By Lucy Kelsey
In Martin v Andrews & Anor  QSC 20, the Plaintiff was rear-ended at speed and shunted into the car in front. He sustained whiplash injuries, including a moderate lumbar spine injury and a minor cervical spine injury.
The plaintiff was 39 years old at the time of the accident, and had 44 years of working life remaining at the date of trial. The plaintiff attempted to return to work as a fitter/mechanic/linesman electrician but due to his injuries, he was unable to maintain this employment.
As a result of being unemployed, the Plaintiff was unable to maintain his financial commitments. He had to sell his family farm and his car. He spent all of his savings, and was forced to reside in a tent at a campsite.
The Defendant obtained surveillance footage of the Plaintiff pitching his tent the week prior to the trial showing that he could move without any apparent difficulty. The judge found that this surveillance established very little and did not affect the Plaintiff’s credibility.
The Defendant argued that the Plaintiff failed to mitigate his losses as he had not purchased another work vehicle. The judge determined that the Plaintiff’s financial position was not affected by whether or not he had a vehicle.
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