A District Court Judge has awarded a Bunbury man $2.9 million in personal injury compensation after he fell off the back of his friend's utility and suffered a catastrophic brain injury.
Personal injury lawyers Slater and Gordon took civil action on behalf of 51-year-old Mark Best following the accident at Dalyellup in 2009.
During a 10 day trial in September last year, District Court Judge Julie Anne Wager heard that Mr Best was unrestrained on the back of the utility when he fell heavily onto his head. He suffered severe brain and physical injuries.
During the trial both parties agreed the driver had breached his duty of care his passenger and was 70 per cent at fault for the accident.
Slater and Gordon Group Practice Leader Karina Hafford said Mr Best had spent a total of 3 years in hospital and rehabilitation since the accident and had permanent injuries.
“My client had to learn to walk and talk again. His brain injury was so severe that he suffered visual loss, is deaf in one ear, has balance problems and it has affected his memory and ability to learn.”
Mrs Hafford said Mr Best had lost his social life and close group of friends and is permanently reliant on the guidance and support of a carer.
“Before the accident Mr Best was employed in the mining industry and was highly regarded by his colleagues. He was described by his family and friends as a conversationalist, very witty, easy going and everyone's best friend. But now he struggles to hold a conversation and will never work again.”
“This judgement means that Mr Best will get the care he needs and be able to regain some independence and live the rest of his life with dignity without any financial worries,” said Mrs Hafford.
Mr Best said he was very happy with the outcome and now looked forward to the future.