Crash claimant wins against wife

A SOUTHERN man injured after the car he was travelling in crashed, has won a pay-out of almost $140,000 against the driver - his wife.

Chief Justice Alan Blow delivered his judgment in Hobart Supreme Court last week, awarding $137,700 damages to plaintiff Adrian Howard James Hall, 45, against defendant Jane Louise Hall.

The single vehicle crash occurred in December 2003, when Ms Hall was trying to overtake other vehicles and lost control of her car.

The vehicle hit an embankment, rolled and came to rest on its roof.

Paramedics attended the crash, but did not take Mr Hall to hospital.

The plaintiff brought an action in 2006, alleging negligence and claiming damages for his injuries.

Liability was not disputed.

Chief Justice Blow noted the crash occurred about seven months after Mr Hall, a hairdresser and fencing contractor, and his family had moved from Victoria to Dunalley.

He said that Mr Hall wanted to ``make a new start'', after he was imprisoned three times on the mainland.

The plaintiff argued he suffered from physical and mental injuries after the crash, including lower back disc damage, chronic pain, a neck injury, headaches and either an adjustment disorder or a major depressive disorder.

Mr Hall claimed the crash had left him unable to work, but Ms Hall contended that the plaintiff had pre-existing mental health problems, the effects of his injuries were transient, and that he substantially recovered from his injuries within months afterward.

Chief Justice Blow said he accepted that the plaintiff was disabled, to a degree, because of his neck, back, leg and chronic pain symptoms.

``I also accept that his disability is not as bad as he has often made out,'' he said, in assessing Mr Hall's pain, suffering and loss of amenities.''