It turned out that Margaret’s version of events was different to that put forward by the insurance company. Her account of the accident suggested she wasn’t at fault but there was no video footage to confirm her story. Following unsuccessful negotiations with the other driver’s insurance company, the insurance company took the matter to the Magistrates Court of Queensland, suing Margaret for damage to the other car.
TASC didn’t have the resources to run the litigation on their own. Fortunately, they were able to get in touch with Brisbane-based barrister and signatory to the National Pro Bono Target, Stephen Colditz, who agreed to take on the case on a pro bono basis. They lodged a counter-claim for damage to Margaret’s car.
“Without Stephen’s help, we would have struggled with it,” says Brenton. Stephen’s involvement helped not only Margaret the client, but Brenton the new lawyer.
“Professionally I learned so much from Stephen,” says Brenton. “It was a case where there was quite a bit of mentoring. I was able to use what I learned from Stephen, what I learned from this case and apply them to five, ten, other cases [since then].”
Ultimately, Stephen, Brenton and the TASC team obtained a positive result for Margaret. The court decided in Margaret’s favour, awarding her $6,000 which allowed her to repair her car. For an elderly woman of limited means, this was significant.
It was satisfying for Brenton in the way many of his TASC cases are. “This person came in really stressed and all of a sudden you can see that this massive weight has just lifted off them. Nothing beats that.”