Young Canberra father receives over $475,000 following motor vehicle accident

On 18 September 2014 our client was the driver of a vehicle which was involved in a car accident in Canberra, ACT. Our client received a burst fracture to his lumbar spine, injuries to his neck and shoulder. Our client also incurred psychological injuries in the months following the accident.

Following the accident our client spent 8 weeks in hospital and upon his release was in a spine brace for another 12 weeks. 5 months later our client was able to return to work on restricted duties of 2 days per week. This gradually built up over the next 2 months and by the beginning of April 2015 he was able to work full time again. Luckily for our client this time off work was covered by the workers compensation insurers.

At the time of the accident our client worked as a salesman for a hot water wholesaler. Needless to say his job required him to undertake occasional bending and lifting of heavy water heaters to demonstrate how they worked.

Following his return to work our client found that he was the only sales person left employed by his business as a result his work load increased. While he was able to cope with the work throughout the day he found that would return home and be unable to do anything but lie on the couch and recover.

Our Firm ensured that our client was seen in our Canberra offices and completed all the relevant claim forms to ensure his rights where protected.

Reg Kolokossian of Gerard Malouf and Partners obtained medical evidence which showed the extent of his injuries and using this he was able to assert that our client would be unable to work until the normal retirement age.

These medical reports were also able to uncover a certain amount of sexual dysfunction which our client was experiencing. Given that our client was in the middle of starting a family this was causing significant problems. Given this fact and the significant discomfort our client was receiving from his lower back injury, Reg was able to negotiate a significant amount of money for his pain and suffering.

Once all the evidence had been acquired Reg prepared an initial offer to the CTP insurer which claimed compensation for the past and future medical treatment expenses, money for the household care our client was receiving, his loss of income and the pain and suffering which he had received.

A settlement conference was quickly organised with the insurer and ultimately this matter settled before any more time and money was wasted by going through the ACT court system. Our client received over $475,000.00 which he was happy to use to look after his young family.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we are not a giant publicly listed law company, but a highly specialised and focused personal injury specialist law firm. We are small enough to care intimately for our clients, but large enough to have the solid financial, and expert resources our client’s need to fight and win their cases!

For free over-the-phone advice or to take advantage of our free face-to-face consultation call our expert lawyers today on our Free Call Number 1800 004 878.

Young Canberra father received over $475,000 following motor vehicle accident injury

On 18 September 2014 our client was the driver of a vehicle which was involved in a car accident in Canberra, ACT. Our client received a burst fracture to his lumbar spine, injuries to his neck, shoulder and he started to experience a loss of sensation to both of his legs. Our client also incurred psychological injuries in the months following the accident.

Following the accident our client spent 8 weeks in hospital and upon his release was in a spine brace for another 12 weeks. 5 months later he was able to return to work on restricted duties of 2 days per week. This gradually built up over the next 2 months and by the beginning of April 2015 he was able to work full time again. Luckily for our client this time off work was covered by the workers compensation insurers.

At the time of the accident our client worked as a salesman for an instant hot water wholesaler. Needless to say his job required him to bend and lift heavy water heaters to demonstrate how they worked.

Following his return to work our client found that he was the only sales person left employed by his business as a result his work load increased. While he was able to cope with the work throughout the day he found that he would return home at night and be unable to do anything but lie on the couch and recover.

Our Frim ensured that our client was seen in our Canberra offices and completed all the relevant claim forms to ensure his rights where protected.

Reg Kolokossian of Gerard Malouf and Partners obtained medical evidence which showed the extent of his injuries and using this he was able to assert that our client would be unable to work until the normal retirement age.

These medical reports were also able to uncover a certain amount of sexual dysfunction which our client was experiencing. Given that our client was in the middle of creating a family this was causing significant problems. Given this fact and the significant discomfort our client was receiving from his lower back injury, Reg was able to negotiate a significant amount of money for his pain and suffering.

Once all the evidence had been acquired Reg drafted an initial offer to the CTP insurer which claimed compensation for the past and future medical treatment expenses, money for the household care our client was receiving, his loss of income and the pain and suffering which he had received.

A settlement conference was quickly organised with the insurer and ultimately this matter settled before any more time and money was wasted by going through the ACT court system. Our client received over $475,000.00 which he was happy to use to look after his young family.

At Gerard Malouf & Partners we are not a giant publicly listed law company, but a highly specialised and focused personal injury law firm. We are small enough to care intimately for our clients, but large enough to have the solid financial and expert resources our client’s need to fight and win their cases!

For free over-the-phone advice or to take advantage of our free face-to-face consultation call our expert lawyers today on our Free Call Number 1800 004 878.

