Ms JSP worked as a home attendant carer. Part of her work required her to drive to the elderly and disabled persons’ homes to provide care services for them.
Ms JSP is a young petite Korean lady of small stature.
In December 2013, Ms JSP was returning to her employ on light duties, following a period of being off work, following a workers compensation accident. She had already suffered injuries as a consequence of heavy lifting.
At the time of this car accident, she was attending one of her clients. A taxi made an illegal U-turn close to an intersection which Ms JSP has just entered, reversing his car into hers, hitting her vehicle on the driver side door.
The accident itself cannot be described as a heavy impact, however, it was sufficient enough to move her body unexpectedly creating an exacerbation to pre-existing injuries to her neck, upper back and lower back. This exacerbation also caused weakness in her left arm and left leg.
Being a motor-vehicle accident in the course of her employ, Ms JSP was entitled to pursue a claim under the journey provisions which was largely eroded following the recent workers compensation legislation amendments in 2009.
She pursued a workers compensation claim as well as a motor-vehicle accident claim. The benefit of doing this was that Ms JSP's reasonably incurred medical and treatment expenses were being met as they incurred by the workers compensation insurer. For the period that she was not able to work following the motor-vehicle accident, the workers compensation insurer also met her weekly benefits in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act.
Although the motor-vehicle accident, green slip insurer admitted liability in total, they did not accept that Ms JSP's injuries were a consequence of the motor-vehicle accident. This is particularly the case because the impact upon the vehicle was upon the right-hand side of Ms JSP's body but her injuries were predominantly upon the left hand side of her person.
It is for this reason that what would normally be a very standard personal injury claim became a very technical personal injury claim despite her injuries not exceeding the threshold for non-economic loss.
The Offers made by the insurer as prescribed by the Motor Accident Compensation Act were far from reasonable. Gerard Malouf and Partners advised our client and she accepted the advice to stand firm and not to pander to the insurer’s deliberate delay and stalling tactics, which can cause claimants significant psychological anxiety.
The matter had proceeded to a compulsory conference where final offers were made. The mandatory period was afforded to the insurer before making an application to the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service. Two days prior to the expiry of the waiting period, the insurer accepted our final offer of $30,000.00 clear of payments already made by the insurer of $23,000.00. plus regulated costs. This result was far better than their final offer before accepting ours of $25,000.00 all-inclusive, which would have netted our client zero dollars.
This was a clear example of how GMP is prepared to stand our ground so as to ensure that our clients receive the compensation that they deserve.