Blaise Allen was in a horrific crash on the Gateway Motorway on January 6, 2015, with his three kids.
Blaise Allen was in a horrific crash on the Gateway Motorway on January 6, 2015, with his three kids.

Dad wins $2.5m lawsuit for horrific head-on collision

A Townsville man has been successful in a $2.5 million lawsuit for a head-on collision car which left him with debilitating physical and mental injuries, a Rockhampton court has heard.

The trial was conducted at the Supreme Court in Rockhampton over five days in February and an order was delivered on March 25.

Justice Graeme Crow ordered RACQ Insurance Limited to pay Blaise Allen, 49, a sum of $2,499,399.69 for damages in personal injury for physical and psychological injuries, loss of economic opportunities in employment wages and for future and past care and assistance.

The decision document detailed the accident which occurred in January 2015.

Mr Allen and his three children, then aged 12, nine and three years, embarked on a trip from Townsville to Brisbane for a holiday at his mother's house.

The family spent a night in Rockhampton and continued the drive to Brisbane.

When they reached Brisbane, Mr Allen was driving in a southerly direction along the Gateway Motorway when a Nissan Patrol, driven by the RACQ insurance holder, veered onto the incorrect side of the road and caused a high-speed head-on collision.

Mr Allens vehicle, a Kia Carnival, was crushed in to almost the driver's seat.

The damage to the car from the accident.
The damage to the car from the accident.

 

Mr Allen spent time in ICU for extensive facial and head injuries and spent 10 weeks in hospital.

The decision document detailed Mr Allen's recount of the accident.

"We had the collision and I was sitting in the front driver seat of the car, and all I recall is fighting to stay conscious and hearing my three little ones screaming for my help, to help them, but I couldn't help them. I was pinned, the car had crushed in over the front of my knees.

"This was all in a split second and blood gushing everywhere … the car was on fire, and I was just trying to stay conscious … and as I am losing consciousness, I can just see them screaming, "Daddy, daddy, daddy"."

Mr Allen's list of agreed injuries included a hip fracture which required reconstruction surgery, knee laceration, fractured ribs, facial laceration with nerve damage and repair, fluid on the lungs, tendon repairs on fingers, knee ACL tear, soft tissues injuries to the left shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, mild hearing loss, traumatic brain injury and minor eyesight impairment.

Blaise Allen, 43, recovering in the Royal Brisbane Hospital after a head-on collision pinned him in his car, thankful his children are all doing well. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Blaise Allen, 43, recovering in the Royal Brisbane Hospital after a head-on collision pinned him in his car, thankful his children are all doing well. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

He was in a wheelchair for some time and used crutches.

The medical evidence in the court detailed the extent of surgeries Mr Allen had, including a plate with seven screws insert in his hip.

There was also a detailed long list of surgeries Mr Allen was expected to have in the future.

A number of witnesses were called to give evidence in the case, including Mr Allen's wife.

She described him as a "exceptionally charismatic gentleman" who was "full of wit, a lot of fun, an exceptionally patient man, exceptionally patient with his children. … To the point where I would say particularly about the girls that he needed to be a bit stronger with them because they would … run over him all the time. So never lost his temper. I never, ever saw him lose his temper with the children ever."

After the accident, she said he was no longer "the man she met", going on to say "physically, he has a loss of stamina, fatigue and pain, a loss of strength and a range of motion. I think the biggest impact, though, has been the cognitive and the psychological … if he gets too stressed, he just loses it."

Blaise Allen, 43, visited by his partner Gail Kingston, 43, and his son Guy, 3, who was also in the car, thankful his children are all doing well. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Blaise Allen, 43, visited by his partner Gail Kingston, 43, and his son Guy, 3, who was also in the car, thankful his children are all doing well. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

The decision stated Mr Allen "was a very capable man prior to the accident and although he had retained his intelligence, he has lost his drive, his personality, his ability to concentrate and importantly, his mental pace."

At the time of the accident, Mr Allen was an employed at the associate director of workplace health and safety at James Cook University Townsville.

He has not returned to work since the accident.

As part of the lawsuit he was granted $515,957.20 for past wage loss and $959,040 for future wage loss.

He was also granted $143,025 for past care and assistance and $225,554 for future care and assistance.


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