Posted: November 23rd, 2012
In a landmark case, an Irish court has settled an overseas accident compensation claim made by a Dublin resident who was injured in a road traffic accident in France.
Peter Kelly (75) of Ranelagh, Dublin, suffered a hip injury which eventually led to him requiring a hip replacement after he was hit by a council maintenance van while crossing the Traverse de la Tour in Cannes in June 2009.
Mr.Kelly made an overseas accident compensation claim against insurers Groupama and although the insurance company accepted liability for Mr Kelly’s injuries, it argued that French law should be applied when assessing compensation as the levels awarded are considerably lower in France than in Ireland.
At the High Court in Dublin Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill accepted this argument but said that French compensation figures would be used as a guide only in determining the amount of compensation to be awarded for an overseas accident.
As Mr Kelly had been a very active person prior to the accident and was now no longer able to play tennis or cycle and was restricted in the normal day-to-day activities he could do without assistance. As his ‘loss of amenity’ was significant the judge applied the methodology under which a French court would make its award but increased the value of the overseas accident compensation claim to Irish levels.
Mr Kelly was awarded €63,900 for pain and suffering and as the two parties had already agreed on special damages of €24,267, the full amount of compensation awarded for the overseas claim was € 88,167.