Pedestrian Injury Compensation Case Studies
WOMAN STRUCK BY CAR ON RESIDENTIAL STREEET
In June 2016 our client, who was 64 years old at the time, was walking to work in Bondi when she was struck by a car as she was crossing a narrow residential street.
Our client had been fit, well, and very active before the accident. The injuries suffered in the accident curtailed her activities and caused her a considerable degree of pain and anxiety.
The insurer alleged that our client was responsible for her own injuries for not keeping a proper lookout when she crossed the road where the accident occurred.
We went to the scene of the accident and saw for ourselves that the road was very narrow in a highly residential area. We concluded that there was no reason why the driver of the car would not have seen our client crossing the road and would have had ample time to slow down or stop and thus avoid hitting her. We also observed that there was no pedestrian crossing or traffic lights in the vicinity and that there was no reason why our client shouldn’t have crossed the road where she did.
At the settlement conference we successfully argued that there should be no discount for our client’s contributory negligence.
We successfully settled the claim, with no discount for contributory negligence.
PEDESTRIAN SUFFERS SERIOUS INJURIES CROSSING THE ROAD
In August 2013 our 50-year-old female client parked her car on a main street in Orange. Our client stepped out of the car, closed and locked the door, using the key and then placed her key in her handbag. She then started to turn towards the road which she wanted to cross. Suddenly she was struck by a car which was going in the same direction as her car was facing. She suffered terrible injuries.
The insurer completely denied liability for the accident and accused our client of causing the accident herself. This was despite the fact that our client was wearing a long bright red overcoat at the time of the accident, and that the accident occurred in broad daylight on a straight road.
The insurer maintained its denial of liability throughout a lengthy court hearing, even when it became apparent that the judge would find that the accident was primarily caused by the driver’s negligence.
The judge ultimately awarded a significant sum to our client for her terrible injuries and losses. The judge also awarded the insurance company to pay our client’s legal costs which, given the length of the trial, were very significant.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RUN OVER BY CAR
The accident happened at a very bad time in our client’s life and the life of her mother. Not only was our client at a difficult age and apprehensive about her HSC year but her family life was in turmoil after her father “ran off with a younger woman“ leaving our client’s mother destitute and with the responsibility of looking after her and her two siblings.
No-one advised our client or her mother that she may be entitled to receive compensation or that she had 6 months from the date of the accident to lodge a claim. The accident wasn’t reported to the police until about six months after the accident when our client’s mother became concerned about the mounting medical bills. She wanted to know whether an insurance could be made to pay the medical costs.
It also took a long time before our client’s mother was given details of the registration number of the car which ran over her daughter. When our client’s mother finally informed the driver about the accident and asked him to contact his insurer she received a hostile response. This discouraged her from taking the matter any further.
My client moved to England with her mother and her siblings shortly after she finished high school. She entered university which she attended for a short time before being forced to discontinue her studies due to the unremitting pain in her right foot and leg.
Our client visited her father in Melbourne in January 2018. He informed her that she may have an entitlement for compensation because of her injury. He suggested that she call a personal injury lawyer in Sydney for legal advice.
She called Tom Goudkamp in mid-January 2018. She told him what had happened to her. He immediately advised her that she needed to complete and lodge a personal injury claim for compensation with the CTP insurer as a matter of urgency because she was already 7 years ‘out of time’.
The claim was lodged with the insurer a few days later. The insurer had two months to reject the claim and request that our client provide it with a “full and satisfactory“ explanation as to why her claim was not lodged within six months of the date of the accident.
Tom met with our client and her mother in London to obtain comprehensive details of the accident, their personal circumstances at the time and the reasons why our client, through her mother, did not submit a claim for compensation within six months of the date of the accident.
He provided the insurer with what he regarded to be a ‘full and satisfactory explanation for the delay’, which the insurer rejected. The explanation included details of the family turmoil, the hostility of the driver and our client’s ignorance about the need to lodge a compensation claim within 6 months.
Accordingly the matter was litigated so that a judge could determine whether or not our client’s explanation for the lateness of her claim was ‘full and satisfactory’.
This issue came before a judge of the District Court in Sydney. The hearing lasted two days following which the judge reserved his decision. Several weeks later the judge delivered his verdict in favour of our client.
The judge ordered the insurer to pay our client’s costs of the proceedings and allowed our client’s compensation claim to continue to a hearing on liability (ie whether the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence) and the quantum of the compensation to be paid to our client if the liability issue was decided in her favour.
The case is continuing.
