Compensation Claims

Dog Bite

Dog Bite Claims in New South Wales

You’re taking a neighbourhood walk when a dog rushes out from the driveway of a house and latches onto your leg. What is your legal situation if the dog has injured you?

As reflected in a quarterly report issued by the New South Wales Office of Local Government, there were 1,260 “dog attack incidents” between 1 July 2019 and 30 September 2019. For the purposes of the report, a “dog attack incident” is defined as: one in which “a dog rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal (other than vermin)…”  However, these are not necessarily incidents in which a dog actually hurts a person or another animal.

All of that being stated, the report also indicates that 292 people were injured in these incidents. Of those, 193 sustained injuries that were not serious and 136 required medical treatment. Fifty people were hospitalised and one person died.

And all of this begs a question. How do you file a dog bite claim in New South Wales? Keep reading to find out.

Who is legally responsible?

In New South Wales, the Companion Animals Act NSW 1998 stipulates that a dog owner is “personally responsible” for any damage it causes.  The law also defines a dog owner as:

  • the registered owner;
  • the person who usually has custody and control over the dog;
  • someone who claims the dog as his or her personal property.

Clearly, additional explanation is warranted here. To clarify, consider the following scenarios. Suppose you buy the dog for your son. For all intents and purposes, you are then considered the registered owner. This consideration will be valid until any applicable documents are changed, meaning if you give the dog away and remain as its registered owner, you will potentially still be held responsible for it should it later bite someone.

Now let’s say you get divorced and your son  moves out with his mother. As long as the dog is now kept at the new address, your son (or your ex-wife) may be considered the owner.

Finally, if your former wife officially claims the dog as her personal property for the purposes of separation or divorce, she may also be regarded as the owner.

These are important distinctions because an injured person can sue any of you if there are multiple owners of the dog.

What can a dog owner be held liable for?

As a New South Wales dog owner, you are legally responsible for:

  • any physical harm incurred by someone who is attacked or bitten by your dog; and
  • any damage to the victim’s personal property, such as their clothing, incurred when your dog attacks or bites them.

Keep in mind that a dog bite claim in New South Wales is a strict liability claim, meaning no fault on your part needs to be proved. As we have already noted, you are responsible for your dog’s actions in these circumstances.

When you can make a claim

Your ability to make a successful dog bite claim in New South Wales largely depends on the circumstances of your case. This is because no two situations are exactly the same. In general, you may be able to seek compensation through a public liability claim if:

  • you were bitten by a dog that wasn’t secured or contained correctly;
  • you were bitten by a loose dog.

Types of compensation you may seek

If your dog bite claim in New South Wales is successful, you will be compensated for all applicable physical and emotional injuries and losses. Depending on your situation, you may be compensated for:

  • initial hospital and medical costs;
  • loss of earnings due to the inability to work;
  • ongoing medical costs (for rehabilitation, prescription medications and so on);
  • pain and suffering;
  • loss of enjoyment of life (the inability to participate in the same activities as you did prior to the incident);
  • paid or unpaid home care and similar assistance provided by anyone as long as it meets certain criteria.

Defences used in dog bite cases

Lawyers for defendants in these cases generally use two arguments to refute liability claims. The first is that you had no right to be on the property when you were bitten. The second is that the dog attacked due to provocation by someone else. Either way, the dog owner would not be held legally responsible.

The only exceptions are:

  • If the dog is classified as a dangerous dog;
  • another dog provokes the attack (instead of another person);
  • one owner is bitten while trying to break up a fight between two dogs.

To learn more about your legal rights and responsibilities as a dog owner or a dog bite victim, simply contact a member of our award-winning liability law team. You can do so through our website or by calling 1800 431 59o for a free case evaluation today.

Dangerous Recreational Activity

Injured Doing a Dangerous Recreational Activity? What You Need to Know…

As your parents probably told you, you can’t live your life wrapped in cotton wool. At some point most of us participate in a sporting, leisure or other recreational activity that has an element of danger. But what happens if you’re injured while doing so? Can you claim compensation for the effects of your injury?

In NSW, recreational activity is outlined in the Civil Liability Act 2001 (“CLA”) and includes:

  1. any sport (whether or not the sport is an organised activity);
  2. any pursuit or activity engaged in for enjoyment, relaxation or leisure;
  3. any pursuit or activity engaged in at a place (such as a beach, park or other public open space) where people ordinarily engage in sport or in any pursuit or activity for enjoyment, relaxation or leisure.

In many of these situations, depending on the specific facts of your incident, you may be able to claim compensation for injury… that is, unless the activity is considered a ‘dangerous recreational activity’.

Dangerous recreational activities are defined in the CLA as those that involve a significant risk of physical harm, and injuring yourself while undertaking one will likely prevent you being able to claim any compensation.

What sort of activities are dangerous?

Much legal argument in cases involving dangerous recreational activity is devoted to whether the activity should be considered dangerous. Some examples of dangerous recreational activity – often found in the case law – including diving off bridges into bodies of water where the depth is uncertain or unknown, swinging off rope swings into rivers, shooting guns at night and riding bicycles in unsuitable environments.

Working out whether the activity poses a risk of significant harm involves an objective assessment – that of a reasonable person in the same position as the injured party – of the probability of physical harm and the seriousness of the harm which would or might then result. This degree of risk does not mean that it is “likely to occur” but is often expressed as “more than trivial”.

Using the reasonable person test, courts will generally assess both the nature and degree of the harm that might be suffered, as well as the likelihood of the risk occurring. Cases are often made more complex when factors such as time, place, competence, age and sobriety of the participant, equipment and the weather are considered as contributing to make a recreational activity dangerous.

How does the legislation treat dangerous recreational activity?

If you’re injured while undertaking a recreational activity that is considered dangerous and posed an obvious risk, and believe your injury is the result of another person’s negligence (such as that of the activity’s operator, for example), under the terms of the CLA that person cannot be held liable for the harm you have suffered.

To be clear, this means that where an activity poses a risk so obvious that a reasonable person in the same position would have identified it and refrained from participating in the activity, another person cannot be held accountable for your injury.

Many recreational activities will include a risk warning, perhaps provided by prominent signs or verbally by the operator of the activity before you undertake it. Where such a warning is provided in a manner that is reasonably likely to result in a person being warned of the risk before engaging in the recreational activity, the CLA says that no duty of care is owed to the participant in the activity in respect of the risk specified in the warning.

A couple of case examples

In a 2012 NSW Supreme Court case, Streller v Albury City Council, Mr Streller suffered severe injuries after attempting to do a flip off a rope swing into the Murray River. His case alleged that the Council owed him a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to avoid a risk of injury to him that was foreseeable, and that the Council had breached its duty of care by failing either to remove or properly supervise the rope swing; by failing to ensure that the water in the area was sufficiently deep for safe use of the swing; and by failing to warn Mr Streller that it was dangerous for him to dive into the water or to use the swing.

Mr Streller’s negligence claim was unsuccessful, the court finding that he had engaged in a dangerous recreational activity and that there was an obvious risk of harm associated with the activity.

