Car Accident Aid News » Car Accidents
If you are injured as a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian in a car accident, claiming compensation for car accidents enables you to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced, the deterioration in your quality of life and any costs or loss of income you may have incurred as a direct result of your accident – or any costs or loss of income you may incur in the future.
Although the most common type of injury claim in Ireland, no two injury claims for car accidents are the same. The impact that two similar injuries have of two individuals may be completely different, and it is always in your best interests to consult an experienced personal injury solicitor to ensure that you receive your full entitlement to car accidents compensation.
If you would like further information about claiming compensation for car accidents, you are invited to call our Solicitors Advisory Panel on the free phone number above, and discuss the circumstances of your accident with a solicitor. The solicitor will be able to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process of claiming injury compensation for car accidents in Ireland.
Posted: September 11th, 2021
A High Court action for compensation related to brain injuries caused by a crash involving an uninsured driver, has been settled for €14.75m recently.
Olivia Redmond O’Callaghan (37), from Gowlane South, Donoughmore, Co Cork, took the legal action against her late husband’s estate, Cork County Council and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), the body which compensates victims of uninsured driving, in relation to the road traffic accident.
Ms Redmond O’Callaghan, who was 28 at the time of the collision, took the legal action in relation the injuries she sustained when the car that was being driven by her husband crashed into a tractor and trailer. Due to the crash she suffered major brain damage and requires 24-hour care for the remainder of her life after the accident.
When the crash occurred the driver of the car she was travelling in, her husband Myles O’Callaghan, was uninsured. Mr O’Callaghan lost his life in the incident. The court was told that Ms Redmond O’Callaghan, who gave birth to her third child months after the accident, is unable to recognise her children or photographs of her husband,
Ms Redmond O’Callaghan was unable to attend court or give evidence in the legal action taken through her stepfather, Liam Power. The court was informed by Dr John O’Mahony SC, with Patrick Keane SC, instructed by solicitor John Henchion, for Ms Redmond O’Callaghan that her mental competency is “at the bottom of the spectrum”
He said: “She carried her baby through all the trauma but she never regained awareness of the reality of her environment or home. She doesn’t recognise her children. She has no engagement with anybody”. He referred to Norma Redmond Power, Ms Redmond O’Callaghan’s mother as ‘heroic’. Along with Olivia’s stepfather Liam Power they are regarded as parents by the three O’Callaghan children.
It was claimed that Cork County Council had constructed a defective public roadway which was dangerous to road users which featured a very tight bend with a radius of curvature which was allegedly below the minimum acceptable standard. It was also alleged that high vegetation was allowed to grow on the embankment of the road which allegedly restricted forward visibility.
Other claims included that there had been no warning of the sharp left-hand bend. Cork Council refuted all of these claims, arguing that the bend was visible for 210 metres and there was a camber on the bend that it said benefits drivers negotiating it. It was also stated that the accident was caused by the alleged negligence of the late Mr O’Callaghan.
Defending these claims, the MIBI, claimed Ms Redmond O’Callaghan was negligent by knowingly travelling in a car when she was aware there was no valid insurance policy in place.
Dr O’Mahony said at the opening of the legal action that it was a case of “most profound sadness“ and the woman who lost her husband in the crash has had the “most appalling repertoire of profoundly serious injuries”. Settlement talks were held subsequently and the settlement was approved then approved by Justice Paul Coffey who referred to this as a a tragic case.
The settlement, the court heard, was made with the MIBI and Cork County Council.
Posted: August 9th, 2021
Recently at the High Court 57-year-old Joseph Mulcahy was awarded €88,406 neck injury compensation due to the suffering he experienced since his car was rear-ended at a Limerick roundabout during November 2016.
Judge Justice Anthony Barr, as he was delivering his ruling, said that he believed the medical testimony provided that stated Mr Mulcahy had been suffering with a neck condition prior to the incident in question. This condition was exacerbated in the road traffic collision. Mr Mulcahy has already committed to having surgery to address the ongoing pain, even though there is no guarantee it will significantly improve his symptoms. The court was told that successful surgery will only give partial relief of his neck symptoms. It was also felt some pre-existing mental health issues that Mr Mulcahy experienced became worse in the aftermath of the car crash.
Mr Mulcahy informed the Judge that he had stopped his Opel Astra car at the Tipperary roundabout on Ballysimon Road on the day that the accident occurred. He was waiting to advance on to the roundabout when a vehicle driven by Alphonsus Clifford (92) rear-ended him. Mr Clifford did not agree with this account of events. He informed the court that he had come to a halt in the right-hand lane at the roundabout entrance and waited to advance onto it. He alleged that Mr Mulcahy’s swerved into the left lane and crashed into the front passenger side of his car
Mulcahy sued Mr Clifford (92), of Well Park, Garryowen, Limerick, in relation to the accident that occurred on November 11, 2016.
In relation to the damage caused to Mr Clifford’s vehicle, the judge said that it was a little more severe than to Mr Mulcahy’s car. However, a motor assessor representing the defendant agreed that some of the damage could only have been inflicted if the front wheels of the defendant’s vehicle were turned at an angle at the point of impact. It was also pointed out that a garda sketch of the scene indicated that Mr Mulcahy’s car was not on the roundabout when the crash occurred but it had come to a halt at the roundabout entrance within the right hand lane. This meant that the defendant’s claims could not be considered correct.
Liability was contested between the parties and there was lengthy debate in relation to what resulted in Mr Mulcahy’s ongoing pain in his neck and lower back. Justice Barr ruled that the road traffic crash took place as a result of the plaintiff’s vehicle being rear-ended by the defendant’s vehicle at the entrance of the roundabout. Due to this it was ruled that liability for the accident was with the defendant. Additionally there was no contributory negligence factor for Mr Mulcahy to be held accountable for, the Judge added.
Due to these findings, Justice Barr awarde road traffic crash compensation of €50,000 and €25,000 to Mr Mulcahy in relation to the pain and suffering he has endured and will continue to going forward.
Posted: May 1st, 2021
At the Circuit Civil Court a road traffic accident car crash settlement offer fo €25,000 for a six-year-old girl was approved by Judge James McCourt recently.
The crash, which occurred during 2018, lead to a great deal of trauma and stress for a young girl that was involved. Judge John McCourt was told that Missy Elliott, who was just three years old at the time that the crash occurred, had to deal with a lot of anxiety that Father Christmas might be unable to get to her house that particular year.
Now a Primary School pupil, Miss too the legal action against Denis Osula – the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision, through her mother Ms Cherie Byrne, of Hampton Wood, Finglas, Dublin 11. The court was informed that Mr Osula had crash in the back of the car that the Elliott family were travelling in.
Barrister Robert Crowley, representing Missy along with Collins Crowley solicitors, told Justice McCourt that Missy was a restrained passenger in the family car when the car that was being driven by Mr Osula (with an address at College View, Ballymun, Gateway Crescent, Dublin 11) during September 2018.
While Missy did not sustain any trace of physical injuries as a result of the car crash, Mr Crowley told the Court that she attended Dr Helen Leader, a consultant kid psychiatrist as well as cognitive behaviour professional, so they her mental well being could be gauged following the shocking incident.
In her assessment, Dr Leader said that Missy’s anxieties, an poor sleeping, pointed to an adjustment problem. Dr Leader also commented, in the official medical report that was submitted to the court, that Missy had clearly not suffered any long-term physical damage as a result of the car crash.
When it was put to Mr Crowley, by Justice McCourt, that a lot of children of Missy’s age would be prone to experiencing anxiety connected with Father Christmas bringing gifts at Christmas time, he agreed, However, he continued to to say that there was clear evidence that the young girl also developed poor sleeping patterns and anxiety due to being in the road traffic collision.
While approving the settlement offer, Justice McCourt commented that he had no qualms about approving the compensation settlement and added that Missy’s parents were content with it.
