A woman who suffered spinal injuries in a car accident that was not her fault has received a significant payout from the NSW Supreme Court.
On the day of the incident, the woman had been driving to work when another driver rammed her from behind. The collision caused her car to then hit a stationary automobile in front of her.
The woman, a former nurse, had driven through an intersection and was sitting idly when her vehicle was struck, and the driver responsible for the crash admitted negligence.
When deciding damages, the courts took into consideration a number of conflicting medical reports relating to the woman’s injury. Nevertheless, the judge described the woman as a reliable witness, adding that she even underplayed the seriousness of her condition on certain occasions.
The plaintiff is allegedly unable to continue working in her previous profession as a nurse, with her injuries making lifting, driving, bending, carrying and prolonged sitting uncomfortable and painful.
However, the woman did not meet the 10 per cent impairment threshold to receive non-economic damages. This compensation can be awarded for pain and suffering, as well as the effect injuries have on pursuing leisure pursuits.
The courts took several pieces of legislation into account when calculating damages, including the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 and the Civil Liability Act 2002.
District Court Judge Leonard Levy awarded the woman $746,165 for the physical injuries and ongoing mental issues she has suffered due to the crash.
“The plaintiff takes medication for pain and for the psychological impact her injuries have had upon her. She experiences emotional ups and downs,” he stated.
“She has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with vivid recollections of the accident, and she has chronic depression that relates to her injuries and their adverse consequences to her.”
Judge Levy calculated the woman’s past and future lost earnings at $350,000, with superannuation benefits totalling just under $40,000. Past gratuitous domestic assistance costs were ruled to be worth over $100,000.
The plaintiff is expected to require six hours a week home assistance in the future, adding a further $63,000 to her compensation payout. There were also considerable past out-of-pocket expenses of approximately $40,700. The accident occurred more than 10 years ago and the plaintiff had accrued notable expenses during this time.
If you have been injured in a car accident, please contact an experienced compensation lawyer in NSW to see whether you are eligible for damages.