Queensland Man Awarded $461,429 in Compensation After Car Accident

Published 29 Mar 2017

The Plaintiff in these proceedings was an elderly man whose motor vehicle was at a standstill in a line of traffic when suddenly his vehicle was struck from behind by the Defendant’s vehicle which was travelling at high speed on a busy Queensland road.

As a result of the impact of the collision, the Plaintiff alleged that that he suffered significant injuries to his person.

The CTP Insurer in these proceedings admitted that the Defendant owed the Plaintiff a duty of care, and therefore breached his duty of care as he failed to keep a proper lookout, keep control and stop the motor vehicle. Therefore, liability was not an issue in these proceedings. However both parties disputed the amount of compensation the Plaintiff ought to have been awarded as a result of his injuries, damages and loss.

In this matter, the District Court of Queensland was required to make an accurate assessment of the extent of the Plaintiff’s damages as a result of the Motor Vehicle Accident.

Previous Motor Vehicle Accident

The determination of the assessment of damages was disputed by the fact that the Plaintiff had been involved in a previous accident in 2008, whereby he had also suffered serious injuries.

With reference to the matter of Nilon v Bezzin [1988] 2 Qd R 420, the District Court of Queensland had to take into consideration, to what extent the plaintiff’s injuries and condition had worsened as a result of the subject accident.

In his evidence, the Plaintiff claimed that he had sufficiently recovered from the injuries sustained in the 2008 accident. The Defendants however submitted opposing evidence that alleged that the Plaintiff’s injuries were caused and related to the previous accident.

Medical Evidence

Both parties called upon their expert medical witnesses to give evidence on the extent of the Plaintiff’s injuries and the relationship of the Plaintiff’s previous motor vehicle accident.

Overall, the expert medical witnesses were divided on the Plaintiff’s physical state prior to the second motor vehicle accident, with some evidence suggesting that the Plaintiff would have been in the same position, even if the second accident had not occurred.

In light of the above evidence presented to the Court, it was held that the subject motor vehicle accident had caused the Plaintiff injury to his person and/or aggravated pre-existing injuries which he sustained in the previous accident. Accordingly, the Court held that the Plaintiff ought to be compensated for his injuries, loss and damages.

Economic Loss

Based on the evidence presented by both the Plaintiff and the Defendant, the Court accepted that prior to the subject accident, the Plaintiff was working as a tiler with some interference and restrictions due to the injurie she sustained din the previous accident.

However, as a result of the subject accident, the Court held that the Plaintiff went from a position where he was able to cope with tiling duties, to a position where he had great difficulty in even carrying out light duties. For this reason it was held that the second accident had reduced the Plaintiff’s earning capacity and therefore he would suffer economic loss in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

In light of the above reasoning, the Court awarded damages in the amount of $416,429.00 in favour of the Plaintiff, which included an amount for general damages, economic loss, special damages and future out-of-pocket expenses.

His Honours Assessment of the damages was as follows:

General Damages $35,000
Past Economic Loss $240,000
Past Superannuation $15,000
Interest $19,545
Future Economic Loss $135,000
Special Damages $4,577
Interest $307
Future Expenses $12,000
Total $461,429

When a Court is to determine the damages that ought to be awarded to the Plaintiff in a personal injury claim, the Court must take into account any previous accidents and/or injuries and determine if the Plaintiff’s condition has worsened as a result of the subject accident.

If you have been involved in a similar accident and have suffered serious injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For a free, no obligation consultation, contact Gerard Malouf and Partners Personal Injury Lawyers to arrange a free consultation with one of our Personal Injury Specialists.

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