A Wollongong man and motor cycle enthusiast was last week awarded more than $500,000 in damages in the District Court after he sustained serious injuries in a motor cycle accident on a registered road in Sussex Inlet.
Rex Williams, 58, from Wollongong, was leading a group of riders on a dirt road when an oncoming motor cycle, allegedly driving at an excessive speed, collided with Mr Williams causing serious injuries.
Slater and Gordon Wollongong personal injury lawyer, Melinda Griffiths, said the incident had a severe impact on Mr Williams, who will bear lifelong injuries and restricted employment opportunities as a result of the accident.
“Mr Williams sustained significant injuries and complex neck, rib and wrist fractures,” Ms Griffiths said.
“Unfortunately the extent of the injuries means that Mr Williams is not able to continue working in the same capacity or riding his motor cycle as he previously had.
Ms Griffiths also said that the motor cycle which collided with Mr Williams was unregistered and uninsured, which means he would have been left without compensation had it not been for the nominal defendant scheme.
“This means my client is able to be compensated for his injuries, caused by the negligence of an unregistered driver, in order to pay for ongoing medical costs,” she said.
Mr Williams, who often rides his bike in Apex and other organised rally’s to raise money for worthy causes such as the SES, Careflight and local schools, said the accident was a major shock to him and his family.
“When I got on my bike that day, I didn’t think that it would be my last for a very long time. My injuries mean I don’t get the same enjoyment out of riding like I used to” Mr Williams said.
“I’m a very careful rider, especially when I have other people following me, but I couldn’t see the other person coming around the corner that day.
“I’m constantly in pain and the injuries also mean I can’t undertake heavy work anymore, and I need to rely on the support of my family.
“I’m going to miss the Apex rides, I really enjoyed raising money for a good cause” he said.
Ms Griffiths said that this incident should remind all recreational bike riders of the importance of having their vehicles registered and appropriately insured for all road types, including authorisation to ride within national parks.