Posted: August 24th, 2020
Following an appeal by defendants Alan Crosby and Mary Vocella, a personal injury compensation award for whiplash injuries sustained in a car accident have been reset to €41,000 by the Court of Appeal in Dublin last week.
Upon further review of the €70,000 compensation award that was approved that the High Court in December 2019, Court of Appeal Judge Justice Seamus Noonan found that the award figured was not representative of the suffering incurred. Justice Noonan did say that plaintiff Emma McKeown had appeared to be an honest person who did not seek to exaggerate her injuries.
Moreover, Justice Noonan was critical of the fact that personal injuries awards can vary greatly depending on the presiding Judge and that this should clearly not be the case, saying “Whatever the reality may be, it is clear that awards made by the courts have an impact on society as a whole and the courts are mindful of that fact. Ultimately each member of society must bear the cost of a compensation system whether through the payment of insurance premia in the case of private defendants or taxes in the case of public defendants. Society thus has a direct interest in the level of awards. Frequently, the identity of the trial judge would not be known until moments before the case actually commenced, resulting in varying outcomes depending on the ‘draw’. It is clear that this has the potential for injustice. It cannot be fair to either plaintiff or defendant that the value of their case depends on the identity of the trial judge.”
He added: “Personal injury litigation should not be a lottery and plaintiffs and defendants alike are entitled to reasonable consistency and predictability. This is particularly important in the context of injuries which fall at the lower end of the spectrum as these constitute the vast bulk of cases, most commonly involving soft tissue, or ‘whiplash’ injuries.”
Justice Noonan finished by saying: “Taking into account all the relevant factors to which I have referred in the context of the proportionality of the award in this case, I am satisfied that by any reasonable measure it cannot be viewed as proportionate. It is not proportionate when viewed against the measure of the maximum for the most serious injuries. The cost of (motor, public or employer’s liability) insurance is for most ordinary people and businesses, a significant outgoing. The extent to which awards by courts influence that cost is in recent times, a matter of widespread public discourse, debate and dispute.
Posted: July 14th, 2020
A man who was unable to continue his employment at a meat processing plant due to the injuries his sustained in a car accident has been awarded €3,500 car accident compensation.
sac Cosmin Cirpaciu of Powerscourt, Mallow, Co Cork told the court that his still experiences pain in his right shoulder, neck, back, chest as a resuld of the accident that occurred at a roundabout in Mallow, Co Cork. and side after a crash with the defendant, Barry Maas, at a roundabout.
The court was told that Mr Cirpaciu was stationary in the left lane before entering a roundabout in Mallow when the car of Barry Maas collided with his own vehicle. Mr Maas contested this and claimed that they were actually on the roundabout when the accident occurred. However, the plaintiff told the court that Mr Maas drove into he left lane and struck his vehicle, while the defendant claimed that Mr Cirpaciu moved over into his lane.
The court was informed that Mr Cirpaciu attended a doctor roughly 25 minutes after the accident. Following this has was scheduled for two physiotherapy sessions and had to see a specialist in order to have his injuries attended to. He said: “For around three or four weeks I went to my GP and he kept giving me painkillers.”
Mr Cirpaciu said he took up a new job with Kepak meat processing plant but had to return to his old job at Rossi’s takeaway in Charleville due to back pain.
Defence barrister Deirdre Keane asked Mr Cirpaciu why he did not disclose that he also suffered a right shoulder injury in an incident in September 2016 for which he received compensation. Mr Cirpaciu’s legal team responded by saying that the medical report have already been provided for that accident.
Forensic engineers were called on behalf of the plaintiff and defendant. For the plaintiff engineer Michael Byrne, who investigated the crash told the court that it appeared to him that Mr Maas moved out of the left lane as he drove onto the roundabout and that he was travelling quicker than Mr Cirpaciu’s. For the defendant forensic engineer Seamus Walsh testified that there was evidence from the damage on Mr Maas’ front left wheel suggested that the front right wheel of Mr Cirpaciu’s BMW was turned to the right. In addition to this he informed the Judge that an indentation on the front right bumper of Mr Cirpaciu’s car was not deep enough to ascertain that Mr Maas had moved across into the left lane.
Judge Ó Donnabháin awarded the plaintiff €3,500, together with costs saying that “I prefer the evidence of the plaintiff as to the probable cause of the accident as supported by his engineer” and that the aciddent could be described as mild and the injuries as minor.
Posted: June 3rd, 2020
A man has been awarded €35,000 car accident compensation at the High Court due to the injuries he suffered as a result of a car accident where his son-in-law was driving.
An appeal had been lodged by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) in relation to a previous decision that Gerard Mongan was entitled to damages after being struck by a car driven by Martin Mongan. This was in connection with a car accident that happened in the aftermath of an argument outside the plaintiff’s home at Renmore in Galway on June 16 2013.
Martin Mongan, who was previously married to Gerard Mongan’s daughter Amanda, was allegedly intoxicated when he went to the plaintiff’s residence and asked that he see his son immediately. The resident advised him that he should leave immediately. He did so but, it was claimed, he came back later and drove off the road and onto the path straight into Gerard Mongan.
Due to the injuries he sustained in the incident, Gerard Mongan filed a compensation claim in Galway Circuit Court against both Martin Mongan and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
In the High Court the MIBI claimed that it had no liability due to the fact that the uninsured driver had deliberately used the car as a weapon. The case was made that any injuries were not the result of negligent driving by Martin Mongan. Legal representatives for the plaintiff countered this by alleging that there was no evidence that Martin Mongan had used his car as a weapon. The accident, they said, occurred due to a breach by Martin Mongan of his duty of care that it constituted negligent use of the vehicle.
The appeal was dismissed by Justice Denis McDonald. As he was delivering his ruling Justice McDonald was critical of the way that evidence was given by Gerard Mongan and his wife in relation to the incident.
He noted that their compensation claims did not state that Martin Mongan drove deliberately at them. However this was greatly different with the available evidence and statements given in the direct aftermath of the incident.
However the judge also ruled that the plaintiff are entitled to compensation based on legislation governing the MIBI and European law on matters like this.
Posted: October 21st, 2019
A former psychiatric nurse who suffered injuries in a car crash in 2015 and then slipped in a supermarket a matter of few months later has been awarded more than €100,000 in personal injury compensation at the High Court yesterday.
Ms Justice Miriam O’Regan estimated personal injury compensation at €20,000 in relation to the road traffic incident. He also awarded another €88,000 personal injury compensation in relation to the fall. The sum of personal injury compensation totalled in excess of €108,000 to Mary Barry of Westcliffe, Ballincollig, Co Cork, at the High Court sitting in Cork.
In calculating the total amount of compensation to be awarded, Ms Justice O’Regan reviewed several aspects of the plaintiff’s legal claims. Her legal team, Seán Lynch and John O’Mahony, asked n opportunity to clarify all issues with John Lucey, representing the defence. Following this, it was agreed that €20,000 was the final figure plus costs in relation to the traffic incident on November 25, 2015, at the Kilumney roundabout near Ballincollig.
More than €88,000 plus legal costs was awarded in relation to her accident and fall at Wilton Shopping Centre on March 2, 2016, thought to have been caused by yoghurt/ice cream on the floor that had not been cleaned up.
In relation to the plaintiff’s claim for post-traumatic stress arising from the car accident, where it had been alleged she was not able to get out of her car for some time after the incident, the judge did not make any compensation award.
Ms Justice O’Regan said yesterday in her judgment said: “Of total significance in my view is that she has indicated she could not get out of the car but evidence was given that she had gotten out of the car on two occasions prior to the arrival of gardaí. That was completely contrary to the evidence she has given.”
