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Case Background and Issues at Trial Type of Accident Damages
Towell v Mooney & Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2023] QDC 130

31-year-old female at the time of the accident who was working in childcare.

The issues were whether the plaintiff’s injuries had prevented her from progressing in her intended career trajectory as a childcare worker and whether failure to disclose all previous medical history at the commencement of her claim should be detrimental to her credibility.

The Court accepted the evidence led by the plaintiff that she has lost an opportunity to progress in her career by way of her injury with reference to a witnesses called at trial who had progressed in similar work, and that a failure to disclose full details of her previous injuries and illnesses had a reasonable explanation and were not detrimental to her credibility in the circumstances.

Injury to neck
$285,122.63
Eustace v Dubrava & Anor [2023] QDC 100

42-year-old male at the time of the accident who was rear ended in a low velocity collision when stationary in a line of traffic at traffic lights.

The issues in dispute were the nature and extent of any injuries as a result of what was described a low velocity collision, particularly in the context of a significant history pre-existing conditions.

The plaintiff’s credibility was brought into question by the insurer regarding the true nature of pre-existing issues and his accident-related injuries.

The Court found the plaintiff was inconsistent in his evidence when disclosing his pre-existing injuries to medical experts, and to the Court, and it was found that his accident-related injuries were a temporary exacerbation of pre-existing conditions.

As a result, the Court ultimately rejected any argument that the plaintiff had suffered economic loss and was awarded only modest damages.

Neck injury, low back injury and right shoulder
$12,966.90
Baldock-Davis v Popham & Anor [2023] QSC 24

The plaintiff suffered injuries when a car collided with a wall causing it to fall onto the plaintiff who was a pedestrian.

Liability was not in issue, however, the issue at trial was the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and quantum.

The plaintiff had a good recovery from her injuries which she reported to her treating GP and allied health, however, when she was medico-legally assessed, she reported that she was still suffering significant ongoing issues and restrictions with work and her recreational activities.

The CTP insurer undertook surveillance and accessed her social media accounts which discredited the plaintiff by revealing she was playing semi-professional soccer, engaging in an active social life and her employment records were inconsistent with her reported work capacity to medical experts.

Ultimately, the insurer successfully persuaded the Court (through social media and surveillance evidence) that the plaintiff was not as restricted in her capacity for work and social activities and that her inconsistency in reporting to experts (embellishing her injuries) discredited her claim significantly.

Spinal injuries – L3 and L4 fracture
$40,635.44
Busch v Parker & Anor [2022] QSC 211

48-year-old male who was injured when his vehicle was rear ended at an intersection in Mt Isa.

The plaintiff was self-represented and proceeded to trial without legal advice.

The Court found that the accident was minor and that any injuries were only a very minor exacerbation of pre-existing injuries and did not result in any past or future economic loss.

Neck injury
$5,000.00
Ketchell v RACQ insurance Limited [2021] QDC 307

The plaintiff was hit by an out-of-control car when standing outside a hotel in Ingham, North Queensland.

Liability was admitted by the insurer, however, credibility issues and inconsistencies in reporting injuries to his treating doctors were targeted by the insurer at Trial.

The Court accepted that the plaintiff was not trying to mislead with regards to his reporting of injuries, and in giving his evidence, and that the injuries had caused economic loss.

Ankle injury and thoracic spine injury
$479,884.70
Kate Ann Sutton v Lauren Nicole Hunter [2021] QSC 249

44-year-old-female who suffered only minor physical injuries, however, developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The plaintiff was not working at the time of the accident, and the central issue at Trial was whether the plaintiff (who was taking steps to return to work when the accident occurred) would have returned to work earlier, if not for the accident, and what her residual work capacity in the future is.

The Court accepted that the accident had caused past economic loss and that the plaintiff’s PTSD had prevented her from returning to work sooner, however, only allowed a modest award for future loss of income by accepting psychiatric evidence led by the insurer that the plaintiff’s PTSD would have resided to an extent that would allow the plaintiff to work in the future at least 20 hours per week.

Psychological injury and soft tissue injuries
$314,345.00
Allen v O’Donnell & Anor [2021] QSC 63

49-year-old male who was injured in a high-speed head on collision when driving with his family from Townsville to Brisbane.