Compensation for patient injured when tripping over bollard at a public Canberra hospital

On or around July 2013, our client was an elderly lady who was a patient and lawful entrant at a public hospital in Canberra to which she was attending to for treatment.

Our client was within the underground carpark of a public hospital when she tripped and fell on a parking bollard causing her to fall to the ground and suffer injury.

It was alleged that the illumination of the carpark was provided by artificial lights and that some of the lights within the carpark were turned off and not functioning and/or defective.

On the floor of the carpark was a parking bollard which had been laid down to the ground in the underground carpark. The bollard was not plainly visibly. The bollard was a hazard to pedestrians within the carpark. The risk to a person who is walking within the carpark of tripping on a bollard which had been laid down on the ground was a risk of harm.

As our client was walking within the premises of the underground carpark, she tripped on the bollard and fell and she was thereby injured.

Prior to our client’s accident another person walking within the carpark had tripped on a bollard which had been laid down on the ground, which event had been reported to the hospital.

It was alleged that the risk of harm was known to the hospital at the time of our clients fall, and that the risk of harm was clearly foreseeable by the hospital at the time. Such risk of harm was not insignificant.

It was alleged that our clients injury was caused by the negligence of the hospital, it servants and/or agents, in failing to take pre-cautions against the risk of harm.

Furthermore, it was alleged that a reasonable person in the hospitals position would have taken precautions against the risk of harm eventuating as it did to our client.

The particulars of negligence and precautions as alleged against the public hospital included the removal of the bollard, raising the bollard to a position perpendicular to the floor, warning our client of the presence of the bollard, inspecting the bollard, illuminating the bollard, having a reasonable system of maintaining the lighting in the carpark, and ensuring that persons engaged to maintain the lighting in the carpark did so regularly and in a competent manner.

Our client had received earlier advice that she did not have a case worth pursuing, until she sought advice from our firm. It was our view that our client would succeed on the liability matters having regard to the circumstances of her accident.

Our client had pre-existing medical conditions which she alleged had been aggravated by the fall at a public hospital in Canberra. It was alleged that her condition results by way of either cause or material aggravation from the fall suffered by her on or around July 2013.

We followed the appropriate requirements and procedures under the ACT Legislation. A personal injury claim notification required by the Civil Law (Wrongs) Act. This claim form was served on the ACT Government solicitor. Once the personal injury claim form was lodged, the ACT Government Solicitor was required to provide in response copies of all information, documents and particulars with respect to our clients accident. Once that documentation was received, it was clear that our client would succeed on the liability matters.

The medical issues were in dispute however we arranged for our client to be medically examined and assessed and served that report on the ACT Government Solicitor to address the material aggravation of our client’s injuries as a result of the accident.

The ACT Government Solicitor appreciated the risks in terms of the liability and medical issues dispute the medical evidence, and without any admission of liability on their part, they participated in negotiating an out of Court settlement of our clients claim in which our client was awarded damages in full and final settlement of her claim.

Considering the liability and medical issues in the matter, our client was able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement to resolve the totality of her claim.

Conclusion:

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a trip and fall either on public or private premises in Canberra or anywhere else, you may be entitled to damages as a result of the negligence of the other party in failing to take precautions against a risk of harm that they knew or ought to have known in the circumstances which has resulted in your injury as has been the situation with our client in this claim.

Despite receiving legal advice to the contrary and the risks in terms of liability and medical issues, our client contacted our firm and were able to prosecute her claim and resolve the claim on the basis that she would receive an award for damages for her injuries, losses and damage.

Wife of ACT Man Receives $75,000 as Compensation from Major ACT Hospital’s failure to promptly diagnose cancer

Our client was a middle-aged man from the ACT who was admitted to the Defendant hospital for investigation and management of a suspected appendicitis and possible adjacent neo plastic lesion due to a history of right sided lower abdominal pain. Our client was admitted for surgery to remove part of the colon.

However during surgery, it was discovered that there was a cancerous tumour growth in the intestine and it had spread to the lymph nodes.

Adjuvant chemotherapy for several months was quickly arranged for our client. Once it was over, CT scans showed no evidence of recurrence. However, a month later, our client began experiencing left sided abdominal pain. Again, nothing was detected on the CT Scan.

Our client was then presented for medical oncology review at the hospital and he complained of a lump in his abdominal scar and the pain coming from it. The hospital recommended that he underwent a CT Scan to investigate these symptoms, but the scan was ordered for “within the next three months” rather than on an urgent basis, despite our client’s complaints of abdominal pain.

