Child Injury Compensation Case Studies

CHILD SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY IN FALL FROM WINDOW
We acted for a young boy who suffered an extremely bad brain injury when he fell out of a 3rd storey bedroom window of his Department of Housing apartment onto the concrete driveway below.
The boy, who was only 3 when the accident happened, was left with a profound brain impairment which limits his ability to walk and talk and causes him difficulty with basic everyday tasks. He will require various forms of care for the rest of his life.
We sued the Department of Housing and its contractor for failing to properly secure and maintain the window. The Department denied liability.
The claim was settled for a significant sum at a settlement conference prior to being heard at court.
Despite the tragic circumstances, it was of great comfort to the little boy’s family to know that from the settlement he would be able to pay for his treatment and medical expenses for the rest of his life.

CHILD RUNS ON ROAD

Our client was only 8 years old when he ran across the street in front of his house and was hit by a car when the driver was not able to stop or swerve in time to avoid the collision. Our client suffered a broken leg, was taken to hospital and underwent surgery.

Fortunately our client made a good recovery because the   leg fracture did not involve a growth plate.

The insurer denied liability on the basis that the accident was entirely our client’s fault.

The claim was settled satisfactorily following an exchange of offers. The settlement monies have been sent to the NSW Trustee & Guardian to be invested on our client’s behalf until he turns 18.


CHILD WANDERS OFF AND IS STRUCK BY CAR 

Our client, a ten year old boy, was with his mother at the beach enjoying a family picnic.

Whilst his mother looked away for a short period he decided to go wander off alone and proceeded to cross The Grand Parade at Brighton. He was completely unsupervised and unaccustomed to crossing busy roads.

He had managed to cross from the eastern side to the western side, and almost made it to the kerb. Unfortunately he crossed against the traffic lights and was struck by a vehicle travelling north and in the lane closest to the kerb.

Whilst he sustained a head injury, he fortunately did not sustain a traumatic brain injury and made a very good recovery.

The matter was fully prepared and the appropriate evidence obtained. His matter was settled for a substantial sum which will be held in trust until he turns eighteen.


CAR HIT AT HIGH SPEED

As our client was driving her son to an aquatic centre in Sydney her car was struck violently from behind by a heavy vehicle travelling at very high speed. The outcome was disastrous for our client, who suffered serious orthopaedic injuries and for her young son, who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.

Our client eventually recovered sufficiently to be able to resume work as a nurse, but only on a part-time basis. Our client also was unable to undertake her normal household chores and required assistance from her husband.

Her claim was settled for a large sum at a settlement conference with the insurer’s lawyer.


CHILD SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY

When our client was only 8 year old he suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a car. Our client was admitted into Lifetime Care and Support which will cover all his medical, rehabilitation and care costs for the rest of his life. Our client, on instructions from his mother, made a claim against the CTP insurer of the car for common law damages including “pain and suffering”, loss of income earning opportunity and the costs of Funds Management.

The insurer admitted liability but alleged 50% contributory negligence by our infant client, arguing that had our client been wearing a bicycle helmet the brain damage would not have been as severe.

The claim was settled at a settlement conference with the insurer’s lawyer, with very little discount for contributory negligence. The settlement was subsequently approved by the District Court.


CHILD STRUCK BY CAR

When our client was 12 years old he ran across a residential street from behind a parked car at Kurnell and was struck by a passing car. He suffered a broken leg for which he received excellent medical treatment. He made a full recovery.

A claim for compensation was lodged with the CTP insurer of the car which had hit him. Not unexpectedly the insurer denied liability but was prepared to submit an offer which our client accepted and which was approved by the District Court.


STUDENT SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY

ZN was in year 11 and was destined to become an architect or some other high earning professional when his hopes were dashed when he suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bicycle he was riding was hit by a car.

The insurer alleged he was 50% to blame for not wearing a helmet and for suddenly swerving into the path of the car.

ZN made a remarkable recovery, finished his HSC and was accepted into university.

Unfortunately he could no longer undertake the extremely intellectually challenging architecture degree because of his ongoing and permanent intellectual deficits. Rather he opted to study to be a teacher.

His claim was settled for a considerable sum with a slight discount for his own negligence for not wearing a bicycle helmet.


TEEN SUFFERS BRAIN DAMAGE

Isabelle sustained catastrophic injuries when she was just 19 years old. She was
 a passenger, not wearing a seat belt, in car driven by intoxicated driver, left
 the roadway and struck a tree.

Isabelle sustained very severe brain damage, leaving her in a wheelchair, and totally 
and permanently disabled and dependent. The insurer alleged that she contributed
 to the accident by not wearing a seat belt and by travelling in a car with an intoxicated
 driver. The case was litigated and finally settled, with Court approval, for many
 millions of dollars.


18 YEAR OLD SUFFERS SPINAL INJURY

On her 18th birthday RM went out drinking with some friends in a NSW country town.

Tragically RM suffered a catastrophic spinal injury, rendering her a paraplegic, when the car in which she was a front seat passenger, left the road and hit a tree. RM, who was not wearing a seat belt was thrown out of the car. The young driver was convicted with driving under the influence of alcohol and was sent to gaol.

The insurer claimed RM was 100% to blame for her injuries because she failed to wear a seat belt and she travelled in the car knowing the driver was drunk.

