On 3 November 2023 the NSW Personal Injury Commission released its decision in Hamid v Insurance Australia Ltd t/as NRMA Insurance  NSWPIC 157.
The incident in question occurred on 16 June 2022 when the Claimant was driving north on Greenwich Road and the Insured was driving north on the same road, behind the Claimant.
The Claimant veered to the left, into Handcock Lane, and executed a U-turn to travel south on Greenwich Road. The Insured vehicle collided with the Claimant’s vehicle.
An independent witness stated that the Insured vehicle was travelling in excess of the speed limit and opined that the accident would not have occurred if the Insured was not speeding.
The Insurer determined that the Claimant was wholly or mostly at fault for the accident and terminated the Claimant’s statutory benefits pursuant to s 3.11 and 3.28 of the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017.
The Insurer’s determination was confirmed on Internal Review. The Claimant lodged a Miscellaneous Assessment application with the Personal Injury Commission.
The PIC Member found that the Claimant was not wholly at fault because the accident was partially caused by the Insured’s excessive speed.
The PIC Member concluded, however, that the Claimant’s contributory negligence exceeded 61% and the Claimant was, therefore, mostly-at-fault for the accident.
The PIC Member found that:
The decision in Hamid v Insurance Australia Ltd t/as NRMA Insurance  NSWPIC 157 reminds us that a driver performing a U-turn carries a high onus to maintain a proper lookout and to only execute the manoeuvre when it is safe to do so. If there are vehicles approach from behind, the driver should wait until they have passed.
A driver who fails to maintain a proper lookout prior to performing a U-turn may be found to be mostly at fault for their accident, even if there was some want of care by the driver who collides with their vehicle.
If you have a query relating to any of the information in this case note, or would like to discuss a similar matter of your own, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with CTP Insurance Principal Peter Hunt today.
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