Greg Bramwell is hoping to get compensation from RACQ for pain and suffering, as well as loss of income, after the his daughter Brittany was killed in a car crash at Goodna two years ago.
Greg Bramwell is hoping to get compensation from RACQ for pain and suffering, as well as loss of income, after the his daughter Brittany was killed in a car crash at Goodna two years ago. Sarah Harvey

Bereaved dad suffers alone with girls gone

Brittany Bramwell
Brittany Bramwell

TWO years ago Greg Bramwell not only lost his only daughter, Brittany, he lost the selfless bubbly teen who made her daddy's life that little bit easier.

The unimaginable news police brought to his Raceview front door at 2.34am on April 9, 2011, came eight years after Mr Bramwell's wife died.

Both the women in his life went above and beyond to help make life bearable for Mr Bramwell - who suffers from chronic pain syndrome resulting for an injury 20 years ago - by helping around the family home.

Now the grieving father is left on his own, only managing to complete normal life tasks on his good days.
"I just do it when I am feeling good and I can manage the big stuff," he said.

"I just have to get by."

He has lodged a claim against the insurer of the car that killed his daughter to compensate for his loss of dependence and nervous shock.

He received a letter in the mail confirming the insurer would be held liable for the accident but not for any other loss.

The arduous civil claim system has played a toll on Mr Bramwell, who has chosen to share his experience to highlight the daunting process.

"They (insurer) accept liability for the car accident but nothing else - the loss of my daughter or nervous shock or everything I have gone through," he said.

"…we have had enough of it up here in Ipswich with the floods.

"You have to try to change it because it is going to happen to more people like me who go through it."

Even if he is awarded damages, Mr Bramwell could still end up out of pocket if he does not meet the threshold to be awarded legal costs.

In 2010, the then Bligh-Government amended the Civil Liability Act and increased the index for calculating general damages.

At the same time the threshold to reach for damages before legal costs are awarded was also increased and rather disproportionately for those with smaller claims, McNamara and Associates senior associate Abe Arends argues.

"The impact for Greg is that although his entitlements to pain and suffering increases, and we say quite minimally, the requirement in terms of damages has also gone up more before he can get the insurer to pay a greater portion of his costs," he said.

"The assessment of his claim makes it difficult for people like Greg justifying economically having solicitors involved because where they aren't making claims for past and future economic loss, they are limited primarily to damages for pain and suffering and very little extra has been offered in this regard since the Civil Liability Act was brought in 2002 ."

Comment has been sought from the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie about a potential review of the act.
Michael Daniel Henderson has been jailed for dangerously driving and causing the death of Brittany, Nicholas Saxby and Matthew Prior.


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