Elderly passenger awarded substantial damages as a result of driver disobeying roundabout rules

Published 13 Feb 2018

Our client was an elderly lady who was a front seat passenger in a motor vehicle driver by her husband on their way home in the evening along Pembroke Road, Minto, a suburb south-west of the central business district, in the local government area of the City of Campbelltown and is part of the Macarthur region. 

As her husband was driving through the roundabout, the other driver failed to give way whilst our client’s vehicle was in the roundabout and crashed into the left passenger side of our client’s vehicle. Our client’s vehicle was already in the round-about, and the other driver did not give way or observe our clients vehicle. Vehicles entering a roundabout must give way to any vehicle already in the roundabout. Our client suffered the full impact of the accident on her side of the car. The accident was reported to the Police. The other driver was found to be at fault for the accident.

A claim form was lodged with the insurer of the other motor vehicle at fault. After undertaking the appropriate investigations with respect to the liability issues and the circumstances of the accident, the insurer accepted liability on behalf of their insured driver in negligence for causing the accident. Our client suffered injuries to her neck, mid-back, lower back, right leg, left leg, left hip, anxiety, nightmares, psychological injury and shock from the accident.

She came under the care of her family doctor who referred her for appropriate x-rays and investigations to determine the full extent of her injuries arising from the accident. Upon receiving the investigations, our client was referred to a specialists as it was ascertained that she had suffered a disc injury to her lower back which was pressing on the nerve roots. After undergoing injections in her lower back, the neurosurgeon advised her that if her pain did not improve that the next option was to have an operation with to her lower back to release the pressure on the nerve roots in her lower back.

Our client continued to complain of right sided sciatica in her right leg as a result of her lower back injury. This was despite having injections in her lower back. The neurosurgeon recommended for our client to undergo the operation to her lower back. There were obviously risk associated with our client undergoing the operation being an elderly lady. She was suffering from radiological changes in her neck and her lower back which were aggravated by the motor vehicle accident. That was the reason why she required an operation to her lower back. Our client decided to continue with conservative treatment such as injections, medication and review until her condition had deteriorated any further for surgery.

Our client’s neurosurgeon found that our client’s quality of life had been significantly impaired by the accident and that the accident had aggravated the degenerative changes in her lower back which thereby necessitated her need to have surgery to her lower back. All of this medical information and documents was provided to the insurer. The neurosurgeon provided a detailed medical report in relation to the client’s injuries and disabilities arising from the accident as well as his diagnosis in relation to our client. He found that she was suffering from significant whole person impairment and on the basis of that assessment she would qualify for permanent impairment for pain and suffering arising from the accident.

Our client was also assessed and treated by a psychologist who came to the diagnosis that our client was suffering from major depression, adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood and that that condition was as a result of the motor vehicle accident. It was recommended that she proceed with psychological treatment to assist her with managing her anxiety and psychological and emotion difficulties arising from the accident. The psychologist found that our client was suffering from a significant whole person impairment in relation to her psychological injury as a result of the motor vehicle accident.

Detailed information, documents, and particulars were provided to the insurer with our client’s statement as well as medical reports from her treating doctors and specialists. She was also independently medically examined and assessed by the insurer.

The insurer arranged for an informal settlement conference between the parties in order to address the medical and treatment issues and the value of the claim having regard to the medical evidence served upon them. The insurer was prepared to accept the medical reports that we had served upon them from the clients treating doctors and specialists. The insurer was ordered to pay our client a significant award of damages in compensation in her favour as a result of her injuries, losses and damage arising from the motor vehicle accident. Our client was extremely happy with the outcome and settlement of her claim.

Conclusion:-

If you are a passenger who was involved in a motor vehicle accident and the accident is not your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries due to the negligence of the other driver.

Our client in this case was an elderly lady who was a front seat passenger when she suffered the full impact of the other vehicle which disobeyed the road regulations as our clients driver was proceeding through the roundabout. The other driver was held to be at fault for the accident. After undergoing treatment with her doctors and specialists, the insurer was ordered to pay our client a substantial award in damages for compensation as a result of injuries to her neck and back as a well as her significant psychological injury and emotional effect from the accident.

Dispute our client’s elderly age, she was still entitled to reasonable and fair compensation as a result of her injuries and disabilities arising from the accident. We were able to obtain medical reports from her treating doctors and specialists which substantiated the full extent of her injuries and the effect of the motor vehicle accident on her reduced capacity to participate in normal social, domestic, recreational and home activities. Her quality of life had been significantly impaired by the accident thereby entitling her to a significant damages award in compensation in respect of the claim.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll free number on 1800 004 878 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect your legal rights that you may have arising from the motor vehicle accident.