Mother not compensated because son injured himself

Mother not compensated because son injured himself

Family members and loved ones of people injured or killed on Victorian roads are entitled to assistance from the TAC. In certain circumstances they are also able to sue for compensation.

Under Australian law, people who are injured as the result of another person’s negligence can sue for compensation for their injury. A person can also recover compensation if they are injured as a result of finding out about the negligent act of one person causing injury to another person.

Recently the Supreme Court had to determine whether a person should be entitled to compensation if their loved one negligently injured themselves.

The case was Homsi v Homsi [2016] VSC 354 and the Court said the answer was no. If you are injured because you find out about injuries someone negligently caused to themselves, you will not be able to sue for compensation.

Mrs Homsi’s son was driving negligently when he collided with another car, killing one of the occupants and himself. Mrs Homsi suffered a severe psychiatric reaction as a result of her son’s death and has not been able to work since. As a result, Mrs Homsi is entitled to assistance from the TAC. She has also sued her deceased son’s insurer, the TAC, for compensation for her own injury.

Justice Forrest decided there was no legal authority supporting Mrs Homsi’s claim and there were powerful policy grounds for refusing it. Mrs Homsi’s own injuries arose because of the injuries suffered by her son. But it was her son who caused the accident. Justice Forrest said if others could sue you for failing to take care of yourself, you would be under an intolerable burden of potential liability. Allowing these claims would ruin the balance between obligations, duties and freedoms and also open the floodgates to similar claims.

Family members of negligent drivers injured or killed in Victoria cannot sue for compensation for the injuries they suffer as a result. Those family members should investigate the other assistance which is available to them through the TAC scheme.

If you or a loved one have suffered a psychiatric injury as a result of injuries caused to another person, call our friendly team on (03) 9321 9988 to discuss whether you are entitled to compensation.

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