The plaintiff’s multiple physical injuries (including spine, both knees, face, head, traumatic brain, ribs and abdomen) caused the plaintiff to mobilise with a walking stick, however, the serious psychological injury had a significantly detrimental impact on the plaintiff.

The Trial Judge accepted the severity of the plaintiff’s multiple injuries and awarded generous sums for past and future economic loss and made large allowances for past and future care and assistance due the plaintiff’s incapacity for domestic tasks.

Multiple serious physical injuries and serious psychological injury
$2,499,399.69
Bosk v Burgess & Anor [2021] QSC 338

A 31-year-old male who was holidaying in Queensland (from Germany) when he was hit by an out-of-control vehicle at Noosa.

The plaintiff suffered severe injuries, the most significant being a left lower leg injury that resulted in the amputation (below the knee) of his left leg.

The issues at trial were the damages that ought to be awarded for economic loss, especially as the plaintiff had since returned to Germany. Future expenses formed a large part of his award for damages due to the requirement for replacement prosthesis every 4 years for the remainder of his life.

Lower left leg amputation, psychological injury
$573,616.13 in AUD and an additional €871,373.04
Seiffert v Chadwick & TAC [2021] QDC 8

33-year-old male who was involved in a motor vehicle accident whilst driving around the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The plaintiff worked in the construction industry and had accumulated many years of solid employment in that industry. After the accident, the plaintiff stepped down from working “on the tools” and took a lesser paying position as a union worker.

The issue at Trial was whether the plaintiff’s decision to change jobs was due to the accident and injuries (the negligence of the other driver) or his decision to change jobs was for non-accident related reasons.

The Trial Judge accepted the plaintiff as a credible witness, not prone to embellishment, and that his decision to change his employment away from physical work and into sedentary work was due to the accident and had caused loss of income.

Neck injury
$456,640.30
Behmen v Fogg [2019] QDC 231

20-year-old female who was stationary when her car was rear-ended at Springwood.

At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was employed in a full-time administration role and aspired for a career in accounting or business administration.

The Trial Judge found that the plaintiff was unreliable in her testimony and that she was increasingly exaggerating her physical symptoms and restrictions. The Trial Judge acknowledged that the plaintiff sustained a cervical spine injury, which she recovered from after 18 months. The Trial Judge also acknowledged that the plaintiff developed a generalized anxiety disorder, which by October 2018 had been overcome by unrelated hyperthyroidism.

The Trial Judge preferred the Defendant's evidence that the plaintiff was not suffering from severe depression (as a result of the accident). The Court did not make any provision for future economic loss.

Injuries to cervical spine, thoracic spine and psychiatric
$35,478.00
Shepherd v Nominal Defendant [2020] QSC 209

This is a case where the Plaintiff sued the Nominal Defendant for damages in lieu of the unidentified driver but was unsuccessful.

Prior to the incident, the plaintiff had been at a friend's house at 2:00 am and had consumed six XXXX Gold cans over a four-hour period. At 4:30 am, the plaintiff visited his ex-sister-in-law in Cairns, a journey of four and a half hours.

The Plaintiff left his friend's house on his motorcycle at 2:30 am, wearing thongs, and as he was riding he saw a car coming up behind him. The car was approximately two and a half metres behind him.

As the plaintiff approached a right turn, the vehicle overtook him and forced him into the left lane. Consequently, the plaintiff lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a gutter.

Due to his head trauma and memory loss, it made it difficult for the plaintiff to accurately recall the accident circumstances.

The Trial Judge was sympathetic to the plaintiff's injuries but found that the motorcyclist was an unreliable historian, and took into consideration his history of making impulsive decisions.

In the words of the Trial Judge, “Dropping off and hopping on a motorcycle at 2:00 a.m. on a four-and-a-half-hour drive to Cairns wearing thongs is an impulsive decision”.

Injuries to his left arm and shoulder, as well as significant cognitive impairment.
$1,174,430.84
McKay v Armstrong & Anor [2020] QDC

The plaintiff was the front-seat passenger of a car driven by her partner. The first defendant lost control of his car and collided with the Plaintiff in Townsville.

At trial, the Plaintiff was awarded damages in the sum of $76,123.73.

On 2 September 2019 (prior to the trial), the defendant submitted a formal offer of $80.000.00.

The Defendant requested that it be ordered to pay the plaintiff's costs assessed on a Magistrates Court scale until 2 September 2019, after which the plaintiff would pay the costs assessed on a District Court scale.