Two months later, our client underwent an abdominal ultrasound identifying a mass in the left abdominal wall, and a biopsy was performed a month later. It confirmed the recurrence of bowel cancer. Our client was then admitted to the hospital with obstructive jaundice, and tests confirmed that the cancer was now spread to different parts of the body as a result of the recurrent bowel cancer. A year later, our client passed away.

Mr Leslie Abboud and his team of specialist medical negligence lawyers were given the case to handle, and after speaking to experts in the field, found that the delay in investigations had caused significant clinical morbidity including the loss of opportunity to prevent or delay the development of malignant biliary obstruction by early initiation of palliative chemotherapy, which would have improved the chances of local control of the disease.

After this evidence, Mr Abboud advised our client’s wife to commence a claim against the hospital to gain compensation for the delay.

Through effective negotiations, Mr Abboud and his team, as well as an expert barrister, negotiated and settled upon an order for the hospital to compensate our client around $75,000.00 worth of damages due to the hospital’s negligence.

Are you a victim of suffering from a hospital’s negligence? Don’t delay, act now. For over the phone free advice or to take advantage of our Face to Face consultation, call our expert medical negligence team today on our free call number 1800 004 878.

Nerve damaged barista awarded over $593,000 compensation for unsafe work practice

The matter of D’amico v Calvary Hospital Auxiliary was a 2013 public liability action which was heard in the Supreme Court of the ACT. The Plaintiff was awarded $593,700.00 in compensation.

Facts

The Plaintiff was a 45 year old Canberra women who suffered from Guillain-Berre Syndrome, a form of nerve inflammation, as an adolescent. This had left her with some unsteadiness in her hands and feet.

The Plaintiff had two adult children, who also lived in Canberra, and two adolescent children from her second marriage.

With a limited work history the Plaintiff completed a coffee preparation and presentation conducted by Lavazza Caffe Expresso.  Ultimately the Plaintiff attained a job at Madeleine’s Cafe owned by the Defendant Hospital, Cavalry Hospital.

The Plaintiff was employed at the Cafe for roughly 4 years, from 2004 until 2008. In April 2006 the Plaintiff first made complaint of pain in the elbow and down the wrist of her right hand side. By November 2006 the pain had spread to her shoulder and her rights was swollen and turning blue.

In January 2007 the Plaintiff was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and had surgery to remove the first rib on the right side. She returned to work shortly after, January being a “quiet period”.

In July 2007 the Cafe was bought from the hospital by Zouki, a Sydney based company.

In November 2008 the Plaintiff quit her job after becoming trapped under a bookshelf. Due to the nerve damage to her right arm the Plaintiff did not have the strength to push the book shelf off her.

The Defendants were found to have not provided a safe system of work, which resulted in the injuries and disabilities to the Plaintiff.

Damages

The Plaintiff was awarded $100,000.00 in damages for her pain and suffering. The judge determined that the high levels of pain, disabilities and the unsuccessful surgeries required a considerable sum for the loss of enjoyment of her life.  The Judge awarded interest for the Plaintiff’s past pain and suffering.

Senior counsel for the Plaintiff submitted that the Plaintiff’s loss of earnings would be a loss of $481.00 per week. The judge found that at the time of the trial, Plaintiff’s earnings would have been $640.00 per week and awarded $140,000.00 in past economic loss.

There had been substantial workers compensation payments made in the order of $135,000.00. Interest was awarded on a small portion of past income loss not yet paid.

It was accepted by the Court that the Plaintiff was unlikely to obtain gainful employment in the future and the judge award $650.00 per week until the retirement age of the Plaintiff. Making a total of $300,000.00 for the loss of earnings that the Plaintiff suffered. The judge also awarded on this amount the loss of employer funder Superannuation benefits.

The Judge made generous allowances for both past and future medical and treatment expenses.

The Court also allowed a component to cover the commercial value of the service provided gratuitously by the Plaintiff’s family. The Plaintiff’s injuries were such that it mean that she would continue to have difficulties doing the heavier domestic duties.

The final sum awarded to the Plaintiff was $593,700.00.

Motivated career woman from Canberra awarded $311,600 in accident compensation

Singh v Cooper was a vehicle accident claim heard by the Supreme Court of the ACT in 2015. The Plaintiff was ultimately awarded $311,600.00 for her injuries.

Facts

The Plaintiff was a 39 year well educated women.  She had obtained a Diploma of Health Science at Auckland university of Technology, which qualified her to be a Nurse and a diploma in travel, Tourism and Business Technology.

The Plaintiff ultimately found employment in the Financial Services Sector. Quickly rising to management positions in the companies she worked for.

