Slater and Gordon Melton Lawyer Carla Bursich is warning drivers to be conscious of their safety on the road saying there had been a string of hit and runs and dangerous collisions in Melbourne’s west this year.
Ms Bursich said she had seen a rise in clients contacting her this year with injuries caused by dangerous and erratic driving. In some cases, drivers have been responsible for running other vehicles off the road before fleeing the scene.
“It’s certainly disappointing that a driver could cause damage to another person’s vehicle, cause them to be injured and a huge amount of distress and then drive off without stopping. Intoxicated drivers and erratic behaviour is definitely a contributing factor,” she said.
Mum of five Jessica Walters is calling on drivers responsible for road accidents to pull over and do the right thing, after she was side-swiped by a speeding vehicle that sped off in Melton in March this year.
Mrs Walters, whose children were in the car with her, was sideswiped by a black Skyline trying to overtake her on the corner of Station Road and Exford Road at Melton South. The 32-year-old was hit from behind by another vehicle in 2013, and in 2015 her car was t-boned by a vehicle. Her neck and lower back have ongoing pain in both regions. Psychologically, her symptoms are worsening.
“He overtook me by driving into oncoming traffic. Because there was another car coming, he swerved and hit the right-hand side of my car. His car scraped my driver’s side, all the way back to where my daughter was sitting,” she said.
“He didn’t even bother stopping to see if we were okay. When he finally got in front of me, he went straight down the emergency lane and overtook about six cars.”
Since the accident, her daughter has been experiencing dizzy spells despite being a healthy and happy child before the collision, she said.
“Another woman witnessed the accident as she was driving in the opposite direction. He pushed her off the road as well. If you hit someone, you should do the right thing and pull over to exchange details,” Ms Walters said.
Ms Bursich said many injured people involved in hit and run collisions or accidents caused by dangerous driving did not know a TAC claim could cover them for loss of wages, medical costs (like potential surgery or physical treatments) and also lump sum compensation if the injuries continue to impact them.
“If you’re involved in a road accident and you’re injured or there is significant damage to your car, the first thing you should do is phone the police so a police report can be made. It’s important you contact police immediately if you’re involved in a hit and run or an accident with an unidentified driver,” she said.
“You are still entitled to make a TAC claim even if you have been hit by another car and you do not know who the offending driver was. It’s best to seek legal advice so you can make sure you understand the full range of entitlements available to you.”