The plaintiff argued that the Defendant’s formal offer was not more favourable than the judgment at trial because it was conditional upon the plaintiff executing a discharge.

The Trial Judge ordered the Defendant to pay the plaintiff’s costs on a standard basis on the Magistrates Court Scale.

Notwithstanding that the formal offer of $80,000.00 exceeded the judgment by over $3,000.00, the Trial Judge found that the plaintiff did obtain a judgment that was overall more favourable to the plaintiff than the offer with the extraneous terms which included matters beyond the relief available in a court. For instance, the offer did not admit liability (which is not contested in the pleadings) and sought the lifetime silence of the plaintiff (condition of strict discretion).

In the end, the Trial Judge ruled that the Plaintiff had no realistic chance of obtaining a decision that went beyond the Magistrates Court’s $150,000,000 jurisdictional limit and that costs should be assessed on the basis of the Court’s Magistrates Court Scale.

Injury to her shoulder region with painful symptoms radiating up her neck, with a secondary psychiatric injury of adjustment disorder with anxious and depressed
$76,123.73
Saul v Machalek & Anor [2020] QDC 69

The Plaintiff was injured after falling from his bicycle while attempting to evade the defendant's vehicle, which was negligently reversing.

The plaintiff alleged that due to his accident-related injuries, he no longer had the capacity to continue his employment as a captain of game fishing boats.

Prior to the accident, the plaintiff had an extensive employment history working as a ship master and marine engineer.

The defendant raised the allegation of contributory negligence on the basis that the plaintiff was not keeping adequate lookout, travelling at excessive speed and that he should have known he wouldn’t be easily seen by the drivers of cars parked on the street.

Further, they argued that a reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff would have driven in or close to the middle of the left lane of the road in order to be seen more clearly and to have enough time to manoeuvre around a reversing vehicle.

The Trial Judge did not make a contributory negligence finding.

Deep wound near his left ankle, a fracture to his left medial malleolus, bony protrusion of the side of the ankle, soft tissue injury to the neck and soft tissue injury to the left shoulder.
$633,987.57
Case Background and Issues at Trial Type of Accident Damages
Towell v Mooney & Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2023] QDC 130

31-year-old female at the time of the accident who was working in childcare.

The issues were whether the plaintiff’s injuries had prevented her from progressing in her intended career trajectory as a childcare worker and whether failure to disclose all previous medical history at the commencement of her claim should be detrimental to her credibility.

The Court accepted the evidence led by the plaintiff that she has lost an opportunity to progress in her career by way of her injury with reference to a witnesses called at trial who had progressed in similar work, and that a failure to disclose full details of her previous injuries and illnesses had a reasonable explanation and were not detrimental to her credibility in the circumstances.

Injury to neck
$285,122.63
Eustace v Dubrava & Anor [2023] QDC 100

42-year-old male at the time of the accident who was rear ended in a low velocity collision when stationary in a line of traffic at traffic lights.

The issues in dispute were the nature and extent of any injuries as a result of what was described a low velocity collision, particularly in the context of a significant history pre-existing conditions.

The plaintiff’s credibility was brought into question by the insurer regarding the true nature of pre-existing issues and his accident-related injuries.

The Court found the plaintiff was inconsistent in his evidence when disclosing his pre-existing injuries to medical experts, and to the Court, and it was found that his accident-related injuries were a temporary exacerbation of pre-existing conditions.

As a result, the Court ultimately rejected any argument that the plaintiff had suffered economic loss and was awarded only modest damages.

Neck injury, low back injury and right shoulder
$12,966.90
Baldock-Davis v Popham & Anor [2023] QSC 24

The plaintiff suffered injuries when a car collided with a wall causing it to fall onto the plaintiff who was a pedestrian.

Liability was not in issue, however, the issue at trial was the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and quantum.

The plaintiff had a good recovery from her injuries which she reported to her treating GP and allied health, however, when she was medico-legally assessed, she reported that she was still suffering significant ongoing issues and restrictions with work and her recreational activities.

The CTP insurer undertook surveillance and accessed her social media accounts which discredited the plaintiff by revealing she was playing semi-professional soccer, engaging in an active social life and her employment records were inconsistent with her reported work capacity to medical experts.