Posted: May 10th, 2019
Two young girls, sisters, have been awarded €17,000 in road traffic passenger accident damages in relation to an accident during which their father crashed the car that they were travelling in into a wall.
Even though both of the young sisters were both correctly wearing seatbelts, they were both thrown backwards and forwards around the car. The road traffic accident happened during April, 2016.
Letterkenny-based GP Dr James McDaid treated both of the young girls following the incident and he advised the court that they were suffering from the classic symptoms associated with whiplash injuries. Legal counsel for the two young sisters Barrister Gareth McGrory told Letterkenny Circuit Court that the children were only 5- and 4-years-of-age at the time that the accident took place.
Medics recorded that both of the sisters we suffering with chest pain and muscle injury. They were further treated and then diagnosed when they were taken to Letterkenny University hospital following the road traffic accident.
As is normal a compensation action for a road traffic accident will take into account all pain and suffering sustained, psychological trauma, loss of earning, future loss of earnings and damage to property. In relation to this the Judge was told that both girls have made a full recovery in relation to all of the injuries that they suffered in the accident.
Justice Judge John Aylmer informed the court that he was happy to recommend the offer of €17,000 road traffic injury compensation for the two young girls involved in the accident.
Posted: April 5th, 2019
57-year-old Taxi Driver Dolores McMahon has been awarded almost €75,000 road traffic accident compensation after having two different taxis written off in separate accidents
At the Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke praised Ms McMahon for her courage after she survived two accidents in which she had twice been injured and in both collisions had seen her taxi damaged beyond repair. He awarded her the compensation in relation to personal injury, loss of earnings and compensation for two written off taxis
Legal Counsel for Ms McMahon, Caitriona O’Reilly, informed the Circuit Civil Court that her client had suffered neck and shoulder injuries in the initial accident that took place on December 14 2014 and then experienced a lower back injury in the subsequent collision which took place on July 14 2016. She added that, in both road traffic incidents the driver of the other vehicle had ‘cut across’ the path of Ms McMahon’s taxi and liability had been conceded in both claims. She had exacerbated the neck and shoulder injuries she had suffered in the first crash just over 18 months earlier.
At this point in time the court was being asked to assess damages.
Ms McMahon took the taxi accident compensation action against Mr Arthur Oliver Ryan, Rathbeale Road, Swords, and Martin Mann, of Hampton Street, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, following the accidents at Old Airport Road, Santry, and Balheary Road, Swords.
Commenting on the compensation action, Judge Groarke said he noted that following periods of recovery after each of the accidents Ms McMahon went on get on with her taxi driving despite having been nervous about it. She no longers drives on the 14th of any month as she considers it her ‘unlucky’ day.
He awarded Ms McMahon a total of €46,468 compensation in relation to personal injuries, loss of earnings car replacement and special damages arising out of the first accident and a total of €28,444 combined damages in relation to the second collision, a total of €74,912.
Judge Groarke said: “This is a lady who was very genuinely and very badly affected psychologically and has suffered quite extensive physical injuries.”
Posted: March 20th, 2019
Yesterday, Karen Brown (31) settled a €60,000 damages claim against a motorist from Dun Laoghaire, in relation a rear end collision incident that occurred almost two years ago.
Ms Brown was a passenger, in car owned by her partner Pete Taylor, on March 5 2017 when a car belonging to Enda Curran car collided with it at Upper Glenageary Road, Co Dublin. Ms Brown’s legal representative, Barrister Paul Gallagher, informed Circuit Court President Justice Raymond Groarke that a settlement had been reached in her (Ms Brown’s) car accident compensation claim following talks with the Mr Curran’s legal representatives and could be struck out with an order for her costs.
The Court was not advised if a similar whiplash compensation injury claim had been lodged on behalf of Mr Taylor’s, who was driving Ms Brown at the time of the accident. Specific details of the settlement were not made public.
Ms Brown, a marketing and sales consultant, was accompanied by her partner throughout settlement discussions outside Circuit Civil Court No 28. She, Ms Brown claimed in her legal action that Enda Curran, of Highthorn Park, Dunlaoghaire, had, due to negligence, breach of duty and while allegedly driving without due care and attention, crashed into the back of Mr Taylor’s vehicle in which she was a passenger.
She claimed in her legal action that she had sustained whiplash injuries to her neck, shoulders and back and that pain had not lessened with the aid of painkillers. Due to this she went to Dr Peter Joyce on May 25 at Beechlawn Medical Centre. Here she was diagnosed as having some tenderness to her neck and upper back. Dr Joyce had prescribed her a course of anti-inflammatory medication. However, but by early June she had reported that the pain in her neck was getting worse and that she was experiencing a persistent dull ache with sharp headaches.
Brown stated in her car crash legal action that she had been unable to exercise due to the pain, something that she had done regularly before the accident. She had undergone an MRI of her cervical spine and had been advised she should be seen by specialists.
At the request of Mr Gallagher, Judge Groarke, struck out the proceedings with an order for Ms Brown’s legal costs.
Posted: January 17th, 2019
A road traffic accident compensation settlement of €60,000 has been agreed at the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley following the defendant accepting liability for a car crash that took place in August 2015.
Mr Richard Barrett, a librarian who lives at the Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, took the legal action against Mr Crowley and the registered owners of the car O’Flaherty Holdings Limited in relation to injuries he suffered in the car crash that occurred at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.
Mr Crowley was not in the Circuit Civil Court for the legal proceedings which was scheduled to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony regarding his injuries following the incident and the medical reports detailing the same.
Mr Barratt advised Justice Groarke that he had suffered from shock and trauma following the road traffic accident. Mr Barrett had a previous history of anxiety disorder, and the suffering additional panic attacks in the time period after the accident. He was brought to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital and was dealt with by Dr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine. Mr Barrett told Justice Groarke that he had not suffered any bone or internal injuries as a result of the crash in Monkstown. However, he had been prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain killing medication to remedy injuries on his chest and abdomen.
Mr Barrett alleged that Mr Crowley had been driving the Mercedes 300 car in a negligent fashion when the crash took place. He told the Judge that on 29th August 2015 he was a front seat passenger in a vehicle when a Mercedes coming out from a minor road collided with them. He informed the Circuit Civil Court that he felt the Mercedes in question was being driven at an excessive speed and that the driver had not shown an acceptable level of awareness for other road users regarding his surrounds.
Legal representatives for Mr Barratt Barrister Ivan Daly appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors told Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that there had been an admission of liability by the defendants. Due to this, and following an assessment of damages, the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for costs.
Posted: July 18th, 2018
Cheng Zhang, a Chinese accountancy student based in Dublin, has been awarded more than €250,000 in personal injury compensation damages after a High Court judge ruled that she had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident where she was struck by a car in Dublin in 2011.
The total amount of compensation awarded to the 36-year-old girl by Mr Justice Anthony Barr was €465,526. However this was reduced due to contributory negligence. The contributory negligence was assessed at 45pc as she had decided to cross the junction when the pedestrian light was still red.
The judge said that after the car crash Ms Zhang became very mentally unhealthy and could no longer complete her work duties. Her job was her only source of money and, due to this, she fell into rent arrears, became homeless and relied on local authority emergency accommodation.
The judge said that, taking the level of intelligence, ambition and high level functioning which Ms Zhang displayed prior to the accident, he was happy to believe that she would have gone on to qualify as a certified accountant and would be in full employment if it was not for the incident.
Ms Zhang, from of the Liaoning province of China, arrived in Ireland in 2003 to study English. When the accident occurred she was studying accountancy.
She had taken the car accident compensation action against the driver of the car Stephen Farrell due to the accident that occurred on April 17 2011. She had been crossing at the junction of Merrion Row and Merrion Street Upper when she was hit by Mr Farrell’s car and thrown into the air.
