Mashaghati v Anderson & Allianz [2016] QDC 245

Published 21 Jun 2017

On 1 May 2011 at about 9:30pm the Plaintiff, Mr Mashaghati was driving his motorcycle along Synnum Road in Brisbane. In the opposite direction another motor vehicle being driven by the first defendant was travelling westbound on Synnum Road and did a U-turn across the lane the Plaintiff was travelling on.

As a result, the Plaintiff clipped the first defendant’s motor vehicle and crashed into the rear and tow bar of a parked vehicle on the side of the road. As a consequence of the accident the Plaintiff sustained serious injuries which impacted his capacity to work on a full-time basis.

Issues

The Defendant admitted liability in this matter and admitted that the accident was caused by the first defendant’s negligence. However, the Defendants disputed the casual link between the accident and the Plaintiff’s injuries. The determinative issues in these proceedings were to determine:

  1. Is it more probable than not that there is a casual relationship between the defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s impairment?
  2. The assessment of damages that the Plaintiff should be awarded.

In addition to the issue of causation, the Defendants also questioned the credibility and reliability of the Plaintiff, corroborative witnesses and documents. The Defendant’s case was that the Plaintiff was a liar and convicted perjurer who was not credible and had sustained minor injuries, which were exaggerated to pay of his debts. On this basis the Defendants argued that the Plaintiff should receive a small award in compensation.

The Defendants made submissions that the Plaintiff was a dishonest person with a long criminal history. In particular, with reference to the Notice of Accident Claim which was lodged by the Plaintiff following the accident, the Plaintiff recorded that he had not suffered any previous injuries or health conditions.

The Defendant brought to the courts attention that in clinical notes obtained from the Plaintiff’s chiropractor, the Plaintiff had suffered from a 12-year history of past back and hip problems. The Defendant made submissions that the injuries the Plaintiff claimed he had suffered as a result of the subject accident were pre-existing and not a result of the accident in question.

While the Plaintiff testified that his solicitor had completed the document on his behalf, the Defendant raised to the court that it was the Plaintiff who signed the form and declared that the contents to be “true, correct and complete in every respect”

The Plaintiff in these circumstances had to prove that his injuries, loss and damages, which he claims he had suffered, were connected to the first defendant’s negligence.

In determining the issue of causation, the casual relationship between the first defendant’s negligence and the plaintiff’s impairment was taken into consideration by the medical evidence which was relied upon by both the Plaintiff and the Defendants.

His Honour noted at paragraph [39]:

“The relevant question is whether the first defendant’s negligence was so connected with the plaintiff’s loss or damage that, as a matter of ordinary common sense and experience, it should be regarded as a cause of it

His Honour took into consideration each injury that the Plaintiff alleged he sustained and ascribed an Injury Scale Value (ISV) to each injury as prescribed by the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) and the Civil Liability Regulation 2003 (Qld).

In his Judgement, His Honour was satisfied that the Plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the first defendant’s negligence and noted at paragraph [101]:

“Here the plaintiff has shown some physical and mental disability from an accident which have reduced his working capacity and are likely to realise economic loss

Judgement was entered into in favour of the Plaintiff and damages were awarded in the amount of $164,077.23 as follows:

General damages $30,600.00
Past and future care and assistance $NIL
Past Economic Loss $31,400.00
Interest $1,336.73
Past Superannuation Loss $2,983.00
Future Economic Loss $75,000.00
Future Superannuation Loss $8,497.50
Past Special Damages & Interest $500.00
Future Special Damages $13,760.00
Total $164,077.23

Related Publications