New trial for motorcycle injury claim after successful appeal

Date: Aug 18, 2015

A judge has set a new trial for a motorcycle injury claim, after the alleged victim successfully argued there were errors in the original decision.

The accident occurred when the appellant was riding his motorbike around a bend in a two-lane road. A man driving a truck carrying three horses was travelling in the opposite direction.

Both men claim the other veered into the wrong side of the road while turning the bend, causing a collision. The first judge agreed with the truck owner, noting that the appellant’s evidence and the testimony of a supporting witness was inconsistent and unimpressive.

The judge also rejected portions of an expert report the claimant offered at the original trial that supported his case. Despite the author being a biomechanical engineer, the judge said the man had no direct experience of working with fluid from motorcycle engines.

This proved important because a central argument of the claimant’s case was that the collision caused coolant to leak from his engine, which indicated where on the road his vehicle was positioned when he hit the truck. Photographs showed the liquid was only evident on the southbound lane, suggesting the motorcycle rider had been on the correct side of the road when struck.

Injury compensation appeal

Many types of road user can claim injury compensation from vehicular accidents, including motorcyclists. The money can provide crucial financial support for people who suffer short- or long-term injuries due to a collision.

In this particular case, the appellate judges ruled the first judge had erred when rejecting the expert witness’s report, adding that dismissing the engineer’s experience had been hasty.

“The primary judge adopted the submission of counsel for the respondent that, since [the engineer] had not ‘tested the flow of liquid from a motorcycle engine’, he was not qualified to express the opinions that he had,” the appellate judges stated.

“This was an unduly narrow approach to the question of the qualifications of [the engineer] to express his opinion as to the mechanism by which the fluid came to be where it was on the road.”

According to court documents, this factor alone was enough to require a new trial in which the expert’s evidence could be reinstated. The judges therefore allowed the appeal and set the original verdict and judgment aside. If the claim goes in favour of the injured motorcyclist, he will? receive $232,769.

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