Northern Beaches Pensioner Receives Over $85,000 Compensation for Whiplash

Published 22 May 2017

A 70 year old Northern Beaches pensioner received significant compensation for her disabling whiplash injury.  We recently represented Mrs K in relation to a Motor Vehicle Accident that occurred in the northern beaches. Mrs K was driving along and was cut off by another vehicle which collided into her car.

She was 68 years of age and at that time was not working, but was attending to her normal domestic duties at home and looking after her disabled husband. As a result of her injuries she sustained whiplash to her neck, upper back as well as soft tissue injury to her shoulder.

Under the current green slip compensation scheme an individual is only entitled to receive compensation for their pain and suffering if there injuries exceed a 10% whole person Impairment threshold.

Mrs K initially dealt with the insurer but found that the insurer was unnecessarily delaying her treatment and was finding that they were not really understanding her situation at home. Mrs K prided herself on her ability to look after her husband who also had significant health problems. Prior to the accident she would manage all her housecleaning, attend to her herb and vegetable garden and drive her husband to and from doctor appointments as well as doing all the shopping and traditional cooking, She also enjoyed entertaining for her family.

Our client realised she was not getting any assistance from the insurer and sought assistance from Mr Kolokossian of Gerard Malouf and Partners. An accredited Personal Injury Lawyer, Mr Kolokossian was able to quickly assess her general needs, consider her injuries and review all of the medical evidence.

We quickly then made submissions to the insurer in relation to the level of domestic assistance she required at home, assistance with her garden which she took considerable personal joy and pride with as well as assistance with traveling to and from doctor appointments and made sure the treatment she needed which included physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and the like was maintained.

We acted on behalf of Mrs K in accordance with our No Win No Fee policy and then requested reports from her treating doctors and specialist and arranged our own independent medical specialists at no cost to her.

Once we had obtained all the relevant material in support of our client’s case we invited the insurer to make an offer. True to their form the insurer was not prepared to make a reasonable offer in the circumstances and we then proceeded to lodge an application to have our clients claim determined through the Motor Accident Authority Claims Assessment Service.

Further detailed submissions were made and offers were conveyed to the insurer and finally through further negotiation and the pressure of having the claim assessed by an independent assessor through the Motor Accident Authority, the insurer finally decided to settle the claim for an amount in excess of $85,000.

Our client’s injuries did not exceed the 10% threshold. Our Client’s claim consists of an allowance for Past and Future Medical and Treatment expenses in addition to an allowance for Past and Future Care.

The major component of her claim was for future paid domestic assistance as our clients injuries resulted in her having difficulty attending to the heavier domestic tasks. A significant allowance was made on that bases which made up a major component of the settlement figure. There was no claim for economic loss or pain and suffering, but the result was nonetheless very good.

It is often the case that the elderly in our community are disadvantaged by the current motor accident compensation scheme because of their age. Insurers and their own doctors take the view that they already have pre-existing arthritic and degenerative conditions and therefor a simple whiplash injury is not considered significant. On the contrary, this is far from the truth, the elderly people in our community are equally if not more significantly impacted on by whiplash type injuries which cause their condition to become symptomatic.

We at Gerard Malouf and Partners are specialised in assisting our elderly clients to ensure that they receive reasonable and just compensation for their injuries not withstanding their age. It is therefore important to insure that if you have not consulted a solicitor in terms of your claim, notwithstanding that you may not think you have a serious injury you need (must) to ensure that you contact Gerard Malouf and Partners so as you are not disadvantaged when it comes to finalising your claim and receiving just compensation.