Late claim accepted and insurer ordered to pay injured driver substantial damages in compensation arising from car accident

PUBLISHED 03 Aug 2017

Our client was an elderly driver from Avoca Beach on the Central Coast of NSW, when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in April 2015.

He was employed as a sales representative and during and in the course of his employment when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The other driver failed to observe the traffic conditions along Pennants Hills Road, Pennant Hills, when he collided with substantial impact into the rear of our clients motor vehicle.

As a result of the accident our client suffered injuries to his left hip and neck, and shock.

As a result of the accident occurring during and in the course of his employment, our client was covered by his employer’s workers compensation insurer, although the workers compensation rights are restricted. Our client was not aware that he was entitled to also lodge a motor vehicle accident claim against the insurer for the vehicle at fault. He had not received any legal advice in the matter.

Our client was also listened to his treating doctors and specialists who indicated to him that his condition would resolve over time with rest and non-invasive treatment like physiotherapy. He relied upon that advice. Unfortunately, his condition did not resolve over time and his ongoing problem with his left hip as well as the emotional effects of the accident continued to effect and reduce his ability to lead a normal life and his capacity to work.

Our client sought advice from GMP almost 1 year later and his claim form was out of time. It was required to be lodged within 6 months from the date of the accident. Our client was not aware of his legal rights in the matter and he tried to work through the pain and he took his doctor’s advice that he would get better over time but this had not been occurring.

We therefore needed to ensure that he lodged the claim form as quickly as possible. Our client consulted us in January 2016 and the claim form was lodged within a few days.

The insurer sought an explanation as to reasons for the delay in the late lodgement of the claim form. We provided them with a detailed statement and statutory declaration from the client to explain the reasons for the delay in him lodging his claim form. He basically provided them with all details of his treatment from the date of the accident and that he tried to work through the pain. He was 66 years of age and he had continued to work as best as he could under the circumstances. His doctor also told him that he would get better over time but this did not occur.

All of these were substantiated by medical and treatment evidence.

After considering all of these matters, the insurer accepted our clients reasons as being as a full and satisfactory explanation in the late lodgement of his claim form.

The insurer also obtained a statement from the client detailing his treatment since the accident.

A police report was obtained in relation to the accident and it was confirmed that the other driver was at fault. The insurer forwarded a letter admitting liability with respect to their insured driver’s negligence.

The next phase was ensure that we obtained medical reports from the clients treating doctors and specialists. He was also referred to specialists for treatment and review.

We arranged for our client to be independently medically examined and assessed.

We also provided the insurer with a detailed statement from the client and also detailed particulars as to the parameters of the claim. The insurer initially only submitted a small offer of settlement in the matter. This was rejected by our client.

We provided the insurer with all of your clients financial records, employment documents, treatment and details as to the heads of damages of the claim. As a result of the matter not being able to be resolved, it was referred to an assessment hearing.

We attended the assessment hearing and after some hours of negotiation the insurer revised their earlier assessment of the claim and accepted that our client had lost wages arising from the accident. He was awarded the client a substantial award in damages of compensation in respect of him injuries, losses and damages.

This was much higher than what the client was expecting and considering that his claim was lodged late. Our client was quite surprised and happy with the outcome of settlement of his claim at the hearing, noting the previous small offer of settlement by the insurer.

Conclusion:-

If you are a driver or passenger injured in a motor vehicle accident for which you are not at fault, and you do suffer injuries from that accident, you may be entitled to claim compensation for damages arising from the accident.

In this case, our clients claim was quite late and he was able to provide a detailed explanation explaining the reasons why he had lodged the claim late because he thought his condition would recover as advise by his treating doctors and specialists. Unfortunately that did not eventuate, and our client therefore sought legal advice to see what other options he had available to him.

Fortunately we were able to act quickly and lodge his claim form so as to protect his interest in the matter. It was clear from the medical evidence that he did suffer genuine injuries and continuing disabilities arising from the motor vehicle accident.

The insurer was ordered to pay our client substantial award in damages for compensation in respect of his injuries, losses and damages.

The moral of the story is that even though your claim form is lodged late and out of time, you can still lodge a claim form with the insurer if you are not at fault for the accident and you do suffer recognised and recorded injuries in the accident.

For a free no obligation consultation, please contact our toll free number, 1800 004 878 so that an appointment can be arranged for you to attend our office to protect any legal rights that you may have arising from the motor vehicle accident.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.