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Beeac milk bar owner Carmen Boon has this month reached a six-figure settlement with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) after a van crashed through the store window in December 2008.
Slater and Gordon personal injury lawyer Tom Burgoyne said that his client was incredibly unlucky to have been in the accident.
“Our client was simply working in her store when a van came right through the window, wedging her between the van and a shop wall – it could have very easily been a fatal accident,” Mr Burgoyne said.
A customer in the store at the time was able to exit the store and reverse the van, freeing Ms Boon.
Ms Boon said that she was happy to put one aspect of the accident behind her.
“When I woke up that morning in December, I certainly didn’t expect to see a milk van coming through my shop window,” Ms Boon said.
“As unlucky as I was to be there, I’m just as lucky to be through the worst of the injuries today.”
Ms Boon sustained injuries to her hips and thighs that resulted in her having to undergo an entire hip replacement and weeks of hospitalisation through various stages of her recovery.
Mr Burgoyne said that the accident had led to significant upheaval for Ms Boon and her husband.
“Even though three years have passed, our client is still fighting to overcome the physical and emotional impacts of the accident.
“There has also been a large financial impact, as the day to day challenges of running a shop have become too much of a burden for Carmen,” Mr Burgoyne said.
The business, which was established more than 60 years ago, as well as the couple’s home on the same property, is now on the market.
Ms Boon said the sale was regrettable but the TAC settlement had allowed her to get back on track financially.
“We have owned the milk bar for four years now, and while I’m sad to let it go, the shop has seen a lot of owners and will get on fine without us.
“Now that the settlement has been finalised, I can concentrate on looking after my injuries without worrying so much about my finances.”
Ms Boon, formerly an avid horse-rider, said that she looked forward to having more time with her grandchildren.
“The accident means I am no longer able to get in the saddle, but at least I can spend more time teaching the grandkids to ride our two Shetland ponies,” she said.
Mr Burgoyne said the TAC worked very efficiently in dealing with Ms Boon’s claim.