Inner City bartender wins $350,000 in compensation after motor bike accident

Published 28 Aug 2017

This matter concerned a bartender who, after a late night shift at a licensed premises in Sydney city, decided to accept ride on the back of a motorcycle which was driven by a friend who had attended her workplace earlier that evening for drinks.

Whilst our client was a pillion passenger on the motorbike, the driver lost control of the bike and as a result our client fell off the bike and suffered injuries to her neck and right shoulder. She also suffered keloid scarring where she had come into direct contact with the bitumen road.

Our client’s appearance was very important to her due to the nature of her bartending work. A lot of her income was derived from tips she would earn whilst serving as a bartender on late night shifts. As a result the keloid scarring affected her greatly and resulted in a psychological injury.

Our client had to take a considerable amount of time off work due to the nature of her injuries. She was right hand dominant and had difficulty returning to her work in bartending and carrying trays of drinks, etc. As a result she suffered financially and had to borrow money so that she could afford to pay her bills.

Our client argued that she was not aware that the driver was affected by alcohol at the time of the ride because she had not witnessed him drinking in the several hours before the accident. She argued that he appeared sober and did not smell of alcohol and she was aware he had previously ridden the bike safely not long before the accident.

The insurer argued that there should be contributory negligence (a reduction in the compensation she is entitled to receive) because as a bartender our client should have been aware of the signs that the driver remained affected by his earlier alcohol consumption.

Notwithstanding a reduction for contributory negligence, our client was awarded $350,000 for damages for pain and suffering, treatment, wage loss and care for the injuries sustained to her neck, right shoulder, and for keloid scarring.

Although our client’s damages were reduced to $350,000 for her component of fault in the abovementioned accident, she was extremely happy with the result and is now able to pay off debts she incurred whilst off work and seek plastic surgery to reduce the appearance of her keloid scarring.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should always seek advice from a lawyer about your rights to claim compensation from the driver at fault’s insurer. Gerard Malouf & Partners are accredited specialists in motor vehicle accidents and we will fight hard against insurance companies who attempt to reduce your compensation by blaming you in any way for the accident. Call 1800 004 878 to speak to one of our specialist lawyers.