In Goode v Angland decided in 2017, the NSW Court of Appeal confirmed the CLA’s statutory defence of “obvious risk” of a “dangerous recreational activity” can even apply to professional sports. Mr Goode, a professional jockey, made a personal injury claim against fellow jockey Mr Angland after he was injured during a horse race, accusing Angland of negligence during the race that caused his horse to fall.

Mr Goode’s claim failed when the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Supreme Court that found Mr Angland could not be held liable for Goode’s injury because professional horseracing was, by the terms of s 5K of the CLA, a “recreational activity” and therefore Angland could rely on the defence of obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity.

In conclusion

There can sometimes be grey areas in determining whether a recreational activity is dangerous and poses an obvious risk. Other factors such as a person’s age and experience can also be called on when someone is injured while participating in a recreational activity.

Assessing all these variables requires the services of experienced Sydney personal injury lawyers. BPC Lawyers has won multiple industry awards in this specialist area of the law, and can help you work out your options if you’ve been injured during a recreational activity. Contact us today (02) 8280 6900 for a free legal consultation.

Single Vehicle Collision

Single Vehicle Collision – What Are My Rights?

While accidents involving motor vehicles are a frequent occurrence in Australia, one of the common misconceptions is that if your accident involves only your vehicle, you can’t claim compensation for any injury you might suffer.

Single-vehicle accidents are sometimes referred to as “blameless accidents”, in that no other party is at fault, and can commonly occur when a driver suffers a sudden illness such as a heart attack or stroke; when the vehicle suffers an unexplained mechanical or vehicle failure; or when the car unavoidably collides with an animal on the road, among other examples.

Under the no-fault compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance schemes that exist in most states and territories of Australia, someone injured in a single-vehicle accident can still make a claim for compensation but there are conditions and restrictions that apply, as we discuss in this article.

What does the law say?

After the NSW Government introduced the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 (NSW) (“the MAI Act”) in December 2017, a new hybrid scheme of benefits and support under the state’s third-party insurance system was introduced to provide statutory benefits for up to 26 weeks after the accident where no person was at fault, and modified common law damages for persons with injuries other than ‘minor injuries’, where fault is established.

Statutory benefits can cover medical treatment, wage loss and funeral expenses. Any application for statutory benefits must be made within three months of the accident otherwise a claim to entitlements may lapse.

Claimants with minor injuries (defined as soft tissue and/or minor psychological injuries) or those who were wholly or mostly (‘mostly’ is defined in the legislation as contributory negligence of 61 percent or more) at fault in the accident are limited to six months of weekly payments of statutory benefits.

The statutory benefits payable under the MAI Act are payable by the relevant insurer who, in the case of a single-vehicle accident, is the insurer of the vehicle.

The MAI Act also ended the entitlement to gratuitous care damages – where a family member provides care to the injured person without payment – as either a statutory benefit or as common law damages. Costs incurred in employing someone to provide care services to the injured person, or to their dependents, is still recoverable as paid care.

The Act limits common law damages to economic loss (loss of earning capacity; costs relating to accommodation or travel; financial management of damages; reimbursement for income tax paid or payable on statutory benefits); and damages for non-economic loss where the injured person’s degree of permanent impairment is greater than 10% and their injuries are not ‘minor’.

Single-vehicle accidents that occur at work

If your accident occurs while you are at work or on a work-related journey, Section 3.35 of the MAI Act states that the injured person is not entitled to statutory benefits if compensation is instead payable under a workers’ compensation claim.

This created a problem where a workers’ compensation claim failed or the benefits ceased, impacting the injured person’s ability to make a motor accident CTP claim within the required time frame.

While an injured worker could pursue a common law claim, damages were limited to non-economic loss, lost wages and loss of earning capacity but not medical treatment and attendant care, which were considered statutory benefits.

Section 151Z of the Workers Compensation Act 1997, however, requires a claimant to repay out of the damages claim, all workers’ compensation paid, including treatment and care paid by the workers’ compensation insurer.

A problem arose because s151Z of the workers’ compensation legislation requires a claimant to repay out of the damages claim all workers’ compensation paid (including treatment and care paid by the workers’ compensation insurer).

This problem has been rectified by the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 which now allows claims for treatment and care after a workers’ compensation claim has finalised; and allows a claim for statutory benefits to be made within three months after workers’ compensation payments cease. Because recovery actions arise only where there is a liability ‘to pay damages’, recovery actions apply only where the claimant has a non-minor injury.

Seeking legal advice

As is clear, despite your accident being ‘blameless’, it can be a complex and time-consuming process to claim compensation for an injury sustained in the incident. Dealing with insurance companies, differing pieces of legislation, and separate claims made at common law, require the expertise and experience of personal injury lawyers Sydney.

If you’ve been injured in a single-vehicle accident and are unsure of your rights and entitlements, contact BPC Lawyers today. We’ve won multiple industry awards for our work in this complicated area so call us now on (02) 8280 6900 for a free legal consultation about your particular circumstances.

Injured at an Airport

I’ve Been Injured at an Airport. Can I Claim Compensation?

Whether you are there as a traveller or an employee, an airport is a busy – and potentially dangerous – place. For travellers, hazards may include slippery floors, crowded baggage claim areas, faulty stairs, escalators and more. For employees, working in congested areas or around large, complex machinery also carries certain risks. Of course, all of this begs a question. Can you claim compensation if you get hurt at an airport? Keep reading to find out.

Injured traveller’s and workers may be able to claim compensation for airport injuries

Your ability to claim compensation for an injury sustained while passing through or working at an airport depends on several factors. The most important of these is whether you have an insurance policy that provides coverage for accidents and injuries.

As an airline passenger, this type of insurance may be included with your ticket. Although flight/traveller’s insurance is quite comprehensive, it is crucial that you understand what’s covered and what’s excluded. By doing so, you’ll limit the chances that your claim is denied or disputed due to insufficient cover or misunderstandings. It is also imperative that you have evidence to support your claim.

If you’re an airport employee, you may be able to make a successful claim if:

  • You can prove that there was a violation of Australian occupational health and safety regulations; and
  • someone was negligent; and
  • that violation, coupled with negligence, caused or contributed to the accident in which you were hurt.

Qualifying airport injuries

Airport authorities/operators are legally obligated to provide a safe environment for travellers and workers. This means they must take reasonable steps to ensure that: 1) the airport is free from hazards; 2) that adequate warnings about existing or potential hazards are provided; and 3) that any hazards are addressed promptly.

Accordingly, you may be able to claim compensation if you suffered one of the following:

  • A slip, trip or fall injury;
  • a cargo or baggage injury;
  • a trolley or baggage carousel injury;
  • an injury sustained due to a hazard in the concourse;
  • any injury caused by inadequate, improper or otherwise defective infrastructure.

How to claim compensation for an airport injury

If you had current travellers’ insurance when you got hurt, you can simply claim compensation from the provider. However, if you didn’t get travel insurance or the provider says your injury isn’t covered, it is best to consult an experienced airport injury lawyer to discuss other options (if any).

For example, you may be able to claim compensation from the person/agency  responsible for your baggage or cargo injury. However, you will only be successful if you can prove that 1) the person/agency was negligent; and 2) that the negligence caused or contributed to your injury.

