Late claim driver in large damages award as a result of a pile-up on the M1 freeway

Published 08 Jan 2018

Our client was the driver of a motor vehicle travelling in the afternoon along the M1 Freeway at Mount Keira underpass in the Wollongong Area which lies on a narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment.

 

As our client was driving in a southerly direction along the M1 Freeway at the Mt Keira underpass, in Wollongong, when she was involved in a 5 car pile-up motor vehicle accident. Our client was the second vehicle in the accident. The cause of the accident was another vehicle veering into our client’s lane without indicating and causing the vehicle in front of our client to break suddenly as did our client and the subsequent motor vehicles. It was a significant motor vehicle accident on the freeway.

 

Police, highway patrol, ambulance and emergency services attended the scene of the accident to assist the injured and determine the party at fault in relation to the said motor vehicle accident. The police authorities determined that the vehicle in front of our client which veered into our client’s vehicle and broke suddenly was the responsible party for the 5 car pile-up accident on the freeway.

 

As a result of the accident, our client suffered a disc injury to her neck, loss of hair, scalp irritation, a skin condition, severe headaches, psychological injury and shock.

Our client attended to her family doctor in the Wollongong NSW Area who referred her to have x-rays and scans. The x-ray evidence revealed that she had suffered disc damage to her neck which was pressing on her nerve and which accounted for the severity of her neck symptoms.

 

As a result of this, she was referred to a neurosurgeon specialist to ascertain whether she would require urgent neck operation due to the damage of the disc pressing on her nerve in her neck. The treating neurosurgeon did not recommend surgery at this stage and regarding her further medical management, he suggested regular medication for pain relief and physiotherapy treatment. Our client proceeded with that treatment.

 

The client did not come to see us for quite some time after the accident. She was suffering with her symptoms and attending to see her family doctor for ongoing medical management. She was told that her condition would improve over time. As a result of that medical advice, she did not lodge the claim form within time. In fact, her claim form was lodged a few months out of time. We had to provide a full and satisfactory explanation for the insurer as to the reasons for the delay in the late lodgement of her claim form. The client explained that she continued seeing her family doctor in the hope that she would recover. After she ascertained that her condition was not becoming better, she sought legal advice from GMP in order to lodge the claim form.

 

As soon as we received instructions from our client, we lodged the claim form with the relevant insurer for the vehicle at fault. After the insurer had undertaken their procedural investigations of the accident, they came back to us with a determination accepting liability on behalf of their insured driver in causing the accident and advised that they would pay for our client’s reasonable and necessary medical treatment.

After our client underwent her medical treatment with her doctors and specialists, we arranged for her to be independently medically examined and assessed. She was also medically examined and assessed by the doctors for the insurance company.

As a result of the medical dispute between the parties, our client was referred to an assessed by the government medical doctors on behalf of the scheme. The doctors determined that our client was suffering from permanent injuries arising from the motor vehicle accident. Those government medical doctor reports were binding on the parties.

 

Full detailed particulars concerning our client’s ongoing treatment claim for permanent impairment pain and suffering, past and future care and past and future loss of wages was provided to the insurer so as to assist them in the assessment of our clients claim. Once the insurer had the opportunity of considering the heads of damages in relation to our clients claim, they arranged for an informal settlement conference for the parties to discuss the medical issues and to seek to resolve the matter. The insurer agreed and were ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages for compensation as a result of her injuries, losses and damages arising from the motor vehicle accident.

 

Our client was extremely happy with the outcome of her claim in that considering that her claim was lodged late, the insurer was prepared to accept the claim out of time after they received our clients explanation as to why the claim was lodged late. Our client endeavoured to obtain treatment and recover from her injuries sustained in the accident. Once she had determined that she was not going to recover, she sought legal advice to assist her in the matter. This was a reasonable response in the circumstances and accepted by the insurer.

 

In any event, at the later part of the claim once our client had been medically examined and assessed by the parties and full particulars had been exchanged between the parties, the insurer was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages for compensation as a result of her injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of their insured driver.

 

Conclusion:-

 

If you are driver of a motor vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident for which you are not at fault and due to the negligence of another driver, should you suffer serious injury, you may be entitled to receive a substantial award in damages for compensation as a result of your injuries, losses and damages in the accident.

 

Our client in this case had not lodged her claim form within the relevant time period. She was hoping to continue with her medical treatment on the advice of the medical doctors and specialists that she would fully recover from her accident.

 

When this did not occur, our client decided to seek legal advice from GMP. We quickly lodged the claim form for and on her behalf with the insurer of the vehicle at fault. After providing a detailed explanation as to the circumstances surrounding the late lodgement of the claim form, the insurer accepted the claim out of time and also once they had completed their investigations, they accepted liability in terms of the negligence of their insured driver for causing the accident.

 

Once our client had been medically examined and assessed by both parties, she was referred to the government medical doctors for assessment purposes. Once these government medical doctors reports had been received by the parties and were binding on the parties, the parties arranged for an informal settlement conference for the purposes of seeking to resolve the claim.

At the end of the discussions for the informal settlement conference, the insurer agreed to pay our client a substantial award in damages for compensation for her permanent injuries, losses and damages arising from the motor vehicle accident.

Our client very happy with the outcome of the settlement considering that she lodged her claim form late and we were able to act on the matter quickly so as to bring it to a quick resolution once all of the relevant formalities were undertaken.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll free number on 1300 768 780 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect your legal interests and rights that you may have arising from any motor vehicle accident in which you are involved and which is due to the negligence and fault of another driver.