Pedestrian Recovers Damages from an Unidentified Vehicle

By Tina Ibraheem

In a District Court decision, in which the firm was involved in, namely McLean v Nominal Defendant, an injured pedestrian was able to recover damages against the Nominal Defendant, as the relevant third party insurer of an unidentified vehicle.

We acted on behalf of Mr. McLean who recovered damages from the Nominal Defendant in the sum of $124,934.80.

Mr. McLean was injured whilst walking home from the Deception Bay Hotel. He suffered serious injuries to both legs and also a psychiatric condition as a result of the accident.

The insurers argued that Mr. McLean contributed or caused the accident due to his level of intoxication. We were able to show that Mr. McLean wasn’t intoxicated and although he had been drinking at the hotel (4 schooners of beer) he was in no way intoxicated and was exercising reasonable care when he attempted to cross the road.

The Court accepted this argument and Mr. McLean was able to recover his damages in full against the Nominal Defendant.

The case involved quite a number of issues which the Court needed to consider both in relation to liability, i.e. the cause of the accident and also quantum, i.e. the amount of damages which Mr. McLean was able to recover.

Despite the fact that there were no witnesses to the incident, other than Mr. McLean we were able to prove that an unidentified vehicle had struck Mr. McLean. We were also able to show the vehicle would have been travelling at an excessive speed and also failed to give way to Mr. McLean as he was crossing the road at a designated pedestrian crossing.

In addition to the damages which Mr. McLean recovered we were able to obtain an order that the Nominal Defendant pay his costs of the trial and of the action on an indemnity basis.

The effect of this costs order was that Mr. McLean was able to recover the full extent of his damages, less refunds to Centrelink and Medicare, and that all his costs were paid by the insurer in addition to his award of damages.

Mr. McLean was able to recover a significant award for general damages for pain and suffering. In addition he was able to recover both past and future economic loss together with future treatment.

In the circumstances, it was a very pleasing result and one in which we feel were able to represent Mr. McLean in a very satisfactory manner to ensure that he recovered the full extent  of damages which he was entitled to given the nature of his injuries.