In any case, it is usually worth pursuing compensation. According to some estimates at least 200,000 travel insurance claims are made here each year.  Of those, only a handful (approximately 10 percent) are denied.

Making a claim for foreign airport injuries

You can claim compensation for an injury sustained at a foreign airport if you had international travel insurance at the time. These policies usually provide cover for cargo injuries, baggage injuries, inflight injuries and injuries sustained while you are in another country. However, not all policies provide all these types of cover. Therefore, as we have already noted, it is important that you understand what the policy includes when you purchase the insurance.

Foreign airport/destination injury claims can also be tricky because they often involve different laws and languages. To complicate matters even further, they may sometimes involve international agreements and other obstacles. At BPC Lawyers, our legal team has the skills and experience needed to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

In summary

No one wants to think about getting hurt while they’re traveling through or working at an airport. For travellers, an injury can easily ruin or force the cancellation of a holiday or business trip. For an airport employee, it can hinder their ability to do their job. The good news in either case is that it is possible to claim compensation for an airport injury.

As we have discussed, there are different methods for pursuing compensation depending on your specific circumstances. The best-case scenario if you were injured while travelling through an airport is that you had current international or domestic travellers’ insurance at the time. As long as the policy provided cover for your situation, you can simply claim compensation from the provider.

Airport employees can also pursue compensation for injuries sustained at work. In most cases, however, they must prove that the injury stemmed from negligence or a violation of applicable rules and regulations.

If you were hurt at an airport in Australia or abroad, our legal team is here to help. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation today.

gym injuries new issues

Injuries in the Gym – New Issues for the Fitness Industry

The explosions of gyms and fitness centres has had a huge beneficial effect on the community’s fitness and general health.

Every second shop in most neighbourhoods is either a fitness centre or a laser clinic.

With the massive increase in people seeking assistance with their fitness regimes, comes a strong responsibility on the service providers to ensure the safety of participants.

Starting a gym programme is a bit like starting a diet. People tend to go at it like a bull at a gate and require careful management to ensure they do not suffer injury as a result.

One of the primary responsibilities of a fitness instructor is to take a careful history of the participant to determine what type of exercise programme is suitable for them. That obligation extends to ensuring that a history is taken of any prior injuries and any medical conditions such as a heart disorder which may affect the type of activity recommended.

We have been involved in a number of cases where the exercise programme put in place has been wholly unsuitable for the participant with disastrous consequences. A good example is a recent case involving a mature lady who was directed by her trainer to do leg presses at a weight usually reserved for a fit athlete. It had the unfortunate consequence of a serious hip injury.

A further case we have received done involved a lady in her mid-thirties, with a past history of hip and abductor muscle injuries, being required to perform exercises that were inappropriate given her previous history. She suffered a terrible exacerbation of her injury and has been unable to work since.

The less experienced participant, with no background of physical activity, requires an instructor to make sure proper warm-up and warm-down routines are used, and to ensure the participants progress is staged carefully to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Other gym cases which we have been involved have related to poorly serviced and maintained equipment, and unsafe gymnasium premises. There are standards and protocols which apply to the inspection and maintenance of gym equipment and it is incumbent upon fitness centres to ensure they have sufficient staff to carry out regular inspections and to ensure the gymnasium area is free of danger, such as water spillages and unsafe floor surfaces.

Most gymnasiums and fitness centres employer staff, and in addition have some contracted fitness instructors who use the facilities to conduct private classes. There is often an issue as to who is responsible in those circumstances and whether or not a private instructor would have to rely on her/his own insurance, or whether they may be covered by the fitness centre’s insurance. These are issues we regularly have to deal with.

If you have suffered an injury in a gymnasium or as part of a fitness programme, and you consider the operator may have been negligent, then you should contact us to discuss and find out whether or not you have any rights to compensation as a result.

Injured Overseas compensation claim NSW

Injured Overseas? How Do I Make a Compensation Claim in New South Wales?

There’s a lot to think about before setting off on a foreign holiday. We’ve got to make sure we have our airline tickets, passports, visas and so forth. We’ve got to arrange transport to and from the airport. We’ve got to find someone to look after our homes and pets and then we’ve got to pack.

With all of the anxiety and excitement, the thought of something happening to us while we’re overseas is likely brushed aside.  After all, none of us really wants to think about getting hurt while we’re far from home.

But what if something does happen? The prospect of ending up in a foreign hospital or finding a doctor to treat an injury overseas is pretty scary. The good news is that travel insurance, if you have it, may cover the cost of your care and related expenses. The bad news is that if you were hurt in an accident caused by someone else, you may have limited legal recourse while overseas. Depending on the circumstances, however, you may still have legal options in Australia. Here’s what you should know about making a compensation claim in New South Wales.

Do you have a case?

You may be able to seek compensation upon your return to NSW if the overseas accident in which you were injured stemmed from: 1) negligence/carelessness on the part of another individual; or 2) negligence/carelessness on the part of a business.

For example, a foreign hotel may be liable for your injury if it:

  • Created the hazard that caused your injury;
  • Failed to correct the hazard that caused your injury; or
  • Failed to provide adequate warning about the hazard that caused your injury.

In other words, you may be able to pursue a negligence claim against a foreign hotel if you fell off a balcony and suffered injuries because the railing wasn’t installed at the specified height. Or, in another scenario, you may be able to sue the hotel if you tripped on something hazardous and broke your ankle in a poorly lit area. You may also be able to sue if you slipped and fell on the pool deck or in the bathroom due to improper installation of tiling.

Another person in a foreign country may be liable for your injury if he or she engaged in extremely reckless/careless conduct that caused:

  • A traffic accident;
  • A boating accident; or
  • A similar incident in which you were hurt.

Depending on the circumstances, such conduct may include excessive speeding, operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or similar scenarios.

What to do if you are injured overseas

If you are hurt while you are abroad, there are several things you can do to facilitate legal proceedings here. Specifically, you should take the same steps to document the incident as you would if you were hurt in an accident in NSW.

These include taking pictures of the scene and getting the names and contact information of any witnesses. Be sure to keep any hospital and/or doctor’s records as proof of your medical condition and treatment. Be sure to keep copies of your hospital bills, prescriptions and all other expenditure or losses incurred. You should also keep a written record of your injuries and symptoms and how your injury impacted your holiday.

Types of compensation

The type of compensation you can seek depends on your unique situation. In most cases, holidaymakers who are hurt while abroad seek compensation for:

  • Injuries;
  • Medical expenses; and
  • Loss of income, including estimated present and future earnings due to the inability to work because of their injuries.

They can also seek compensation for money lost due to cancelled hotel reservations, flight changes and so on.

A case in point

Not all that long ago, the Supreme Court decided that a case involving two Australians who were injured overseas could be heard in NSW.

In that particular case, the holidaymakers were staying at a hotel in the Republic of the Maldives when they were badly hurt in a boating accident. They initiated legal proceedings when they returned to Australia, but the defendants argued that the case shouldn’t be heard here.

