Lawyers win $XY for a 25-year-old man who broke his neck in a motor vehicle crash.
The plaintiff was driving near Margaret River when a tyre burst. His car rolled and ended up in a ditch. Emergency workers used the jaws of life to free the plaintiff, who was airlifted to hospital where he underwent neck surgery.
Following surgery, the plaintiff had to undergo extensive rehabilitation, including ongoing weekly medical consultants and physiotherapy.
The plaintiff has not been able to return to work in the construction industry in Perth and has had to make lifestyle adjustments. He was an active Aussie Rules footballer but has been advised by doctors to give up contact sports as he may run the risk of permanent paralysis if his neck is injured again. He was also an active cyclist, but has been advised to give up the sport as any heavy impact from an accident – even if he is wearing a helmet – could have severe repercussions.
The court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to $XY compensation as he had been off work for six months and there is no indication when he will be fit again to resume work as a crane operator. The plaintiff has suffered a loss of earnings and additional expenses for medical treatment.
In addition, the local municipality was found to be negligent in that after the accident, investigations had revealed the presence of a slippery, oily liquid on the road corresponding to skid marks where the car had lost control. This residue had not been cleaned up properly following recent roadworks and may have caused the vehicle to lose control after the tyre had burst.
If there had not been an oily liquid on the road, there is a chance that the driver may have been able to keep control of the vehicle and would not have suffered the neck injury. The vehicle was found to be in a roadworthy condition, but a nail found in the lining of the tyre was cited as a possible cause of the accident.