A promising squash player whose teaching career was cut short after she suffered severe car accident injuries is pursuing compensation through the courts.
The woman was hit by a vehicle when walking on the pavement with her newborn baby daughter in a pram. According to the driver, the incident occurred when the car’s accelerator pedal got stuck underneath the floor mat and he swerved to miss a bus and mounted the kerb.
Despite spending eight weeks in a coma, the woman survived but was left with permanent disabilities, including brain damage. She is claiming the accident has prevented her from reaching the
role of school principal at her former job, a position she was forced to give up due to her injuries.
The 40-year-old, who also blames the accident for her marriage breakdown, is now seeking damages from an insurance company through NSW District Court, 9News reports. While her lawyers are yet to suggest a compensation figure, the sum will likely take into account a range of economic and non-economic losses.
These include ongoing care costs and medical expenses, the loss of career and superannuation earnings and money for pain and suffering. The woman is requesting compensation for her divorce, arguing that she deserves money to cover the 31 per cent of her former husband’s lifetime income she would have benefited from if they remained together.
The plaintiff’s father spoke in court on Monday (February 16) of his daughter’s active sports life and intention to study a masters degree in teaching in an effort to become a deputy principal or principal.
In 2012, a year after the accident, he told The Australian that the incident has resulted in a significant “emotional fight” for his daughter.
“Everything was perfect and then she wakes up – doesn’t know she has a baby – doesn’t know she’s married,” he explained.
Her father described the breakdown of her relationship with her former spouse as “almost as bad as the accident”. His daughter moved in with him immediately after waking up from the coma and currently receives 24-hour care.
“The saddest part is she came here thinking she was going to go home to her husband and baby … it’s hard for us, but it’s much, much harder for her.”
The driver who struck her was found guilty of negligent driving and forced to do 50 hours of community service. His driving licence was also revoked for 15 months.
In 2013, after the judgement, the woman told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I have suffered a lot for his mistakes. I had to learn how to walk and to talk again. I had to learn to eat properly. All because he hit me.”