The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that:

  • Australian courts can acquire evidence from witnesses by AV facilities;
  • Having the case heard in the Republic of the Maldives would be highly impractical;
  • There was ample evidence from qualified mental health professionals that returning to the Maldives would have an adverse effect on the injured parties;
  • The company operating the hotel should have expected that 1) any injured guests would seek medical treatment in their own country; and 2) that any injured guests would also pursue legal action in their own country.

If you were injured overseas and you are considering a negligence claim against the responsible party, BPC Lawyers can help. Contact us to learn more today on 02 8280 6900 or by email at

Successful TPD Claim

What is a TPD Claim and What Benefits Can I Expect from a Successful TPD Claim in New South Wales?

TPD stands for ‘total and permanent disability’ caused by injury, illness or disease.

There is insurance available to cover these tragic and unforeseen circumstances. TPD claims mostly differ from regular personal injury claims as the entitlements available are stated in the contract the claimant takes out with his or her insurance company, or more commonly their superannuation fund.

The most important factors in the contract between the claimant and the insurance company generally refer to the time frame in which a claim must be made, the entitlement payable and the actual definition of the TPD, which can differ between policies.

There are usually two types of TPD policies:

Own occupation: This is generally the preferable insurance policy to have, as it provides a definition of TPD as being satisfied if a person is unable to perform one’s own occupation. An example of this is if a carpenter suffers from a spinal injury, making it unlikely the tradesperson can ever perform the work he or she once could. The injured party might however be able to work an alternative job that does not require such physical effort, such as a working at a cash register.

Any occupation: The general policy associated with any occupation includes being unable to work in one’s usual occupation for at least six months, and being unlikely to ever work in any occupation for which one has suitable training, education and experience.

The process for making a TPD claim

  1. Clarify the definition and time limits: It is recommended that a legal expert reviews the contract before filing a claim, to ensure the medical evidence provided addresses all of the criteria needed to successfully meet the definition. A legal expert will also make sure you meet the mandatory time frame for filing a claim.
  2. Gathering the evidence and making the claim: The next step involves having a medical professional provide reports to support the TPD claims. Such medical professionals are usually called medico-legal experts. These reports would address all of the elements required to establish that the claimant has successfully met the criteria set out in the insurance policy.
  3. Considering the insurance company’s response: Usually, the insurance company will respond and request the claimant to be examined by a medico-legal expert appointed by the insurer. The contract between the claimant and the insurer will usually allow this. Following the examination and the subsequent report to the insurance company, the insurance company will either accept or deny the claim.
  4. What if the insurance company denies the claim? In the case where an insurance company denies the claim, the claimant will have to decide whether or not they want to try and dispute the decision and pursue legal proceedings in either the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal or a court of law. There is a time limit of two years in which a claimant must make a complaint to the Tribunal. The commencement of legal proceedings must be made within six years of the insurance company’s decision to deny liability.

The benefits

Should your TPD claim be successful, the claimant will receive the insured sum; i.e. the TPD payout amount stipulated under the policy.  This amount is additional to the person’s preserved superannuation balance.

personal injury claims how long

How Long Should it Take to Settle My Personal Injury Claim?

Personal injury claims can happen in a myriad of different ways and arise out of many different circumstances. Depending on the precise details of those circumstances, your personal injury claim may last anywhere from a few months to several years.

It is rare for a personal injury claim to be resolved in a short amount of time. It is much more common to see a longer time-frame, particularly when certain factors are present. Often, personal injury claims take around eight months to a year, but this is only an average and will not reflect everyone’s experience. Below, we discuss some of the factors that will affect the longevity of your personal injury case.

Type and severity of your injury

Serious injuries will often require a longer amount of time to stabilise for the purposes of being able to be assessed by medical experts.  In such cases, clients will be subjected to a longer treatment regime and may require multiple surgeries before the impact of an accident can be fully understood.   Together, these factors work together to extend the period of time spent assessing what your damages should be.

Before you settle, it is important to know how long your required medical treatment will last, whether you have been given the maximum benefit of treatment following the accident, and what your long-term diagnosis is. Your lawyer should work closely with your medical team to correctly ascertain your damages and thus the compensation you deserve.


Sometimes, it will come down to how long you are willing to wait for a settlement. As your lawyer and the insurance company negotiate back and forth, it might take time for your lawyer to whittle down the expectations of the insurer. However, if the details backing your claim are weak, you are tired of the entire ordeal, or just want to avoid the stress of a hearing, you can settle more quickly.

It is advisable, however, to stick it out as early settlement may mean you are cheating yourself out of additional money for delayed or secondary consequences of injuries. Either way, be sure not to settle your claim without being fully informed of its value. Settlements are permanent and if you accept a low settlement early on, there will be no chance to revisit the amount if you later discover further medical complications.

Financial stability

If you decide you are willing to wait for as long as possible to get the best settlement that you can manage, you also need to consider whether you can handle, financially speaking, possibly waiting years to receive payment. It might turn out to be worth the wait, but you need to ensure that you will not be causing yourself any undue hardship in the interim.  In workers compensation claims and motor accident claims, wage loss compensation and medical expenses are paid by the insurer pending the case outcome.

Overall, a personal injury claim will take as much, or as little time as allowed by the injury in question and the injured person’s willingness to wait. When preparing your claim, it is important to share as much detail with your lawyer as possible. The more they know about your situation, needs and goals, the more accurate an estimation they can give you about the speed of settlement. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Contact a lawyer right away to begin working on getting the compensation you deserve.

types of personal injury compensation

What Types of Personal Injury Qualify for Compensation?

Over recent years, the number of Australian citizens who find themselves seeking hospitalisation for personal injury has been steadily rising. In fact, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that the number of hospital visits has increased over the past few decades. Likewise, personal injury claims have risen, making it imperative that everyone have a basic understanding of what personal injury law will cover and how to file a claim. If you or a loved one have suffered serious harm from the wrongful or negligent actions of another, you may be able to receive compensation through a personal injury claim.

Types of personal injury claims: Personal injury claims are the most commonly handled compensation claim and they cover a wide variety of accidents ranging from motor vehicle injuries, public slip and falls, negligence, on-the-job injuries, and more.

  1. Motor vehicle: Extremely common, personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents happen daily. These claims involve all manner of vehicles, including cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds, and may involve drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. When involved in a motor vehicle accident, you should contact the police, report to your insurance agency, and seek medical attention right away in order to best support both your claim and your health moving forward.
  2. Workers’ compensation: Provided to employees, workers’ compensation exists to protect workers from hazards in the workplace and prevent employer negligence by maintaining safety practices. You may be able to receive workers’ compensation if you are injured in the course of your employment or whilst present on the work site. It is important to remember that you are free to file a workers’ compensation claim without fear of reprisal, as that is a right secured to you by law. You should note that workers are able to file claims for immediate injuries as well as long term injuries including: diseases, aggravated pre-existing conditions, injuries sustained whilst travelling for work, and injuries sustained whilst receiving treatment for another work injury.
  3. Medical negligence: Often a source of very serious injuries, medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to act with the same level of care a reasonable medical professional would under the same circumstances. Because of the high level of training they receive and the importance of their profession, medical practitioners are held to a higher standard of care than the average citizen. Misdiagnosis, failing to appropriately inform a patient of potential risks, incorrectly prescribing medicine, incorrectly performing a procedure, and incorrectly interpreting medical results can all give rise to a claim for medical negligence.
  4. Public liability: A broad area of personal injury law, public liability covers a range of injuries. From slip-and-falls at the supermarket to psychological injuries, you may have the foundation of a claim if your injury was caused by the negligence of another. If the owner or proprietor of a public space has failed to expend the right amount of care to protect the safety of their customers, they will likely be held responsible.

