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Motor Vehicle Accidents

A motor vehicle accident” is a generic, all-encompassing term to include any accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, bus or bicycle as well as including being hit whilst a pedestrian by any of those vehicles. If you sustain an injury or loss caused by the actions of another person whilst driving, being transported in or on a car, truck, bus or motorcycle or if you were a pedestrian and was hit by a car, truck, bus or motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation. What can you claim? What if its you’re fault?

Find out more about Motor Vehicle Accidents here. 

Cyclist suffers brain injury after driver negligence 900 577 aelegal

Cyclist suffers brain injury after driver negligence

CLEARY -v- THE INSURANCE COMMISSION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA [2019]

The plaintiff sought damages for personal injuries suffered on 27 April 2012, when a motor vehicle struck his bicycle from behind whilst he was stationary at traffic lights. The plaintiff commenced proceedings against the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA), the statutory body tasked to manage motor vehicle accident claims in WA, for the injuries sustained, namely:

  • a head injury limited to a right occipital intracerebral haemorrhage and consequential encephalomalacia (or softening of part of the brain);
  • bilateral visual field loss in the inferior left side quadrant of the eyes, as a result of the intracranial haemorrhage;
  • significant right ear laceration that required surgical debridement and split skin ear grafting from a donor site on the plaintiff’s right thigh;
  • fractures to the cervical vertebrae at C5, C6 and C7;
  • fractures to the thoracic vertebrae at T1 and T2;
  • fractures to ribs 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, with some displacement;
  • partial tear to the supraspinatus tendon of the right shoulder;
  • soft tissue injury and lateral meniscal injury causing existing degenerative changes in the right knee to become symptomatic;
  • right knee effusion and aggravation for some time at least of pre-existing degeneration of the right knee;
  • penetrating laceration of the left tibia;
  • left pleural effusion of the lung; and
  • bruising and abrasions, in particular, to the left temple, right shoulder, left elbow, right and left hands, and right posterior parietal scalp.

ICWA admitted that the plaintiff suffered the injuries mentioned above as a result of the driver’s negligence and the only issue for determination by the Court was the assessment of his damages, namely the extent of the plaintiff injuries suffered as a result of the driver’s negligence and the assessment of his lost earning capacity, both past and future.

In his particulars of damage, the plaintiff alleged that as a result of his injuries he lost significant consulting work and was unable to attend to the daily management of his business, resulting in its closure based largely on the claimed cognitive effects of his brain injury.

After multiple specialists gave evidence in regards to the plaintiffs long-term injuries the Court found that “…the effect of the head injury on the plaintiff’s cognitive abilities,…the work the plaintiff was doing became more difficult for him after the accident, it cost him more in effort to do that work, and that he derived less enjoyment from it.  However, I also find that he was able to effectively overcome these difficulties for a significant period after the accident, managing not only to sustain his pre-accident income but to substantially increase it in 2014 and 2015.

The Court concluded that “…the plaintiff’s ability to compete in that business had been reduced by his depression and loss of confidence and drive as a result of the cognitive effects of the brain injury.  In addition, I find the effects of his cognitive impairment and depression have diminished the plaintiff competitiveness in the job market generally to some extent”

The Court awarded the plaintiff $229,076 for past and future loss of earning capacity, $146,300 for pain and suffering being 35% of a most extreme case and medical costs amounting to a total of $437,328.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Catastrophic injury claims scheme commenced 1 July 2016 960 567 aelegal

Catastrophic injury claims scheme commenced 1 July 2016

Forming an integral part of the current Compulsory Third Party insurance scheme (CTP) in Western Australia, which provides cover for drivers and/or owners of registered motor vehicles on Western Australian roads, a no-fault catastrophic injury scheme commenced on 1 July 2016 (the Catastrophic Scheme).

Prior to the Catastrophic Scheme you had prove fault against a driver of a vehicle in order to make a successful insurance claim under the CTP. Vehicle passengers, pedestrians and cyclists can also claim against such driver to obtain compensation for their injuries from motor vehicle crash. If you are also at fault, together with the driver, you may still have a valid claim but the amount of compensation that may we awarded will be reduced according to your degree of fault.

Find out more about motor vehicle accidents. 

Recently, the WA State Government has introduced the no-fault Catastrophic Scheme which commenced on 1 July 2016.  This means that the CTP will be extended to provide care and support to all people catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents irrespective of fault. Catastrophic injures are defined as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, multiple amputations, severe burns or permanent traumatic blindness.

Find out more about catastrophic accidents. 

In other words, catastrophically injured persons resulting from motor vehicle accidents from 1 July 2016 regardless of fault, will be entitled to make a claim for care and support on a consistent basis.

People are paying extra for no-fault insurance when their vehicle registration is renewed from 1 July 2016.

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What should I do if i am involved in a car crash? 1024 683 aelegal

What should I do if i am involved in a car crash?

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I AM INVOLVED IN A CAR CRASH?

In Western Australia, the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) is the body responsible for administering the Compulsory Third Party Insurance Scheme.  All persons involved in motor vehicle crashes resulting in personal injury and fatal injury are managed by this scheme.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and are injured as a result, you should follow the following steps once in a position to do so.

Persuant to the Motor Vehicle Third Party Insurance Act 1943 (WA), notice of your intention to make a claim must be provided to ICWA.  This can be done in one or more of the following ways:-

  1. you can approach a solicitor (personal injury lawyer) to assist you with notifying ICWA of your intention to make a claim; and/or
  2. you may obtain the requisite form (the Notice of Intention to Make Claim Form) from ICWA directly by phoning them; and/or
  3. completing the relevant online form at https://www.crashreport.com.au.

Before or after notifying ICWA of your intention to make a claim, you should consult your local General Practitioner (even if you were initially treated by a doctor at any Emergency Department of any WA hospital) in order for your GP to examine you and diagnose the injuries caused as a result of the motor vehicle crash.  This is an important step as it keeps proper record of your injuries, treatment and prognosis.  It is imperative that you follow the treatment recommended by the relevant health professional.

ICWA will then investigate the circumstances of the motor vehicle accident and after you have recuperated they will attempt to settle the matter with you. The settlement process encompases two facets, namely the determination of liability, as the negligence of the driver which caused your injuries must be proved. Secondly your claim will need to be quantified as you may be entitled to various heads of damages, namely past and furture medical expenses, past and future loss of earnings, general damages for pain, suffering and the loss of amenaties of life, to name the most common ones.

At  A & E Legal, we are specialists in car accident injury compensation claims. If you intend to or have made a motor vehicle accident injury compensation claim with ICWA, and need expert guidance to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation due to you, please contact us for a no obligation free consultation in order for us to assess your claim and advise you accordingly.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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