The Court was told that she suffered soft tissue injury to her knees and pelvis and a blow to the head. The result of this was that she was unable to move or communicate with anyone for about an hour after the accident took place. The Court was also advised that Ms Zhang went on to experience severe and constant mental illness in the form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as the condition known as fibromyalgia.
Mr Farrell Legal Counsel told the Court that Ms Zhang had listed a number of physical complaints for which no organic basis could be proven and that she now experiences an anxiety disorder.
Mr Justice Barr said that he believed the evidence of Ms Zhang’s psychiatrist that she suffered serious mental health issues due to the road traffic accident and had undergone a catastrophic change to her mental stability.
He said that he also accepted the evidence of the psychiatrist that stated Ms Zhang’s symptoms are chronic and enduring despite the best efforts at treatment so far.
Posted: June 15th, 2018
Benjamin Heffernan, a former bin man who experienced a severe brain injury after he was thrown from a waste disposal truck to the roadhas settled his work injury compensation action for €3.5m.
Mr Heffernan fell through the side door of the van cracking his skull in the fall and being inflicted with a brain injury, his solicitor Liam Reidy SC advised the High Court. He was working with a van that was owned by Killarney Waste Disposal when he was bringing compost bins to households in the Durrus area of Bantry, Co Cork at the time of the accident occurring when the incident occurred in January 2015.
When he landed on the road after being thrown from the bin lorry, Mr Heffernan lost consciousness and was rushed by ambulance to nearby Dunmanaway. From there he was airlifted to Cork University Hospital where he underwent an emergency craniotomy. After this he was later brought to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin. He remained in the hospital until August 2015.
Mr Heffernan, now aged 50, will no long be able to work though he has regained some mobility according to his legal representatives. In approving the work injury car accident compensation settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he felt it was a good one and he wished Mr Heffernan and his family all the best.
Solicitor Amy Connolly of Cantillons Solicitors, speaking outside the court, said Mr Heffernan had remained in hospital for 33 weeks following the accident having experienced life changing injuries. She said: “This settlement will provide for the ongoing care of Mr Heffernan, but no money can ever truly compensate him for the effect his injuries have had on his day to day life”.
Counsel for the waste disposal company argued that Mr Heffernan had allegedly told the driver to proceed before he got in the back of the van. Additionally it was claimed he (Mr Heffernan) did not ensure the van was decommissioned when he allegedly was aware of a defect in the latch of the van door. Mr Heffernan denied these claims.
Posted: May 15th, 2018
A truck driver has been ordered by Court to pay €2,000 a year for five years, to a total of €10,000 to the parents of the victim who died when his (the truck driver) vehicle suddenly veered off the M8 Dublin-Cork motorway and crashed into a car that had pulled over on the hard shoulder. The young mother travelling in the back of the car was killed in the road traffic collision. She had been on her way to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin to visit her sick new born baby.
The truck accident compensation case, being heard in Tipperary Circuit Criminal Court, was told that the new mother, Nicola Kenny (26) from Thurles, was killed instantly in the crash on September 5 on 2016. This was just a day after the birth of her only child Lily Rose. At the tme of the accident she was being driven to Temple Street Hospital by her aunt, with her mother also, to visit her new born baby. They stopped on the M8 hard shoulder to take a call from the hospital to say the new baby was now doing fine.
While imposing a suspended 18-month prison sentence, Judge Tom Teehan said the evidence suggested it was most likely the truck driver briefly fell asleep at the wheel rather than being distracted by a bout sneezing as was claimed.
He went on to say: “He is somebody who is going to have to live for the rest of his days with the knowledge that he has caused the death of another human being and caused life changing effects to an entire family.”
Lily Rose has been born in Clonmel Hospital on September 4. She became ill and was hurried to Temple Street in Dublin. Ms Kenny had just been collected by her mother and aunt who were taking her to visit the baby in Dublin.
Judge Teehan was made aware that the defendant indicated to Gardaí he take a guilty plea at a very early stage and co-operated in full with the investigation. The court was told that he is deeply remorseful and was now suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was also disqualified from driving for five years.
Posted: April 26th, 2018
A 23-months-old infant, who had not been conceived when his older sister Vanessa passed away in a hit-and-run incident in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on April 6, 2015, was awarded €1,500 personal injury compensation last Tuesday.
The child in question, Marcel Siatka, was born on May 24, 2016 one year and 47 days after his sister died.
Legal representative for the Siatka family, Barrister Conor Kearney told Circuit Civil Court Judge Terence O’Sullivan that the Injuries Board had assessed damages of €42,777 to be divided between between Vanessa’s family and to pay for the cost of her funeral.
The Injuries Board had not, according to Mr Kearney, taken compensation for Marcel into account in its final assessment. Judge O’Sullivan was told that, as per the Civil Liability Act, the claim that Mr Siatka had taken was on behalf of members of his family, including Marcel. Mr Siatka, who lives at Brandon Square, Waterville, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, said Vanessa had a brother born more than a year after her death, who was not considered in the award settlement.
Mr Kearney said that the fact that the Circuit Court had to approve the assessment and the parents had stated that they would be happy with the approved amount being shared with Marcel. Judge O’Sullivan said it was not a happy duty to split money between families but he was of the opinion that it was proper to mark the fact that Marcel would, no doubt, inquire about his sister in future and would encounter some grief regarding her death.
He directed that the €6,000 set aside for the three grandparents should be reduced to €1,500 each so Marcel could also receive €1,500 and he directed that Marcel’s money be paid into court.
Posted: March 23rd, 2018
three young brothers from Dublin have been awarded €85,000 Car Accident Compensation due to injuries experienced when a a wheel came loose from an SUV on a motorway.
Barrister John Nolan told Circuit Court President Raymond Groarke in the Circuit Civil Court that Mr Simon Sweeney was driving on the M9 Motorway in Co Kilkenny with his family when the accident occurred.
The three Sweeney brothers,- James aged ll, Stephen aged 15 and Jason aged 17 – took the legal action against Pat White Cars based at Longmile Road, Dublin; Kia Motors (UK), Calmount Park, Dublin and their father Simon Sweeney with an address at Kilcarrig Close, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin 24, who was driving the vehicle when the accident took place.
The money was awarded was as follows: James was awarded €25,000 compensation; Jason was awarded €35,000 compensation and brother Stephen was awarded €25,000 compensation from Pat White Cars and Kia Motors UK. Both of these businesses had made car accident compensation settlement offers to the brothers.
O’Brien Ronayne Solicitors representing Mr Nolan, advised the court that when the rear driver’s side wheel fell off the KIA SUV the car lost control and crashed into the centre barrier, injuring all of the people that were in the vehicle at the time.
The Court was told that compensations claims relating to adults travelling in the vehicle had previously been handled in the High Court. Mr Nolan told the Court that the accident had occurred on 20th March 2011, a little more than one year after Michelle Sweeney had purchased the 2006 vehicle at Pat White Cars. He said the family had first being taken to Kilkenny Hospital but later had been treated at Tallaght Hospital.
Stephen, who uses a wheel chair, had been tied secrurely into the back seats of the vehicle and firemen had to cut him out of the seat. The three brothers had not sustained serious physical injuries in the car crash but had suffered from post-accident trauma.
Posted: February 15th, 2018
A 10% rise in the number of accident claims involving uninsured or untraceable drivers grew by almost 10 per cent since 2016.
Spokespeople for the insurance industry sector sources have revealed that say the increasing costs of rising costs of premiums are possible a contributing factor to the steep increase in claims registered by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
Set by in 1955, the MIBI compensates the victims in vehicle accidents involving uninsured and unidentified vehicles. It is funded by insurance companies fund.
Per annum, the MIBI distributes between €55 million and €60 million in insurance settlements with a mean cost per insurance claim of €55,364.
2,758 claims were registered by the MIBI in 2017, a relatively minor increase on the 2,802 claims submitted in 2016.
