A Reservoir man who was forced into an early retirement after a hit-run motorist knocked him from his bicycle has settled a case against the Transport Accident Commission for $287,000.
Jacques Burattin was 61 when he was sideswiped by an unidentified car in Sydney Rd as he rode home from the Cambellfield engineering firm where he worked as a fitter and turner in August 2007.
Slater and Gordon motor vehicle accident lawyer Marko Eric said the impact with the car caused Mr Burattin to lose control and fall from the bike, resulting in severe injuries to his right shoulder.
“Going to work was a very important part of Jacques life but as a result of the accident and the negligence of the unidentified driver, he has been permanently incapacitated as a fitter and turner,” Mr Eric said.
“He had spent his entire working life as a fitter and turner and he was planning to work well past 65 but instead he was forced into an early retirement.”
Following the accident, the TAC granted Mr Burattin a serious injury certificate, enabling him to pursue a common law damages claim.
The Transport Accident Act stipulates that in cases where a person is injured or dies as a result of a transport accident involving an unidentified vehicle, the injured person may recover compensation in proceedings against the TAC.
“Often cyclists assume that because the vehicle didn’t stop they are unable to claim compensation but this is not the case,” Mr Eric said.
After Slater and Gordon entered into negotiations with the TAC on Mr Burattin’s behalf, the TAC accepted liability on behalf of the unidentified driver and agreed to pay him $287,000 for the cycling claim.
“This settlement will ensure Mr Burattin is compensated for his reduced capacity and will grant him increased financial security,” Mr Eric said.
Mr Burattin said his life had been turned upside down by the accident and his inability to continue as a fitter and turner.
“I was looking forward to many more years at work because I love my trade but my dream was stopped,” Mr Burattin said.
“Now I can get on with my life.”