Most important to know is that there are strict time limits to bring any type of claim, ranging from 28 days to three years.

If you or someone you know has any questions regarding a recent injury or possible personal injury claim, please do not hesitate to contact our Compensation Lawyers Sydney today. They will have the experience, training and legal savvy to advocate for you and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

social media and injury claim

Social Media and Your Injury Claim

In the United States, suspects arrested in criminal cases are constantly warned that anything they say may be used against them in a court of law. In Australia, lawyers are now warning plaintiffs that anything they post on social media can and will be used against them by defendants and insurance providers in personal injury, worker’s compensation and other types of compensation cases.

These issues were to the fore recently in Foong v Ghaly, McLellan [2017] NSWDC 303. In this case, the plaintiff sought $20,665,550 in compensation for physical and psychiatric injuries sustained in two separate motor vehicle crashes she was involved in within a period of six months.

The plaintiff – who represented herself in the matter – argued that the injuries stemming from the accidents precluded her from working and sought compensation for economic loss. She also claimed that she required help because the injuries hindered her ability to do routine household chores and sought compensation for home care.

Finally, she argued against the use of her social media posts at trial, claiming they were “irrelevant and should not be tendered”. The judge disagreed and permitted their use for the following reasons:

  • the use of material posted on social media as evidence in civil and criminal matters is now considered routine;
  • relevant laws do not include any special provisions for use of such material, nor do they require that an opponent be advised they will be used;
  • this type of material is often proffered in personal injury cases when there is doubt about the claimant’s credibility and/or the extent of the injuries he or she is claiming.

The judge also allowed the material to be tendered because he couldn’t find any legal precedent for the exclusion of social media pages from personal injury cases. However, there is growing legal precedent for the inclusion of such material.

In the end the judge’s reasoning was well founded because the plaintiff’s social media posts did not support her claims. In fact, the judge found that the plaintiff’s “lack of credibility was overwhelming” and dismissed her claim that the injuries rendered her unable to work, based on some of her social media posts.

In the end, her award was just $1,250 in each case – $1,000 in each claim for past wage loss and $250 in each claim for future medical expenses.

Lawyers advise this is a cautionary tale not only for people seeking compensation in New South Wales, but elsewhere as well. This is because insurance providers – many of which have their own investigators – have learned what type of information to look for on various social media platforms. Something you post without a second thought could turn out to be incriminating evidence used at trial.

You should also be aware that your posts aren’t the only ones subject to scrutiny. Once they gain access to your social media pages, insurers will note your connections on each platform. They’ll then review any posts those people make about you. A seemingly innocuous comment such as, “it was great to see you at the family barbecue last week”, or photos of you at the family barbecue on someone else’s timeline, could be used as evidence against you in a case where you are seeking compensation as a result of, for example, the psychological impact of your accident/injuries on your desire to socialise (or lack thereof).

As we have seen, insurers will use material sourced from your social media and related accounts not only to prove that you weren’t as badly hurt as you claimed, but also to show that you are still capable of working, and the like. This is largely because, as the judge opined in Digby v The Compass Institute Inc & Anor [2015] QSC 308 (‘Digby’), Facebook is akin to a “modern day diary,” and “therefore most likely disclosable by the plaintiff”.

Digby is widely recognised as “the first to involve an order by the Court for a plaintiff in a personal injury claim to provide a copy of all material contained in their Facebook account to the defendant insurer.

Nevertheless, the Digby case appears to have opened Pandora’s box.  As a result, if you are a plaintiff in a compensation case, you should exercise caution when using social media or refrain from using it at all until the matter has been resolved.

You should also be truthful, thorough and accurate when reporting a work-related or personal injury, especially if you plan to seek legal recourse. Although it may seem beneficial to embellish the ways in which the injury has affected your life, it is crucial that you refrain from doing so as this is rarely the case.

This is an emerging area of the law where new developments are likely to surface. If you have any questions about the use of social media in connection with personal injuries, or how it may affect your case, contact our Sydney Compensation Lawyers today.


call us for public liability claims

How to Make a Public Liability Claim in NSW?

What is a Public Liability Claim

A public liability claim refers to a claim made for injuries sustained in public places in accidents caused by the negligence (failure to exercise reasonable care and skill) of a person or organisation.

For instance, let’s say you’re walking through a shopping centre and you slip and fall as a result of a spilt liquid on the floor causing an injury to you. The owner of the shopping centre possibly could have prevented the unfortunate incident by ensuring that their cleaning staff better maintained the centre’s floor.

Compensatory damages are available under the Civil Liability Act NSW 2002 as follows:

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Pain and suffering (past and future);
  • Past and future loss of earnings, including loss of superannuation contributions;
  • Cost of other assistance (domestic assistance, personal care provided by friends, family or professional organisations for the past and future).

Public liability claims derive from numerous accident types. Here are some examples:

  • Assault-related injuries;
  • Animal attacks (most commonly dog bites);
  • Injuries due to defective machinery;
  • A slip and fall in public spaces and facilities;
  • Food poisoning;
  • Sporting, recreational  injuries;
  • Physical assaults;
  • Sexual assaults;
  • Schools and playground injuries;
  • Aviation (planes, helicopters) injuries;
  • Maritime (boats, ships) injuries;
  • Hotels and other venues injuries;
  • Injury at a construction site;
  • School yard injuries;
  • Amusement venue injuries;  and
  • Injuries in rental premises (e.g. landlord/tenant).

Public liability insurance

In most cases, business (private or public) have public liability insurance for these types of incidents,  which essentially means that in making a claim against the business, you’re in fact making a claim against their insurer. Some people can wrongly assume they are pursuing legal action against the business and for that reason, do not follow through with a public liability claim, despite incurring significant inconvenience and financial hardship.

Notwithstanding this, it is not uncommon for people who have an accident in a public place to initially suffer from only a little pain and discomfort, choosing not to pursue a claim, only to later find that the injuries sustained were serious, requiring surgery. For this reason, it is often wise to seek medical attention regardless of the injuries sustained.

Proving a Public Liability Claim

In a public liability claim, the evidence of the incident is vitally important, because your lawyer will need to be able to demonstrate that:

  • The person or company at fault owed you a duty of care.
  • The person or company breached that duty of care.
  • As a consequence, you were injured and suffered loss.

Practically speaking, following an injury in a public place if you’re able, the following should be attended to.

  • The first thing you should do, when injured in a public place is to let the owner/manager of the business know.
  • Ensure pictures are taken of everything, the injury itself, the establishment, the object causing the injury.
  • Witnesses are very important, take notes of their names and phone numbers
  • Access any surveillance camera footage
  • Make a video recalling what happened right away
  • Seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
  • Seek advice from a specialised lawyer in personal injury claims.
  • Save all medical evidence, bills, receipts, doctor’s records and anything else proving you sustained an injury.
  • Financial documents are also important to prove a loss of income resulting from the accident.