WOMAN HIT BY CAR SUFFERS FRACTURES AND CONCUSSION
The claim was ultimately heard by a CARS Assessor who accepted our client’s assertions and preferred the opinions of our medical experts over the insurer’s experts. The Assessor awarded compensation to our client accordingly.
SCHOOL GIRL SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY
My client, a 15 year old school girl, suffered a severe brain injury when she was struck by a car as she ran across a pedestrian crossing in Sydney’s northern beaches.
The insurer of the car denied that the driver was in any way to blame for the accident and denied liability.
We attended the scene of the accident, interviewed our client’s friends who witnessed the accident and engaged a traffic expert. Armed with this information we were able to settle the liability aspect of the claim on a 60/40 basis in our client’s favour.
PEDESTRIAN KNOCKED OVER IN CARPARK BY CARELESS DRIVER
Our client, ML, was walking through a carpark at a busy shopping mall, returning her trolley to the trolley bay, when she was knocked over by a driver too busy looking for an empty parking spot to notice our client.
Inexplicably, police investigated the accident and determined that the accident was entirely our client’s fault, despite the fact that our client was standing in a marked pedestrian area when she was hit by the car.
Based on the police investigation, the insurance company denied liability for our client’s case. They refused to pay for any of her medical treatment, and would not entertain any sensible settlement discussions to try to resolve the case.
Our expert compensation lawyers did not back down from the fight. We conducted our own investigation, by travelling to the scene of the accident with our client and spoke to the witnesses, one of whom did not speak English! It was clear that the other driver was entirely to blame and that our client did nothing wrong.
To show the insurance company that we were serious, we commenced court proceedings, which soon after lead to a settlement for our client which acknowledged that the accident was entirely the fault of the other driver.
MARKET SHOPPER INJURED BY FORKLIFT
Our client MH went to a busy Sydney market to do some shopping when a forklift truck driver lost control of his vehicle and collided with MH. MH was a pedestrian walking along the pedestrian walkway when the forklift ran over MH’s foot.
MH sustained multiple fractures to his foot that required surgery. He had previously been an active grandfather but found himself no longer able to participate in activities that he once loved. He developed a severe psychiatric disorder as a result.
Passers by had taken down the registration number of the forklift, and we therefore brought a motor vehicle compensation claim against its CTP insurer on MH’s behalf. Liability was denied on the basis that the accident had not caused MH’s injury, and we therefore commenced court proceedings in the District Court.
We obtained a report from a biomechanical medical expert who confirmed that MH’s injuries were consistent with the forces applied from a forklift crushing his foot. We also obtained medical evidence supporting his orthopaedic and psychological conditions.
We secured MH a significant lump sum at an informal settlement conference without the need for his case to go to a Court Hearing.
YOUNG SWEDISH TOURIST STUCK BY CAR
Our young female client was visiting Brisbane from Sweden when she ran cross a very busy road when she mistakenly thought there was a pedestrian crossing.
NO RECOLLECTION OF BEING STRUCK BY CAR
Being a responsible person he did not drive and was waiting for a taxi when he decided to cross the road at a very busy intersection contrary to the traffic lights and was struck by a vehicle.
Two drivers were able to avoid hitting our client as he crossed the first two lanes however, a third vehicle did not see him and ran him over, causing significant orthopaedic injuries including vertebral fractures and a mild brain injury.
Our client has no recollection of the accident. We were able to successfully prosecute his claim on the basis that the third driver who struck him failed to keep a proper lookout. This was on the basis that the first two drivers did see him and were able to avoid colliding with him.
He did, however, have to accept some responsibility, and his damages were reduced by a significant sum for contributory negligence.
Despite the reduction he still was able to achieve a very good settlement of his claim.
WOMAN STRUCK CROSSING ROAD NEAR CROSSING
Our client, who was near retirement age at the time, suffered serious orthopaedic injuries when she stepped in front of a moving car on a very dark and wet night in Balmain.
The police blamed our client for the accident on the basis that she should have crossed the road at a near-by pedestrian crossing, and that she ran in front of the car to get out of the pouring rain.
The insurer denied liability and court proceedings were commenced.
Despite the difficulty in proving any fault by the driver, our client’s claim was successfully settled for a significant sum on the basis that she was 50% to blame for the accident and her injuries.
PEDESTRIAN STRUCK AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Our client suffered injuries when a vehicle struck her when she was crossing the road.
There were three sets of lights and she had crossed through 2 of those traffic lights and was waiting to cross the third set of lights.
After the lights turned red, and before the green walk sign was illuminated, she began to cross the road and was struck by a vehicle. The driver of the vehicle said that he had a green light and CM said she had the green walk light in her favour.
