Motor accident victim fights for compensation over non-economic losses

Date: Jun 08, 2017

A man who suffered severe injuries after a car accident in NSW continues to fight for compensation following a number of setbacks in his case.

The plaintiff sustained head and skeletal injuries in the 2012 crash, for which he pursued damages under the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999.

However, the man was already on a disability pension due to serious injuries from a previous car accident, meaning he wasn't eligible for compensation for economic losses, including missed income and superannuation payments.

As such, the main thrust of his case relied on damages for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, as a result of the accident. To qualify for non-economic losses, an individual must be assessed as having a whole body impairment (WBI) of 11 per cent or more.

Medical practitioner assessments

Calculating a plaintiff's WBI can be difficult, particularly – as in this case – when someone already has pre-existing disabilities.

Identifying which injuries resulted from the most recent accident proved a central point of contention between the plaintiff and the defendant. The man has already seen several medical practitioners, all of whom provided wildly different WBI measurements.

Soon after the accident, the plaintiff was assessed as having a WBI of 11 per cent, which just qualified for non-economic damages. However, subsequent examinations from other professionals gave WBI assessments ranging from 0 per cent to 39 per cent.

A judge ordered that the man undergo a final assessment, however, the Court of Appeal later overturned this decision. A final ruling will instead be made on the man's case based on the existing evidence.

The man's injuries

The medical practitioners largely agreed that the man suffers a number of cognitive weaknesses, including short-term memory issues and problems with absorbing new information.

However, the District Court must now decide the extent to which the 2012 accident contributed to his brain trauma. The man must now wait for a new hearing date to discover whether he will receive compensation for non-economic losses.

The case shows some of the difficulties that can arise when seeking motor accident compensation, which is why enlisting the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial to optimising your chances of success.

Would you like to know more? Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers can provide a free consultation to discuss your needs.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.