…whether the plaintiff had proven injury and damage
The self-represented plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident on 10 March 2014.
The plaintiff claimed he suffered a cervical spine injury as a result, and liability was admitted. The issues were the extent of the plaintiff’s injury, if any, and whether such injury remained productive of pain, suffering and economic loss.
There was a judgment for the plaintiff against the second defendant for $5000, and an order that the parties exchange and file submissions with respect to costs within 28 days.
The plaintiff suffered a minor soft tissue injury to his cervical spine which resolved completely after a short period of time. The plaintiff had suffered symptoms from the natural progression of cervical degeneration, which pre-dated the accident.
The plaintiff’s work supervisors gave evidence that his capacity for heavy and demanding work had not been impacted by the accident, and his future capacity to earn an income was unaffected.
The judge found that the plaintiff had grossly exaggerated the effects of the accident with reference to his immediate return to work, the absence of persuasive evidence of any interference with his life, recreations and daily routine, as well as the absence of any apparent need for medical treatment. The judge was persuaded that the effect of the accident was transient, minor and not productive of economic loss.
General damages were assessed at an injury scale value (ISV) of 2-3, in a range from $2720 – $4080, and a modest global allowance was awarded for some medication and treatment expenses in the few months post-accident.
This compensation law casenote appears courtesy of Travis Schultz & Partners (TSP), where the author, Libby Thomas, is a lawyer. As part of the firm’s commitment to providing ongoing legal education, TSP practitioners review relevant judgments and prepare case summaries for the legal profession. A free searchable catalogue of compensation law casenotes is available at schultzlaw.com.au/case-summaries (registration required). The full version of the judgments can be found at austlii.edu.au.