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Thinking of suing a stoopid cager, advice?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by pete the freak, Aug 8, 2005.

  1. Yo dudes,

    Been a while since I opened up a can of worms like this, so here goes:

    Approx. 2 months ago I was riding to work and got hit by a car. Now I'm talking to a lawyer and thinking of suing her.

    The details of the accident are briefly:

    > I'm riding down a single lane each way street on my way to work.
    > Weather is fine, sun is up, no rain, no debris on road etc. etc.
    > Doing about 55-60 in traffic in a 60 zone.
    > I notice car in driveway about 100m ahead waiting to enter traffic.
    > As I come close to said car, it pulls out into traffic, and straight into the front end of my bike.
    > I fly across the road into oncoming traffic, end up with the bike landing on my foot.
    > Fortunately I was wearing all my best gear, so my only injuries were 3 broken bones in my foot and some scabs on my knees and elbows.
    > Fortunately, she has admitted liability and her 3rd party covered my immediate hospital costs, and her comprehensive insurer, Allianz has agreed to repair the bike and I've almost convinced them to replace all my damaged gear. Also, as I was on my way to work, my company's Workers Compensation Insurance covers my salary.

    (2 Months later... My foot is mostly healed and I'm back at work...)

    > I have just made the initial phone call to Mark Steinberg & Associates (also known as LAWSTOP) in Hornsby NSW. This lawyer has been riding bikes for about 30 years, and I think he's a Ulysses member. He specialises in motorbike and general traffic cases...

    Two questions:

    > Has anyone been in a similar situation and have you any advice for me? Is it worth it? What sort of payout would I expect?

    > Has anyone dealt with Mark Steinberg (LAWSTOP) before, and if so, does he know his stuff?

    Cheers in advance... 8)
  2. What are you going to sue for.
    You seem to have had all your expenses paid for so what are you trying to get out of her?
    Sorry if I am missing something but I am not sure I get it.
  3. Hi Pete,

    Why do you need to enlist a lawyer if her insurer is paying for everything? Did I miss something? I've had no dealings with the lawyer so cannot comment. Good luck.

  4. Suing for what?

    Pain and suffering?

    Australia doesn't have much of a concept for that, there's no punitive damages like in the states. Once all your bills are paid for, that's it.

    The only way you'd be able to sue is if your injuries prevented you from ever getting a job, or if you required ongoing medical care.

    I'd be amazed if you got paid anything extra.
  5. And you are going her for what . She has said she is in the wrong and paying you for everything ?
  6. BTW, good to hear you're almost all healed up.
  7. Scumbag and Deyago good points,

    That was my question, but my dad and others keep hassling me to talk to a lawyer.

    I think the main thing is those two magic words "Pain & Suffering". But I'm not really sure if I've suffered enough...

    Was hoping someone out there might have done this before and know the ins & outs of:

    "Ooooh, the pain, the pain!"
    "Oh, the emotional stress this accident has put on my relationships is tearing me apart..."
    "Ooooh, my self esteem has been shattered, I'm afraid to go out on the roads again!"

    You know that sort of thing... 8)
  8. You've done it to me again kaer, damn your oily hide!
    Speaking of lawyers (Simpsons reference above), the recent reforms to NSW Tort law were brought in precisely to stop this situation. Lawstop may be able to concoct some grounds under which you might still have a claim, but if she has a half-way decent lawyer, I can't see it getting up, and if you lose, you pay costs.
    BTW, coffee night tomorrow night, cage or bike welcome.
  9. Maybe you could sue for the cost of an xbox and 2 months worth of games that you used to pass the time while you healed. ;)

    But seriously...
    What they said above.

    I'm curious now to know what money you feel you are owed.

    I posted this a bit after you answered the question...

    Tell those people to put themselves in her position. Would they like to be sued for seemingly no reason? I mean how often do you get someone doing the right thing in admitting fault, you are already 1 up in that regard.
  10. "Cases won in 30 minutes or your pizza is free" - Lionel Hutz

    See, that's what I thought.

    And just to clarify, I don't think I'm OWED any money, all my costs have been taken care of. I'm just asking the question...

    I'm happy enough not to bother, but if there's a possiblity of a couple of grand in it, I reckon it's worth at least having a chat with the lawyer.

    I'll let everyone know when I've spoken to him...

