Ms HW is an international executive of a multimillion dollar metal works company operating between Hong Kong and China with exports to France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
She is a new migrant to Australia. Whilst stationary at red lights in Bexley she was hit from behind at speed causing serious whiplash injuries to her person which significantly impacted upon her travels in her executive duties. HW had imaging confirming disruption to her cervical spine and had described non-verifiable radiculopathy. The pain and restriction of movement made it difficult for her to drive and work at a computer station. She also had restriction in both her shoulders which made it difficult for her to lift objects. The injury to her lumbar spine made it difficult for her to sit for long periods which was difficult for her international travels. In her executive duties, she would normally wear high heels and now is no longer able to do so.
As a consequence of her injuries and inability to maintain her duties, she was unable to meet the demands of her work. Other members of the business had to take on her role which resulted in a reduction of her income equivalent to $50,000.00 Australian Dollars per year. The primary income, fortunately for her, yearly dividends was not affected.
The insurer sought to take advantage of her international status relying upon technicalities to deny her losses of income. Ms HW was assessed as having an injury equivalent to 5% whole personal impairment. Although she does not meet the threshold for non-economic loss, through vigorous negotiations, we were able to achieve a result far more higher than the insurer’s opening offer of $5,000.00 all inclusive to $70,000.00 all inclusive. Although it was our advice that the client was likely to achieve a greater result at assessment, the burden of having a case opened for 14 months was causing her emotional and psychological discomfort. Nevertheless, in all this was an exceptional result at an informal settlement conference.