Injury claims from motor vehicle accidents are not to be taken lightly, but sometimes those looking for compensation can have little evidence for the claims they make.
In a recent case in front of the Court of Appeal of New South Wales, a woman who was not at fault in two separate accidents made an appeal against modest rewards from the initial court's decisions.
The accidents and initial court proceedings
The woman making the appeal was involved in two separate car accidents in 2011, one in March and one in September. Neither accident was found to be the appellant's fault.
Damages for negligence were claimed against each of the respondents in two separate cases that were overseen by the District Court. The appellant said she suffered several injuries, including to her head, neck, back, arms, shoulders, and knees. She also said she suffered psychologically from the accidents, in addition to having substantial economic losses.
In both cases, court documents show the respondents admitted liability. The appellant had claimed that each respondent owed her more than $20 million, but the judge decided to award her $1,250 in each case. The reasoning was that the appellant had not been as seriously injured as she had stated and that she only suffered "mild soft tissue injuries" that took just weeks for her to recover from.
The appeal details
The appellant made her appeal against both judgments stemming from the initial two cases. The appellant represented herself in the appeal, as she had done in the initial court proceedings.
Her seven grounds for the appeal included that the initial judge did not make all necessary considerations and that the final judgment was inconsistent with the undisputed facts.
The court's evidence and reasoning
The court dismissed the appeal for several primary reasons.
Firstly, social media posts made shortly after the 2011 accidents showed the appellant living life as usual, contradictory to her claims that she was impaired and unable to do much of anything.
Additional evidence showed further contradictions, including that the appellant was shown to be very busy working, while at the same time claiming she couldn't work because of injuries. The judge found inconsistencies between the appellant's claim that she suffered a head injury and the records from her practitioner.
Lastly, surveillance tapes from 2012 further showed that the appellant was in fine physical shape and not suffering from the physical disabilities she described. A neurologist that the appellant visited also said that it was clear she was trying to fail assessments to seek compensation.
If you have suffered injuries from a motor vehicle accident, you could be eligible for compensation. Contact us at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for a free consultation.