Ultimately, the insurer successfully persuaded the Court (through social media and surveillance evidence) that the plaintiff was not as restricted in her capacity for work and social activities and that her inconsistency in reporting to experts (embellishing her injuries) discredited her claim significantly.

Spinal injuries – L3 and L4 fracture
$40,635.44
Busch v Parker & Anor [2022] QSC 211

48-year-old male who was injured when his vehicle was rear ended at an intersection in Mt Isa.

The plaintiff was self-represented and proceeded to trial without legal advice.

The Court found that the accident was minor and that any injuries were only a very minor exacerbation of pre-existing injuries and did not result in any past or future economic loss.

Neck injury
$5,000.00
Ketchell v RACQ insurance Limited [2021] QDC 307

The plaintiff was hit by an out-of-control car when standing outside a hotel in Ingham, North Queensland.

Liability was admitted by the insurer, however, credibility issues and inconsistencies in reporting injuries to his treating doctors were targeted by the insurer at Trial.

The Court accepted that the plaintiff was not trying to mislead with regards to his reporting of injuries, and in giving his evidence, and that the injuries had caused economic loss.

Ankle injury and thoracic spine injury
$479,884.70
Kate Ann Sutton v Lauren Nicole Hunter [2021] QSC 249

44-year-old-female who suffered only minor physical injuries, however, developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The plaintiff was not working at the time of the accident, and the central issue at Trial was whether the plaintiff (who was taking steps to return to work when the accident occurred) would have returned to work earlier, if not for the accident, and what her residual work capacity in the future is.

The Court accepted that the accident had caused past economic loss and that the plaintiff’s PTSD had prevented her from returning to work sooner, however, only allowed a modest award for future loss of income by accepting psychiatric evidence led by the insurer that the plaintiff’s PTSD would have resided to an extent that would allow the plaintiff to work in the future at least 20 hours per week.

Psychological injury and soft tissue injuries
$314,345.00
Allen v O’Donnell & Anor [2021] QSC 63

49-year-old male who was injured in a high-speed head on collision when driving with his family from Townsville to Brisbane.

The plaintiff’s multiple physical injuries (including spine, both knees, face, head, traumatic brain, ribs and abdomen) caused the plaintiff to mobilise with a walking stick, however, the serious psychological injury had a significantly detrimental impact on the plaintiff.

The Trial Judge accepted the severity of the plaintiff’s multiple injuries and awarded generous sums for past and future economic loss and made large allowances for past and future care and assistance due the plaintiff’s incapacity for domestic tasks.

Multiple serious physical injuries and serious psychological injury
$2,499,399.69
Bosk v Burgess & Anor [2021] QSC 338

A 31-year-old male who was holidaying in Queensland (from Germany) when he was hit by an out-of-control vehicle at Noosa.

The plaintiff suffered severe injuries, the most significant being a left lower leg injury that resulted in the amputation (below the knee) of his left leg.

The issues at trial were the damages that ought to be awarded for economic loss, especially as the plaintiff had since returned to Germany. Future expenses formed a large part of his award for damages due to the requirement for replacement prosthesis every 4 years for the remainder of his life.

Lower left leg amputation, psychological injury
$573,616.13 in AUD and an additional €871,373.04
Seiffert v Chadwick & TAC [2021] QDC 8

33-year-old male who was involved in a motor vehicle accident whilst driving around the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The plaintiff worked in the construction industry and had accumulated many years of solid employment in that industry. After the accident, the plaintiff stepped down from working “on the tools” and took a lesser paying position as a union worker.

The issue at Trial was whether the plaintiff’s decision to change jobs was due to the accident and injuries (the negligence of the other driver) or his decision to change jobs was for non-accident related reasons.

The Trial Judge accepted the plaintiff as a credible witness, not prone to embellishment, and that his decision to change his employment away from physical work and into sedentary work was due to the accident and had caused loss of income.

Neck injury
$456,640.30
Behmen v Fogg [2019] QDC 231

20-year-old female who was stationary when her car was rear-ended at Springwood.

At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was employed in a full-time administration role and aspired for a career in accounting or business administration.

The Trial Judge found that the plaintiff was unreliable in her testimony and that she was increasingly exaggerating her physical symptoms and restrictions. The Trial Judge acknowledged that the plaintiff sustained a cervical spine injury, which she recovered from after 18 months. The Trial Judge also acknowledged that the plaintiff developed a generalized anxiety disorder, which by October 2018 had been overcome by unrelated hyperthyroidism.

