Passengers in Car Accidents
It is important that you seek professional legal advice when claiming injury compensation for passengers in car accidents, as passengers are generally more vulnerable to severe injuries than drivers. This is because drivers are more focused on the conditions around them, and usually have a split second to brace against impact before a collision occurs.
According to numerous surveys, passengers also tend to women or children – who typically have weaker soft tissues and can sustain deeper injuries than their adult male counterparts. Speaking with a solicitor is of particular importance when children have been hurt as passengers in car accidents, as you will have to be approved as “next friend” before you are able to make a compensation claim on their behalf.
To find out more about claiming compensation for passengers in car accident, you are invited to call our Solicitors Advisory Panel and speak directly with an experienced personal injury solicitor. Our solicitor will be able to answer any legal questions you may have and guide you through the process of making claims on behalf of passengers in car accidents, or on your own behalf if you have also been injured.
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: 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: 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: March 16th, 2017
A woman has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, with her status as a musician causing the judge to cite the case as an “exceptional” one.
In March 2012, a woman from Ardnacrusha in County Clare was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. Due to the force of the collision, the woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder. She sought medical attention as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP.
After seeking legal counsel, the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim. The negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment which was initially offered by the negligent party was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.
Due to her request for more compensation, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising the violin for several hours a day. However, he was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the accident, as the collision between the two taxis had been “insignificant” to cause the injuries claimed.
Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman would likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin. The woman was described as a “talented musician” in court, and as such it was an exceptional case.
Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the accident between the two taxis.
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: 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: February 18th, 2015
A judge has awarded €10,000 in compensation for passenger whiplash injuries after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.
John Connors from Saggart in County Dublin was just fifteen years of age when the car he was a passenger in collided with a wall alongside the Kiltipper Road in Tallaght on 2nd December 2010. John (now 20 years old) suffered soft tissue injuries to his back and neck and was treated at the Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
John returned to the Tallaght Hospital on several occasions for physiotherapy on his back and neck, and on his behalf, John´s father claimed compensation for passenger whiplash injuries against the driver of the car – John´s aunt, Bridget Connors.
Bridget Connors admitted liability for the accident, but John´s father was not satisfied with the Injuries Board´s calculation of compensation for passenger whiplash injuries, and an authorisation was issued for the case to go to the Circuit Civil Court for the assessment of damages.
At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that confusion existed over the claim for compensation, as a similar case being pursued in County Cork. John told the judge that his father had taken him to see a firm of solicitors before he died last year, but he did not know who the solicitors were or how to locate them.
As the claim for compensation for passenger whiplash injuries was before Judge Groarke for the assessment of damages only, the judge asked John about any long-term deterioration of his health as a result of the accident in his aunt´s car.
John told the judge that the soft tissue injuries in his back and neck had healed, but that he suffered from an unrelated liver condition that would eventually lead to premature aging. He also commented that the liver condition prevented him from drinking alcohol.
Judge Groarke awarded John €10,000 compensation for passenger whiplash injuries and the costs of bringing court action. The judge said that the fact John had suffered some level of soft tissue injuries as a result of the accident had not been contested.
Posted: December 3rd, 2014
A family who were devastated earlier this year when their son was killed in a head-on crash have had a settlement of compensation for a fatal car accident approved in the Circuit Civil Court.
On April 17, four-year-oldCiaran Treacy was a passenger in his mother´s car when it was involved in a head-on crash with a car being dangerously driven along the Portarlington to Portlaoise Road by Finbar O´Rourke
Ciaran died at the scene of the accident, while both his mother Gillian and his brother Sean were seriously injured. O´Rourke was arrested when the Gardai arrived and subsequently charged with dangerous driving causing death. He is currently released on bail pending sentencing on December 11.
On behalf of his family, Ciaran´s father – Ronan Treacy, of Portarlington, County Laois – made a claim for compensation for a fatal car accident in respect of the mental distress he and his family had suffered over the loss of their son.
