The most recent data from Transport of NSW shows that more than 30 people are hospitalised by crashes on NSW roads each day. In order to claim for non-economic loss, victims must meet a whole person impairment (WPI) of 10 per cent or more. Did the victim of the below case qualify?
Background of the motor vehicle accident
The plaintiff, who was nine years old at the time of the incident, was a passenger in a motor vehicle accident on June 18, 2013. In present day proceedings, the plaintiff sought damages for injuries she suffered in the motor vehicle accident six years ago. These included past out-of-pocket expenses, future out-of-pocket expenses, future loss of earning capacity and future domestic assistance and care. Claims were relating to neck, lumbar spine, left shoulder and psychological injuries.
At the time of the accident, the court found the plaintiff did not exceed the 10 per cent whole person impairment (WPI) under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). Therefore, she was not entitled to damages for non-economic loss.
The defendant admitted a breach of duty of care so the court only had to calculate the amount of total damages.
How was the plaintiff after the accident?
Following the accident, the plaintiff attended numerous medical appointments, such as chiropractic treatment sessions and doctor consultations. She regularly complained of neck, thoracic and back pain, as well as headaches. On examination, one regular doctor found a decreased range of movement and spasm in the spine and muscular strain due to whiplash. Her physiotherapist noted that because she was a school student and had to sit in classrooms most of the day, pain in her lower back would flare up from time to time.
What did the defendant say?
The defendant referred to the plaintiff's WPI score. Along with no non-economic loss damages, they also questioned the severity of the injuries she had submitted as part of her claim. However, the court found that the young girl had missed many opportunities as a result of her injuries. They also noted she was an honest witness whose claims held up in proceedings. While they agreed she was not eligible for non-economic loss, they did calculate the remaining damages at $21,639.85.
If you've been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you too may be eligible for compensation. To find out, give the expert motor vehicle accident lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners a call today.