Australian Woman Awarded $140,000 After Run Over By Her Own Car After Her Own Dog Released The Brake

B01_Brake_failure.svg220px-Terrier_mixed-breed_dogIn torts, we often discuss no fault insurance systems but this story out of Victoria is remarkable. A woman was run over by her own car after her own dog released the handbrake on the car. Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) still awarded her $140,000 worth of compensation for injuries to her hip, shoulders, back, and neck. The resolution of the case took over nine years.

The woman from Colac, south-west of Melbourne, was walking her dogs just before the accident occurred in February 2005.

She put two pets in the back seat and one dog in the front. She had the car running to power the air conditioner and was getting into the driver’s seat when the dog bumped the handbrake. The woman in her sixties was then caught in the door and dragged by the car — eventually going under the tires. She suffered serious injuries.

She was given $143,590 no fault injury compensation in addition to medical expenses and income entitlements.

No fault means no fault.

Source: ABC.Net

38 thoughts on “Australian Woman Awarded $140,000 After Run Over By Her Own Car After Her Own Dog Released The Brake”

  1. Hey…. Hint, Hint… Don’t put scalding hot coffee between your legs!!! Something “Bad” could happen!!! Duh…………………………!

  2. The dog could have at least honked the horn to get her to move if it was that much in a hurry…

  3. Pogo, Cats can be sinister. Dogs don’t have an ounce of sinister in them.

  4. How do we know the dog didn’t run her over on purpose?

    I once had a cat that coughed a hairball into one of my shoes. She seemed pretty pleased with herself by my reaction, so I clearly established intent.

    That’s why I didn’t feel bad for doing the The Figure Four Leg Lock on her. Although for reasons I won’t go into, I should have avoided wearing spandex at the time.

  5. fiver, In this country we have bad faith litigation. If the claimant can prove the insurance acted in bad faith in not paying the claim w/o just cause, the claimant/plaintiff can collect triple damages. I don’t know the law in Australia.

  6. Paul – too bad it didn’t lose here.

    The theory is that giving illegal aliens drivers licenses will make them less likely to flee the scene of an accident, and provide drivers ed. In some areas here, 4/5 accidents are hit-and-run.

    We keep making it easier and easier for people to break the law. Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. This is intuitively obvious to those who live in border states.

    Here is a list of the reasons why Oregon shot this law down at the polls:

  7. Daniel:

    “And while I would suggest that most drivers without insurance are citizens.”

    It depends on if you are a border state, where we suffer the brunt of the illegal alien crush. (Although it is true that this is finally spreading the joy out to other states now.)

    Here in CA, the vast majority of unlicensed drivers are illegal aliens. That was the reasoning given for Democrat Luis Alejo’s bill that allows illegal immigrants to get drivers’ licenses. There was a big stramash over it here in CA.

    1. Karen S – didn’t driver’s licenses for illegal lose big in Oregon?

  8. fiver:

    Good point. I did the same thing – blaming her for the accident when it would be irrelevant if it was covered.

    Do we know what the coverage was on this Australian policy, and if there is any negligence clause?

  9. without any knowledge of the laws of the situs of the event, and without any knowledge of the specific terms of the policy, most of this discussion is simply hot air.

    stella liebeck v mcdonald’s is a classic case of a jury gone wrong. regardless of plaintiff’s injuries (unfortunately, few lay people can disregard them), the jury’s finding of *only* 20% comparative negligence is an affront to common sense, and pure fodder for the media.

    nevertheless, even though our jury system often sucks (see, e.g., people v o.j. simpson), it is the very best legal system in the world (c.f., amanda knox).

  10. The devil gets lost in the lack of details on the coffee case. It is usually presented as “some old blue hair spilled her coffee on herself and sued poor old McDonalds” instead of “McDonalds served coffee at 190 degrees while the rest of the civilized world serves it at 140 degrees.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky – don’t forget McDonalds lost several cases before this and had been told by several juries to lower the temperature of their coffee. The high amount of the verdict was to get their attention.

  11. It’s a dark day, I agree with Paul C. on something, namely the woman that was burned by the coffee. McD was trying to save a little cash, but the result permanently scarred a person.

    Fraud issues aside, insurance is for just these sorts of things. And while I would suggest that most drivers without insurance are citizens, since 11-12 million undocumented people do not all drive, I would and do always carry extra insurance to cover those that are not insured.

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