Motor Vehicle Accident Case Studies by Motor Accident Authority

Case Study Review of Non-Economic Loss (NEL) Motor Accident Act

by Newport Law

Rossana Court, partner at Newport Law reviews a recent case studies involving Motor Vehicle Accidents.

Case Study 1

53 year old travelling as a passenger in a 4.5 tonne truck that crashed into another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction which collided with the claimant’s side of the truck.

  • Claimant trapped in vehicle, freed and airlifted to hospital with:
    • fractured wrist,
    • comminuted fracture of the left femur requiring open reduction and internal fixation,
    • open comminuted fracture of the right kneecap which healed with ligament damage and
      restricted movement,
    • laceration to right calf,
    • degloving injury to the left foot,
    • loss of consciousness from a head injury,
    • back injury
    • psychological disturbance; and
    • soft tissue injuries
  • Claimant required:
    • total right knee replacement,
    • 4 operations on his left femur,
    • 3 operations on his left foot with further surgery in the future.

MAA Claims Assessor took into account:

  • constant pain in a variety of different parts of the body
  • significant lack of function and mobility due to right knee replacement
  • injuries to left femur
  • 10 operations on his femur, foot and knee and requirement to undergo another total knee replacement later in life.

MAA Claims Assessor also took into account:

  • claimant very active before injuries, participating in hunting, soccer and handiwork on his property,
  • that he cannot do any of these activities,
  • that he suffered from an adjustment disorder which has also led him to withdraw from social life.
  • the prospect of recovering any real functionality was assessed as being severely limited

Date of Assessment: 25 November 2011

Non Economic Loss assessed as $300,000

Case Study 2

  • Claimant 34 years when accident occurred.
  • Claimant working as a mechanic when a customer verbally abused him and then drove his car towards him.
  • Car hit claimant and fell injuring:
    • Shoulder
    • neck injury
    • knee
    • post traumatic stress disorder and depression
  • Claimant taken to hospital and 1 week off work.
  • Claimant’s condition deteriorated and he eventually resigned.
  • Underwent physiotherapy and shoulder surgery.
  • Required anti depression medication.

MAA Claims Assessor took account:

  • Frustration of the claimant in being unable to work as a mechanic
  • The breakdown in his family relationships following the accident
  • Claimant’s subsequent decline in mental health
  • Claimant had previously enjoyed horse riding, motorbike riding and playing with his children
  • Claimant now unable to do any of these things
  • Claimant had become a “recluse” spending much time isolated in his shed.

Date of Assessment: 22 June 2011

Non Economic Loss assessed at $180,000

Case Study 3

  • Claimant was 18 years old at time of accident
  • Claimant travelling home from a school ski trip when bus he was in crashed.
  • Claimant thrown about hitting his head.
  • Taken to hospital and required to wear a three point crash brace for three months.
  • Claimant suffered injuries:
    • Fractures to T11 and T12 vertebrae superior end plates
    • Crush fracture to L1 vertebra
  • Claimant required:
    • physiotherapy sessions,
    • home exercises
    • pain medication.
  • Claimant advised that he would likely experience:
    • accelerated degenerative changes in his back over the long term

MAA Claims Assessor considered:

  • age of the claimant
  • commitment he had demonstrated recovering from his injuries
  • that he had been hampered by a constant dull pain when standing or sitting
  • frustration and anger by being unable to do activities and sports that young men his own age do
  • having to modify and temper his everyday activities
  • he missed out on some opportunities in his last year of school and potentially a career in the defence force.
  • he had made attempts to continue a normal post-accident life but hampered by ‘flare ups’ to his back pain.

Date of Assessment: 21 November 2011

Non Economic Loss assessed at $250,000

*Source: MAA BULLETIN March 2012 Vol 12, No 1

If you would like to be better informed about an accident related to a motor vehicl, contact Rossana Court at Newport Law (02) 9997 5142 or view other Newport Law related Articles.

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