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A Teenage Boy Claims Personal Injury Benefits After 1 Year of Collision

Case Overview
  • Our client was a teenage boy when a vehicle collided into him whilst he was riding his bicycle.
  • A year later when his symptoms had progressed that a doctor diagnosed more serious injuries and linked them to the subject’s accident.
  • GMP proved that our client had undertaken due search and inquiry, allowing the Personal Injury Commission to bring a claim against the nominal defendant.

Our client was a teenage boy when a vehicle collided into him whilst he was riding his bicycle. The driver of the vehicle did not provide any details to our client but a nearby worker took a photo of the vehicle. Our client then attended the hospital after the collision who advised that he had only sustained soft tissue damage.

Our client did not think about the accident any further and as a teenager was not aware of the CTP scheme or the requirement to lodge a claim for personal injury benefits. It wasn’t until over a year later when his symptoms had progressed that a doctor diagnosed more serious injuries and linked it to the subject accident. Our client then retained us and advised that they wished to make a claim under the CTP scheme. However, by that time his phone had broken and was not able to recall the photo which was sent to him of the vehicle. 

“We lodged our client’s claim against the nominal defendant as the vehicle was unidentified. In matters where a vehicle is unidentified, the legislation requires that the claimant undertake due search and inquiry to try and identify the driver.”

Vrege Kolokossian
Our Approach

On behalf of our client, we posted notices in local newspapers and attempted to contact witnesses. None of our searches identified the vehicle and police were also unable to identify the vehicle.

Nevertheless, the insurer made the argument that our client should have started his searches much earlier to have a chance of identifying the vehicle. The insurer then raised the argument that since our client had been sent a photo of the vehicle, the vehicle was in fact identified and the claim could not be brought against the nominal defendant at all.

We lodged an application with the Personal Injury Commission and made arguments that the requirement for due search and inquiry necessitates that there be a contemplation of bringing a claim. As such, our argument was that there was no requirement for due search until a claimant contemplated bringing a claim, which for our client was over a year after the accident. We also made the argument that the key word is ‘due’ in due search and inquiry, and therefore that a teenage boy with no understanding of the CTP scheme should not be held to the same standard as an adult.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should always seek advice from a lawyer about your rights. Speak to one of our expert solicitors at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Lawyers on 1800 004 878 for a free, no obligation consultation or complete our enquiry form.

The Result

Our arguments were ultimately successful, and the Personal Injury Commission decided that our client had undertaken due search and inquiry, allowing them to bring a claim against the nominal defendant.

Vrege Kolokossian

Senior Partner
My aim is to always listen and to do the best for my clients
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

There are several steps you should take following a motor accident before worrying about liability. First and foremost is ensuring that you, the other driver and any passengers you both have are safe. Immediately call 000 for emergency services if necessary, and apply first aid care if you know how. Move the vehicles off the shoulder if the accident is blocking the roadway and it’s possible to do so.

All drivers have a duty to other road users to take reasonable care. If it can be determined that anyone involved in the accident was not taking reasonable care, they can be found negligent and at fault. The top identifiers of negligence consist of:

  • Speeding
  • Failing to obey traffic lights or signage
  • Driving while intoxicated or otherwise under the influence
  • Failing to “keep a proper lookout”

If you are hit by another driver and they are found at fault, you can make a claim against them for damages. This can include any losses resulting from the accident, including damage to your vehicle.

However, if your actions also played a part in the accident, both drivers may be found at fault. This is called ‘contributory negligence’, and may be apportioned between you and the other driver in any percentage split. In such a case, you may be responsible for bearing part of the cost of the damages.

Compensation can provide vital financial support for people who have suffered serious injuries in a road traffic accident. But are there limitations on how much money someone can receive?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including:

  • Who was to blame for the accident?
  • How severe were your injuries?
  • Is there permanent damage?
  • Are you entitled to damages for non-economic losses?

Let’s break down some scenarios and explore what compensation amounts could be available.


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 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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