On a county by county basis Co Dublin registered the most claims with 41 per cent of all compensation claims submitted to the bureau throughout 2017. It was followed closed by Cork and Limerick in second and third place.
In other counties, the highest percentage increase was experienced in Leitrim with 70 per cent). Next was Roscommon, Carlow and Monaghan with 60%, 43% and 42% respectively.
Posted: January 22nd, 2018
Noeleen Coakley (45), a sister-in-law of a well-known member of the Dublin crime scene, was described as “a woman who just seemed to attract misfortune” by judge Circuit Court President Judge Raymond Groarke – during a recent car accident compensation claim- after being advised that she had been injured in six car accidents.
Judge Groarke made his remarks as he awarded €28,000 damages for car accident injuries to for injuries she suffered in a rear-ending traffic accident.
Noeleen Coakley Hutch (45) is a sister in law Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch since she married his brother, Derek Hutch.
The court had heard she has been injured in six car accidents.
Judge Groarke told the court “She seems to have an attraction for misfortune and the moral of the story is don’t travel in a car with Ms Coakley” after being advised of her involvement in six car accidents.
As liability had already conceded in the case, the hearing was an assessment of damages for car accident injuries.
Despite the similarities in the accidents that Ms Coakley was involved in Judge Groarke commented that he believed her to be an honest lady, thought with an unfortunate history of accidents.
He added that he ‘took exception’ to the way in which legal representatives for the defence sought to assert that Ms Coakley was “a chancer or a fraud” because of her experience of so many road accidents and the fact that she had previously been awarded roughly €60,000 road traffic accident compensation for those accidents.
Judge Groarke accepted she was an innocent party in all of those claims.
In relation to the accident that Judge Groarke was assessing the damages for, he was advised that Ms Coakley had been rear-ended while driving her car in Ballybough, on May 19, 2014. After the accident and had been brought by ambulance to the Mater Hospital Emergency Department, where she had been treated.
Judge Groarke assessed Ms Coakley’s award of road accident compensation of at €28,000 and awarded her legal costs.
Posted: November 20th, 2017
A Garda has been awarded €31,000 damages as a result of injuries he suffered when his patrol car was rammed in a car accident that occurred seven years ago.
Following a high-speed chase involving a Mercedes car, Garda, and former Limerick hurler, Nigel Carey (46), of Croom, Co Limerick, was injured when the Garda patrol car he was sitting in was rear ended in October 2010.
Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, representing Garda Carey, claimed his client had been quite a renowned hurler at the time of the crash occurring in 2010. The Garda attended his family doctor to have his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries seen to and was told that he should seek physiotherapy treatment
The Garda patrol car, according to Garda Carey, “sent flying” due to the impact of the crash and was so badly damaged it had to be written off following the accident.
In the accident his neck, right shoulder and lower back were badly damaged. He also said that his shoulder was still restricted in movement slightly.
Mr Justice Bernard Barton remarked that “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation” was given by the chief medical officer from An Garda Síochána who had medically examined Mr Carey for the defendant – the Minister for Public Expenditure.
The judge praised Garda Carey’s dedication and work ethic during the Garda Traffic Car Accident Compensation hearing as Mr Carey had only been absent from work for three days in the aftermath of the incident. He also said that it was to Garda Carey’s credit that he had not made an issue of the nature of his back injury which quickly cleared up following the incident.
Mr Carey had made no attempt to build up more and more medical reports to make more of his injuries than was there in his workplace traffic compensation claim.
Posted: October 9th, 2017
Two young sisters from Lucan, Co Dublin have been awarded €33,000 in road traffic compensation due to an incident that saw the car that they were travelling in rear ended in February 2016.
The girls, aged seven and five years old, Amy and Izy Saul were involved in the road traffic collision when a car owned by Tadgh Hartnett, hit their family car which it was travelling behind.
The two girls, with a family address at Rossberry Terrace, Lucan, Dublin were represented in court by Barrister Francis McGagh. Mr Hartnett, who was not present at Court, gave an address at AIG Insurance, North Wall, Dublin.
Mr McGagh advised presiding Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the Saul sisters were extremely lucky to avoid debilitating injuries and were absent for one day of school to see their local GP after the accident. However, he advised the Court that their local doctor saw that the young girls had been inflicted with psychological injuries due to the experiences of the road traffic accident.
An official medical report from their local doctor was provided that stated the girls’ had been inflicted with “a mild effect on the mental health”. He added that he expected this nervousness to fade over time.
The girls mother, Claire Saul, told the judge that she was content with the €33,000 road traffic compensation offered. Ms Saul made an affidavit to the court which said that both of the girls, who have their birthdays later this month, now tend to become nervous when travelling in a motor vehicle which their famoly doctor said, in the aforementioned report, was a commonly experienced symptom following such an road traffic accident.
AIG Insurance made the motor traffic compensation settlement offer of €16,500 each to the two girls, and their court expenses, on behalf of Mr Hartnett.
Posted: August 3rd, 2017
The High Court has dismissed an appeal against seven car injury compensation awards that were made by the Buncrana Circuit Court in 2015.
The car injury compensation awards related to an accident that occurred in Lifford, County Donegal, on June 28th 2011; when a hire car failed to slow down approaching a roundabout and crashed into a second car. Three of the occupants in the hire car and the four occupants of the second car suffered soft tissue injuries and claimed compensation against the negligent driver and the car hire company.
In 2015, car injury compensation awards of between €5.050 and €9.550 were made to the seven victims by the Buncrana Circuit Court. However, the car hire company appealed the awards of the grounds that the accident had been fabricated and that the seven victims considerably exaggerated the extent and effects of their soft tissue injuries to maximise the value of their car injury compensation awards.
The appeal hearing took place last month at the High Court before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, when it was claimed the negligent driver had telephoned one of the injured men when he returned the hire car to the car hire company and had spoken with him as if he knew him well. Further investigation revealed the negligent driver and plaintiffs were known to each other through their membership of the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies.
The plaintiffs disputed the allegation as outrageous and, although admitting that they knew each other “to see”, denied the accident had been set up with the intention of claiming car injury compensation rewards. Judge Meenan reserved his decision at the original hearing, but this week dismissed the car hire company´s appeal and found in favour of the plaintiffs – upholding the car injury compensation awards made by Buncrana Circuit Court.
Explaining his decision, the judge said the friendly nature of the telephone conversation between the negligent driver and one of the injured men was not enough to support any other decision than the original one. He added the negligent driver made the call to find out details of the injured party´s car, and “one would have thought, if the collision was a setup, the information sought in the call would already have been firmly fixed in his mind prior to returning the hire car.”
Posted: May 15th, 2017
The plaintiffs in a case against a car dealership which sold them a vehicle with a faulty sunroof have been awarded compensation for injuries caused by the roof blowing off while on the motorway.
While travelling from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition in November 2013, the sun roof of the car the two plaintiffs were travelling in blew off. The car had been travelling along the M1 at a speed of 80-90kmph. The driver was startled by the incident, and braked hard in alarm as the roof blew off of their vehicle.
Due to the very rapid stop, the five passengers in the car (the two plaintiffs and three of their family members) suffered whiplash-type injuries. There were two children in the vehicle, which were luckily unharmed. However, the driver´s 72-year-old mother, suffered several injuries, including a compression fracture to one of the vertebrae in her lower back.
The affected family members sought legal counsel, and subsequently made claims for car accident injuries against the showroom from which the car had been purchased. The vehicle had only been purchased four months prior to the incident. In their motion, the plaintiffs claimed that the sun roof had been faulty and the fault should have been identified by the dealer.
The defendants-Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin-denied liability for the faulty sun roof and the plaintiffs´ injuries. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that corrosion found around the remaining frame of the sun roof would have been present on the Toyota at the time it was sold. According to the testimony of an independent motor assessor, the corrosion led to the sun roof blowing off.
