Thermomix compo for crash
Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

A woman badly injured when a Transperth bus hit her car almost six years ago has been awarded a Thermomix food processor as part of a damages package of more than $350,000.

Jacqueline Smith, 45, claimed damages for permanent disabilities from the crash, which significantly affected her wellbeing and lifestyle and reduced her earning capacity in a family business.

In a judgment published this week, District Court Judge Kevin Sleight said he believed Mrs Smith to be "a genuine person who has stoically tried to cope with her disabilities".

In July 2008, Mrs Smith was driving on Vahland Avenue, Willetton, with her infant daughter in the back seat when the bus pulled out in front of her.

The crash left the mother of five trapped for an hour, fearing for her baby's life and that her wrecked Toyota might catch fire.

While her seven-month-old baby was rescued, Mrs Smith's husband David, her mother-in-law and other relatives rushed to the scene to find her trapped in the car. She was cut free, but had extensive injuries including a badly broken leg, a sprained ankle, a sprained right knee, backache, whiplash, a deep vein thrombosis and a noticeable dent in her forehead.

The bus driver admitted negligence but the Insurance Council of WA, which insured the bus, contested the amount of damages.

It even obtained a week of surveillance footage of Mrs Smith in an attempt to prove she had exaggerated her injuries.

As part of the damages award of $362,257, Mrs Smith was granted almost $2000 to buy a Thermomix on the basis it would reduce the time she had to be standing in the kitchen.

An occupational therapist who assessed Mrs Smith's condition also recommended she be able to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner, a wall oven with side opening or sliding door and a lift for her home.

But Mrs Smith and the judge deemed these "unnecessary and extravagant".

"These concessions again demonstrate her genuineness," Judge Sleight said.

The balance of the damages was based on loss of earnings, future medical expenses and general pain and suffering.

A spokesman for the Insurance Council of WA confirmed the damages had been paid to Mrs Smith.

"The CTP (compulsory third party) division of the Insurance Commission was the personal injury insurer of the bus driver and paid out the damages to the injured driver on his behalf," the spokesman said.

The West Australian

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