AN elderly North Dandenong couple whose lives were turned upside down after a motorist crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with them head-on has received nearly $400,000 in compensation.
The pair in their mid-70s, who have asked not to be named, were driving home from Melbourne Airport after a holiday in Queensland when they were struck by an oncoming car in May 2010.
The wife was trapped in the vehicle for several hours, suffering broken ribs, broken legs, spinal fractures and abdominal injuries while the husband also suffered spinal fractures and a shoulder injury.
They were rushed to the Alfred Hospital where they remained for a month before being admitted to a rehabilitation centre.
Slater and Gordon motor vehicle accident lawyer Nicholas Mann said the crash has had an enormous impact on the couple’s lives.
“The accident has really diminished their ability to enjoy their retirement and taken away a lot of their independence,’’ Mr Mann said.
“Before the accident they went to Queensland every year and they had plans to continue to travel regularly but the injuries have limited their ability to do so.”
The husband, who until the accident had done the bulk of the couple’s driving, had been unable to drive since due to the psychological trauma caused by the accident.
The TAC this week (March 22) finalised settlements after the pair initiated damages claims for their loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. They continue to be entitled to receive medical benefits from the TAC.
“They’ve been through a terrible ordeal and have made a huge effort to get their lives to where they were prior to the accident,” Mr Mann said.
“Despite being very strong and determined people, their injuries continue to affect them significantly. While the compensation won’t make that go away, it is hoped that it will enable them to make the most of their retirement, given the restrictions they suffer following the accident.”