Judge Groarke stated that he understood that the sun roof being blown off at 90kmph would have been a terrifying experience for the plaintiffs, and understood why the driver plaintiff had applied the brakes so sharply. He awarded the driver of the car €12,500 compensation and her mother €25,000 compensation in settlement of their claims for car accident injuries.
Posted: April 19th, 2017
A hit-and-run accident-which left the cyclist with severe brain damage-has been settled in the High Court.
In early August 2013, a man on a bicycle-who was not wearing a helmet at the time-was cycling in Blanchardstown, Dublin. When he reached the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road, he was hit by a van. Several people witnessed the accident, and one eye-witness statement claimed that the impact of the van threw the cyclist nearly three metres into the air. The emergency services were called, and he received immediate on-scene attention.
It was determined that thirty-three year old cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he underwent a decompressive craniotomy at the Beaumont Hospital. After this initial treatment, he was later transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. Due to the severely traumatic nature of his injury, he cyclist suffered amnesia for four months. A psychologist later had to tell him that he had been involved in a serious accident.
A police investigation was launched, and it concluded the van was travelling at a speed of 57kmph at the time. The driver of the van – who had fled the scene of the accident – was tracked down, and subsequently charged with criminal offences. He was brought before the courts in November 2015 and convicted with dangerous driving and causing serious harm while driving without a license or insurance. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison. Following the criminal conviction, the cyclist´s wife claimed cyclist brain injury compensation on behalf of her husband.
As the van driver was uninsured, the claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The claim was not contested and, after reports to assess the plaintiff´s future needs had been competed, a €3 million settlement of the cyclist brain injury compensation was agreed. The compensation would have been higher, but it was found that the cyclist had not been wearing a cycling helmet and therefore was liable for some of the damages. As the claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement went to the High Court for approval.
The case was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, the consequences of the accident, and the fact that the settlement had been reduced to reflect the cyclist´s contributory negligence. Judge Cross approved the settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation – commenting it had been a dreadful incident, and closing the approval hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family the best for the future.
Posted: March 25th, 2016
The accident occurred on the 26th December 2016 when Cora-Lynn Kelley-Mattock, then aged two, was travelling with her mother Josephine along the A484 in Llandygwydd, Cardigan. Her mother crashed the car they were travelling in into a wall, causing severe injuries to herself and her young daughter.
Josephine, who was just nineteen when the accident occurred, died just three days after the crash because of her injuries. Cora-Lynn suffered extensive damage to her head and internal organs, and the damage to her brain has left her with life-long disabilities. Her vision has also been affected y damage to her eye.
The coroner who spoke at the inquest into the accident in 2014 determined that Josephine’s death was caused by misadventure. He commented that she was probably trying to avoid another car when she crashed, or was distracted by her young daughter.
However, solicitors working on behalf of Cora-Lynn have claimed that they believe Josephine could have been acting negligently when she crashed the car. As such, they have filed a claim for compensation against Josephine’s motor insurance company and her estate.
The claim alleges that Josephine was driving at a speed unsuitable for the conditions of the road at the time of the accident, considering the wet conditions. They also claim that she had failed to strap her daughter in properly before the accident, as Cora-Lynn was found suspended from her waist in the car seat. If she were secured properly, the straps around her shoulders would have protected her upper body.
Representatives of Josephine’s estate and the motor insurance company that insured her contest this claim, saying that though there is no disagreement as to the circumstances of the accident, the solicitors representing Cora-Lynn will have to show Josephine was negligent by causing the crash and not securely fastening her daughter’s seatbelt.
Posted: January 30th, 2016
A twenty-five year-old man has received a settlement of compensation for injuries to the brain after the sum was approved in Dublin’s High Court.
The accident occurred on the 27th January 2009, when Francis Smith – of Edgeworthstown in County Longford – was driving along a road and had to suddenly manoeuvre away from an oncoming car. However, this action meant that Mr Smith crashed instead into the back of a lorry parked ahead of him on the road.
Mr Smith, then aged just eighteen years old and was employed in a local factory, was so severely injured by the collision that he can no longer work, and is reliant on his mother, Martina Dempsey, for round the clock care. His cognitive and physical injuries were extensive.
Ms Dempsey made a claim for compensation for the road accident on her son’s behalf. The claim was made against the Longford County Council, and alleged that there were no sufficient signposts of roadworks, and there was no flagman posted on the road to warn of oncoming vehicles. She also claimed that the lorry – into which her son crashed – was parked such that it extended too far onto the road. The lorry posed a significant danger because of its proximity to the other roadworks.
The County Council denied any liability for the injuries Mr Smith sustained, stating the the accident was largely Mr Smith’s own fault as he had been negligent and driven too fast for the conditions of the road. Yet when the case proceeded to the High Court, the overseeing judge – Mr Justice Kevin Cross – heard that a compensation settlement of €750,000 was negotiated between the parties.
The judge noted that the value was just 25% of the full value of the claim, and proceeded to approve the settlement. Before closing the case, Judge Cross commented that the settlement was good and that he wished Mr Smith well for the future.
Posted: December 1st, 2015
A claim for the death of a man in a car crash has been resolved in Belfast’s High Court.
Leslie and Elizabeth Browne were driving on the B8 from Newry to Hilltown during July 2010 when they were involved in a head-on-collision with another car. The collision occurred on an infamous stretch of the B8, locally known as The Seven Sisters – so same because of a successive series of treacherous bends. The Brownes collided with a Toyota Yaris driven by Sandra Murray.
Mr Browne, who was driving the car when the couple collided with Ms Murray, sustained very severe injuries and died just a month later. Mis wife proceeded to seek legal counsel, subsequently making a claim for her husband’s death against Ms Murray. In her claim, she alleged that Ms Murray was negligent in her driving, and the crash was caused by her inattentiveness and lack of adequate driving for the conditions of the road.
Ms Murray denied any liability for the death of Mr Browne, instead claiming that she had lost control of the car because her vehicle had been hit from behind by another car, driven by Michal Marczak. Mr Marczak denied this claim, saying that there had never been any contact between his car and Ms Murray’s, stating that the crash was caused by Ms Murray’s excessive breaking – which lead her to lose control.
The claim proceeded to Belfast’s High Court, where Judge Stephens oversaw proceedings. He heard that a settlement of £50,000 had been agreed between the parties, though he was to establish liability.
Mr Justice Stephens heard of the lack of evidence pointing to contact between Mr Marczak’s and Ms Murray’s cars, and as such, he found that Ms Murray bore sole responsibility for the death of Mr Browne. He said that this was in part due to her excessive speed (it was determined that she was travelling between 27mph and 37mph), and that this combined with her excessive breaking to lead to the crash.
The judge also agreed with Mrs Browne’s claim that Ms Murray was inattentive whilst driving, saying that “I consider that it reflects the fact that the first defendant did not and does not know what happened so that she grasped at anything that might exonerate her.” Ms Murray, in addition to paying the compensation settlement, must also pay for Mrs Browne’s and Mr Marczak’s legal costs.
Posted: November 28th, 2015
A teenager, who made a claim for compensation against her own mother, has received a seven-figure compensation settlement.
When Beth Cullen, then aged just six years old, was travelling with her mother on the 26th November 2005, she sustained severe injuries in a car crash on the infamous “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11, near Ballinameesda. As a result, Beth became blind in one eye, deaf in one year and completely lost her sense of smell.
William Cullen, Beth’s father, made a claim for compensation on his daughter’s behalf against Caroline Barrett, Beth’s mother. Ms Barrett had been driving the vehicle when it crashed, and is held responsible for the events.
In their claim for compensation, Mr Cullen claimed that Ms Barrett did not adequately handle the car prior to the accident, and as a result, she did not have enough regard for the safety of her young daughter.