The Trial Judge preferred the Defendant's evidence that the plaintiff was not suffering from severe depression (as a result of the accident). The Court did not make any provision for future economic loss.

Injuries to cervical spine, thoracic spine and psychiatric
$35,478.00
Shepherd v Nominal Defendant [2020] QSC 209

This is a case where the Plaintiff sued the Nominal Defendant for damages in lieu of the unidentified driver but was unsuccessful.

Prior to the incident, the plaintiff had been at a friend's house at 2:00 am and had consumed six XXXX Gold cans over a four-hour period. At 4:30 am, the plaintiff visited his ex-sister-in-law in Cairns, a journey of four and a half hours.

The Plaintiff left his friend's house on his motorcycle at 2:30 am, wearing thongs, and as he was riding he saw a car coming up behind him. The car was approximately two and a half metres behind him.

As the plaintiff approached a right turn, the vehicle overtook him and forced him into the left lane. Consequently, the plaintiff lost control of his motorcycle and collided with a gutter.

Due to his head trauma and memory loss, it made it difficult for the plaintiff to accurately recall the accident circumstances.

The Trial Judge was sympathetic to the plaintiff's injuries but found that the motorcyclist was an unreliable historian, and took into consideration his history of making impulsive decisions.

In the words of the Trial Judge, “Dropping off and hopping on a motorcycle at 2:00 a.m. on a four-and-a-half-hour drive to Cairns wearing thongs is an impulsive decision”.

Injuries to his left arm and shoulder, as well as significant cognitive impairment.
$1,174,430.84
McKay v Armstrong & Anor [2020] QDC

The plaintiff was the front-seat passenger of a car driven by her partner. The first defendant lost control of his car and collided with the Plaintiff in Townsville.

At trial, the Plaintiff was awarded damages in the sum of $76,123.73.

On 2 September 2019 (prior to the trial), the defendant submitted a formal offer of $80.000.00.

The Defendant requested that it be ordered to pay the plaintiff's costs assessed on a Magistrates Court scale until 2 September 2019, after which the plaintiff would pay the costs assessed on a District Court scale.

The plaintiff argued that the Defendant’s formal offer was not more favourable than the judgment at trial because it was conditional upon the plaintiff executing a discharge.

The Trial Judge ordered the Defendant to pay the plaintiff’s costs on a standard basis on the Magistrates Court Scale.

Notwithstanding that the formal offer of $80,000.00 exceeded the judgment by over $3,000.00, the Trial Judge found that the plaintiff did obtain a judgment that was overall more favourable to the plaintiff than the offer with the extraneous terms which included matters beyond the relief available in a court. For instance, the offer did not admit liability (which is not contested in the pleadings) and sought the lifetime silence of the plaintiff (condition of strict discretion).

In the end, the Trial Judge ruled that the Plaintiff had no realistic chance of obtaining a decision that went beyond the Magistrates Court’s $150,000,000 jurisdictional limit and that costs should be assessed on the basis of the Court’s Magistrates Court Scale.

Injury to her shoulder region with painful symptoms radiating up her neck, with a secondary psychiatric injury of adjustment disorder with anxious and depressed
$76,123.73
Saul v Machalek & Anor [2020] QDC 69

The Plaintiff was injured after falling from his bicycle while attempting to evade the defendant's vehicle, which was negligently reversing.

The plaintiff alleged that due to his accident-related injuries, he no longer had the capacity to continue his employment as a captain of game fishing boats.

Prior to the accident, the plaintiff had an extensive employment history working as a ship master and marine engineer.

The defendant raised the allegation of contributory negligence on the basis that the plaintiff was not keeping adequate lookout, travelling at excessive speed and that he should have known he wouldn’t be easily seen by the drivers of cars parked on the street.

Further, they argued that a reasonable person in the position of the plaintiff would have driven in or close to the middle of the left lane of the road in order to be seen more clearly and to have enough time to manoeuvre around a reversing vehicle.

The Trial Judge did not make a contributory negligence finding.

Deep wound near his left ankle, a fracture to his left medial malleolus, bony protrusion of the side of the ankle, soft tissue injury to the neck and soft tissue injury to the left shoulder.
$633,987.57