After protracted settlement negotiations the case was resolved.
ELDERLY PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY REVERSING CAR
She was knocked to the ground and was then struck by the rear of the van. As result she sustained a compound and displaced fracture of both the left tibia and fibula. She was transported by ambulance to St Vincent’s Hospital where she had emergency surgery and pins and screws were inserted in her left leg to stabilise the fractures.
Remarkably, she made an excellent recovery from her injuries to the extent that she has been left with minor ongoing disabilities.
The insurance company denied liability and initially blamed her for causing the accident.
At an informal settlement conference the insurance company maintained their denial of liability, however agreed that their insured failed to keep a proper lookout, and that the claimant partially contributed to the accident by also failing to keep a proper lookout, and an appropriate compromise was reached. Her case was settled for an appropriate amount and was considered to be a good result for our client.
PASSENGER SUFFERS INJURIES
Michael was a passenger in a vehicle driven by his mother. She was his primary carer and would take him wherever he needed to go, as he was unable to drive as a result of a traumatic brain injury he sustained when he was an infant.
He relied on his mother to assist him with every aspect of daily living.
Whilst driving his mother was stationary in a line of traffic when a vehicle failed to stop in time and collided with the rear of her vehicle. As a result, Michael sustained whiplash injuries to his neck and back, which prevented him from assisting his mother with the very limited assistance that he did provide her, that is with making his bed, mowing lawns, and generally helping around the house which is something he was capable of doing prior to the motor vehicle accident.
After protracted negotiations we were able to settle his claim.
PEDESTRIAN TRAGICALLY LOSES LEGS IN BUS ACCIDENT
After enjoying a long lunch with his work colleagues during the Christmas festive season, Jason was in the process of crossing the road in the CBD when unknown to him a bus driver who was very impatient decided to turn left into a street when mark was crossing the road.
There were other pedestrians still crossing the road, but the bus driver was impatient and could not wait and proceeded turning left in front of the other pedestrians who were crossing the road in the opposite direction.
Unfortunately, the bus driver struck Jason and did not realise he did so because there is no contest between a bus and a person.
After striking Jason the bus driver continued his left turn manoeuvre and drove a further 10 to 20 metres before bystanders caught his attention to stop the bus. He was then made aware that he had run over a pedestrian.
Jason was lucky to survive the terrible accident, but unfortunately, as a result of his injuries, both of his legs had to be amputated.
Jason was accepted into the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme and all of his future care and treatment needs will now be funded for life. Since following his extensive rehabilitation, Jason was able to demonstrate more heroism and return to full time employment, and following his return to work he has continued to excel in his field and receive a promotion just prior to his case resolving.
Jason was successful in resolving his case and received compensation for his pain and suffering and past and future loss of income.
PEDESTRIAN HIT IN THE RAIN
It was raining heavily in the evening peak hour at Balmain when our client alighted from a bus and then ran across the road. She almost made it but was struck by a car travelling in the kerbside lane and suffered serious orthopaedic injuries.
As expected the insurer of the car denied liability. Fortunately the claim was settled “out of court” for a sensible sum.
PEDESTRIAN DELIBERATELY RUN OVER
Our client was a young man who was deliberately injured as a pedestrian in a frightening motor vehicle incident. Our client sustained an injury to his low back which continues to cause him problems, particularly with the long distance driving which he is required to do for his job in the retail industry.
Fortunately our client made a strong recovery from his injuries and was able to return to work within a short period of time. We were able to negotiate a settlement for our client to compensate him for his medical expenses and his time away from work, and also as an acknowledgement of the frightening experience he had due to the dangerous driving of another person.
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.
PEDESTRIAN STRUCK BY CAR
Our client was a pedestrian who was struck by a motor vehicle when she was walking on the driveway of McDonalds in a country town. As a result she suffered a very serious injury to her ankle.
At the time of the accident she was 56 years of age and fully employed, and as a result of her injuries despite her best efforts to return to work, had to retire prematurely.
Her injuries were assessed at below 10% whole person impairment but she was still able to achieve an out of court settlement for a considerable sum.
COMPANY DIRECTOR KILLED BY STREET SWEEPER
This was a very unusual and difficult claim
SU’s partner, a very high achieving director of a dance company, was killed late one night in an inner Sydney suburb by a street sweeper as she was crossing the road. There were no witnesses and the driver of the street sweeper was not charged with any driving offence.
SU made a claim for nervous shock and loss of financial dependency.