    "Well, we didn't win so here's your pizza" - Lionel Hutz

    "But we did win!" - Marge Simpson

    "That's OK, this pizza box is empty..." - Lionel Hutz
  11. Ahh, but is a lawyer or yourself more interested in your "pain and suffering" or her "pain and suffering. :p :p
  12. That's exactly it, you sue her and then she just sue's you right back again...where will it all end :!:
  13. I see that point, but couldn't it be argued that this woman who has a licence to drive a possibly deadly weapon, should be held accountable for her actions?

    It could be argued that driving out into traffic with out looking is akin to firing a gun into a crowd... Reckless endangerment* of innocent bystanders - esp. when she causes serious injury and trauma...

    In effect, this total stranger assaulted me with a deadly weapon. So what if her insurance has paid for it all, if it was anything other than a car she hit me with then she'd probably be facing criminal charges...

    Maybe I want justice to be done.

    Maybe I want stupid people like that to be reminded that when you are driving a car you have to take responsibilty for your actions.

    Maybe I want to strike a blow for riders all over the country and show the cage community that we're not going to lie down and take it anymore...

    Maybe I just want a couple of grand. Who knows? :wink:

    *I know it's an American term, but I can't think of anything else.
  14. My mate sued (long time ago) the insurance company the cage driver was insured with... for pain and suffering got $3000 pay out B4 it went to cort and that was in early 80's so it was big money than..
  15. On the topic of Pain & Suffering laws.

    For greenslip.


    It goes into further detail that to claim, it must affect your chosen profession. I.e. A concert pianist & a teacher both lose a finger. The pianist can get money as it directly impacts their job. The teacher can still teach, so no money to them.

    It also has to be permanent impairment to get pain and suffering money.

    For workers comp, it's the same rules.

  16. I think you may find you can't sue for non-economic loss (eg pain & suffering) unless your injury is serious enough to be assessed as a 10% or more permanent whole body impairment.

    And if what's being assessed is impairment caused by a physical injury, the assessment must not take into account any psychiatric or psychological injury, impairment or symptoms.

    [Edit: That info comes from a v.quick look at the NSW Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, sections 131-133.]

    But have a chat with Mr Steinberg anyway. :)
  17. Your preaching about safe driving doesn't really wash when you got done for a high range drink riding offense.

    This woman made a mistake about not looking. She wasn't drunk, talking on the phone etc. A mistake.

    You on the other hand rode a motor vehicle pissed. And don't say the only person you could have hurt was yourself. You hit a pedestrian at 50 klicks, they are going to be in a world of pain.
  18. IMO Dealing with lawyers will be more pain and suffering than your accident... :LOL:

    If this woman has been charged for the traffic offence, has paid insurance related costs and any other incidentals, then I personally would leave it at that. But - if you still are out of pocket, or will be out of pocket into the future as a result of the accident, then go for it. I'm sure you have your reasons for sueing, and if you want to do it, power to you... but I wouldn't just be try to take a few grand off someone just to try and balance the universe. Forgive and forget if you can...

    Good to hear your up and about again. :)
  19. [Dream Sequence]

    In news today, a motorcycle rider has successfully sued a car driver, a fitst under the governments' new "Stupidity Act". The driver, who collided with the rider whilst attempting to enter traffic has been fined $10,000, had her driving licence revoked for life and has also been sentenced to 300 hrs community service - cleaning motorcycles.

    Justice Smith commented "It's about time these stupid people are being held accountable for their actions. For too long, too many people have been getting away with too much stupid s@#t. The judiciary applauds the federal gorernments' stand on the 'War on Supidity'. This is the first step to a fairer, better and most importantly smarter Australia"
    [/Dream Sequence]

  20. sueing in these circumstances strengthens the theory that you should never admit liability if an accident occurs, even if you're obviously at fault.

    if you sue the next time someone who has heard her story of being sued takes out a rider (or anyone else) they'll deny it was their fault and months of frustration will ensure.

    i was speaking to someone who just came back from working in the united states where her employed gave her half a days training in what to say if she's involved in an accident in her company car. among other things she was advised to say 'it's sad this has happened' but never 'sorry' as it immediately incriminates you :shock:

    i can understand you wanting some cash for your ordeal (i would too) but it's probably worth thinking about the wider ramifications :)

    (this isn't meant to sound like i'm preaching, i'd want as much $ as i could get if some idiot took me out for no good reason, just playing devils advocate) :wink: