$7.5m For Hit-Run Teen Georgina Woods
Article and photo courtesy of The Daily Telegraph – JANET FIFE-YEOMANS
July 23, 2010
Left for dead … Georgina Woods / Pic: Adam Ward
She hates school, dreams of being a veterinarian and loves her family pets.
Georgina Woods’ mum Julie describes her 13-year-old as a typical teenager, except every day is a struggle since a cowardly hit-and-run driver left Georgina for dead at the side of the road five years ago. The driver has not been found.
Yesterday in the Supreme Court, Justice Clifton Hoeben confirmed a $7.5 million insurance settlement to provide the medical treatment and 24-hour care Georgina will need for the rest of her life.
While the brave teenager has to live with her injuries, so too the driver has to live for the rest of his or her life knowing what they did.
Georgina’s father Graham Woods said: “They know what they did. It damaged their vehicle substantially.
“But they left her to die.
“Most people have mobile phones and if the driver had stopped to care for her and called an ambulance it might have [prevented] some of the damage to her brain.”
Georgina spent a year in hospital after she was hit by the car while she was playing with two young friends outside Punchbowl RSL.
Georgina has mental and physical injuries but now her fight is to leave her wheelchair behind and walk again.
She uses a special exercise cycle at home and has learnt to move her legs in the hydrotherapy pool.
“She’s very tough, very courageous and strong-minded,” Mr Woods said.
“She has wanted to be a vet since she was small. A career is out of the question at the moment – and we can’t see it’s going to happen – but she is very determined.”
The family will be celebrating the court victory along with Georgina’s 14th birthday next week.
Georgina’s lawyer Jnana Gumbert of Stacks/Goudkamp said that because the driver had not been identified, Georgina’s payout would come from a fund set up by the seven greenslip insurers.
“It is very positive that, even in a horrible situation like this when a driver has left the scene, the injured person can receive compensation,” Ms Gumbert said.
“Georgina sustained very serious injuries but she is a lovely girl.”