The insurer denied liability on the basis that there was no evidence that the driver did anything wrong.
The claim was litigated and was very satisfactorily settled, on a compromise basis, at a court ordered mediation.
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 incident. Therefore her compensation was reduced by 50%. Jasmine still received a multi-million dollar settlement.
ELDERLY PEDESTRIAN SUFFERS BRAIN INJURY
Our client, an 80 year old, stony deaf, pensioner, was attempting to cross a busy road in Sydney, and was about to step onto the footpath on the other side of the road, when he was struck in the head by the left wing mirror of a passing truck.
As a consequence our client, who had been living independently before the accident, suffered a traumatic brain injury and has since had to reside in a nursing home.
Our client had suffered a brain injury many years before the road accident following an assault. However the brain injury suffered in the road accident made his cognitive deficits much worse.
The insurer, not surprisingly, denied liability on the basis that our client was the author of his own misfortune by crossing a busy road in a dangerous place, and not crossing at a marked pedestrian crossing.
The case went to court and the driver and witnesses gave evidence. Our client couldn’t give evidence because of his brain injury and his stone deafness.
After 3 days of court hearing the judge found the driver to be 80% at fault and awarded our client a significant sum for his pain and suffering.
PENSIOER SUFFERS BROKEN LEG AFTER BEING STRUCK BY A REVERSING CAR
Mrs MC, an 80 year-old pensioner, suffered a fractured leg when the car she had only just got out off suddenly reversed into her, rather than moving forwards, as she walked behind it.
The insurer alleged that our client was 30% to blame which we regarded as complete nonsense.
Our clients claim was satisfactorily settled with no discount for contributory negligence.
RETIREE STRUCK CROSSING CITY STREET
Sarah, a retired librarian, was struck by a car as she attempted to cross an inner city street. Despite the fact that the car had emerged from a lane way and was travelling on the incorrect side of the road when it hit the pedestrian the insurer alleged 50% contributory negligence by her.
The case was successfully settled with no allowance for any contributory negligence.
Our client, Trevor, suffered a number of injuries when he was struck by a car at a busy Sydney intersection.
Liability was denied by the insurer because Trevor had walked or possibly run straight in front of the car which had a green light. This was confirmed by our own investigations and interviews.
We obtained instructions to submit a settlement offer which to Trevor’s delight (and our surprise) the insurer accepted.
PEDESTRIAN HIT AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS
We acted for Jeremy, a man in his early twenties who was hit by a vehicle when crossing at traffic lights. The insurer denied liability and in the alternative alleged that Jeremy had contributed to the cause of the accident. There were issues as to Jeremy’s contribution to the accident because he stopped in the middle of the crossing to speak to a friend who was in a vehicle waiting at the lights. Proceedings were commenced in the District Court but after negotiations between the parties the matter was able to be settled out of Court for a very good result.
APPRENTICE HIT ON CROSSING
Trent was a 20-year-old apprentice carpenter who was hit by a car travelling at speed, as he crossed a pedestrian crossing. Fortunately Trent sustained moderate injuries, including a fractured dislocation of the metacarpophalangeal joint in his right hand.
However, being an apprentice carpenter, this injury significantly impacted on his ability to continue his training and become a qualified carpenter. Trent was forced to give up his dream of being a carpenter and re-train in a different profession. In this case we managed to successfully argue against the CTP insurer that Trent ought to be significantly compensated for his loss of opportunity to pursue his chosen career.
The claim was settled out of Court for a substantial sum.
PEDESTRIAN LEFT UNEMPLOYABLE
Richard, 40, suffered catastrophic brain injury when he was struck by a car whilst he was trying to cross a quiet Canberra road on a dark wet night. He was intoxicated but nevertheless almost made it across the road when he was struck.
His claim was brought against the Third Party insurer of the car which hit him. The insurance company, whilst admitting liability, alleged that Richard was a major contributor to the accident and sought a hefty discount for contributory negligence.
Richard’s brain injury resulted in him requiring a high degree of care and rendering him unemployable. He received a multi million dollar settlement.
SPEEDING DRIVER HITS PEDESTRIAN
Charles was a 40 year old pedestrian, struck by a vehicle on a residential street. The driver was speeding and slightly intoxicated. Charles received serious orthopaedic injuries.
The Defendant denied liability and alleged contributory negligence. The matter was complicated due to our client’s economic loss claim in that he had not worked for 15 years. The clients claim was made up in bulk because he was assessed over 10% Whole Person Impairment and was entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Settlement negotiations were conducted with the matter reaching an extremely successful settlement.