Cleaner Injured on a Public Bus Awarded $250K Payout.
Public transport is simply a part of life for hundreds of thousands of Australians, and no one ever expects things to go wrong. Zhang Wei was 68 years old when she was injured on a bus on her way to work. When she boarded the bus there weren’t any seats, so she was standing in the aisle. The bus stopped suddenly, and she was flung forwards. During the fall, Wei broke her left forearm and suffered severe bruising to her face and torso.
Wei worked as a cleaner three days a week and looked after her grandson for two days to help her daughter with childcare. After the accident, she was completely unable to go about her normal life as she continued to experience immense pain, and it felt like she had no options.
Wei had never spoken to a lawyer before and was hesitant to contact one because she doesn’t speak English. Her daughter Alice had seen an ad for Law Partners and got in touch on behalf of her mum to find out what options were available.
With the help of Alice, her solicitor Lydia, and the translators that Law Partners provided, Wei was able to proceed with her claim.
The bus company paid out statutory benefits for a year to cover weekly payments for lost wages and medical expenses. 12 months later it was clear that Wei’s injuries were still significant, and she had never regained full use of her arm. Her solicitor Lydia took the case to the tribunal to make a common law damages claim. This type of claim would offer Wei a lump sum payment to cover her economic loss because she was unable to work, as well as non-economic losses like the difficulty and stress the accident caused her.
During the tribunal hearing, the bus company presented new evidence which showed that a white car had pulled out sharply in front of the bus, which had forced the driver to break suddenly, and caused Wei’s fall. This meant that the driver and the bus company were no longer at fault for the accident, and weren’t going to continue paying for benefits or offer a lump sum payment.
There were no details available about the driver of the white car and the number plate wasn’t even visible on the footage.
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It seemed like the end of the road.
Lydia wasn’t going to give up. She was able to lodge a claim against the “nominal defendant,” an option for people who have been injured and it’s not clear who was at fault. Even if there’s no clear defendant, there are often still options to make a claim and access support and compensation to help with recovery. Lydia interviewed other people who had been on the bus, as well as Wei’s family members so that she could accurately present the overall impact of the accident on Wei’s life.
Lydia secured a $250,000 lump sum payout for Wei.
Wei’s daughter Alice says the experience was better than they could have hoped for. “Law Partners went above and beyond for Mum,” she says. “They just completely understood the position we were in and made everything so much easier.”
The settlement supported Wei’s recovery and meant that she could focus entirely on getting better. She’s been able to retire and spend more time with her grandson and family.
“I can’t thank Lydia enough for helping us,” Alice says. “Everyone at Law Partners helped us get the best outcome, we’re so grateful.”
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