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A Young Woman Gets $150,000 in Compensation After a Negligent Act by a Train Driver

Case Overview
  • A young passenger was involved in a train accident and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • It was proved that the accident happened due to a negligent act by the train driver, giving rise to a compensable claim.
  • Gerard Malouf & Partners helped the passenger get a compensation of $150,000.

In January 2018, our client was a passenger involved in a train accident. The train failed to stop as intended and collided with the buffer stop at the end of the platform resulting in our client being flung from her seat.

As a result of the incident, our client sustained a deep laceration to the left knee which resulted in a permanent visible scar. Fortunately for our client, she did not sustain serious physical injuries however the incident had a  severe psychological impact on our client. Our client was diagnosed as suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder and the incident had a very serious impact on her day-to-day life.

The Plaintiff contacted Gerard Malouf and Partners in April 2018 to enquire about making a claim for Compensation for Public Liability. We immediately got to work in collating our client’s medical records and seeked information from Defendant in relation to the incident. This was clearly a negligent act giving rise to a compensable claim.

“It was clear from the evidence gathered that the transport company had breached its duty of care as the driver did not slow the train at a crucial time when approaching the buffer stop at the end of the platform.”

Pauline Yacoub
Our Approach

As a result of our in-depth investigations, we were able to avoid the expense of obtaining an expert report. We commenced proceedings in the District Court of NSW and the Defendant filed its Defence in response to the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim, admitting that it owed the Plaintiff a duty of care and had breached its duty of care in the circumstances.

Prior to the incident, our client was a young woman who was studying to be a psychologist. Whilst our client suffered from some pre-existing psychological problems prior to the injury, our public liability team were able to establish through independent medical reports that our client’s pre-existing psychological condition was stable at the time of the incident and the train incident severely aggravated her condition. All evidence was collated and an informal settlement conference was conducted.

The Result

During negotiations we were able to achieve a settlement of $150,000 for our client without the need of going through with a full court hearing.

Pauline Yacoub

Senior Associate
Frequently Asked Questions

More Information

Public liability refers to the responsibilities owners or occupants of a public space have to protect anyone who enters. If the owners or occupants fall short of these responsibilities, resulting in an injury, a case for compensation can be made.

Some of the most common incidents covered by public liability law include:

  • The food or drink from a restaurant makes you sick: The most common example of this type of public liability is food poisoning, however improperly disclosed allergens could also lead to litigation.
  • A slip and fall accident caused by negligence: Slip and fall incidents are especially common in busy public places such as playgrounds, schools, shopping centres, common walkways in buildings and outdoor event venues. They can result from negligent behaviour if poorly lit, uneven, unmarked or slippery surfaces are involved, amongst other reasons.
  • Injury caused by poor workmanship: If a product used by a space fails mechanically and causes an injury, a public liability claim can often be made. Examples include exploding gas bottles, poorly constructed furnishings and inadequate building structures. These cases may also be eligible for product liability litigation, if you decide to pursue both the property owner and the product manufacturer.
  • An attack by an animal while in a space: If the owners or occupants of a space fail to keep an animal, whether domestic or wild, contained as a result of negligence, you may have a potential case.

Following an initial meeting, the first task will be to establish the general facts of the case. This will include your medical diagnosis, which will need to be confirmed and documented by a doctor; and proof that the person or company at fault owed you a duty of care, which will need to be demonstrated. Together, this will show that your injury occurred when they breached that duty of care.

From there a further investigation will proceed—contacting and interviewing witnesses, speaking with expert consultants, and more—all in order to bolster the strength of your case even further. Only once this process is complete, and your claim can be demonstrated and proven in full, will the process move on to the next step.

Public liability claims enable you to recoup the financial and emotional costs of suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Defendants regularly offer monetary settlements to claimants, particularly if they acknowledge liability and believe they would lose in court.

But should you accept the settlement or proceed to the later stages of litigation instead, where a judge will have the final decision? Every case is different, but here are some of the factors you may wish to consider before making your choice:

  1. The size of the settlement
  2. The strength of your case
  3. Your patience levels
  4. Your lawyer’s advice

More Case Summaries

About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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