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Madeline was a bright and happy person, looking forward to a career in the Police, when a summer holiday turned to tragedy after vehicle accident.

Madeline had always been a glass-half-full girl. She saw the best in others and her positivity drew people to her. She was always the helper and a career in law and justice became an obvious choice. She set her sights on the Queensland Police Service and began her studies in human services at UQ.

During the Christmas holidays in 2015, Madeline and her friends set out on a road trip from Brisbane to rural NSW. It was supposed to be a relaxing camping getaway in honour of her boyfriend's birthday, but the group never made it to the campsite. Just hours into their journey, the driver, an unsupervised L-plater, became distracted and veered off the road, flipping the car.

Madeline was thrown out the window and landed beneath the bonnet of the overturned car. Unconscious at first, she awoke to find herself trapped under the hot engine with her arm burning and chest crushed. Madeline was taken to hospital by helicopter and was told that her spine had been shattered and metal rods would have to be inserted into her back. At the hospital, the extent of Madeline's injuries became painfully clear - the tendons in her wrist had been severed, her pelvis and collarbone were fractured and she had suffered third degree burns to her arm, which required grafting. After the first skin graft surgery, Madeline's arm became infected and doctors had to repeat the surgery twice more before it succeeded. Ultimately, Madeline spent two months in hospital and at times feared she would never make it out.

Shine Lawyers | Madeline on the road to recovery in hospital

Madeline's injuries took a significant toll on her life. In an instant, her career dreams were left in ruin. When she first came out of hospital, even the simple tasks of bathing and dressing required help. For Madeline, the hardest part was learning how to walk again.

When Madeline came to Shine Lawyers, the team took the time to understand what she was going through. She knew they would go into bat for her and ensure she received the best possible outcome. Madeline was eager to settle and put the past behind her so the team proceeded to secure her the sum she would need to get herself back on her feet.

Seeing her case resolve successfully has brought Madeline closure. It's taken an enormous weight off her mind to know that she now has the support she needs to move forward into the future. The compensation Madeline has received will ensure that she is able to access the medical treatment and support she needs to face whatever challenges lie ahead.

While her dreams of joining the police force may no longer be possible, Madeline has channelled her passion into a related field, commencing a dual degree in Criminology and Anthropology.

Madeline says the crash was a turning point in her life. She is now using her experiences to help share the road safety message and has joined the Shine Lawyers Road Safety Campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving during the festive season. By sharing her message, Madeline hopes that she can help protect others from harm and improve positive behaviours on the road.

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