Our client, Mr D, was very health-conscious and would cycle to work every day.
He was cycling to work one morning along Lane Cove Road when he was knocked over by a vehicle whose driver failed to see him when changing lanes. He sustained multiple injuries for which he needed surgery, the most substantial affecting his upper body, shoulder, arm and neck regions.
Mr D took some time off from work but as a Manager in the IT industry he was required to be present at work and felt a sense of obligation to try to return as soon as possible. He did all the appropriate steps to mitigate his loss, and in fact showed great integrity and commitment to his workplace by working even through significant pain.
We saw Mr D immediately after his discharge from hospital following the bicycle accident injury and advised him as to the steps that would be required to recover.
We completed a personal injury claim form and advised both he and his wife to keep accurate records of all the assistance care provided by his wife and other family members. This is referred to as ‘past gratuitous care’ and is claimable under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act, provided that such care is more than 6 hours a week for at least the first 6 months. This included, for example, driving to and from work in the initial four week period, assisting him with showering, dressing and undressing and taking over other day-to-day domestic responsibilities.
Part of our initial advice was also to make it quite clear that the process can be somewhat lengthy and frustrating especially for the individual as the claim can only be resolved once the injury has stabilised. Once his injury had stabilised, we organised for our own Specialist to carry out medical examinations to determine the level of any ongoing restrictions and disabilities.
In the preparation of the claim we also obtained details of all his earnings and previous tax returns so as we could mount a case to show that even though he had recovered and gone back to work, Mr D was losing money. This is a common concern among clients as their injuries often result in significant ongoing restrictions and disabilities.
In the workplace the best example is when our client retains the same wage or weekly salary but must put in extra time because of their post-accident restrictions and disabilities. Regardless of whether our client partakes in manual labour or sedentary work, pain and discomfort results in loss of time and concentration as more frequent breaks are required, reducing net efficiency.
Furthermore, this often means that clients have less time to do other things around the home, and this was exactly the case in Mr D’s situation. The nature of Mr D ‘s shoulder and back injuries reduced his ability to clean his pool and yard, resulting in more domestic work even after he had returned home from his employment.
It is exactly these issues that Gerard Malouf & Partners Personal Injury Lawyers look to uncover so as to ensure that we maximise our client’s entitlements.
After obtaining all the medical evidence we then proceeded to prepare Submissions in relation to how we valued Mr D’s case. We approached the insurer for the purpose of organising a settlement conference, notwithstanding that issue the insurer of course was always going to offer a lesser amount than what the claim was really worth
After lengthy submissions and negotiations with the insurer we were finally able to convince them that the value of our client’s claim was well in excess of what they had initially considered.
Ultimately, the claim settled for over $400,000.00. Mr D was ecstatic with the result, as it finally allowed him to get on with his life.
We at Gerard Malouf & Partners Personal Injury Lawyers always try to ensure that the compensation is a reasonable amount to try to put the client back in the position he or she was before the accident. Whilst this is not always possible because restrictions and disabilities are permanent, it is important to have a specialist firm like Gerard Malouf & Partners ensure that the maximum amount of compensation is obtained.
Gerard Malouf & Partners prides itself on working towards that goal, whether it be in motor accidents, public liability claims or medical negligence claims. Because of this, our clients are willing entrust their future financial wellbeing in terms of compensation to us. Whilst that is a big responsibility, it is trust that we believe that we have earned and one which we value very highly.