Penningtons recently secured damages for a claimant who suffered a head injury and various fractures when he was knocked over by a motorcyclist at a pedestrian crossing. The claimant received hospital treatment and was required to undergo surgery for some of his injuries. He was also left with on-going physical and neuropsychological problems which affected his ability to work as a dentist.
Liability for the accident was fiercely disputed. The claimant and defendant each maintained that they had a green light giving them right of way at the crossing. The case was difficult given a lack of any independent witnesses or any CCTV footage of the accident. There were complex issues to be considered in respect of the timing and sequencing of the traffic light signals in the area where the accident occurred, as to how that fitted with the respective accounts of the claimant and the defendant in terms of speed, location and timing of the collision. In addition to the dispute on primary liability, the issue of contributory negligence was a factor from the outset.
Multiple experts were involved in the claim, including several medical experts of various disciplines to address causation of the claimant’s injuries, condition and prognosis. A forensic accountant was also involved to quantify the claimant’s loss of earnings claim, which was complex. The claim proceeded partway through the court timetable, with liability remaining in dispute. Settlement was reached by way of negotiation.