Roadwork Council Negligence (Success Story)

Involved in a road accident? You may be entitled to compensation.

I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all your hard work. I appreciate the time taken to explain the process of making a claim from the start. I wasn’t sure if I was entitled to anything but you explained my rights and my claims value clearly. My sincere gratitude and warmest thanks.. Kim, Frenchs Forest

This case took over 14 days to hear. We argued on our client’s behalf that there was inadequate and misleading road signage on the Monaro Highway, near Bombala.

At the time a new road was being built and our client was diverted down a dirt section of road which acted as detour.

Don’t delay! Contact our Motor Vehicle Compensation Specialists today.

We argued that the Council, who was responsible for the roadwork, failed to put a proper traffic control plan in place resulting in our client believing that the roadway was a one-way road

As a consequence there was a head-on collision and our client suffered injury and damage for which she sought compensation.

We called expert evidence on her behalf from a traffic engineer who gave evidence that the traffic control plan was faulty and that there should have been sign posting to indicate that the road was for two way traffic. Our expert also gave evidence that the barriers and signage in place was confusing and that this caused the accident.

Judge Armitage of the District Court heard all of the evidence. He came to the conclusion that whilst there may have been some confusing aspects of the roadway, it did not cause our client’s accident. After a 14 day battle, we advised our client that she should not be satisfied with that finding and that she should appeal to the New South Wales Supreme Court of Appeal. She agreed.

The appeal was heard over 2 further days. We were able to satisfy the Court of Appeal that the Judge in the District Court got it wrong. The Court of Appeal agreed with our argument that the intersection was confusing and that as a result of the confusion, our client suffered injuries for which she had an entitlement to receive compensation.

Justice Beasley of the Court of Appeal, with whom Justices Ipp and Basten agreed, said in the Judgment, “I am also of the opinion that there was negligence in the design of the general traffic control measures including chevrons being placed on both sides of the road in circumstances where there was no two way sign at the detour.”

The Court of Appeal substituted a verdict in our client’s favour and the matter has now been sent back to the District Court to decide what amount of compensation our client should get.

This roadwork negligence case is a good example of two things:

  1. The importance of having access to and understanding what expert evidence is available in negligence cases;
  2. Not giving in and being prepared to take a case all the way to the Appeal Court when you consider you are right.

Who can make a claim for damages under the motor accidents compensation act?

To make a claim under the Act you must have sustained an injury arising out of a MVA (Motor Vehicle Accident).

“Motor accident” means an accident involving the use or operation of a motor vehicle that causes death of or injury to a person and is caused (whether or not as a result of a defect in the vehicle) during:

  • The driving of the vehicle; or
  • A collision, or accident taken to avoid a collision, with a vehicle; or
  • A vehicle running out of control.

You also must be able to demonstrate “fault” of the owner and/or driver of a motor vehicle. In most cases the vehicle which caused the accident is considered to be “at fault”. You must be able to prove that your injuries were as a result of the fault of the owner or driver of the other motor vehicle.

Pedestrians can also claim where they are injured by the fault of the driver of a motor vehicle.


Beilby Poulden Costello Lawyers act on behalf of people suffering from whiplash as a result of motor vehicle accidents everyday.

There has been a lot of change in this area of motor vehicle claims over the years however monetary compensation still exists to assist people to put their lives back together after an accident.

Beilby Poulden Costello recently acted on behalf of a client who sustained whiplash type injuries to the neck and back as a result of a rear end motor vehicle accident. This is a very common injury and one where substantial compensation can still be obtained.

At the time of the whiplash injury, our client was employed as a personal assistant on a full time basis and also undertook an active roll in the care of her disabled son.


This case took over 14 days to hear. We argued on our client’s behalf that there was inadequate and misleading road signage on the Monaro Highway, near Bombala. 

At the time a new road was being built and our client was diverted down a dirt section of road which acted as detour.


We were recently successful in proceedings before the NSW Court of Appeal acting for the father of a young person who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Our client, the young boy’s father, had parked his car with a boat attached outside his home with the intention of opening the gate and backing it into the driveway. He asked his son to get out of the car to open the gate.