Dad files $940K lawsuit against driver after horror crash
THE LAST thing Clayton Esler remembers before waking up in ICU in a Brisbane hospital in 2017 is coming off nightshift and doing his washing.
What came next the Koongal father-of-three has no clear memory of, but he was told he was involved in a high-speed rollover in Blackwater.
He was flown to Rockhampton Hospital and the next day to Princess Alexandra Hospital.
It was three months before he was discharged from hospital but he wasn't able to return home. He then stayed another six to eights weeks at the Gold Coast so he could attend rehab appointments.
Mr Esler suffered a number of internal injuries, some of which he underwent surgeries for.
This included a fractured pelvis, ligament injury, right knee surgery, C7 in his neck, thoracic vertebra, spine, sternum and multiple ribs. Other injuries include head and dental injuries, facial laceration, fractured nose, hernia, haematoma, hand injury, collapsed lung, ruptured diaphragm and more.
These details are outlined in Mr Esler's statement of claim filed to the Rockhampton Supreme Court. For his losses and damages, Mr Esler is suing for more than $940,000.
The now 47 year old has filed a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle he was travelling in when the crash occurred, Thomas Hamilton and Mr Hamilton's insurer, Suncorp Insurance.
The accident in question occurred on January 28, 2017 at 1.30pm on the Blackwater Coorrorah Rd near the intersection with Bedford Weir Rd and the Capricorn Hwy.
It is claimed Mr Esler accepted a lift into town with Mr Hamilton, who he had very brief involvement prior.
The court documents detail the pair visited a Blackwater club for several hours before getting back in the Toyota Hilux.
It is explained the ute left the road, became airborne and collided with the north side of a dry creek bed causing the ute to roll multiple times.
Doctors reports filed with the court documents claim Mr Esler still gets pain in his neck at times and aches and discomfort in his right knee joint.
He advised he could not crouch, squat or kneel on his right side and his knee is worse if he walks longer distances and stands in one place for too long.
The doctor claims Mr Esler suffers from pain in his pelvis and lower back if he stands up, bends over or walks long distances, completes any manual physical labouring type work and has to be careful what side he sleeps on.
The doctor further claims Mr Elser also has some loss of movement in his spine and some discomfort and stiffness and tenderness in his pelvis.
At the time of the accident, Mr Esler was a diesel fitter in the mining industry. After the crash he was on WorkCover for about nine to 10 months before he went on Centrelink benefits until he found employment in March 2018.
His new employment is as a tip truck driver but it is noted he is unable to carry out duties that are very manual labour or to operate trucks that require him to assist in manually loading or unloading.
This job is casual; some weeks he can work 40 hours and others not at all.
It is noted Mr Esler would not be able to return to work in the mines and would be unlikely to pass a mine medical.
He previously enjoyed playing cricket and golf but has found after the accident it exacerbates his lower back pain and he also socialises less due to his injuries.
Prior to the accident, he was earning $1,633 per week. The loss of this figure over 113 weeks, minus what he has earnt since, is $155,268.12 and ongoing.
An amount of $740,448 has been calculated for the loss of his earning capacity until the retirement age of 67 and including periods of unemployment.
General damages for the pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of amenities is calculated to $112,300.
For past care and assistance, an amount of $214,700 with $210,360 for future costs.
For future expenses for pharmaceutical, GP consultations and travelling, an amount of $16,922 is expected.
The court documents were filed on December 5 by David Lipke of Swanwick Murray Roche. An application to proceed was sought on January 15.
Suncorp Insurance and Mr Hamilton are represented by Moray and Agnew Lawyers and have at this stage only filed a notice of address for service.
Both parties were contacted for comment, but did not respond.