Getting Help

Public liability claims can be difficult to prove, hence the need to ensure you collect as much evidence as possible as promptly as possible and seek legal advice.

These matters have very strict time limits that apply.

Injured on the Roads while driving cycle. Contact BPC Lawyers today for help.

Your Rights as a Cyclist if you have Been Injured on the Roads

After 1 December 2017, if you are a cyclist and have been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle on New South Wales roads, then you will be able to claim damages pursuant to the provisions of the Motor Accidents Injuries Act (NSW) 2017.

Your claim can be made against the CTP green slip insurer of the motor vehicle or bus with which you had the collision and if the vehicle was unregistered then you are still able to bring a claim against the Nominal Defendant.

Pursuant to the provisions Division 2.4 of the Motor Accidents Injuries Act, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is for the purposes of this Act the Nominal Defendant.

The writer has acted for many cyclists who have been seriously injured in accidents involving another motor vehicle.

It is now a common sight to see cyclists on our roads, both during the day and also at night.

The NSW Government has recognised this fact and has enacted new laws in relation to driver behaviour regarding cyclists.

Since 1 March 2017, drivers in NSW must leave at least one metre of space when passing a cyclist in speed zones of 60 km per hour or less. They must leave at least 1.5 metres in higher speed zones.

Furthermore, if it is safe to do so, drivers can cross centre dividing lines or continuous lane dividing lines to overtake a cyclist. They can also drive on painted islands and dividing strips to pass a bicycle when safe to do so. If it is not safe, drivers must slow down and wait until there is enough space to pass.

As far as cyclists’ behaviour concerning other motor vehicles, the minimum passing distance is not specified for cyclists and they are advised to leave sufficient room to avoid a collision when passing cars.

The writer has been involved in several cases where cyclists were thrown from their bicycle and sustained serious injuries and in one circumstance was rendered unconscious. It is therefore important if you are a cyclist at all time you have with you photo identification and also a mobile phone. It has also been mandated by the government there is a requirement for bicycle riders to produce photo identification when stopped by police who have suspected they may have committed an offence.

It is helpful if you also carry a photo ID in the event that a person or persons witness your accident and may wish to keep in contact with you and provide you with statement regarding your accident to assist you in your claim. I have been involved in a number of cases where the statements by independent witnesses were crucial in proving the cyclist was not at fault and the entire blame for the accident fell upon the driver of the motor vehicle.

It is always important to have a mobile phone with you to be able to photograph the registration plate of a motor vehicle if needed and also record details of the driver including taking a photograph of their driver’s licence.

All of this information will assist you when completing the Application for Personal Injury Benefits which is the new claim form required to be completed for all accidents after 1 December 2017 and must be lodged with the relevant CTP insurer within three months of the date of your accident.

There may also be circumstances where a cyclist has sustained injuries from falling off their bike because of defects in the road surface such as a pothole or other dangers such as loose gravel, however, these claims are governed by the provisions of the Civil Liability Act (NSW) 2002 and such claims against the local council, who are responsible for the maintenance of the road, require far more investigation.

The local council will endeavour to seek immunity from suit pursuant to the provisions of Section 43 of the Civil Liability Act. It will be necessary to seek the advice of an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law with regards to proceedings of this nature.

If you are injured whilst riding your bicycle on NSW roads, then contact the specialist accredited lawyers at BPC Lawyers who will be able to provide you with immediate assistance.

Statutory Paybacks to Centrelink and Medicare

Statutory Paybacks to Centrelink and Medicare Following Receipt of Compensation

In most cases, standard settlement terms allow a period of 28 days for payment of settlement monies to a claimant following receipt of statutory “clearances” from Medicare and Centrelink. A compensation payer has statutory obligations to notify Centrelink and Medicare following resolution of a claim and to attend to statutory paybacks prior to releasing settlement/judgment monies.


Part 3.14 of the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth) imposes an obligation on a “compensation payer” to reimburse the Commonwealth any “compensation affected payments” received by a “compensation recipient” during the “lump sum preclusion period”. This means that a person who is responsible for the payment of compensation to a claimant must reimburse the Commonwealth any compensation affected payments received by a claimant during the relevant preclusion period. The preclusion period is calculated by reference to Section 117O of the Social Security Act. The preclusion period varies in each individual matter as a formula is applied based on the settlement/judgment amount and whether a claimant has received periodic compensation payments, a lump sum compensation payment or both.

Compensation affected payments include a range of social security benefits including unemployment benefits, various disability pensions and other payments and allowances. A full list of relevant payments may be found in Section 17 of the Social Security Act.

Liability to reimburse Centrelink generally arises following settlement/judgment if a claim for economic loss has been made. A compensation payer must notify Centrelink of the settlement/judgment amount. Centrelink then applies the statutory formula and provides written notice to a compensation payer confirming the recoverable amount. Upon receipt of a recovery notice, the compensation payer becomes liable to repay the amount specified in the notice. It is a strict liability offence for an insurer to make a payment to a claimant before any monies owing to the Commonwealth have been reimbursed. The insurer’s liability to the Commonwealth is discharged upon payment of the amount specified in a recovery notice.

Liability to reimburse Centrelink usually only arises in circumstances where a claim for economic loss has been pursued by a claimant. For claims that resolve without a component for economic loss, a request for a clearance usually results in a clearance being issued confirming that no payback to Centrelink is required. Insurers usually request a clearance even in such circumstances so as to ensure that they have discharged any liability to the Commonwealth.

In order to avoid unnecessary delays in receiving settlement/judgment monies at the conclusion of a claim, it is important to notify Centrelink and request a clearance as soon as possible.

Lawyers who act for claimants must ensure the prompt execution and return of all necessary documentation so as to avoid unnecessary delays. Lawyers must also ensure that all documents are completed properly otherwise they are likely to be rejected by Centrelink resulting in delays and financial hardship to claimants who have had their Centrelink benefits suspended following settlement/judgment.

In circumstances where a claimant is suffering financial hardship or has other extenuating circumstances, it is recommended that lawyers contact Centrelink directly to request that a clearance be given priority. This information should also be conveyed to the insurer or the insurer’s legal representatives at the time of settlement so as to avoid unnecessary delays.


The Medicare payback scheme is governed by the Health and Other Services (Compensation) Act 1995.

In circumstances where a claimant has received Medicare benefits arising from medical expenses in respect of the compensable injuries for which compensation has been claimed, the total value of the benefits must be reimbursed to the Commonwealth if the claim resolves for a sum in excess of $5,000.00.

The “notifiable person” (usually the insurer or compensation payer) must notify Medicare in writing within 28 days of the date of judgment or settlement. Notification may be made by completing a Section 23 Notice titled “Medicare Compensation Recovery Notice of Judgment or Settlement”.

It is important that lawyers acting on behalf of claimants promptly request a Medicare History Statement following lodgement of a claim so that all Medicare benefits previously received in respect of a claimant’s compensable injuries may be identified and a Notice of Charge issued. A Notice of Charge is only valid for a period of 6 months and it is therefore important for lawyers to regularly update these notices to ensure that a valid Notice of Charge is available at the time of settlement.

