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CASE STUDY: Kurk v Miller & Anor


In 2011 the defendant drove his vehicle through a red light and collided with another vehicle, injuring the plaintiff’s neck.

The plaintiff, aged 43 years old worked on a part-time basis and had worked with the same company for 14 years. Spending the majority of her day at work on a computer, she felt immediate pain to her right arm, shoulder and neck. As a result of the pain she would purchase pain relief medication in bulk every couple of months to cope with the pain.

The plaintiff struggled to carry out daily household duties, neededing regular assistance from her husband. Her physical pain was accompanied by physical exhaustion.

Medical Opinion

Dr Journeaux stated the plaintiff had a whiplash type injury and was at maximum medical improvement. He believed she would not make a full recovery and would likely suffer exacerbations and temporary worsening of her condition, with the possibility of aggravating her symptoms upon returning to work.

In Dr Gillet’s opinion, the plaintiff is able to return to work with limitations. He states with a good ergonomic environment and the ability to freely move around and change positions the pain and discomfort could be limited at work.

Dr Gillet explains “the longer she works in one day, the more discomfort she will have” but would be able to continue working at the same standard as she was undertaking.

Findings

The plaintiff would have returned to full time work had she not suffered the injury and now will be unlikely to because of the pain and discomfort she suffers from carrying out her work duties.

The court found that it is probable that full time work would be available to the plaintiff if she remains at the same employer she has been for the past 14 years, with regard to her good work history and the ability of the company to employ both full and part time employees.

Both doctors stated the more hours the plaintiff worked would increase the level of discomfort and pain she would experience due to her aggravating her symptoms. However it was agreed that she would have the physical capacity to work a 40 hour week.

Any loss the plaintiff may suffer will not occur until a period of time some seven to nine years into the future, as she is still experiencing significant symptoms two and a half years after the subject accident and there is no sign these symptoms will improve greatly from this point.

I think I have a motor vehicle accident claim, what should I do next?

Shine Lawyers are expert motor vehicle accident lawyers. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident – no matter what kind of vehicle it was – you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Get in touch with us to find out more: https://www.shine.com.au/service/motor-vehicle-accidents.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: January 22, 2019.

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