded to qualify one our liability engineers to provide a report which ultimately was supportive of the fact that the car yard breached their duty of care to our client and as a result were negligent.  This supported the view that Vrege Kolokossian had always had in terms of the fact that the car yard and its staff failed in their duty of care to our client and potentially to any other client.  A quick google search also found that such holes could be covered up by a PVC plastic top which were designed to cover bollard holes at a minimal cost at minimal expense.

No doubt, after our client’s success, the car yard has now learnt its lesson and has invested some funds in ensuring in future that when they remove the bollards the holes will be covered.

Once the relevant information was received in relation to our client’s injuries and the liability expert’s report, we proceeded to enter into negotiations with solicitors acting on behalf of the insurance company and finally succeeded in obtaining a compensation result in excess of $100,000.00.

What is to be learnt from this is that you do need to have specialised solicitors acting on your behalf who will look at the facts forensically and who are experienced in dealing with public liability personal injury claims.  Vrege Kolokossian, Accredited Specialist in personal injury law with over 25 years of experience, after evaluating the facts, clearly determined that there was a case to be answered for and proceeded without haste.  Our client was over the moon by virtue of the fact that she received significant compensation for her injury when initially, the solicitors she had seen had indicated that her case had no prospects at all.

A lesson to be learned in that when you have a claim in relation to injuries you sustained in a public place it is important to contact Gerard Malouf & Partners and their expert team of solicitors to properly evaluate and consider the merits of the claim.