When a plaintiff receives damages in court, they may presume the entire procedural process is over. However, the party/parties who defend their side of the story may choose to appeal a court’s decision. This can lead to a much more in-depth review process – something that was evident in a recent case brought before the Supreme Court of NSW.
Background to the original decision
In the original case, a woman was hit by a car in December 2013 when she was walking across a pedestrian crossing in Granville. The collision threw her into the air and she landed some distance from the point of impact. She brought a claim for damages under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). The insurer at fault (the defendant) admitted liability but disputed the injuries alleged by the plaintiff as well as the amount of damages she claimed.
At the end of proceedings, the plaintiff was awarded a total of $133,482.02. This included $50,000 for future loss of earnings which was awarded by way of a ‘buffer’.
In the most recent hearing, the plaintiff and defendant switched roles. This is because the insurer challenged the decision and the woman now had to defend her position.
How did the plaintiff (the insurer) respond?
The insurer argued there was no evidence to support the awards for past and future loss of earnings and the assessor failed to engage with the plaintiff’s argument on the issue. Furthermore, it stated there was no medical evidence at all to support the awards of damages for loss of earnings.
What did the court decide?
The court once again reviewed the evidence relating to the defendant and her injuries. While the plaintiff claimed there was no sufficient information to suggest she met the thresholds to claim for past and future loss of earnings, the court disagreed.
It had received reports from numerous doctors that detailed how the woman continued to have limitations in her career – both physically and psychologically.
In regards to the award for past economic loss, the reasons for this aspect of the decision were made clear the first time around. The plaintiff failed to find new and concrete reasons why the decision ought to change.
As a result, the court dismissed the insurer’s appeal and ordered it to pay the defendant’s costs of proceedings.
When challenging a court decision, it’s important you’re backed with ample evidence and the legal support of experts in the field. If you feel that a court has made the wrong decision and would like some help, get in touch with the lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners today.