Motorcyclist awarded $51,000 after car crash compensation claim

Date: Apr 04, 2018

A man who was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with a car has been awarded $51,000 in compensation for his injuries.

The plaintiff sustained fractured wrists and soft tissue injuries to his shoulders, neck and back in the accident, requiring a three-day hospital stay.

However, the man may have missed out on a bigger payout due to a lack of compelling financial and medical evidence to support his claim. He was also found to be contributorily negligent to the crash.

Let's see how the case unfolded.

Why did the accident occur?

The man was riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend, who was a pillion passenger on the vehicle.

They were travelling south on Yarramundi Lane at Agnes Banks. Ahead of the pair was another motorcycle – ridden by the plaintiff's second cousin – a utility truck and a Mercedes.

According to witnesses, the Mercedes signalled to turn left as it approached a left turn. The two motorcyclists took this opportunity to attempt to overtake the ute and the Mercedes.

But the Mercedes instead travelled slightly further up the road before turning right into a fruit stall on the side of the road. While the plaintiff's cousin managed to brake before a collision, the plaintiff clipped the rear end of the Mercedes and both he and his girlfriend were thrown from the bike.

Was the driver's negligence the cause of the accident?

There was some disagreement regarding whether or not the Mercedes driver had signalled right before turning.

Judge David Russell ruled the driver had signalled but only briefly and without giving ample warning to the vehicles behind. The defendant was found negligent for failing to take adequate care to fellow road users, particularly as he had signalled to turn left prior to turning right.

Nevertheless, Judge Russell said the plaintiff had also been negligent by continuing his overtaking manoeuvre, despite the motorcycle and ute suddenly braking ahead of him.

The judge apportioned 75 per cent of the blame for the accident to the defendant and 25 per cent to the plaintiff.

Lack of evidence places cap on claim

Unfortunately for the plaintiff, he was unable to show that the accident had led to serious ongoing health problems.

Profits from his pool business had remained relatively stable afterwards and the plaintiff admitted his injuries did not prevent him from performing his job as a manager.

"The only evidence given by the plaintiff about his physical problems was that he could not lift his arms up, his hands hurt when it was cold and his shoulders hurt when he lifted [his arms] above his head," said Judge Russell.

As such, the judge was only able to award $51,000 for lost income and out-of-pocket expenses. This was reduced to $38,258 after a 25 per cent reduction for contributory negligence.

Gathering sufficient evidence to support your case is a key part of car accident compensation claims. Ensure you have the best legal representation possible by contacting a no-win, no-fees lawyer at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.

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