Man loses accident liability suit due to inconsistencies in testimony
Published 05 May 2020
In many automobile accidents, someone who is injured may have plenty of evidence on their side to help them win damages from a defendant. However, that's not always the case, as was found in a recent NSW court decision involving a man and the Nominal Defendant.
Aiman Elkodat sought damages after suffering injuries in an alleged accident involving an unidentified vehicle in 2015, according to court filings. Elkodat claimed he was using a crosswalk with a friend when a vehicle hit him, knocking him into the windscreen, after which the motorist allegedly drove off.
However, testimony from Elkodat was found to be inconsistent with both his own retelling of the events, and those of his friend: For instance, in some versions, it was daytime, and in others it was night. Furthermore, his injuries were found to be inconsistent with the events anyone described.
In sum, the plaintiff sought damages – including past and future economic loss, loss of future superannuation benefits, as well as costs related to past and future out-of-pocket expenses and domestic assistance – in the neighbourhood of $242,000. Of that amount, nearly $176,000 stemmed from claims of past economic loss. The decision noted that, had the accident happened as described by the plaintiff, the driver would indeed have been in breach of his or her duty of care.
The court's ruling
In the end, though, the court ruled that the plaintiff had not met the necessary requirements to receive damages due to the inconsistencies in the evidence he presented. The court also noted that Elkodat was found to be physically fit to continue his work as he had before being injured in the alleged accident.
Had the court found in his favour, Elkodat would have been awarded nearly $41,000 – the vast majority of which would have been for past economic loss because of his current fitness for work. Instead, the plaintiff was ordered to pay the defendant's court costs.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident and believe you may be entitled to damages, get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners. With our free consultation, 90-day complementary trial period and No Win No Fee programme, you can be assured you will be apprised of all your options and be able to proceed with your claim in confidence.