Ms Barrett’s insurance company conceded liability for the accident, and the parties negotiated a €1.3 million settlement of compensation for Beth. However, as Beth was a minor and as such the claim had to be made on her behalf, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be awarded.
The case then proceeded to the High Court in Dublin, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told of the circumstances of the accident, and how they had impacted Beth’s day-to-day life. The judge was also informed that Beth was doing well at school, despite her difficulties, and Judge Cross proceeded to approve the settlement, wishing the teenager well for her future.
Posted: January 15th, 2014
The Road Safety Authority has published provisional data relating to fatalities in car accidents during 2013, and has attributed the higher number of fatal injuries to drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelts.
Each year the Road Safety Authority (RSA) publishes provisional details of accidents on roads in Ireland ahead of their annual report, and the unconfirmed figures for year-ended 31st December 2013 have just been released.
In a reversal of the general downward trend since the RSA started producing annual reports in 1997, there were more fatal collisions (181) and fatal injuries (190) in 2013 than there were in 2012 (152 and 162 respectively).
Drivers accounted for 95 of the fatalities in car accidents recorded by An Garda Siochána (78 in 2012), with the number of car passengers who sustained fatal injuries also increasing from 27 in 2012 to 32 in 2013. The 63 remaining deaths on Irish roads were accounted for by vulnerable road users such as pedestrians (31), motorcyclists (27) and pedal cyclists (5).
Various factors are blamed for the increased number of fatal accidents in Ireland – noticeably how the number of motorcycle accidents increased during the summer months because of the fine weather – but these were countered by the decrease in fatalities among the 21-25 age group (32 > 27) and those which were attributable to speeding.
However, the RSA did point to a substantial proportion of fatalities in car accidents which may have been avoided in the driver and/or passenger was wearing a seatbelt.
In all fatal collisions in which a car user had been killed – and in which An Garda Siochána could determine whether the victim(s) had been wearing a seatbelt – the fatally injured driver and/or passenger had not been wearing a seat belt 38% of the time.
The conclusion drawn by the RSA was that more emphasis on seatbelt wearing was required – both for drivers and passengers.
Posted: November 29th, 2013
The Injuries Board of Ireland has released statistics revealing that assessments of compensation for car accident injuries amounted to €157.2 million in 2012.
According to figures released by the InjuriesBoard.ie, November is the most dangerous month of the year to venture out in a car, and the independent Government body has just released details of the awards it distributed in 2012 to highlight the fact.
The analysis of compensation claims for car accident injuries in 2012 also revealed that the total number of applications for assessments had increased by 1.3 percent to 7,622 and that the most dangerous day of the week on which to drive is Friday.
Claims for compensation for car accident injuries accounted for 75 percent of all the applications for assessment received by the Injuries Board (the remainder were comprised of public liability claims and for accidents at work), with the majority of these being for soft tissue injuries (whiplash) and broken bone injuries.
The statistics also showed that the average value of awards for car accident injuries in 2012 was €20,631, with women making a slightly larger number of claims than men. It was also shown that Donegal (11) and Cork (10) were the counties in which the highest number of fatal accidents due to somebody else´s negligence occurred.
However, the InjuriesBoard.ie press release included some assumptions that not everyone might agree with – for example; as only 4 percent of awards were made to drivers over the age of fifty-five, the Injuries Board described this age group as the “safest” – neglecting to consider research that has demonstrated that older drivers are four times more likely to cause a fatal crash than teenagers.
It might also be the case that older drivers do not accept the Injuries Board assessments as, in 2012, fewer than 5,000 plaintiffs actually agreed with the amount of compensation for car accident injuries that had been assessed (from 7,622 assessments) , and chose to pursue their claims outside of the Injuries Board process.
Commenting on the figures, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – said “Our award trends indicate that the winter months are the most dangerous on our roads and we are urging all road users to be extra vigilant at this time. We awarded over €157m in compensation for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents last year which reflects the significant human cost of these accidents not to mention the social impact.”
Posted: October 12th, 2013
A young girl from Rathfarnham in Dublin is to receive €17,800 in compensation after a settlement of her car accident prenatal injury claim was approved in court.
Aoife Sheehan (now 14 years of age) was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin on 15th April 1999; two days after her mother – Martina – had been involved in a car accident which allegedly caused her to go into early onset labour at thirty-six weeks.
Unable to breathe independently, Aoife was admitted to the neo-natal intensive care unit of the Coombe Hospital where her breathing had to be supported by medication and a ventilator. Aoife was diagnosed with respiratory distress syndrome and remained in intensive care critically ill for three weeks.
Through her mother, Aoife made a car accident prenatal injury claim for compensation against the driver of the vehicle with which her mother had the accident – Elaine O’Connor also from Rathfarnham – but insurers for the defendant denied their client´s liability, stating that there was no medical evidence to prove the connection between the accident and Aoife´s premature birth.
The insurance company also claimed that any injuries that Aoife had been sustained before she was born and she was not eligible to be awarded compensation. However, the solicitors from whom Martina had sought legal advice pursued the car accident prenatal injury claim and, and after a period of negotiation, acquired a settlement that would see Aoife receive €17,800 compensation.
After hearing the details of the case, Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Civil Court approved the settlement – saying that Aoife´s solicitors had done a good job in securing a settlement, as proving liability in the case had it gone to court would have been difficult.
Posted: September 25th, 2013
A woman has won a two-year battle against the State of Texas and her own insurance company to recover compensation for being rear-ended and suffering whiplash injuries.
Brenda Nolen from Young County in Texas was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by a Texas Forest Service employee who had fallen asleep at the wheel when she was returning from a shopping trip in April 2011. The force with which her Dodge pick-up was hit, shoved it onto a garage forecourt, where it crashed into a petrol pump which exploded on impact.
Fortunately passers-by were able to rescue Brenda from her burning vehicle, but she sustained a broken arm, multiple burns and a serious neck injury in the accident which required her to undergo multiple operations over the course of the following year.
Brenda made a claim for being rear-ended against the Forest Service driver´s employers – the State of Texas – to cover to cost of a new vehicle and her medical expenses. However, the State of Texas rejected her claim on the basis that employees of the State Forest Service are immune from responsibility for any injuries or accidents that happen while they are en route to an emergency.
Her own insurance company – State Farm – also declined her claim for compensation for being rear-ended despite Brenda obtaining a statement from the Texas Forest Service employee who had hit her vehicle to confirm that he had fallen asleep at the wheel and was not on his way to an emergency.
Brenda sought legal advice and, with help from a solicitor and the threat of court action, a negotiated settlement was reached with Brenda´s insurers and the State of Texas that will see her recover an undisclosed amount compensation for being rear-ended – enough to purchase a new Dodge pick-up and cover the majority of her medical expenses.
Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Insurance companies have claimed that new limits on car accident compensation will lead to higher premiums following the introduction of the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
The Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 – previously known as the Courts Bill – will increase the upper limits on car accident compensation that can be awarded in the District Court from €6,384 to €15,000, and in the Circuit Court from €38,000 to €60,000
On publication of the report in July, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said that the changes would lead to reduction in legal costs due to fewer car accident compensation claims going to the High Court; however two insurance experts have warned that the Bill could add as much as 30% to car insurance premiums.
Thousands More Cases in the Courts
According to Ciaran Phelan – CEO of the Irish Brokers Association – and Ken Norgrove from Zurich Insurance, the Seanad passed the legislation without considering the implications of insurance costs – which both claim will encourage more plaintiffs to “have a go” at taking their claims for car accident injury compensation to court, rather than settle their claim without legal action.
Mr Phelan said “These changes will see thousands more cases reach the courts this year, which obviously will increase the legal costs for insurers [and] which will in turn be passed onto consumers. There will be no getting around this”.