A claimant is required to complete the Medicare History Statement to the best of his or her recollection and does not need to cross reference each individual benefit with records obtained from treatment providers. Medicare will contact a claimant if an issue arises or if there appears to be an error. It is extremely important that a claimant completes the Medicare History Statement promptly and returns the completed documents to Medicare. If the documents are not returned to Medicare within the prescribed timeframe of 28 days, Medicare will deem all listed benefits as being related to the claim and will issue a “deemed” Notice of Past Benefits for the full amount whether or not such benefits were in fact related to the subject claim.

To avoid unnecessary delays in claimants being paid the full amount of their settlement/judgment monies, lawyers acting on behalf of claimants should attempt to ensure that there is always a valid Notice of Charge retained on file so as to avoid the need for advance payments. A copy of a valid notice should also be provided to the insurer at the time of settlement so as to avoid an advance payment inadvertently being made.

If there is a valid Notice of Charge at the time of settlement, this amount can usually be included as part of a claimant’s claim for out of pocket expenses. A compensation payer is then only required to attend to payment of the amount specified in the Notice of Charge to discharge their liability to Medicare following settlement/judgment.

If there is no valid Notice of Charge at the time of settlement/judgment, an “advance payment” representing 10% of the total settlement/judgment sum may be made. In the event of an advance payment being utilised, notice must be provided to a claimant pursuant to Section 33A of the Act of the intention to make an advance payment. Any advance payment must also be made within 28 days of the judgment/settlement. Medicare then have a period of 3 months to conduct a reconciliation and issue a refund once the payback figure has been determined.

Claimants can avoid the need for a 10% advance payment being made in circumstances where there is an expired Notice of Charge but no additional injury related benefits have been paid since the last Notice of Past Benefits was issued. In such circumstances, a claimant may complete a Section 23A Statement and return it to the compensation payer with the other settlement documentation. The insurer will then only be required to pay the amount specified in the expired Notice of Past Benefits.

It is an offence for a compensation payer to pay the claimant any part of the compensation amount unless the required payment has been made to Medicare or the specified amount has been withheld from the claimant. In the event that settlement monies are disbursed prior to reimbursement to Medicare being made, a compensation payer is liable to make the payment over and above the settlement funds. Criminal sanctions also apply as a result of failure to comply with such obligations.

Armed Hold-Ups Compensation Claims

Armed Hold-Ups

Beilby Poulden Costello have had a number of successful claims recently acting on behalf of the victims of robberies. One of those cases involved a lady who was the subject of an armed hold-up whilst working for a fast food restaurant and another was employed to look after the takings from the gaming area at a hotel. In each case we have been successful in demonstrating that the appropriate measures were not taken to ensure the safety of our clients, as a result of which they have suffered loss and injury.

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Why Your Retirement Age Can Have a Big Impact on Compensation Payout

Why Your Retirement Age Can Have a Big Impact on Compensation Payout

One of the key factors when determining compensation payout is the expected age of retirement for the injured person.

When calculating compensation settlements, the expected age of retirement is 67 years of age. Anything beyond 67 years must be submitted for review, explaining why you believe you (as an injured claimant) should be expected to work past 67 years under your expected life path before the incident.

CASE BACKGROUND –  Allianz Limited v Habib & ORS (2015) NSW SC1719

A scenario was recently resolved in the Supreme Court where Allianz, the CTP Insurer, overturned a previous decision to award compensation to an injured claimant based on a retirement age of 70. It was found that there was no substance or justified reason for the claimant to receive compensation past the expected age of 67, and thus the decision was overturned. Read below for more details.

There was a recent decision in the Supreme Court of NSW where His Honour Mr Justice Beech-Jones set aside the decision of a Claims Assessor because of a failure by the Claims Assessor to state (and to the extent necessary explain) the claimant’s age of retirement.

The proceedings were for personal injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on 30 January 2013. At that time, the plaintiff sustained an injury to his lower back in the accident. The CTP insurer, Allianz accepted liability for the claim. The Claims Assessor issued a certificate and reasons for decision on 14 May 2015 and awarded damages in favour of the claimant in the sum of $221,586.00 plus schedule legal costs.

In the reasons, the Assessor awarded the claimant an amount of $160,000.00 for future economic loss and the sum of $36,500.00 for future commercial care.

The CTP insurer sought a judicial review of the assessment on a number of grounds and in particular sought to set the decision aside because the calculation of future economic loss was projected to an age of retirement of 70 years.

There was a document headed, ‘Claimant’s Calculations’ which set out the schedule of damages claimed by the claimant.

This document had been served upon the CTP insurer.

However, in the Assessor’s reasons, there was no reference made to this document.

Allianz in their submissions stated that they had never agreed to the assumption the claimant would continue working until the age of 70.

In most cases, the parties now agree the anticipated working life of a claimant is until the age If a Judge or Claims Assessor is to award compensation for loss of earnings beyond the age of 67, then it is incumbent upon that Judge or Assessor to provide adequate reasons as to why he or she has awarded damages for that further short period of working life.

The decision is worth reading as all the other grounds of review which were submitted by Allianz were rejected by His Honour.

Accordingly, it is important when seeking to have damages for economic loss beyond the age of 67 years to set out in detail for submission to the Judge or the Claims Assessor the reasons why you wish to submit the claimant had intended to work beyond the age of 67 years.

But for the accident, you should submit the claimant was in good health, had a secure employment or worked in a profession where working beyond the age of 67 years is more the norm than the exception and if possible, provide corroborating evidence from either fellow workers or members of that particular profession.

If you have been injured and are seeking compensation, we can help. Compensation Lawyers Sydney at BPC Lawyers have represented injured Sydney and NSW residents for over 20 years, and we will be happy to offer a complimentary, free consultation to discuss your claim and determine whether you have a genuine claim for compensation.

David R. Ford, Special Counsel

Is it Possible to Claim Motor Accident Compensation If No One is at Fault? Call BPC Lawyers.

Is it Possible to Claim Motor Accident Compensation If No One is at Fault?

When you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the negligence of another driver, there is generally a clear entitlement to compensation for injured drivers and passengers.

But what happens when someone gets injured in a motor accident, and no one is to blame?

There was a recent decision in the District Court at Sydney involving an interpretation of the “blameless” accident provisions of the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 (NSW). The case was Garry Connaughton –v- Pacific Rail Engineering Pty Limited and was heard on 12 February 2015. The case was determined by Her Honour, Judge Norton SC.

CASE BACKGROUND – Garry Connaughton –v- Pacific Rail Engineering Pty Limited

The proceedings were for personal injuries arising out of a motor vehicle accident which occurred on 13 July 2011. At that time, the Plaintiff was a driver of a motor vehicle which was involved in a single vehicle accident involving a tree which fell onto the road. The Plaintiff, Garry Connaughton, was driving his truck in a northerly direction on Mount Ousley Road at Mount Ousley at approximately 10:30am when a roadside tree fell and struck the cabin of the truck, which then ran out of control but subsequently came to a halt. The Plaintiff was badly injured in the accident and injury was conceded by the Insurer and there was no issue regarding contributory negligence.