O´Rourke´s insurance company admitted liability for Ciaran´s death and the claim was not contested. An offer of compensation for a fatal car accident amounting to €35,000 was made by the insurance company and accepted by the family subject to a judge´s approval.
Consequently, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court was told the circumstances of the accident and the effect it had on the family. He heard from both Ronan and Gillian Treacy – who is still in a wheelchair due to the accident – and informed of the breakdown of the compensation settlement.
The settlement consists of €10,000 compensation for a fatal car accident to each of Ciaran´s parents; €5,000 each to Ciaran’s brother, Sean -who was also injured in the accident – and two-year-old sister Caoimhe; and €1,250 each to Ciaran’s four grandparents.
Judge Groarke approved the settlement and added a further €8,000 to Ronan Treacy to account for the funeral costs of burying his son. Before closing the case, the judge also expressed his deep sympathy to the family for their tragic loss.
Posted: February 13th, 2014
A High Court judge has approved a settlement of a car crash injury compensation claim for a passenger in a car accident who suffered life-changing injuries in the 2010 crash.
At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told howLydia Branley from Kinlough, Country Leitrim, sustained life-changing injuries when the driver of a BMW Coupe she was a passenger in lost control of his vehicle, crashed it through two roadside barriers and hit a telegraph pole.
The car landed upside down in a stream alongside the N4 at the Ballisodare slip road, but the driver and another male passenger had been thrown clear when the vehicle hit the telegraph pole. Lydia had been wearing a seat belt and was trapped unconscious inside the car until emergency services cut her free.
Lydia was taken by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital and later transferred to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where she remained in a coma for nine months. When she came to from the coma, Lydia discovered that she was unable to speak and had lost the use of her legs and arms.
The driver of the BMW – Martin Kearney from Balinoo, County Mayo – was arrested and charged with dangerous driving causing serious harm. In June 2012, a judge at the Roscommon Circuit Court sentenced Kearney to six years imprisonment and banned him from driving for twenty years.
Through her father – Martin – Lydia made a car crash injury claim for a passenger against Kearney and the owner of the car – Kearney´s father, Michael – and a settlement of €10 million compensation was negotiated between the parties.
Because of Lydia´s injuries, the settlement of the car crash injury claim for a passenger had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be completely resolved, and consequently the circumstances of the accident and injury were related to Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court.
After hearing that Lydia will need around the clock care for the rest of her life, the judge approved the €10 million compensation settlement, adding “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”
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: December 11th, 2013
A young woman, who sustained serious injuries when she was a passenger in a fatal car accident, is to receive €100,000 compensation after a court hearing to determine liability.
Leah McVeigh from Drumkeerin in County Leitrim was only 16 years of age when, on 23rd December 2008, she was one of five teenagers who went for a “spin” in two cars outside the village. Leah rode as a passenger in a car driven by 17-year-old John Williams – who had received the car as a birthday present just two weeks earlier – while the second car was driven by 18-year-old Darragh Flynn.
According to witness reports, the two drivers raced each other for three miles on the outskirts of the village until John Williams – attempting a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre – lost control of his car, went over a grass verge and crashed into the side of a parked lorry. Williams was killed in the accident, and Leah sustained a head injury and a fracture of the left clavicle, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Through her mother – Ethel McVeigh – Leah made a compensation claim for a passenger in a fatal car accident against Darragh Flynn and the insurance company who had provided insurance for the fatally-injured John Williams – Quinn Direct. Damages were agreed at €100,000, but neither Flynn nor the insurance company would accept liability for Leah´s injury claim and proceedings were issued for the case to be heard in court.
At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Moriarty heard evidence from Darragh Flynn and the other passengers who were present on the day on the accident. The judge stated that he considered the evidence given by Flynn and a male passenger in the fatal car accident to be “self-serving”, and believed the testimony given by Fern Skelton to be more loyal to the truth.
Mr Justice Moriarty found Flynn 22.5 percent liable, and ordered him to pay Leah €22,500 compensation for a passenger in a fatal car accident; while the balance of Leah´s passenger accident compensation settlement will be paid by Quinn Direct.