“Those amounts are too high”, agreed Mr Norgrove, who claimed that the new limits on car accident compensation will only encourage more claims and a return to the “compo culture” of previous years. “The Personal Injuries Board was great for straightforward and uncontested injuries but people will now take their chances in the District Court”.
A Smoke Screen for Insurer´s Own Troubles?
The latest attack on the new limits on car accident compensation settlements came a day after several insurance companies announced that insurance premiums were likely to rise due to an underwriting gap between the funds they receive in insurance premiums and what they have to pay to settle car accident injury compensation claims.
Whereas it is not unusual for car insurance companies to make an underwriting loss, they have normally been able to rely on investment income from funds they have on deposit. However, the return on investment has fallen in recent years while at the same time car insurance companies have been involved in fierce competition which has reduced their income from car insurance premiums.
Posted: August 8th, 2013
A motorcyclist, who was knocked from his bike by a car driver who failed to look when pulling out of a car park, has been awarded £250,000 compensation for a foot injury in a car accident.
The unnamed motorcyclist was returning home from his weekly ride on his motorbike, when a car emerging from a car park drove straight across his path. The rider was thrown across the top of the car and into a roadside hedge.
The victim was taken to hospital by air ambulance where doctors identified injuries to both legs and his collarbone including multiple fractures to the right foot. The victim stayed in hospital for ten days before being discharged and then had to undergo months of physiotherapy to regain his coordination and recover the strength in his legs and foot.
After seeking legal advice, the former building manager made a claim for a foot injury in a car accident against the negligent driver to account for future medical treatment – including the possibility of further surgery if the bones in his foot degenerate – and loss of earnings as he has had to take a less strenuous job.
Liability was accepted for the accident, and a settlement of compensation for a foot injury in a car accident amounting to £250,000 was agreed in out-of-court negotiations.
Posted: July 19th, 2013
A woman, who sustained permanent brain injuries after the motorbike she was a passenger on was in collision with a car, has had a settlement of injury compensation for an accident on a motorbike approved at the High Court in London
Barbara Oliva (26) from Sao Paulo in Brazil was a passenger on her husband´s Honda in 2008, when the two were involved in an accident with a car driven by Yusef Mahmoud, of Southwark, London on London´s Embankment.
Barbara´s husband escaped with minor injuries, but Barbara landed on her head when she fell and, despite wearing a motorcycle helmet, suffered severe brain damage. She can no longer walk or talk coherently, and has to rely on the 24-hour care provided by her mother in the family home in Brazil.
Through her mother – Edna – Barbara made a claim for compensation for an accident on a motorbike against Yusef Mahmoud and, at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Lewis heard that a final compensation settlement of £7 million had been agreed between Barbra´s legal representatives and Mahmoud´s insurers.
Mr Justice Lewis approved the settlement of injury compensation for an accident on a motorbike, stating that it was “just and reasonable” and praised Edna for the care and devotion she had shown her daughter after Barbara and her husband had separated.
Posted: April 4th, 2013
A man who suffered quadriplegic injuries and was left with severe brain damage following a road traffic accident has had a €6.5 million settlement of quadriplegic injuries compensation approved in the High Court.
Alan Kavanagh (41) from New Ross, County Wexford, sustained his horrific injuries when he was involved in a head-on collision with a van driven by Liam Toohey of Nenagh, County Tipperary in November 2004.
The injuries Mr.Kavanagh sustained in the accident means he is now completely dependent on others for nursing care. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that the victim is currently living in a nursing home for the elderly although this is not suitable for his requirements.
Claiming compensation through his brother, the court heard that a settlement of €6.5 million had been proposed by Liam Toohey and the owner of the van involved in the accident – John Heffernan, a haulage contractor, also of Nenagh, County Tipperary.
The judge after hearing evidence from Mr Kavanagh´s partner – Loretto Power – approved the settlement saying it gave Alan the best chance of meeting his future needs.
Posted: March 14th, 2013
A 49-year-old woman who was run over by a female driver while she was working as a lollipop lady has settled her compensation claim for a four figure sum.
Karen Littler (49) from Wigan, Lancashire claimed hit and run compensation against Ceris Lovett after Ms.Lovett collided with her in Aston-in-Makerfield in March 2012 and then failed to stop to see if Ms.Littler was injured.
Another motorist who saw the incident recorded the registration number of Ms.Lovett’s Honda and reported it to the Greater Manchester Police. She was later convicted of driving without due care and attention by Wigan magistrates.
The victim made a claim for hit and run injuries directly to the negligent party’s car insurance company who, despite the conviction of their policyholder, failed to respond in the required time frame to Ms.Littler’s request for compensation which eventually led to court proceedings being issued. Ms.Littler has now received an undisclosed settlement of her claim for hit and run injuries.
Posted: January 23rd, 2013
A 12-year-old schoolgirl who lost her sister and best friend in a car accident has been awarded €200,000 compensation for the injuries she sustained in the incident.
Faith Varden-Carberry was seven years old when the car in which she was a passenger collided with a clay embankment outside Edgeworthstown, County Longford, in November 2007. Her mother Mary Carberry (36) the driver of the vehicle was banned from driving at the time due a previous accident, she was arrested and sentenced to six years imprisonment for her part in the crash.
Claiming through her grand-father Anthony Carberry the compensation claim was transferred to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) as Mrs Carberry was uninsured. Mr Justice Peter Charleton was told in the High Court that a settlement of compensation for injuries in a car accident had been agreed amounting to €200,000. Approving the settlement the judge also allowed for €2,000 to be instantly withdrawn from it in order to allow Faith to have a new computer to assist her with her schoolwork.
Posted: December 14th, 2012
A child has had his settlement of €100,000 for injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car approved by the High Court. Bartosz Zakrzewski from Birr, County Offaly was nine years old when his tricycle was hit by a car driven by Caitríona Kelly on An Coran Street in Birr.
The boy sustained head injuries, curs and lacerations to his body and also a broken leg. Claiming compensation for a road accident on behalf of her son, Monika Zakrzewski said Ms Kelly had been driving without due care and attention and in breach of her duty of care.
However, shortly before the case was due to be heard before the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that the two parties had reached a compensation settlement without Ms Kelly admitting liability for the incident. The judge approved the settlement.
Posted: October 3rd, 2012
A schoolboy who suffered horrific injuries after he was thrown against the windscreen of his mother’s car has been awarded €11.5 million by the High Court in Dublin following the accident in May 2008.
Ten-year-old Cullen Kennedyof Loughrea, County Galway was awarded the sum at the Dublin High Court. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that on the day of the accident Margaret Kennedy was momentarily distracted by her son while driving and crossed into the path of an oncoming car. Although neither she nor the driver of the other vehicle suffered serious injuries, her son was left quadriplegic and breathes through a ventilator after sustaining severe spinal damage.
The compensation claim was made by Cullen Kennedy’s grandmother against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) as Margaret Cullen was an uninsured driver. The award of €11.5 million was made after assessing the care the victim had already received and what may be required in the future. The sum is the highest ever award of compensation for a car crash injury in the State’s history.
Posted: September 27th, 2012
A man, who requires around-the clock care after sustaining a severe brain injury in a car accident has been awarded €4.25 million in compensation.
In March 2008 the victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons as he is a ward of court – was thrown from a car in which he was a back seat passenger after it ran into a tree. He suffered severe mental injuries as a result and is now only able to communicate via a thumb up or thumb down sign.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard in the High Court that as the driver of the car was uninsured the compensation claim was made against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland. The judge was told that an agreement had been reached between the two parties although the settlement of €4.25 million was reduced by 20 per cent due to the contributory negligence of the victim by failing to wear a seatbelt. The judge approved the settlement and ordered that the foster mother receive a payment upfront of € 544,800 to cover expenses and hospital bills already incurred.