Our client was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident on his way home from work. The client was traveling over 100km/h, when a learner driver who failed to give way crossed onto the incorrect side of the road and collided with the client’s car head on, his cabin was crushed and his left and right knee trapped. The client was trapped for half an hour before being extracted from the vehicle and then airlifted to Nambour hospital.
He was in a medical induced coma for a week at the Nambour Hospital before being transferred to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. The client suffered complex facial fractures, fractured base of skull, fractured tibula and fibula, fractured left patella, fractured right hip socket, crushed right foot, total blindness in his right eye and superior scotoma in the left eye. He lost all of his front teeth, is now considered functionally blind, and suffered a brain injury that has significantly reduced his cognitive functioning. The client was not discharged home until 3 months later.
Our Legal Practice Director, Faran Gouldson drove to meet the client and his wife who is his ‘around the clock’ carer, for the first time, at their family home in Gympie. The client’s claim for damages progressed slowly due to constant further complications of the client’s injuries requiring over 30 surgical procedures and a nasty infection in his right foot that nearly resulted in amputation.
The client was on Workers Compensation benefits for 5 years, the maximum period allowed under the legislation (the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2002) Faran’s assistant spoke to the client’s wife monthly for an update and to answer any questions the couple had about WorkCover, Centrelink and Insurance companies.
It took over six years for the client’s injuries to reach a point where they were considered unlikely to improve, so that we could accurately assess his economic loss and his future requirements such that an assessment of his damages could be finalised. The client now requires care for a significant period each day. He needs help feeding, walking, climbing stairs, dressing and bathing. The client is a stoical sufferer, he is in constant pain with a reliance on opiods, and has developed an adjustment disorder with depressed mood.
Recently, a mediation was held in an attempt to settle the matter before commencing court proceedings. Prior to the mediation a pre-conference meeting with the client and his wife was held with Faran Gouldson and counsel. A lengthy explanation of the mediation and its purpose was given and an expected range of damages was discussed with the client and his wife. Our counsel explained that the major discrepancy between the parties will be the sum of damages awarded for the amount of future gratuitous care required.
After several hours of negotiation, a final offer of $3,000,000.00 was made by the defendant CTP insurer and was accepted by the client. The client and his wife were relieved that with some good financial advice they could now move forward, plan their life post injury claim process and strive to live comfortably and be financially secure. Although the road to settlement was long and winding, the client walked with persistence and courage, we at Gouldson Legal are happy to have worked with such an inspiring and enduring couple.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the changes to the worker’s compensation legislation and its impact on you or your family, please contact:
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