Lawyers win $XY for a 69-year-old grandmother who fractured her ankle in a fall on the Gold Coast
The plaintiff was walking alone and had just crossed the road when she fell and broke her left ankle stepping onto the verge. She was in much pain and unable to continue walking. A passer-by called an ambulance and she was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The age of the victim complicated treatment and she had to have surgery with a pin inserted into her ankle to stabilise the joint and aid future mobility. She was unable to put any pressure on her left leg and was on crutches for 12 weeks after the incident. She has received ongoing physiotherapy since the accident and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Prior to the fall the plaintiff was an active woman for her age and led a vibrant physical lifestyle by walking her dog every day. Although a widow, the plaintiff was self-sufficient, able to catch the bus to shop for groceries and was active in her local community doing charity work and socially at a local bowls club. The injury has had a serious impact and she now needs the help of a carer twice a week to assist with cleaning and housework chores. She can no longer walk her dog or catch buses and relies on the help of friends to run errands or home deliveries for food.
The court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to $XY compensation as her life had been irreversibly changed by the injury. Due to her age and complications associated with osteoporosis, she was unlikely to make a full or even partial recovery characteristic with that of a younger person. The judge ruled that her trip could have been avoided had the City not re-opened a section of the verge for pedestrian traffic following repairs to the sidewalk. Concrete that had been put down was soft and had not been given enough time to set to facilitate a firm footing.