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3 Things You May Be Surprised You Can Claim For

You may have a claim even though you think you have an unwinnable case

At The Personal Injury Lawyers, we are often met with surprise and gratitude when we advise an accident victim they may have a claim for what they thought was an unwinnable case.

We’ve outlined some circumstances you may not realise you may be able to claim for…

 

1. Pedestrians injured whilst not using a crossing

Pedestrians are required to obey road rules, such as:

  • Using a crossing if one is located within 20 metres; and

  • Waiting for traffic to stop at a marked crossing

However, if a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle while failing to obey these rules, the pedestrian is not automatically disqualified from claiming compensation.

The reason is that motorists owe a very high duty of care to users of roads, including pedestrians.

Motorists must always be on the lookout for potential accidents, including accidents caused by unexpected behaviour of other drivers or pedestrians.

 

The duty of care of motorists is higher, for example, when children are in the area

How the courts usually deal with a pedestrian’s own wrongdoing is through ‘contributory negligence’.

In Manley v Alexander, the pedestrian was intoxicated, wearing dark clothing and lying on the side of the roadway.

The pedestrian’s car accident lawyer pursued the claim to the High Court, who found the driver who struck the pedestrian had been negligent, but assessed the pedestrian’s contributory negligence at 70%, and reduced the pedestrian’s claim by an equivalent percentage.[A]

 

2. Animal Attacks

The law surrounding injuries caused by (or in relation to) animals is complex, particularly in Queensland.

Generally, if a person is bitten by a dog, and the owner knew that the dog had a propensity to bite and sufficient precautions weren’t taken, an injured person can sue the owner of the dog.

The practical reality then becomes whether the owner has relevant insurance, such as public liability insurance, to cover the cost of the claim.

In relation to animals that stray onto roads, Queensland is somewhat unique as its common law grants immunity to owners of land whose cattle stray onto a highway and cause accidents or injuries to motorists. [B]

Whilst there are of course exceptions to the rule, the Queensland Court of Appeal has considered the immunity as recently as 2006.[C]

 

3. Unpaid (i.e. “gratuitous”) care

In Queensland, some claimants are able to claim the equivalent cost of cleaning or care provided to them gratuitously, that is, without payment, by family or friends.

If the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) applies to the claim, the care must meet be provided for at least six hours per week for at least six months in order to be claimed.

In McQuitty v Midgley & Anor,[D] the accident victim suffered a head injury and other significant injuries and received care in the form of supervision from his mother and various others.

The injured plaintiff contacted a personal injury lawyer who took the claim to trial.

The motor accident victim was awarded a compensation payout which included $1,049,412.00 for past gratuitous care, and $1,548,688.05 for future gratuitous care.

Sources:

[A] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2005/79.html

[B] Searle v Wallbank [1947] AC 341

[C] http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/qld/QCA/2006/439.html

[D] [2016] QSC 36.

 

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