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L-plate crash payout slashed
L-plate crash: Mother's payout slashed. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

A Perth mother badly injured in a crash as a passenger in a car driven by her learner-driver daughter has had a $360,000 damages payout cut by $72,000 because she was partially responsible as the supervisor.

The woman, who declined to be identified, did not believe there was anything she could do to avoid the crash.

She was not in control and did not have foot pedals or a steering wheel, but her claim for damages was cut 20 per cent because of contributory negligence.

The woman wants to warn other parents supervising learner drivers to be aware that they could be held responsible in the event of a crash.

"We'd driven that way for three weeks and I had instructed her on what to do at that particular intersection but just not on that day," she said yesterday.

"I always presumed if you're a passenger in a car and you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, you were covered in some way." The girl was a relatively experienced learner driver and cautious, according to her mother.

The crash happened in August 2010 in East Perth when her daughter was waiting to turn right at an intersection.

After the traffic lights changed to amber, she began turning right believing her path was clear.

However, another vehicle drove through the intersection and crashed into their front passenger side.

The mother had serious injuries including to her hip, shoulder, spine and pelvis. District Court Judge Anthony Derrick found the mother "failed to take a precaution that a reasonable person in her position as a voluntary supervisor would have taken to prevent harm to herself".

Judge Derrick was satisfied the risk of the daughter turning into the path of and colliding with oncoming traffic was foreseeable and the risk was significant.

He said a "reasonable person" in the mother's position would have instructed the driver not to proceed until she was certain there were no more cars going through the intersection and, if necessary, to wait until the traffic lights were red and cars had stopped.

The mother said the crash had had an enormous effect on her life, both mentally and physically, but also financially because of medical and legal expenses.

She said in hindsight she would have paid an instructor to accompany her daughter during her supervised hours, even though she had been taught by an instructor.