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 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: 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: 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: 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.
Posted: July 27th, 2012
Four Dublin children have been awarded a total of €26,000 in compensation for injuries they sustained when the car in which they were travelling collided with a Garda patrol car.
Dean McEvoy (15) and his three sisters, Lauren (13), Cody (11) and Megan (10) suffered soft tissue injuries when a patrol car being driven ‘at some degree of urgency’ struck the car driven by their mother Lorraine McEvoy on the Tallaght bypass in November 2005. At the time of the incident the Garda car had no siren or warning lights on.
Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was told that the State had accepted liability for the accident only after a lengthy dispute was settled in the High Court and he was asked to approve the agreed settlements for the four children.
Posted: June 7th, 2012
A six-year-old boy, has been awarded €17,500 in compensation for a car accident injury after he was knocked down by a van while playing near his home in Tallaght, Dublin.
Warren Lavelle who was three year old at the time suffered head injuries and was left with a permanent scar on his head as a result of the accident on July 13 2008. At the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin Judge Jacqueline Linnane was told that the driver of the van John Connors, also of Tallaght, Dublin had already admitted liability for the accident leaving the judge to approve the car accident settlement of compensation.
Posted: April 11th, 2012
A Dublin man has been awarded € 91,000 after successfully pursuing a post-traumatic stress claim after a car accident. Mr James Killeen (55) of Artane was trapped in his jeep for 90 minutes after it was violently struck from behind by a car driven by Mr Hongbo Guo of Castleknock, County Dublin, in November 2007.
The court heard that Mr Killeen became frantic while trapped due to his fear for his son’s safety who was also trapped in the jeep and also due to the presence of petrol fumes at the time. On his way to the hospital the ambulance Mr Killeen was travelling in, had to stop four times to allow him to vomit. He suffered soft tissue damage to his lower back causing him pain and discomfort.
Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court heard that Mr Killeen had been involved in seven previous road traffic accidents between 1986 and 2009 and the psychological trauma of this accident resulted in an emergency admission to St Ita´s Hospital in 2008 as the result of attempted self-harm.
The court heard that the negligent party accepted liability for the post-traumatic stress claim after a car accident and the judge awarded Mr Killeen € 91,000.
Posted: March 28th, 2012
A family has been awarded compensation after a fatal road accident left a mother and child dead in 2006.
The incident occurred on July 9 2006 and Yvonne Mahoney (24) and her daughter, Bobbi-Ann (2) were killed when the car driven by Ms.Mahoney’s partner John Maloney (33) – who was also killed in the accident – collided with another car as it exited the crossroads junction at Lodge Cross, County Galway.
Claiming on behalf of her deceased daughter Mary Mahoney of Loughrea, County Galway alleged that Galway County Council failed to cut down, prune or trim the hedges at the junction meaning Mr.Maloney did not have a clear view of the road, it was also claimed that the council had failed to erect yield or stop signs. Mrs Mahoney also made a claim against Mr. Maloney’s estate alleging that he had been negligent with his driving. The court heard that the issue of liability had been withdrawn and Judge Mr Justice Moriarty awarded Mrs Mahoney and the family of the deceased children €100,439 in compensation after a fatal road accident.
Posted: January 12th, 2012
A 14-year-old girl has been awarded €21,000 in the Circuit Court after she suffered psychological trauma when her mother was knocked unconscious following a road traffic accident in which their car was rear-ended.
Charmaine Fitzgerald was 10 years old when the accident occurred near her school in March 2007. The force of the impact was so great that her mother Lisa Fitzgerald was thrown from the car and lost consciousness. At the time Charmaine believed her mother was dead and as a result of the psychological trauma of the event she visualised the crash every time she passed close to the so, and in the end had to change schools.
The defendant Paul Mullins offered €21,000 compensation for psychological trauma which was approved by Judge Matthew Deery.
Posted: August 6th, 2011
The frequency of the payment compensation system has been criticised by Mr Justice John Quirke in the High Court.
