Man injured while helping crash victim denied compensation

AN Ipswich man has been unsuccessful in the state's highest court in his bid to be compensated after a crash on a flooded road at the height of the 2011 flood disaster left him with severe injuries.

Steven James Tinworth, 26, took his claim to the Queensland Court of Appeal after he was unsuccessful in the Ipswich District Court last year in seeking damages from another motorist who hit him while he was helping a third motorist who had aqua-planed off a flooded road on January 10, 2011, near Willowbank.

The court heard Mr Tinworth was driving along the Cunningham Hwy when he hit a puddle of water, braked, lost control of his vehicle and aqua-planed into a ditch on the left-hand side of the road.

While waiting for a tow truck he noticed another motorist travelling in the opposite direction hit a different puddle of water and experience the same events as he had.

The court heard he walked across the road to see if the female driver was okay when a third vehicle driven by Michael John Haydon hit the puddle of water and careered into him resulting in a number of injuries.

The initial trial judge, in dismissing Mr Tinworth's claim, found he failed to take care for his own safety in three aspects and was 50% responsible for what occurred.

Mr Tinworth appeal the decision on eight grounds including the trial judge erred by not giving any weight to the fact a back injury sustained in the incident forced him to quit his job and the motorist who hit him was speeding and was not driving to the conditions of the day.

It was further claimed Mr Haydon should have noticed the 'Road Subject to Flooding' sign near the incident and the fact there were two vehicles off to the side of the road and adjusted his driving accordingly.

Justice Philip Morrison said, in his findings on Tuesday, he would have ordered the initial decision be quashed and would have ordered a new hearing.

He said he believed the trial judge did err by not taking into account Mr Tinworth's back injuries.

Justice Morrison's decision was overruled by Justice Jean Dalton and Justice Catherine Holmes who both ruled there was not sufficient evidence to grant Mr Tinworth's application and ordered he also pay the other parties' respective costs.

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