Mrs X was involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident on 30 April 2009. At the time she was the driver of a Holden Astra. The vehicle was fitted with a head restraint and she was wearing her seatbelt.
Mrs X was stationary on a red light when she was struck suddenly from behind by a motor vehicle that had been hit by the vehicle behind it. Three cars were involved in the collision.
Mrs X’s vehicle was drivable and subsequently repaired at a cost of about $2,000.00. Immediately following the accident, Mrs X suffered shock as would be expected following an accident of this nature. She did not become aware of any pain at the time however within half an hour after the accident, she began to notice an increase in head and neck pain particularly in the shoulder girdle area and pain in the interscapula region of the thoracic spine or the middle back. The pain was a type of burning pain.
She attended her local medical centre that afternoon and saw her General Practitioner who suggested that she take analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication for the pain. Her General Practitioner formed the view that she had suffered a whiplash type injury.
The medication only provided temporarily relief and the pain continued to increase in its intensity over the months. As a result, Mrs X returned to her General Practitioner who then recommended that she try Chiropractic treatment. After six sessions of Chiropractic treatment Mrs X realised that this treatment was not helping her and therefore she stopped it.
The pain then steadily worsened and she began to develop some numbness and tingling in the hands and cramping in the wrists. Following further consultation with her General Practitioner it was recommended that Mrs X undergo some Physiotherapy treatment and that assisted her. The insurer supported the Physiotherapy treatment but after some time withdrew that support on the basis that it was no longer reasonable and necessary. As a result, the improvement in her condition quickly deteriorated. Mrs X continued to take medications such as Valium and Tremadol however as a result this began to cause her gastric upset and make her very sleepy. She developed anxiety and began taking Xanax to remedy the anxiety that she was experiencing. As a result of the ongoing pain she was unable to continue to attend her local gym and that resulted in a substantial increase in weight. The increase in weight did not assist as she was a lingerie model and she was required to look fit and trim at all times. The increase in weight resulted in a reduction in her work and a decrease in her income.
Her relationship also broke down because of the ongoing discomfort.
To add a spanner into the works, Mrs X was involved in a second accident on 9 January 2010. on that occasion she was a front seat passenger and was wearing her seatbelt. The vehicle that she was travelling in had to brake suddenly because of a vehicle that was braking in front. As a result of braking suddenly, the vehicle that she was travelling in was hit from behind by another vehicle that could not stop in time. The force of that impact then pushed them into the car in front.
A Personal Injury Claim Form was lodged against another insurer following the accident an Ambulance attended on that occasion and Mrs X was transported to hospital where her injuries were investigated and she was discharged the next morning. She was given Endone for pain. Mrs X had further attempts at Physiotherapy but this did not assist.
She continued to work from home but is limited as she cannot drive for more than half an hour, cannot sit for more than half an hour and lost work because she developed a reputation for being unreliable due to the need to cancel appointments at short notice as a result of her pain and discomfort.
The claimant attended the offices of Gerard Malouf and Partners having been self represented for some time. She consulted Mr Ray Abbas, Senior Associate and Personal Injury Accredited Specialist to discuss an offer of $3,000.00 that the insurer had made her to resolve the claim.
Medical appointments were arranged for Mrs X and the Orthopaedic Surgeon who assessed her was asked to apportion between the two accidents. The Orthopaedic Surgeon that was commissioned provided a very helpful report which was then sent to both Insurance Companies.
An Informal Settlement Conference was scheduled at the offices of Allianz Australia Insurance Limited. Mr Ray Abbas used his negotiation skills and experience of 14 years to convince the insurers that even though the injuries were ‘whiplash type’ injuries, the evidence suggested that the injuries will continue to affect Mrs X in the longer term. After extensive negotiations the matter resolved in the sum of $65,000.00 inclusive of costs.
The claimant was happy as there was no need for the matter to be determined by a CARS Assessor and there was no need for her to attend any further medical appointments nor was there a need for her to supply to the Insurers details of her personal business records.
The entire process was resolved in fifteen months following the date of the initial accident. Remember that when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that you are required to report the accident to the Police within twenty-eight days, attend your general practitioner or hospital and report all of the injuries that you have sustained, lodge an Accident Notification Form within twenty-eight days with the relevant CTP Insurer, and lodge a Personal Injury Claim Form within six months with the relevant CTP Insurer.