Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries

A “motor accident” can include collisions between cars, buses or motorcycles but may also apply to injuries arising from incidents involving forklifts, trains, quad bikes or similar.

Generally, anyone injured as a result of a motor accident is entitled to claim for their injuries. However, to bring a claim it is necessary to establish that the injury arose as a result of the negligence or breach of duty of care by the owner or driver of the vehicle involved. There are also special considerations in the legislation for children and for “blameless accidents”. In these cases you will need legal advice to determine whether or not you can claim.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE
TO MAKE A CLAIM?

Each motor vehicle case is different, and the eligibility to make a claim is determined by a number of factors. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident it is best to consult a member of the Brydens Lawyers team to see if you are eligible for a claim suffering damages, wage loss and loss of superannuation.

Whiplash Injuries

Whiplash is a neck injury caused by forceful, rapid back and forth movements of the neck, creating a whip-like movement. Whiplash is most commonly seen in people involved in motor vehicle accidents from rear end, side-impact or frontal vehicle collisions, but can also be caused by force, work injuries and through other accidents.

Although severe whiplash injuries can result in paralysis or even death, the majority of whiplash injuries suffered following a motor vehicle accidents are described as mild to moderate. Even mild to moderate whiplash injuries can have a significant effect on an injured persons spine resulting in painful symptoms being experienced over an extended period of time, interfering with everyday activities.

The most common symptoms of whiplash are pain and stiffness in the neck. Often such symptoms don’t develop for a number of hours after an accident or even up to 48 hours later. Headaches are also a common symptom of whiplash injuries, especially at the base of the scull. Such injuries may be one-sided (unilateral) or experienced by injured people on both sides (bilateral). Often the pain and stiffness felt in the neck extends down into the shoulders and arms as well as to the upper back and upper chest. In more severe cases of whiplash individuals can experience dizziness, nausea, blurred vision and difficulty swallowing following a whiplash injury.

Although mild cases of whiplash injury can resolve with the passage of time, moderate to more severe cases can persist over an extended period of time, with individuals in more extreme cases experiencing symptoms of vertigo (the sensation of the room spinning), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), irritability, fatigue, anxiety and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can severely affect a person’s ability to work and quality of life.

Car Damage

It is quite common that following a motor vehicle accident there is damage to both the vehicle itself as well is the occupants. Therefore, a person may be entitled to bring a claim not only for damages for the personal injury sustained but also for the damage to the vehicle.

Pre-existing medical conditions or injuries

Pre-accident injuries and medical conditions can impact upon the assessment of damages for which the injured person is entitled. Where, for example, there is evidence of a pre-e¬xisting injury, disability or condition being aggravated by the subject accident then the court is required to undertake an evaluation as to how the injuries sustained in the accident have impacted upon the claimant. The person claiming is required to prove that the subject accident caused the claimant injury loss or damage and once this has been established the burden of proof then shifts to the insurer to prove what the effects of the unrelated injury or illness would have been but for the subject accident. That is, it is up to the insurer to try and disentangle the evidence in relation to the injuries, conditions and disabilities from which the claimant suffers and how same relate to the subject accident or any pre-existing condition.

Usually an insurance company will recover the clinical records from the claimant’s treating doctors to establish the pre-accident condition and then call further evidence to argue what that condition would have meant for the claimant but for the injuries sustained in the subject accident. However, from the claimant’s perspective, it need only be established that the subject accident caused or materially contributed to the condition from which the claimant is suffering for the claimant to be entitled to recover damages commensurate with the entirety of the injury, loss or damage.

Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are classified according to their severity from mild, moderate, severe, very severe and extremely severe traumatic brain injuries. In determining the severity of a Traumatic brain injury, specialists consider how long the victim was in a coma following impact (Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score) and the length of time in Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) as the most reliable indicators.

If you have sustained a brain injury as a result of an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. Depending on the severity of your injury, damages may be available for pain and suffering, wage loss, loss of superannuation, treatment expenses and domestic assistance.

In more severe cases, individuals may be entitled to lifelong benefits under the Lifetime Care & Support Scheme for all reasonable and necessary treatment, rehabilitation and care needs in addition to compensation from the responsible CTP insurer for pain and suffering damages, wage loss and loss of superannuation.

WHAT ARE YOU
ABLE TO CLAIM?

If you are eligible to make a motor accident claim, you may be able to recover:

  • General damages for pain and suffering.
  • Past and future medical and treatment expenses.
  • Past and future economic loss.
  • The value or cost of past and future care or domestic assistance.
  • Legal costs.

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A LAWYER ABOUT MAKING A CLAIM?

Under the Motor Accident Scheme in New South Wales you are entitled to bring a claim for compensation for injuries sustained as against the CTP insurer for the vehicle at fault.

Strict time limits apply with respect to the lodging of a claim following your involvement in a motorbike accident. These time limits are as follows:

  • The accident must be reported to NSW police within 28 days of having occurred.
  • A personal injury claim form must be lodged with the CTP insurer for the vehicle at fault for the accident within six months of the accident.
  • Proceedings must be commenced within three years of the date of the accident otherwise the claim could be statute barred.

Making a motor accident claim can be a difficult and complex process, but it need not be. Brydens Lawyers are here to help. Brydens Lawyers and staff are specialists in the prosecution of motor accident claims and are happy to assist you in ensuring that your claim results in you receiving the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. To ensure that you get the best possible result speak to Brydens Lawyers about your claim today.

WHAT IS YOUR
NEXT STEP?

Once those who have been injured have been provided with proper medical treatment Brydens Lawyers should be consulted for the purpose of determining whether any claim is available for compensation for the injury sustained.

WHY ARE BRYDEN’S LAWYERS THE RIGHT REPRESENTATION FOR YOU?

Brydens Lawyers have for over 40 years been prosecuting personal injury claims on behalf of persons injured in motor vehicle accidents to ensure that they receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

For over 40 years now Brydens Lawyers has been operating a ‘No Win – No Fee”, policy which, simply put, provides that if a personal injury or compensation client is unsuccessful in their claim then Brydens Lawyers will not raise a tax invoice for having acted on behalf of the client. That is, if the claim is unsuccessful we do not get paid. More information about how this works can be found on our No Win – No Fee page.

WE DO PERSONAL INJURY WELL. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.

We acted for a 74-year-old male who was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Our client previously had a spinal fusion for a work accident 30 year prior to the subject accident. At the time of the subject accident, our client was casually employed as a sports trainer and was able to do his domestic duties. Unfortunately, because of the subject accident he was not able to return to any form of employment or domestic duties. We were able to secure a settlement which compensated him for his economic loss, domestic assistance and treatment expenses.

We acted for a client 60-year-old female client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and consequently required a fusion and developed a back disease. Our client was referred to the Medical Assessment Service (MAS) for Whole Person Impairment (WPI) and Treatment disputes and attained unfavourable results. As a result of the unfavourable certificates, our client’s damages were significantly restricted at the hearing. The Insurer disputed that any ongoing injuries were related to the accident relying on the unfavourable MAS Certificates, however we sought to run an argument that the unfavourable MAS certificate should not be admitted because it would cause substantial injustice to our client. The Defendant, Insurer appreciated our argument and the risk of running the proceedings before a judge and we were able to secure an excellent commercial settlement for our client.

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