A Queensland farm widow has won car accident compensation that will enable her to continue to run her property after the death of her husband.
Glenys Schimke's partner Reg Schimke was killed on February 2nd 2008 in a collision with a trailer being towed by a four-wheel-drive vehicle on a single-lane bridge near their Gatton farm.
Mrs Schimke was awarded $200,000 by the Brisbane Supreme Court to compensate the 67-year-old for the loss of her hardworking husband, the Brisbane Times reported.
"The plaintiff's loss is not limited to loss of services to the business in which she was a partner," Justice Peter Applegarth noted in his decision.
"Her loss is in respect of services on a farm which was both a source of income for her and her husband, and also their home."
The judge agreed Mrs Schimke was entitled to compensation for the emotional distress she had suffered and the loss of Mr Schimke to the couple's crop and cattle farm business.
She had brought a legal case against the other driver's insurer – Suncorp Metway – and the judge ruled in her favour.
Although the court found that both Mr Schimke and the other driver were at fault in the fatal car accident, it decided that Mrs Schimke was entitled to compensation.
The judge took into account that the income of the farm business would have been much greater had Mr Schimke not died.
Mr Schimke made a significant contribution to the farm business while he was alive. He worked eight-hour-plus days seven days a week and also took on outside labour jobs to earn extra money in tough times.
Justice Applegarth further looked at MrsSchimke's position since her husband's death. The farm had deteriorated and despite a lot of hard work, she could not plant and harvest crops, carry out fencing or mow and bale hay.
Mrs Schimke had needed to hire contract labour to help on the farm.
Country NSW farmers who have suffered an injury or a family fatality in a car accident may wish to consult with a local car accident compensation lawyer to evaluate potential claims for compensation.
As in the Schimke case, compensation can often include loss of wages or earnings, compensation for emotional trauma, as well as legal costs.
A no win no fee lawyer is a good place to start to find out what your options are and what level of compensation you may be entitled to in order to rebuild your life.