Even in motor vehicle accident cases where liability is easily determined, more often than not, disagreements arise between parties over the amount of damages a plaintiff is entitled to. This was evident in the below case, where a woman sustained injuries after a motorcycle veered into the wrong side of the road and collided with her vehicle.
Background of the motor vehicle accident
The accident occurred on December 20, 2014. At the time, the plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by her adult daughter. The motorcycle travelled onto the wrong side of the road at high speed and struck the vehicle in which the plaintiff was sitting. The motorcycle was unregistered and uninsured at the time.
As liability was already determined, the proceeding related to matters around the assessment of damages to which the plaintiff was entitled to – all of which were claimed under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 (NSW).
At the time, the plaintiff did not meet the whole person impairment threshold of greater than 10 per cent which would have allowed for non-economic loss damages. Therefore, her claim was for:
The passenger claims she suffered injuries to her lumbar and cervical spine, right shoulder, left wrist, chest, right arm and leg, along with psychological issues.
How did the defendant respond?
In his defence, the driver of the motorcycle admitted a breach of duty of care, but did not agree with the extent of the plaintiff's injuries.
What did the court decide?
The court found that the plaintiff's injuries had impeded her ability to carry out daily tasks, including her job as a house cleaner. After reviewing a number of medical reports, the court accepted the plaintiff's evidence and that her array of injuries were causing the amount of pain she originally stated. This was backed up by doctors' professional opinions and tests.
Therefore, on the grounds of medical findings, the court concluded that the plaintiff was eligible for damages amounting to $100,320.
If you've been involved in a motor vehicle accident that wasn't your fault, you too may be able to claim for damages. Get in touch with the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out how we can help.