Insurer to fund a sex worker for man injured in car crash

A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system.
A man argued that he should be able to opt out of the Queensland legal system. ©istockphoto/DNY59

AN INSURER has agreed to fund a sex worker for a car crash victim with a traumatic brain injury but will not construct a purpose-built home or buy him a car.

The 23-year-old, who APN has chosen not to name, spent almost a year at the Princess Alexandra Hospital recovering from injuries which left him with profound mobility, cognition, visual and communication impairments.

He also has developed severe behavioural issues, consistent with a frontal lobe disorder, which have caused problems while rehabilitating at the Gympie Hospital and Sunshine Coast care facilities.

The crash victim would act aggressively towards others, sometimes inappropriately in a sexualised way, which placed others at risk of physical harm.

Compulsory third-party insurer Suncorp Metway is legally obligated to provide rehabilitation services to reasonably restore and optimise the man's physical or mental functions and quality of life because his injuries were sustained while he was a passenger in a car crash on September 20, 2011.

The man's litigation guardian, who has acted as his mother since a young age, applied to the court for a purpose-built home, car and access to sex workers.

Justice David Boddice, in a judgment handed down in Brisbane Supreme Court, said the man already received taxi vouchers to get around and the insurer was willing to pay for sex workers on specified conditions.

He said the issue was whether the rehabilitation services were reasonable and appropriate for the crash victim.

The man was in the Gympie Hospital from September last year until April this year when he had to be discharged for behavioural issues.

He then went to a Sunshine Coast shared accommodation facility but again had to leave following "a serious incident involving another resident", though he was returned to the same provider at a different location with one-on-one care.

Justice Boddice said once this accommodation option ceased, the man could go to a similar facility at Peregian Beach.

He said there was conflicting information about the man's ability to live in shared accommodation and his vulnerabilities in a purpose-built facility.

But Justice Boddice concluded the current one-on-one accommodation and care services were suitable, conceding they would likely need to be revisited in the future.

Topics:  insurance sex worker suncorp

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