Donvale resident Estelle Hancy has this month reached a six-figure settlement with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) for compensation following an accident on a public bus in June 2009.
Ms Hancy had just boarded a bus on Doncaster Road, Donvale, when the bus started moving before she was seated.
Slater and Gordon lawyer Meghan Hoare, who acted on behalf of Ms Hancy, said that her client will bear lifelong injuries as a result of the incident.
“Ms Hancy was still standing and facing forward towards the seat in which she intended to sit, when the bus jolted forward,” Ms Hoare said.
“The momentum of the bus moving suddenly shunted Ms Hancy against the chair. The force of the impact led to a significant leg fracture.
“The nature of the injury required our client to spend seven weeks in hospital and embark on months of rehabilitation.
“She continues to undergo physio and rehabilitative exercise today,” Ms Hoare said.
Ms Hancy said the accident had been a tremendous setback.
“When I got on the bus that day, I certainly didn’t expect that I would not be returning home for nearly two months,” Ms Hancy said.
“My leg is still very weak, and my knee is often very painful to this day.
“It’s scary that one brief moment like that can stay with you for years afterwards.”
Ms Hoare said she hoped the compensation would serve as a warning to all public transport companies about the need to take steps to ensure the safety of their users.
“Ms Hancy will deal with a degree of pain and injury for the rest of her life as a result of this accident. Her compensation will allow her to make some necessary financial adjustments in her life, but the pain she contends with is a permanent burden – caused through no fault of her own,” Ms Hoare said.
“Bus companies need to ensure that safety is consistently and rigorously maintained throughout their businesses.”