“To whoever may read this if you have been in a car accident and are looking for a lawyer:
Being in a nasty road rage car accident has been one of the worst things to happen to me. Certainly it has changed my life entirely. I experienced so much loss due to disability caused by a man who took it into his head to ram me off a motorway at over 100km/hr. If this isn’t bad enough, he sped off and then lied about ever being in an accident – completely denying liability despite witnesses to the contrary. He managed to even get out of a fine!
When you are in an accident like this and you are injured you need to make sure you are covered as much as possible. At the very least, you must report the accident to the authorities if you are injured. Get yourself checked out as soon as possible either at hospital via ambulance or GP,, immediately if you can so nobody can try and say you got your injuries elsewhere but I think latest within 24-48hrs. You need then to submit an Accident Notification Form to the CTP insurers and make sure that you do it within 28days of the accident. All of this is so time limited but so important. If you need to seek compensation then you are covered so the process can begin. If you don’t feel you need to seek compensation – awesome! But you truly do need to remember these other time limited things just in case.
Before the accident, I had a great view of my future looking at fulfilling my professional desires, continuing working full time, saving up and buying a home, travel, having a meaningful life with relationships, children and enjoyable recreation. All this was taken away with the accident. I have been left with chronic disabling pain and especially, an inability to sit with my coccyx being broken and ongoing joint and nerve issues that have now been realised as permanent. It is incredible how much you need to sit in life. You need to sit to work, to travel, to eat out with friends, to watch movies in the cinema, ride horses and so on and so on. Combine that with injury to my back from the accident and chronic pain from nerve damage and joint damage associated,,, well there went my ability to go bushwalking, hiking, standing for a full shift of less meaningful work (in an attempt to find work without sitting), enjoy more intimate things of life, sleep, making my bed, washing my dishes, cleaning the house. I think you get the idea – I used to be fit and healthy and now I cannot do the most basic things that people take for granted. Not to mention the immense depression from all this loss and fear in the car that also came.
On top of all the adjustments I needed to make, I was not able to afford treatment beyond the charity of doctors who would bulk bill. Physios were something that I could not see. An occupational therapist was a pipe dream. And due to the fact of then relying on Centrelink, under law I had to “reasonably seek compensation”.
I found Gerard Malouf & Partners through an internet search. Vrege Kolokossian, a managing partner, personally came and met me in some offices in Penrith rather than me having to travel all the way into Parramatta. He met me with a free initial consultation and he went through what the legal process would entail as well as establishing all the basics of the accident and various forms ready for me should I choose to continue with GMPs services. He was matter of fact and down to earth. Both he and another lawyer within the firm, Antonio Marnia, worked tirelessly on my claim. Given the difficulties caused by the fact I had been in a previous accident many years prior and also that the man who rammed me off the road in this accident had denied liability, the team did an amazing job. Have no illusion, these legal processes can take time and they take an emotional and psychological toll as well. However, if it had not been for the amazing support of Vrege and Antonio, my needs would not have been recognised at all,,, even down to protecting some of my own personal records which were not applicable to the case regardless that opposing Insurance lawyers had subpoenaed them. These guys know how to help you through this and all the legals needed to protect you as best as possible.
Not surprisingly, the opposing insurer’s lawyers treat you as if you have not been in an accident when they start telling you that you must go for assessments with their medical assessors. The assessors also do not seem to recognise you have been in an accident when they do not try and accommodate your disability with adequate access to appointments. I was so thankful, especially to Mr Mancia, for firstly taking the time in understanding my physical and psychological restrictions in relation to appointments and was able to legally express that to the opposing so that I would at least be able to have assessments that were closer to me or appropriate transport provision so that I may attend. He was kind enough to advise me on how to deal with situations should I be asked unreasonable questions from these assessors and how to express my physical needs given my pain and inability to sit at all properly and also with dealing with the pain.
My case was complex with the denial by the driver of the vehicle that rammed me into a life of disability. Without the help of Mr Kolokossian and Mr Mancia I would probably be living at home with my ageing parents having to support and care for me. The legal process has not given me back my health, this is now impossible, and I will be dependant on the disability support pension for life now. However, GMP fought amazingly hard for me and were able to establish an Offer of Compromise from the insurer. Given my psychological health could not continue after three years of this legal battle, I am utterly grateful that GMP were able to secure the offer.
I will never have my health back. I may not ever be able to have children. I may not ever be able to work full time and use my mind in work that I used to excel at for the physical limitations I now have.
What I am able to do, is to now accept where I am after having fought so hard with GMP representing me for 3 hard years. I am able to accept my life as it is now and I am able to move on with it. I do not feel that I would have been able to do this without the representation of GMP – Vrege Kolokossian and Antonio Mancia and their staff. Without these people, I would not ever have seen an at least some settlement that now eases the burdens I have just a little. I may not be able to work properly again in my life however, their work sees me able to have some security going into the future so that I can live without the full fears of poverty caused by the road rage of another driver and the absence of integrity by insurers in control of your CTP monies.
Additionally, when it came to costs, GMP were absolutely fair. Their rates are very reasonable for the research I did on costs. They are “no win, no fee”, however they advise well as to what to expect and additionally they do have compassion and generosity of heart.
The combination of compassion, listening and fiercely fighting for your rights and reasonable compensation is something that, whilst nobody wants to have to deal with, is something that is sometimes necessary. I would recommend GMP without hesitation. This team will hear you and accommodate you as well as represent you strongly.
If you are in my position, I am sorry to hear that this has happened to you but I feel that you are in good hands with Gerard Malouf & Partners.
Many thanks again to GMP – Vrege Kolokossian and Antonio Mancia. Without you I would never have gotten through this and come out the other end in a position where I can at least ease some of the physical pain that I will experience through the rest of my life from the accident.
I cannot thank you enough.