In July 2008 the Plaintiff slipped and fell in her home and caused soft tissue damage to her coccyx (lower back). There were no continuing disabilities.

In November 2012, after the birth of her first child, the Plaintiff was diagnosed with post-natal depression. She had suicide inclinations and was admitted to two different hospitals following these incidents.

By 19 March 2013 the Plaintiff was receiving minor counselling and had returned to work.

On 25 March 2013 the Plaintiff was returning home from work when she was hit from behind and pushed into the opposite lane before colliding head on with an oncoming car.

The Plaintiff quickly returned to work, but her physical and psychological injuries worsened causing periods of time off work.

The Plaintiff’s mental condition worsened in December 2013 creating a second period of work until April 2014. After which point she returned to work in a limited capacity.

Damages

The Judge found that while the impact was not so significant, her back pain was a long-term condition and a high chance of being permanent. $50,000.00 was awarded for the immediate impacts of her injury. Another $50,000.00 was awarded for the continuing impacts the injury had on her mental capacity and quality of life for the Plaintiff and her children.

The major point of contention in this case related to economic loss.

The defendant raised issue with the period of income loss between April 2014 and August 2014. The Defendant claimed that this period of employment was forfeited so that the Plaintiff could help her child transition to childcare. The Defendant successfully augured this point. Disentitling the Plaintiff to an award for wage loss for this period.

In relation to future economic loss the Plaintiff argued that with no prognosis on their injuries that she would be entitled to future economic loss until retirement. The Defendant submitted that working was an important part of the Plaintiff’s life and her psychological wellbeing. It was with a high likelihood the Plaintiff would return to work.

The Court ultimately found that it was easier to award a buffer (make a general allowance) for future economic loss. Awarding a buffer of $85,000.00 to compensate the plaintiff for the loss of one-third capacity to work to until age 67.

Superannuation was also awarded past and future economic loss.

The court found that the Plaintiff would have had an ongoing requirement to take medication and require referrals and consultations with specialist treatment providers well into the future. The Court made a significant allowance for the past and future expenses which the plaintiff might incur.

It was accepted that the Plaintiff had had gratuitous care in relation to domestic assistance provided to her by her friends and family. The Court awarded $11,000.00 for the past care requirements of the Plaintiff.

For the future, the court found that the Plaintiff would require 3 hours assistance per week, which would gradually reduce over the next 26 years of the Plaintiff life. This was to compensate the Plaintiff as she was unable to do the housework and now the husband had to. The Court ultimately awarded $50,000.00 for the future care requirement of the Plaintiff.

The final sum awarded to the Plaintiff was $311,600.00.

ACT Claim – Client injured but returned to work

Ms SCF was involved in a motor vehicle accident on 13 June 2013. At the time of the accident, where she was a passenger, she was 17 years of age. The accident occurred at Echelon Drive and Drakeford Drive, Wanniassa in the Australian Capital Territory. She also resided in Canberra.

The motor vehicle accident claim needed to be claimed in accordance with Australian Capital Territory legislation.

There is a marked difference between the legislation governing motor vehicle accidents in New South Wales as compared to that of the Australian Capital Territory.

To ensure that Ms SCF was able to claim for all of her losses, three separate claim forms were needed to be completed with her.

The heads of damages to which Ms SCF was able to claim are the same as that in New South Wales with the Benefit that a claim for non-economic loss does not need to exceed any particular threshold. However, there are strict conditions in relation to legal costs when proceeding to Court.

Ms SCF at the time of the accident was a Barmaid. This required her to stand for long periods of time and to use a lot of her upper extremities repetitively. The Injuries, however, which included her neck, back, upper extremities and lower extremities prevented her from continuing this job efficiently.

She was, nevertheless, fortunate to have a friend who was a manager of a Liquor Distribution Business and was able to offer her a sedentary position. The work she now performed was of lighter duties and was able to receive a greater amount of remuneration for the work that she performed.

Ms SCF was independently assessed to have an injury equivalent to 14% Whole Person Impairment. Despite her injuries, she did not see her GP often, did not have time to see a specialist despite being referred to one and did not obtain any physiotherapy or other medical treatment. Although she was prescribed with pain and anti-inflammatory medication, she did not make payment for the same. She did say that she did require Panadol from time to time. This meant that her reasonably incurred medical and treatment expenses claim was negligible. The increase in her work also meant that there would be little to no claim for economic loss. With the background of limited medical attention and treatment, it would have been impossible to claim any domestic assistance and care for her.

