A man who sustained serious injuries in a 2008 car accident has made a $1 million compensation claim for ongoing disabilities he suffered as a result of the incident.
The plaintiff was working as a courier at the time of the crash, in which he hurt his left shoulder, back, neck and knee. He said these injuries continue to give him problems, particularly his back, which he claimed ranks between a six and an eight on a one-to-10 pain scale.
While the defendant admitted liability for the collision, the insurer argued over the plaintiff’s assessment of damages.
A key factor in the case was the extent of the man’s injuries from previous accidents, which meant he had already been receiving a disability and support pension for six years prior to the crash.
How serious were previous incidents?
The plaintiff had a long history of accidents, resulting in long periods away from the workplace and various treatments and surgeries. In 1984, he injured his knee after tripping and twisting his body at work.
He then experienced another workplace accident with a different employer some years later where he hurt his head, face and left ankle. The latter injury was the most serious, leading to surgery on his ankle, although it continued to cause him pain over the following years.
He damaged his back while lifting a barrel in 1997, before slipping and falling in the toilets at a cinema four years later. The incident in the toilets caused injuries to his left knee and shoulder, which eventually led to him receiving a disability support pension.
The plaintiff was also involved in a car accident in 2006, although it was described as a relatively minor crash.
Ruling on car accident damages
The plaintiff’s $1 million claim included more than $200,000 of compensation for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering; nearly $310,000 for lost income; $216,000 for future earnings; and over $200,000 in care costs.
However, District Court Judge Michael Wilson felt the plaintiff overestimated some of his costs, particularly in relation to past and future economic losses, based on the man’s age (58) and work prospects.
He instead awarded $398,517 compensation for the accident and ordered the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s costs. While the man received less than half his original claim, the payout was still considerable and should provide significant peace of mind regarding his future financial situation.
Have you recently been in a motor vehicle crash? You may be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. Please contact a member of our team at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.