A man who suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident will receive $903,794 after a judge upheld his claim. The individual was riding his motorcycle when he collided with a four-wheel drive car.
According to court documents, the man was thrown from his bike onto the bonnet of the other vehicle. The plaintiff sustained significant damage to his left leg, as well as fractured ribs, bruising and a severed facial artery.
The man was unable to return to work following the crash. However, the insurance firm disputes his compensation claim. In particular, it emphasised the plaintiff’s history of pre-existing back problems.
He had been off work at the time of the accident due to a slip while at his place of employment. The incident resulted in him injuring three vertebrae in his back. The man, who was a motor stripper, needed six months off to recover.
Afterwards, at his new job as a truck driver, the man further hurt his back while stepping out of his vehicle. The aggravation of his injury required more leave from work, and it was during this time the motorcycle accident occurred.
An assessor was enlisted to evaluate injury compensation, which included $100,000 for past economic loss and $433,973 for future lost earnings.
Injury compensation appeal
The insurance firm sought judicial review of the assessment, claiming the assessor erred in a number of ways when calculating damages. The allegations included jurisdictional mistakes and errors of law.
Lawyers for the organisation argued that the assessor wrongly assumed the insurance company and the plaintiff had come to an agreement on lost earning capacity. If true, this would constitute procedural unfairness. The company also countered the assessor’s judgment that the man would have likely eventually returned to his job if the motor accident had not occurred.
Nevertheless, Justice Robert Beech-Jones believed the arguments were unconvincing. He therefore rejected the grounds of the judicial review and reinforced the original ruling.
“When the challenged finding is considered in context and given the evidence as to the state of his back symptoms just prior to the motor vehicle accident, it was open to the assessor to make the challenged finding,” Justice Beech-Jones said. “Further, I do not consider that the reasons of the assessor reveal a lack of logic or rationality.”
The insurance firm must now cover the man’s legal fees for the appeal in addition to the $903,704 payout.