The judge was unhappy with the system of compensation settlements when awarding more than 5 million Euros to Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan following a settlement with the Motor Insurance Board of Ireland (MIBI) after a road traffic accident.
Mr Justice John Quirke argued that staged payments for awards of personal injury compensation would be much more beneficial to victims as the value of this settlement represented just 60% of what the claim was worth. Ms Bogue suffered serious brain damage in May 2003 when the car in which she was a passenger, crashed into a tree just outside of her home town of Belturbet.
As a result of the accident Ms Bogue requires around the clock care, has difficulty sleeping as well as poor short-term memory and slow speech. The Judge commented that he believed the settlement would be insufficient for her lifetime and that she will become reliant on the State.
As the MIBI had argued that Ms Bogue was aware the driver of the car was uninsured there was a risk she would receive less compensation if the claim went to a full hearing. However a new payment compensation system for victims is due to be introduced shortly.
Posted: June 27th, 2011
A brain injury victim has successfully claimed compensation for a car accident after the uninsured car in which she was travelling as a passenger crashed into a tree, resulting in catastrophic injuries.
Caroline Bogue of Belturbet, County Cavan was awarded over €5 million in a High Court settlement in a case taken against the car driver Declan Bogue, the car ower Ciaran Bogue, and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. The settlement was made without the admittance of liability as it was argued that Caroline Bogue was aware that car was not insured and was allegedly taken without the permission of the owner. While awarding the compensation for a car accident Mr Justice John Quirke said that the case highlighted the need for a new system of staged payments in personal injuries cases.
Posted: April 10th, 2011
A Dublin man has been awarded €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court after he sustained a needle injury on Dublin Bus from a syringe left on a seat. The accident occurred in February 2005 on the 78A at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre terminus.
The victim, Garreth Quinn of Clondalkin alerted the driver who called an ambulance. Tests on the syringe found no contamination but it was still 3 years before it could be guaranteed that Quinn was not infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
Awarding Mr.Quinn €25,000 in compensation for the needle injury on Dublin Bus, Judge Joseph Mathews found that visual inspections by Dublin Dub staff were not sufficient and that crevices in seats on buses should be probed for needles and syringes.
Posted: March 24th, 2011
The family of a woman who was killed in a drunk driving accident have been awarded €506,000 in damages at the High Court.
Bridget O’Reilly of Ballybeg, Waterford was killed when the drunk driver of a car she was a passenger in crossed over to the wrong side of the road and crashed head-on into another vehicle. The compensation claim was taken by her husband Edward O’Reilly against the drunk driver of the car Frank Prendergast of Tallaght, County Dublin, and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.
Mrs O’Reilly leaves behind nine children, the youngest of which was only 3 years old and they are now being cared for by her sister.
Posted: December 13th, 2010
A contributory negligence claim has been made by the estate of a drunk driver against two publicans after the driver who caused the fatal collision was found to be three times over the legal limit for driving.
John Connolly had been drinking since 11.30 am in the Diamond Bar in Tullaghan, Leitrim and in the late afternoon his car collided with a vehicle carrying a mother, Mary Flanagan, and daughter, Anne McSorley, resulting in injuries to the mother and the death of the daughter.
The High Court heard that the estate of Mr Connolly alleged that publicans Concepta and Seamus Kelly knew or ought to have known that he would drive on a public road. Mrs Kelly said in court “It is up to the individual themselves to know their own body. There are people who can drink and drive with three or four pints and people who cannot drive with one”. The contributory negligence claim was adjourned for one month by Mr Justice Kevin Feeney.
Posted: October 6th, 2010
A head-on traffic accident victim has made a settlement for £3m in compensation for road traffic accident injuries sustained in an accident in which two others were killed.
Owen Griffin, aged 26 and from Waterford suffered head injuries and was left in a coma after the car in which he was a passenger collided with a motorcycle in Scotland. As a result of the injuries sustained, the head-on traffic accident victim has been living in an assisted living home in Waterford since February 2007. The compensation settlement was made out of court.