A motor collision that occurred in 2016 has finally been ruled upon at the District Court NSW. With a handbag at the centre of the case, a deceased defendant and two contradicting stories, Judge Wilson had a great deal of evidence to assess before coming to a decision.
The accident in question
On 9 March 2016, the plaintiff suffered injuries to her back which she alleged were as a result of being hit by a passing car as she walked along Murphys Avenue in Keiraville, NSW. The defendant was driving his vehicle in the same direction as the plaintiff and her companion were walking. The driver passed away soon after the event, for unrelated reasons.
At the time of the collision, it was unsure whether it was the plaintiff herself or the bag she was carrying that bore the impact of the passing vehicle.
Following the incident, the plaintiff was taken to hospital where she was kept under observation before being discharged with over-the-counter pain relief. A week after the initial collision, the plaintiff returned to her GP with a claim that she was suffering a great deal of pain in her lower back. Despite being prescribed stronger medication, she returned and was recommended a whole body scan.
The plaintiff was off work for around five weeks, and upon returning, lowered her usual full-time capacity to just three hours per week as a result of her injuries.
During the case, the plaintiff pleaded that herself and her companion had no choice but to enter the side of the roadway due to the lack of footpath provided on their walk. She claimed the driver failed to see both pedestrians. But what did the defendant have to say in response to the allegations?
The driver denies claims
While the plaintiff pleaded that the defendant failed to keep a lookout, the driver disagreed, stating that the plaintiff failed to take care for her own safety, and swung the bag into the direction of oncoming traffic.
After assessing the damages caused to the plaintiff and considering both accounts, the judge ruled that the defendant had breached his duty of care. This decision was finalised despite the judge believing it was the bag that was struck, not the plaintiff. The judge also believed there was sufficient time for the driver to see the pedestrians and make appropriate motions to prevent coming into contact with the plaintiff.
The plaintiff was awarded compensation of $87,720 as a result of economic loss, treatment expenses and domestic assistance.
If you’ve been injured by a motor vehicle collision and unsure of what steps to take to get the compensation you deserve, seek help from the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.