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Passenger awarded significant compensation payout after being involved in motor vehicle accident

The Plaintiff was a passenger in a motor vehicle which was involved in a one vehicle accident. The vehicle was being driven by his friend. He was a passenger in the front seat and the driver was intoxicated. He lost control of the vehicle causing it to roll a number of times. The Plaintiff needed to be cut out of the wreck. As a result of the accident he suffered the following injuries:

  1. Fracture ribs;
  2. Fracture sternum;
  3. Fractured hip;
  4. Pulmonary collapse;
  5. Whiplash to the neck;
  6. Head injury.

As a result of the accident, the Plaintiff required significant care and assistance around the home from his mother and sister. Both his mother and sister gave evidence to this and His Honour did not challenge them on it. They did not exaggerate the Plaintiff’s health problems.

The evidence that was given also told of a significant psychological injury, in particular severe paranoid delusions that the Plaintiff was suffering. The Plaintiff would often undersell the severity of this to his treating doctors compared to what his mother and sister witnessed.

He would be prompted to wash his clothes, wash himself and to maintain an appropriate dress standard. He also relies on takeaway food. When the Plaintiff spends time away from his mother and sister he lives in a dishevelled state.

As far as the medicals were concerned, the Plaintiff had attended upon a number of specialists all who formed an opinion of serious injury. Physically, his hip injury required future hip replacement surgery and the early onset of arthritis. Psychologically, he was assessed as suffering from:

  1. Schizophrenia;
  2. Chronic Major Depression;
  3. Alcohol Abuse;
  4. Polydrug abuse.

The doctors opined the above injuries along with the ongoing disabilities would severely impact the Plaintiff’s future employment opportunities, medical treatment needs and domestic care and assistance.

Damages

Having considered all this and accepting the evidence before him, Justice Elkaim was left to determine the damages to award to the Plaintiff. He noted the following before commencing this procedure:

“It is clear from the medical evidence that the plaintiff’s mental condition is serious, severe and is likely to deteriorate. There is no reasonable prospect of improvement let alone cure.”

Accordingly, the following damages were awarded:

Non-Economic Loss

$350,000.00

Past Out of Pocket Expenses

$4,912.84

Future Out of Pocket Expenses

$50,000.00

Past Economic Loss

$117,500.00

Past Loss of Superannuation

$12,925.00

Future Economic Loss

$554,176.00

Future Loss of Superannuation

$60,959.36

Past Care and Assistance

$30,000.00

Future Paid Care

$588,360.00

Total

$1,768,833.20

If you or anybody you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, please contact the Motor Vehicle Accident specialists at Gerard Malouf and Partners for a free consultation.

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Gerard Malouf & Partners
 — Personal Injury Compensation Lawyers

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