We will examine the case of Dewar v Allianz Australia Insurance Limited  NSWPIC 270, which was decided by Member Castagnet of the Personal Injury Commission. The case revolves around a claimant who sustained injuries in a motor accident while traveling as a passenger in a bus. The claimant sought a review of the insurer’s decision, which held her wholly responsible for the motor vehicle accident . Let’s delve into the details of the case and the subsequent ruling.
Bus Accident Compensation Claim Background
The claimant, who was injured in the bus accident, applied for statutory benefits from the compulsory third-party (CTP) insurer, Allianz. Although the CTP insurer initially accepted liability for the first 26 weeks, they subsequently denied any further payments. Dissatisfied with the insurer’s decision, the claimant requested an internal review, which upheld the original decision. As a result, the claimant brought the case before the Personal Injury Commission.
Bus Accident Compensation Claim Details
The case was based on various pieces of evidence, including CCTV footage from the bus, statements from the claimant and the insured driver. According to the claimant, she fell off her seat when the bus abruptly stopped, resulting in her injury. She alleged that the driver was rushing and did not give her enough time to tap her card properly before moving the bus.
On the other hand, the bus driver stated that he did not recall specific details of the incident but believed that the claimant fell because the seat next to her was folded up. He denied any excessive acceleration or harsh braking.
Both parties relied on the CCTV footage as evidence to support their respective claims. The claimant argued that the footage showed the driver motioning her to the back of the bus without allowing her to tap her card. Additionally, she claimed that the driver accelerated and then braked suddenly, leading to her fall. Conversely, the CTP insurer argued that the footage indicated the driver waited for the claimant to find a seat before moving the bus, with no evidence of excessive speed or negligent driving.
Personal Injury Commission Decision and Rationale
After carefully considering the evidence and submissions from both parties, Member Castagnet made a determination “on the papers,” without the need for a formal hearing. The claimant argued that the bus driver’s conduct fell below the required standard of care, especially considering her impaired mobility and the driver’s duty as a professional. On the other hand, the CTP insurer contended that the driver acted appropriately and that the claimant failed to take reasonable precautions for her own safety.
Member Castagnet concluded that the claimant was not wholly or mostly at fault. Instead, it was determined that the bus driver should have recognized the risk of harm to the claimant due to her compromised position and waited for her to secure herself before moving the bus.
Why Engage a Bus Accident Lawyer from Stacks Goudkamp?
Being involved in a bus accident can be a traumatic experience, causing physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident in New South Wales (NSW), it’s crucial to understand your legal rights and the bus accident compensation you may be entitled to.
When seeking bus accident compensation in New South Wales, it is highly recommended to engage the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Stacks Goudkamp, our expert lawyers specialize in personal injury claims and will guide you through the legal process, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
By choosing Stacks Goudkamp to represent you for your CTP injury claim, you will be in the best of hands. You can be confident that your personal injury lawyer will have the knowledge and the experience and the personality and character to do their very best for you to ensure that your claim is successful and that the compensation process is as stress free for you as possible.
Contact Stacks Goudkamp on 1800 25 1800 to get immediate support in accessing your entitlements.
Written by Karina Goodall
Karina Goodall is a Practice Group Leader and Director at Stacks Goudkamp specialising in motor vehicle accident claims and superannuation and TPD claims.