A Car Accident Injury Can Have Long Term Financial Impact

Ms Hickey was a 27 year old self-employed landscaper, trading under the name of “Roots and Rocks”. Ms Hickey’s business involves the landscaping of residential homes. Ms Hickey also assumes all of the administrative duties associated with the running of the business. Ms Hickey is single.   Ms Hickey was the seatbelted driver of a Landrover vehicle which was involved in a two vehicle accident on 28 August 2010. Ms Hickey’s vehicle was side-swiped by a courier which failed to give way at an intersection.  

Why did this landscaper need a specialist car crash lawyer?

The following list of injuries documents why Ms Hickey needed a specialist car crash lawyer.  
  • She has been left with a residual impairment to her lumbar spine, which has been reported to equate to a 10% whole person impairment.
  • It has also been reported that if Ms Hickey’s symptoms persist, she may require lumbar fusion surgery, which will increase her whole person impairment to 25%.
  • Ms Hickey attended her general practitioner following the accident. She was referred for a CT examination which diagnosed whiplash injuries to the cervical and lumbar spine.
  • Ms Hickey was referred for physiotherapy treatment and consulted upon an orthopaedic surgeon.
Why was Car crash lawyer required? Immediately following the accident, Ms Hickey required some two weeks off work. Due to the nature of her self-employment, Ms Hickey had to return to work full time after this time.   Ms Hickey continues however to suffer from persistent lumbar spine symptoms since she has returned to work. She has suffered from aggravation of her symptoms as a result of heavy lifting of concrete, rocks and other land-scaping materials, forward bending and maintaining awkward postures at low levels with ground work, and long periods of standing and walking whilst onsite. Ms Hickey has also experienced difficulty with long periods of sitting while driving and undertaking administrative duties.   As a result of her ongoing symptomology, Ms Hickey has had to take frequent breaks in order to stretch and interchange her postures. She has also struggled to maintain her full-time work load since the accident, and has been required to reduce her working hours.   Ms Hickey’s business has lost several clients as a result of her accident, as she has been unable to coordinate the logistics associated with larger landscaping jobs. Even if she is able to take on larger jobs (which can be worth up to $50,000.00), Ms Hickey is now forced to hire additional subcontractors, which significantly reduces the profitability of her business.   How will a specialist Car crash lawyer help?   It has been recommended that Ms Hickey seek treatment from an occupational therapist and physiotherapist (at an annual cost in excess of $1400 to maintain her current level of functioning.   It has also been reported that Ms Hickey might benefit from lumbar fusion surgery in the future at a cost of some $40,000.00.   It has been recommended that Ms Hickey undertake further training to expand her skill base to assist her to gain alternative lighter employment.   What does the client need to do to restore their income (and potential income) and how will a specialist Car crash lawyer assist?   Ms Hickey should undergo the rehabilitation treatment that has been recommended to her. Although it will not materially change her condition, such treatment is essential to maintain her current level of functioning.   Essentially, Ms Hickey has worked primarily in physically demanding occupations for most of her life, but is now unable to do so. She has limited training or experience in lighter occupations so the likelihood of economic disadvantage over the course of her working life is very high. This will be a significant barrier to her securing employment. To give her a better opportunity to secure more appropriate employment, Ms Hickey should undertake extensive job seeker assistance.   Even if Ms Hickey is able to continue working in her current role, she will have to go to great lengths to manage her ongoing symptoms. She will be required to reduce her working hours and delegate aggravating work tasks to manage her symptoms. In all likelihood, it seems that Ms Hickey will ultimately require retraining to an occupation which better accommodates her ongoing occupational restrictions.   What could the client have done to help with her car crash lawyer with her claim?  
  • Keep details of all time off work and lost income as a result of the accident. Provide the lawyers with details of same;
  • Provide copies of all business records, including business tax returns, profit and loss statements, BAS etc.
  • Keep details of jobs the business has had to turn down, as a result of Ms Hickey’s inability to undertake the work as a result of the accident/his injuries;
  • Keep details of times where the business has had to subcontract work (which it previously would not have) as a result of the accident;
  • Advise the lawyers of business and individual tax returns that have been lodged.
If you or someone you know is self-employed and has been involved in a car accident that has caused them having to reduce their workload, they may be entitled to compensation. Many cases may appear to be similar. At Gouldson Legal we understand each case is unique. Speak to a lawyer for a free no obligation assessment of your claim. To see a car accident injury compensation claim case study click here If you have suffered whiplash in a car crash click here

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