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Child seriously injured in car accident

Our client was 11 years old when he suffered serious orthopaedic injuries, and a traumatic brain injury, when the car in which he was travelling as a passenger rolled over on an embankment.

His traumatic brain injury was deemed insufficiently severe for him to be accepted as a permanent participant into the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme.

Before the accident, whilst in primary school, our young client created a scientific web site and wrote scientific web pages and blogs. He was remarkably bright and entrepreneurial for one so young, and far ahead of his time in terms of scientific knowledge, research and his use of social media and the Internet.

Our client’s orthopaedic injuries gradually healed. However, he continued to suffer cognitive deficits from his traumatic brain injury which resulted in severe fatigue, lapses in concentration and problems with his short-term memory. Consequently, his academic performance at high school was far inferior to that of his older siblings, and well below his reasonable expectation of an HSC ATAR score in the high 90s had he not been injured.

Our client’s poor HSC result precluded him from entering university and following an entrepreneurial career in science and agriculture.

The insurance company took some time to concede that his whole person impairment was greater than 10% entitling him to be compensated for his pain and suffering.

Our client’s claim was ultimately settled for a very substantial sum, including the cost of funds management. The settlement was approved with alacrity by a District Court judge.


When our client was only 13 years old, and in his first year of high school, he suffered a serious traumatic brain injury and structural damage to his neck when the car in which he was traveling as a passenger crashed into an embankment and rolled over several times.

Our young client was transported to a major Children’s Hospital in Sydney in a critical condition where he underwent surgery and intensive medical treatment, followed by a lengthy period of intensive rehabilitation. After several months our client was discharged home where he received ongoing therapies as well as school tutoring to ensure that he did not fall too far behind in his schoolwork.

Pre Motor Vehicle Accident History

Whilst he was in primary school our client demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial abilities and intellect for someone so young. His projects included the creation of several scientific websites and other E-type projects. He was definitely ahead of his time. Our client had every reason to expect that he would have excelled in high school before completing a degree course at university, and then succeeded in whatever career or undertaking he undertook.

Our client’s older siblings all excelled at primary school, high school and at university and have done exceptionally well in their chosen careers.

Preparing the Motor Vehicle Compensation Claim

We prepared and presented our client’s compensation claim on the basis that despite being so young at the time he was injured it was more likely than not that he would have been as successful, if not more so, than his older siblings. 

Our client’s claim for damages included significant claims for “pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities “, past economic loss, future economic loss, past care provided to him gratuitously by his parents and future paid care. 

 To assist us in proving our client’s claims we interviewed and obtained detailed supportive statements our client’s parents, siblings and others who knew of his superior intellect, enterprise and potential before the car accident.

Medical Evidence

The medical consensus was that our client is likely to be severely restricted in his ability to work in any capacity for the rest of his working life because of the combination of his brain and spinal injuries. These injuries will also make it difficult for him to live independently. He will need to pay for external assistance with many activities of daily living, including some heavy domestic tasks.

Furthermore the medical evidence established that our client is incapable of managing a large sum of money with safety and that for his protection a funds manager/ trustee needs to be appointed until our client is 30 years old. Accordingly, we included a claim for the cost of the funds management.

Motor Vehicle Compensation Outcome

 It was apparent that if our client’s claim proceeded to a court hearing and judgement he would have been awarded a very significant tax free lump sum because of the compelling lay and medical evidence we would have presented to the court to satisfy the judge that had our client not been injured he would, on the balance of probabilities, have excelled academically and in his future career. 

The client’s compensation claim was settled for a significant amount just days before the commencement of the court hearing. The settlement was readily approved by a judge as being in the best interests of our client.

An application will be made in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court for an independent trustee to manage our client’s settlement monies until he is 30 years old.


My client was only 3 years old when her cousin’s unregistered motor cycle ran her down on a dirt track near Tumut, causing my client to suffer severe brain damage.

As soon as I received instructions to act for her I travelled to Tumut to inspect the scene and to inspect the unregistered motor cycle. The information I obtained allowed me to convince the Insurer of the unregistered motor cycle that it was capable of being registered with minor repairs and that the dirt track was a ‘public street’ because many people used it as a short cut from the town centre.

Many years later, after my client had turned 18, her claim was settled for many millions of dollars with the court’s approval.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 roadwayand 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 becausehe 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.


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.


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.


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 this brain injury was going to have on his life. The claim was successfully settled.


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.


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 andintended 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.


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.


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.


I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.



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