The Plaintiff had little recollection regarding the accident. He was driving his truck in the curb side lane of the road and his first recollection was a man yelling out and his last recollection was driving up the road and there being nothing on the road in front of him.

The Judgment is quite detailed but in summary, Her Honour was asked to decide three questions:

  1. Has there been a motor vehicle accident?
  2. If so, is it a blameless accident?
  3. Is the Plaintiff excluded from recovery under the blameless accident provisions by operation of Section 7E in relation to drivers?

in summary, Her Honour found there had been a motor vehicle accident and it was a blameless accident. Furthermore, the Plaintiff was not excluded from recovery under the blameless accident provisions by operation of Section 7E as she found the Plaintiff did not cause this accident. His driving on the raod was no more than a background fact which explains why he was in a position where he could be struck by a tree. Plus the driving of the Plaintiff was nothing more than “the mere occasion of the injury”.

Furthermore, at Paragraph 73 Her Honour stated:-

“73. Looking at the words of the Section and bearing in mind the words used in the second reading speech (of Parliament) I find that even under the extended definition of causation of Section 7E there was no act or omission on behalf of the Plaintiff, either voluntary or involuntary, which can be said to have caused the accident. I do not accept that the words mean the driver in single-vehicle accidents are deemed to have caused that accident.”

Accordingly, in summary, there was a verdict entered in favour of the Plaintiff which means liability was wholly determined in his favour against the Defendant Insurer. There was a further order made by Her Honour that damages are to be assessed.

In the end, it was found that because no act by the man who suffered injury in his blameless motor accident, either voluntary or involuntary, could have caused the accident, with a verdict in favour of the plaintiff delivered to assess his damages from the insurance company.

If you have been in a motor accident, regardless of whether it is negligent or blameless, we will be happy to offer a complimentary, free consultation to discuss your claim and determine whether you have a genuine claim for compensation.

David R. Ford, Special Counsel

The Truth About Trasylol

Update: The Truth About Trasylol

The Truth About Trasylol  – Trasylol could be responsible for death, stroke, heart attack or kidney failure, you should act quickly.

Following the airing of the news and current affairs program, Sunday Night, on 12 October 2014, BPC Lawyers have received a number of enquiries from people wondering whether the administration of Aprotintin (known commonly as Trasylol) may have contributed to the loss of a loved one or resulted in stroke, kidney failure or heart attack.

We encourage all those who believe they may have been affected by the administration of Trasylol to make contact with our firm. There are significant cost benefits associated with being a client of a firm that represents other clients in similar circumstances. These benefits arise as a result of the sharing of costs associated with investigating proceedings.

If you or a loved one suspect Trasylol could be responsible for death, stroke, heart attack or kidney failure, you should act quickly. Please contact BPC Lawyers on 8280 6900 to discuss your case with a specialist solicitor or email: info [at]

About BPC: BPC provides people with workers compensation claims, motor accident claims and public liability claims. BPC has its origins in a legal practice started by Barry Beilby in 1975.

Medical Negligence & the Inquest into the Death of Luke Wood

Medical Negligence & the Inquest into the Death of Luke Wood

We are fortunate in New South Wales to benefit from some of the most highly trained medical practitioners in the world.

However, incorrect diagnoses and negligently performed medical procedures do sometimes occur. The consequences can be catastrophic.

The recent Inquest into the death of Luke Wood, a Sydney bodybuilder, and former Australian bodybuilding champion, is a timely reminder of this fact.

On August 20, 2011, Mr Wood underwent a kidney transplant. Three days later, on August 23, his body began to show symptoms that it was rejecting the kidney. On August 26, despite the risk of kidney rejection, he was discharged in circumstances that are reported to have been allegedly premature.

Ultimately, on August 31, 2011, Mr Wood was rushed to the Hospital after he collapsed at home. He died at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital following cardiac arrest which was reportedly caused by the “massive hemorrhage” in his abdomen following his transplant. With the Inquest continuing, the circumstances of his death are not yet fully apparent. Evidence, however, given by his treating practitioners is reported to have indicated that not only was he required to wait over four hours for a CT scan, but that the emergency physicians that treated him did not have access to his complete medical records as they were locked in a secured room and inaccessible.

The Inquest continues.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical negligence, you should contact BPC Lawyers on 8280 6900 to speak with a specialist in medical negligence.

About BPC: BPC provides people with workers compensation claims, motor accident claims and public liability claims. BPC has its origins in a legal practice started by Barry Beilby in 1975.

The Dangers of Sydney Roads; Car, Bus and Truck Accidents

The Dangers of Sydney Roads; Car, Bus and Truck Accidents

The recent spate of motor vehicle accidents in New South Wales, particularly those involving trucks and buses, is a reminder of the dangers associated with travelling on Sydney’s roads.

Remarkably, an accident on 13 October, 2014 in which two buses (one carrying school children) made heavy contact, did not result in any fatalities. The collision did, however, initiate a dangerous sequence of events, whereby the school bus lost control and careered into five passenger vehicles causing injuries to the drivers and passengers.

Unfortunately, accidents such as these occur all too often. Tragically, such accidents often result in death or injury through no fault of the injured party. Families can be left with the loss of the primary earner or caregiver or an injured person can be left permanently incapacitated, unable to return to work and provide for themselves or their family.

It is not only those that are injured in motor vehicle accidents that have legal rights, but also those that are left behind following the death of a loved one. Such compensation is provided for by the Compensation to Relatives Act. In order to explore your entitlement to compensation, you must act quickly. Strict time limits apply following car, truck and bus accidents.

Contact our Compensation Lawyers Sydney at BPC Lawyers on (02) 8280 6900 for a free, no obligation discussion with an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.

About BPC: BPC provides people with workers compensation claims, motor accident claims and public liability claims. BPC has its origins in a legal practice started by Barry Beilby in 1975.

The Truth About Trasylol

The Truth About Trasylol

Considered a “wonder drug” and designed to prevent excessive bleeding during surgery, Trasylol was administered to thousands of unsuspecting Australians over the course of some 35 years.

At $1,000 per dose, it netted German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer, hundreds of millions of dollars.

There was a lethal catch though; the drug can cause an increase in the rate of heart failure, an increase in the instance of kidney failure and is said to have increased the risk of stroke by 181%. These were risks not posed by the cheaper alternatives. Recent allegations (including a TV item on Sunday Night) suggest that, despite Bayer’s own studies revealing this increased risk, the drug remained on the market and Bayer allegedly suppressed the negative results. It was not until 2006 when the author of one study became a whistle-blower, revealing all to the USA Food and Drug Administration.

In 2007, the drug was pulled off the market worldwide. It was too late, however, for the hundreds of families across Australia who suffered the loss of a loved one. Thousands more must now endure a lifetime of kidney dialysis and blood thinning treatment.

If you or someone you know has been affected by Trasylol, you must act quickly. Limitation periods apply. Please contact BPC Lawyers on 8280 6900 to speak to one of our medical negligence specialists and to find out whether you are entitled to compensation.

About BPC: BPC provides people with workers compensation claims, motor accident claims and public liability claims. BPC has its origins in a legal practice started by Barry Beilby in 1975.