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  • Writer's pictureEvan Sarinas

Recovering Treatment Expenses in Personal Injury Claims: A Case Study

Updated: 4 days ago

Can chiro, massage and exercise physiology expenses be claimed in a personal injury claim?


This issue was recently considered by the District Court of Brisbane in a motor vehicle accident trial involving Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd.


This article will explore the Court's decision on the Plaintiff's out of pocket treatment expense claim.


Table of Contents


  1. Out of Pocket Treatment Expenses

  2. What Past Treatment Expenses did the Plaintiff Successfully Claim?

  3. What Future Treatment Expenses Did the Plaintiff Successfully Claim?

  4. Conclusion


Out of Pocket Treatment Expenses


Many injured claimants are out of pocket for some or all of their treatment expenses following an accident, whether it's trips to the GP, seeing a specialist, medications or rehabilitation. For some claimants, these expenses can be hundreds if not thousands of dollars.


In the case of road accident claims, it is not uncommon for many of Queensland's CTP insurers to refuse to cover the cost of rehabilitation for massage, chiropractic and personal training expenses during a CTP claim, despite their obligation to cover cover the costs of "reasonable and appropriate" rehabilitation for the injured claimant.

 

In this case, the Judge upheld and accepted the Plaintiff's past special damages claim for her "out of pocket" expenses relating to massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, personal training and medications to help treat her whiplash injuries from a car accident in 2019.


What Past Treatment Expenses Did the Plaintiff Successfully Claim?


The Court applied a 50% discount on the Claimant's personal past out of pocket expenses for these treatments, allowing the following past special damages claims (in addition to rehabilitation expenses to be refunded back to WorkCover Queensland, and her Medicare refund):


  • Chiropractic treatment $1,800.00

  • Massage therapy treatment $552.50

  • Personal trainer/gym expenses $5,234.67

  • Medication expenses $2,290.91

  • Travel expenses (global sum) $500.00

  • TOTAL: $10,378.08, plus interest of $639.31


What Future Treatment Expenses Did the Plaintiff Successfully Claim?


In addition to these past special damages, the Court also allowed the following future treatment expenses for the Plaintiff's whiplash injuries:


  • Massage therapy treatment $3,546.03

  • Chiropractic treatment $8,343.60

  • Gymnasium expenses $6,883.47

  • Medication expenses $9,903.85

  • Travelling expenses (global allowance) $1,000.00

  • TOTAL $29,676.95

Importantly, the Plaintiff was able to verify these expenses through receipts, and expert medical evidence confirmed that the treatment was both reasonable and appropriate in light of her injuries. These are critical issues to maximise the prospect of recovering these expenses in from the insurer.


Conclusion


Ultimately, the Plaintiff was awarded a total of $285,122.63 in damages to compensate her for the injuries, loss and damage that she suffered as a consequence of the motor vehicle accident.


Choosing the right compensation lawyer in Townsville is an important decision that can impact the outcome of your case.  


Remember to keep receipts for all out of pocket expenses, and diarise appointment travel and any care and assistance you receive from other parties, whether it's paid or gratuitous.


With the right lawyer by your side, you can pursue your compensation claim with confidence and peace of mind, entrusting your lawyer to fight on your behalf whilst you focus on your recovery.  


If you're ready to move forward, contact us today to benefit from our prompt results, strategic expert selection, meticulous evidence-gathering, clear and transparent advice and regular claim updates. 


References:

Full case judgment: Towell v Mooney & Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd [2023] QDC 130


Motor Accident Insurance Commission Rehabilitation Standards and Guidelines: https://maic.qld.gov.au/for-service-providers/for-licensed-ctp-insurers/rehabilitation-standards/




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