Hit and Run Accidents
Posted: November 12th, 2019
A woman, who was injured when she was hit by the wing mirror of a minibus as she crossed a road, has been awarded €192,000 car accident compensation at the High Court.
A medical representative living in Killester, Ms O’Kelly had taken the injury compensation action against Bus Éireann as a result of the accident when she was hit to the ground at Lough Atalia Road in the Galway harbour area on December 16, 2015.
Ms O’Kelly told the court she was walking across the road after 6pm when she saw the minibus just before she was struck on the right shoulder by the wing mirror of the bus. As a result of the injuries, Ms O’Kelly had to have surgery and wear a neck brace for three months and is left with a visible scar on her neck.
Bus Éireann admitted liability for the accident during the hearing of the case and argued that Ms O’Kelly was also allegedly negligent for the injuries she sustained.
The judge ruled that Bus Éireann driver involved was “entirely negligent” in that he maintain an acceptable lookout and did not stay close enough to the left hand side in his own lane and he simply did not spot Ms O’Kelly. Justice O’Hanlon said Ms O’Kelly was lawfully present on the road as she had taken all required precautions as she crossed the road. As such he found that no liability was attached to her for the accident.
The judge said that “a stark transformation” had taken place in Aideen O’Kelly’s working and social life since the accident and the 54-year-old woman’s lifestyle is now “vastly different”. He said: “Despite her stoicism, her daily living is not of the same quality as it was. She has to put up with imbalance, difficulty reaching items in her kitchen and difficulty in the normal day-to-day tasks.”
Ms O’Kelly, she said, was an experienced sailor who participated at a highly competitive level three to four days a week during the sailing season. She said that she can no longer do this.
As Justice O’Hanlon awarded Ms Kelly a total of €192,573, he said that while Ms O’Kelly had managed to go back to work, she reported a lack of dexterity and feeling in her hands which causes issues wearing jewellery or opening jars.
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: 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: 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: December 2nd, 2016
A man has been awarded compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident after being described as a “very unfortunate accident prone individual”.
While the plaintiff was waiting at a junction by the Thomond Bridge in March last year, he was hit from behind with “significant impact” by a car that “came out of nowhere”. The work van he had been driving was a write-off and, while he was reporting the accident to his employer, the car driver responsible for causing the accident drove off – mounting the kerb and hitting the wall of the bridge as he left.
The injured van driver – a thirty-eight year old father of two from Rhebogue in County Limerick – suffered an aggravation of existing injuries to his neck, shoulder and lower back. He attended his GP the following day and allegedly suffered for the next six months. He claims to have sustained “psychological issues” as a result of the accident and is still receiving injections to manage the pain.
The car driver responsible for causing the accident was traced and the plaintiff claimed compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident. The car driver´s insurance company had its doubts about the legitimacy of the claim, and denied its consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment. The plaintiff was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim in court.
The hearing took place at Limerick Circuit Court, where counsel for Liberty Insurance – the negligent driver´s insurance company – told Judge James O´Donohue that the plaintiff had made a substantial number of personal injury claims in the past. Five of the previous personal injury claims related to road traffic accident that had aggravated existing injuries on each occasion.
Judge O´Donohue also heard that the plaintiff was on disability benefit for his existing injuries and was only able to work a limited number of hours each week. Noting that he had been “well compensated in the past”, Judge O´Donohue awarded the plaintiff €10,000 compensation for aggravating injuries in a van accident and described him as a “very unfortunate injury prone individual”.
Posted: June 11th, 2015
A young man, who was injured after a hit-and-run, has been awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation after a High Court judge assigned him three-quarters contributory negligence.
On the 2nd November 2012, when Anthony Driver – aged twenty-five from Co. Wicklow – was at the junction between Meath Road and Sidmonton Avenue waiting for a friend to give him a lift home. However, as he was waiting, he was hit by an unidentified car.
Though unable to remember much of what happened after he was hit, Anthony does recall that the vehicle that hit him briefly stopped but then drove off without calling for an ambulance, or even checking that Anthony was injured.
Anthony was discovered later that evening by a passing Garda who rushed him to a nearby hospital. There, Anthony was diagnosed with extensive internal injuries – including a lacerated liver – as well as fractures to his ribs and spine.
Anthony spent four days in an intensive care unit, and a further five days in hospital before his discharge. However, he still experienced pain in his back and difficulty eating because of the accident.
As the driver who hit Anthony was never identified by the Gardaí, Anthony proceeded to make a claim for hit-and-run compensation with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). This body compensates those injured in an accident where those at fault cannot be traced or are uninsured.
The claim for compensation was contested by the MIBI, who said that – as Anthony was descried as “grossly intoxicated” by the Garda that found him – it was highly likely that he was responsible for his own injuries through lack of care.
Negotiations between the parties were unable to determine liability for Anthony’s injuries. As such, Anthony was granted authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim for hit-and-run compensation through the courts. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard the case earlier this month at Dublin’s High Court.
During the hearing, Anthony testified that he was indeed drunk when he was hit by the unidentified vehicle, causing the MIBI to argue again that some of the liability should be assigned to him.
After a brief pause, Judge Kearns ruled that Anthony should be assigned seventy-five per cent contributory negligence for the hit-and-run accident. He then awarded Anthony an undisclosed settlement of compensation.