NSW compensation laws can be complex, but who better to navigate a motor vehicle accident claim than an injury management adviser for the state police?
This is the situation that one plaintiff found herself in following a collision more than a decade ago – an incident she claims left her with permanent disabilities.
The woman worked for NSW Police as an injury management adviser for nine years before retiring due to medical reasons in 2015.
The plaintiff's accident occurred when she was driving an unmarked police car through a two-lane roundabout.
Another driver carelessly changed lanes, resulting in the plaintiff, who was pregnant at the time, hitting the curb on the left-hand side of the road. She claimed she immediately felt sick after the accident and believed the baby had been "jarred".
The plaintiff alleged she suffered a range of serious injuries, including damage to her hips, lumbar spine and both knees. She also argued that the collision caused her to hurt her right sacroiliac joint, resulting in pelvic instability.
The woman sought permanent disability damages under the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999, believing her ailments constituted more than a 10 per cent whole person impairment.
However, the insurer for the other driver refused to accept liability, claiming that the woman's injuries were not a result of the accident.
An assessment from an approved medical specialist (AMS) diagnosed the woman as suffering from pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, which could account for many of the symptoms developed after the crash.
The plaintiff disputed the findings and applied for a review of the decision under Section 63 of the Act, but a State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) proper officer rejected her case.
The woman's efforts to overturn the decision have led her to NSW Supreme Court, where she successfully argued that the proper officer acted outside of her jurisdiction when rejecting her application for a review.
According to Associate Justice Joanne Ruth Harrison, the proper officer applied incorrect principles when ruling on whether or not to approve a review.
The plaintiff's case will now be referred back to SIRA to be determined again. If successful, she may be eligible for a significant payout for her car accident injuries.
Have you been rejected for motor vehicle compensation? Expert personal injury lawyers can help you overturn the decision and secure the damages to which you're entitled.
Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers have decades of experience with car accident compensation cases, so please get in touch with a member of our team today.