Despite such a background, Gerard Malouf and Partners were capable of putting up an argument that Ms SCF would nevertheless suffer from a loss of capacity on the Open Labour Market, should she loose her employ which was given to her by a friend. Hence, a claim was made in relation to the non-economic loss and the loss of future work potential.

The matter was capable of being resolved for $50,000.00.

This was an excellent resolution for the claimant who has done everything to move on with her life.

$95,000 Compensation for Slip Fall Accident in Shopping Centre

Our 55-year old client was shopping at her local shopping centre when she slipped in a puddle of liquid on the floor and fell, twisting her left knee and landing on the floor.

Security from the shopping centre attended her to take her report of the incident and she was later contacted by the shopping centre who indicated they would pay for some of her treatment expenses if she agreed to settle her claim without going to Court.

Slip Fall Medical issues

Following her slip and floor at the shopping centre she was taken by ambulance to her local hospital where x-rays revealed no fractures and she was sent home to be managed by her local GP.

Her local GP carried out some further scans which revealed she had sustained a tear to the medial meniscus and there was also a loose fragment floating in her knee which required removal during an arthroscopy.

Our client’s condition did not improve much following the arthroscopy and she has been unable to fully extend her knee and needs to use a walking stick to help with stability.

Our client had a long history of many other unrelated conditions which complicated her ability to take pain killers and slowed her healing process to some extent.

She had some physiotherapy treatment following the arthroscopy and her doctors told her there was no further surgery required.

Slip Fall Court proceedings

We commenced Court proceedings against the Centre Manager of the shopping centre and the cleaners and claimed negligence for failing to maintain the cleaning system which was in place and to detect the spillage on the floor.

The Centre Manager denied negligence and claimed the cleaners were required to inspect and clean the shopping centre. They also claimed our client should have taken reasonable care for her own safety and should have stepped over or around any obstacle or spillage in her path.

The cleaners also denied negligence and claimed our client failed to watch where she was going  and failed to take any precautions for her own safety.

We also claimed our client would require future treatment expenses and domestic assistance in relation to future heavy household maintenance and cleaning.

The Defendants claimed the future treatment expenses were unnecessary the Orthopaedic Surgeon they arranged to provide a report stated our client was able to carry out all her household maintenance and cleaning tasks and would not require any further surgery or rehabilitation.

Slip Fall Compensation Settlement

Despite their assertions our client was responsible for failing to take for her own safety, both the Centre Manager and the cleaners agreed to attend an Informal Settlement Conference in an attempt to resolve the claim. The claim against the Centre Manager was ultimately resolved and the claim against the cleaners resulted in our client obtaining a settlement in her favour for $95,000.

Our client was ecstatic with the result as her other unrelated medical conditions have now worsened and she can move forwards in resolving those other conditions.

Knee injury for fruit shop shopper slip & fall receives $150,000 compensation

Our 70-year old client was shopping in his local fruit shop with his wife and was approaching the registers to pay for their purchases when he slipped on a lettuce leaf and fractured his left knee.

The manager of the fruit shop was nearby at the time and saw our client fall.

The lettuce leaf had fallen off a large display of lettuce beside the cash registers. There were no mats around the display.

Knee Injury Medical issues

Our client had never had any problems with his left knee before the slip and fall in the fruit shop. As a result of the fall, he sustained a fractured left patella and had immediate surgery to repair the fracture by the insertion of a plate, wires and screws.

He had extensive physiotherapy which improved his condition. One year after the surgery he had the plate, wires and screws removed as he was still in a lot of pain. Following that surgery, the pain was much less.

He was told he will likely need a full knee replacement within the next 5-10 years which would also mean further physiotherapy treatment.

Court proceedings

We commenced Court proceedings against the owner of the fruit shop and claimed negligence for failing to have an adequate system of cleaning and inspection for spillage and a failure to place warning signage.

The fruit shop denied it was negligent and claimed our client failed to keep a proper lookout for his own safety and failed to avoid an obvious risk.

As a result of the slip and fall on the lettuce leaf our client needed assistance in carrying out his normal home duties. The fruit shop arranged a medical examination with an Orthopaedic Surgeon and he agreed our client would need at least 6 hours assistance per week indefinitely. The Orthopaedic Surgeon also agreed our client would need to have a full knee replacement within the next 5 years.

Compensation Settlement

The fruit shop was eager to attend an Informal Settlement Conference and the matter ultimately settled for $150,000 slip & fall compensation with part of the settlement moneys taking into account the future medical treatment our client would need for his full knee replacement, physiotherapy and medication.

Our client was extremely happy with the result even though he is still in a minimal amount of pain and notes he will ultimately need a full knee replacement.