The claim was settled for a large sum with RM accepting a 50% discount because of her own negligent conduct.


CHILD SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY

Justin, 5 years old, suffered a catastrophic brain injury when the car in which he was 
travelling as a passenger and which was being driven by his father, left the roadway
and collided with a barbecue and then a tree.

Justin’s injuries were appalling and resulted in him requiring lifelong care,
 home modifications, transport modifications and an array of aids and equipment.

Justin’s claim was brought against the Third Party insurer of his father’s car.
 The insurer denied liability on the basis that the driver was not at fault because
he had had an unexpected epileptic fit, which could not have been foreseen.

It was alleged, on Justin’s behalf, that the accident occurred because his father
 was tired and fell asleep.

Both parties obtained forensic evidence to try and support their positions. It became
 clear that on the balance of probabilities the driver had indeed fallen asleep and 
that he had not suffered an epileptic fit. The claim was settled out of Court.


MIRACULOUS RECOVERY

Rachael, 18 years, was driving to her place of work when a ladder fell from a truck
 in front of her causing her to instinctively swerve to her right which result in
 a head-on collision with a car coming in the opposite direction.

She suffered a severe brain injury which left her in a coma for several weeks. 
Fortunately, she made a miraculous recovery and was discharged to her family home
 where she required only minimal care. She later became independent.

She was able to return to her work as a shop assistant on a part-time basis. She 
continued to have some difficulties with fatigue and short term memory.

The Third Party insurer, whilst admitting that the driver of the truck was at fault,
 alleged that she contributed to the accident for not having kept a proper lookout
 and failing to exercise proper care. The matter was settled out of court for a sizeable 
amount, with no discount for contributory negligence.


CHILD INVOLVED IN HIGH SPEED ACCIDENT

DR was only 15 months old when he suffered shocking facial injuries and brain injury when the car in which he was a passenger was struck at enormous speed by another car.

DR is almost 18 years old and despite his terrible injuries he has managed to stay at school, with significant assistance from teachers’ aides. He will finish year 12 but it is unlikely that he’ll ever be gainfully employed and he will always require supervision. He also faces significant additional facial surgery.

His case was settled for a very large sum to take into account all his past and future losses and his very substantial pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

A funds manager will be appointed to manage the funds. The cost of funds management was added to the value of the claim.


GIFTED STUDENT SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY

When David was 8 years old he suffered a significant brain injury in a road accident.
 Before the accident he was a “gifted” student. He made an excellent recovery from
 his brain injury but after the accident he struggled and although he achieved
 outstanding marks in the Higher School Certificate and was able to pass his university
 exams he was only able to do so by sacrificing all other activities and accepting
 lower than expected results.

It was necessary to wait until David had finished school and was half way through
 an accounting degree before we could finish his claim, as it wasn’t until he had 
got that far through his education that it was possible to see just what effect t
his brain injury was going to have on his life. The claim was successfully settled.


VEHICLE HITS POLE AT HIGH SPEED

We acted for a 16-year-old passenger who sustained catastrophic injuries in a motor 
vehicle accident. The driver, who was unlicensed, (which may have been known by 
the plaintiff) lost control at high speed and collided with a telegraph pole. The 
seat belt worn by our client had snapped and an unsecured spare tyre in the boot
 of the vehicle came through the backseat of the car striking him on the back. As 
a result of the accident our client sustained severe spinal injuries and is now 
a quadriplegic.

Despite allegations of contributory negligence and issues on the plaintiff’s life
 expectancy, this case settled out of court and our client received millions of dollars.


TEEN’S CAREER HOPES DASHED

We acted for Simon, aged 19, who suffered a burst fracture to his lumbar spine when 
the car in which he was travelling as a front seat passenger on the main street
 in Gosford turned right, directly into the path of a truck.

At the time of the accident Simon was studying for a degree in Oral Hygiene and
intended to become a dentist. Unfortunately his injuries will now prevent him from 
ever being able to work as a dentist.

In a quest to find a new career path he joined the NSW Police Force and was due
 to commence his training in late 2010. He had ambitions of being transferred to 
the Australian Federal Police and specialising in the detection of computer fraud.

The insurance company admitted liability and the claim was settled for a significant 
sum at an informal settlement conference.


CHILD SUFFERS BRAIN DAMAGE

Charlotte was 9 years old when she was struck by an unidentified car, suffering 
massive brain damage. The insurer alleged that she had jumped out in front of the
 car without warning and thus denied liability. The case went to Court and the issue
 of liability was successfully resolved in her favour. The claim subsequently settled,
 with Court approval, for many millions of dollars.


CHILD STRUCK ON HIGHWAY

Jasmine, 13, suffered catastrophic brain injury when she was run over by a car 
in the last of 6 lanes she was attempting to cross on a bush highway in Sydney.

She brought her claim for compensation against the Third Party insurer of the car
 which hit her.

The insurer alleged that the driver was not at fault. Rather it was Jasmine who
 was the author of her own misfortune in running across the sixth lane of the highway
 without giving the driver an opportunity of avoiding the accident.

On the second day of the court hearing negotiations resulted in the claim being 
settled on the basis that Jasmine was 50% responsible for the accident. Therefore
 her compensation was reduced by 50%. Jasmine still received a multi-million dollar
 settlement.