A woman who suffered severe injuries after falling from a horse during a camp-drafting event is seeking damages through a public liability claim.
Camp drafting involves a horse rider separating a beast from a herd of cattle and performing various tasks to show a panel of judges how well the individual can prevent the animal from returning to the pack.
The accident, which occurred six-and-a-half years ago, was allegedly due to heavy rainfall the day before the event. After several horses had been ridden across the ground, it became slippery, and the plaintiff claimed this contributed to her falling from her horse during the competition.
The woman damaged her spine, causing incomplete paraplegia and significant permanent disabilities. She is pursuing the public liability claim against the event organiser, a not-for-profit enterprise.
The case has numerous factors that could affect the final outcome, one of which is the plaintiff's apparent denial of the extent of her disabilities.
Her lawyers believe the woman understated her injuries to various medical specialists as a result, making it difficult for them to evaluate her level of incapacity.
According to Supreme Court documents, there have also been lengthy delays in bringing the matter to a hearing. Personal injury proceedings began on August 2 2012, but it took 22 months for the non-profit to mount a defence. Moreover, it took until June 2016 for a hearing to be arranged for May the following year.
Further delays have occurred because the plaintiff enlisted the services of a different lawyer at the beginning of 2017, who asked for a new hearing due to the amount of work needed to obtain and update medical evidence.
The plaintiff must now wait until April 30 2018 before her case will go before a judge.
In the meantime, she is expected to visit several new medical practitioners to bolster her claim, while doctors and other experts that previously examined her will provide updated reports.
If successful, the woman can expect to receive compensation to cover a range of economic and non-economic costs. These include lost earnings and superannuation, as well as payments for pain, suffering and a poorer quality of life.
Would you like to learn more about public liability claims in NSW? Please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for information on personal injury payouts.