Senior Scientist following a Rear End Motor-Vehicle Accident did not realise the extent of her injuries exceed 10% Whole Person Impairment

PUBLISHED 04 Feb 2016

Ms XMW worked as a Senior Scientist for a major hospital. She was travelling in a car as a passenger when another vehicle hit from behind at speed when she was stationary at a set of lights in Hurstville.

As a consequence of this accident, her and her husband who was driving the car were injured suffering from symptoms commonly associated with whiplash.

Gerard Malouf and Partners were initially called to investigate the husband's injuries as he was experiencing extreme pain and loss of range of movement in the areas of his neck and lower back, which included numbness and tingling radiating down his arms and legs.

Ms XMW was experiencing similar symptoms but in her estimation she felt that these injuries would resolve and at our initial consultation with the husband, she was reluctant to even pursue a motor-vehicle accident claim.

After advising her of the strict time limits, that being sick having to submit to the proper insurer the motor-vehicle accident personal injury claim form within 6 months of the date of the accident, she made the decision to submit the claim form as a measure of safety.

In the following months, her condition to deteriorated. She was suffering more numbness and tingling radiating into her arms, in particular into her right arm as well as into both legs. The right arm radiculopathy was hindering her dexterity which also affected her work.

Although she continued to work with minimal days off, only for treatment, she was working with pain and difficulty.

These difficulties also extended into her normal daily activities, in particular, in relation to her two children who needed to be taken to out of school tuition, music classes and sporting events. These extra-curricular activities were daily and required a lot of attention which she was no longer able to devote to.

As a person on an income higher than average, she was able to afford to have assistance and to maintain her lifestyle to some degree, but at the cost of expending money.

She was initially examined by an independent medical examiner to have sustained injury in excess of 10% whole person impairment. The Insurer had her medically assessed and she was assisted be slightly under the threshold. Following an assessment by the Medical Assessment Service, it was confirmed that Ms XMW did sustain an injury in excess of 10% whole person impairment.

This is a clear example that sometimes injuries do not fully present themselves until sometime after the date of accident and that it is important to submit a claim form before the expiry of the six-month time limit to simply ensure that a claim can be properly proceeded without having to provide an explanation in full and one that would satisfy the insurer of the delay. Ms XMW who lost minimal time in relation to work, was still able to pursue a claim for the potential for future economic loss because her injuries are permanent and that it is more likely than not that she will have to retire early and will require time off in the future in relation to future medical treatment.

If it were not for the experience and expertise of Gerard Malouf and Partners, Ms XMW may not have pursued a claim at all and would have continued to suffer loss from the date of accident and into the future because of a failure to pursue a claim.

It is also through the experience and expertise of the solicitors of Gerard Malouf and Partners that her injuries were recognised even though she did not recognise the severity of those injuries herself.

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