A MOTORCYCLIST badly hurt on an Outback road after colliding with an SUV towing a caravan has lost a court battle.
In August 2014 Peter Schofield was riding his Harley-Davidson on the Diamantina Development Road that has a single lane of bitumen.
On the road between Windorah and Quilpie, he was riding with two other bikers.
Gary Hopman was approaching from the other direction, towing a caravan behind his Mazda Tribute.
A collision happened, Mr Schofield claimed damages and the dispute went to the Supreme Court.
"Because of the narrowness of the bitumen strip the practice on the road is for motorists to move their left hand tyres off the bitumen and so share the centre strip,” Justice Duncan McMeekin said.
Mr Schofield had to go to hospital in Mackay.
He argued Mr Hopman did not move his tyres off the bitumen.
"The first two riders passed Mr Hopman's vehicle safely,” Justice McMeekin said. "Mr Schofield did not.”
The court said one biker asked Mr Hopman: "What the f--- are you doing? You're supposed to give way to us.”
But the judge said there were difficulties with some evidence from the motorcyclists.
"They each claim that they observed Mr Hopman's vehicle to be in the centre of the bitumen strip at all times without deviation.”
"It is certain that he did not do that. If he had done so there is no prospect that the first two motorcycles would have passed him - the strip is too narrow.”
The judgment was given in Rockhampton after a hearing in Mackay.
The road had jagged edges and a dropped off to a gravel verge, so the court heard arguments about road width and right of way.
"No case was advanced that Mr Hopman was negligent on the ground that while he left the bitumen he did not get far enough off the bitumen,” Justice McMeekin added.
In the new judgment, the Supreme Court found against Mr Schofield.
Both sides have until 4pm Thursday to provide submissions on costs to the court.
Justice McMeekin said he had to assess Mr Schofield's damages claims anyway, and they would have come to more than $700,000.
His injuries included compound fractures to the right elbow and arm, and a de-gloving injury to the right forearm. - NewsRegional
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