Car Accident Aid News
Posted: September 5th, 2015
A forty-seven year-old man, who sustained grave brain injuries after he fell off a ladder whilst working for a family company, has been awarded a settlement of compensation.
The accident occurred on the 22nd March 2011, shortly after Michael Brady from Co. Kildare began working at a business owned by his family, Philip Brady Building Contractors Ltd. Whilst working in Naas with his father, Philip Brady Senior (who, though related to the owner of the company, does not own it himself), he was asked to clear vegetation from a blocked gutter. To do this, he climbed a sixteen-foot ladder and was left briefly unattended by his father.
However, when Philip returned, he found Michael lying unresponsive at the bottom of the ladder. He was rushed to hospital where emergency surgery was carried out on his brain. Since the initial operation, Michael has had further procedures carried out to reconstruct damage to his face and to amend some of the brain damage. Despite these procedures, Michael is still visually impaired and also relies on assistance for day-to-day life.
As a result of the damage he sustained, it was decided that Michael was unable to represent himself in court. As a result, his father – Michael Brady – made a claim for work injury compensation on his son’s behalf. In the claim, Philip alleges that the ladder provided to his son was not suitable for the work that he was required to do. He also claims that it did not have adequate support to prevent a fall such as Michael’s.
However, Philip Brady Contractors Ltd denied any liability for Michael’s accident and the case proceeded to the High Court. However, shortly before the meeting was to commence, the judge was informed that negotiations had lead to the offer of €1.5 million in work injury compensation. After a presentation of facts concerning Michael’s accident, the judge approved the settlement.
Posted: August 7th, 2015
A District Court judge has halved the amount of compensation awarded to a man after she assigned him fifty percent contributory negligence for an injury he sustained whilst eating in a restaurant.
The accident occurred on the 23rd of March 2013 when Shane McQuillan, aged thirty two from Swords in Dublin, was eating in the Gate Clock Bar in Dublin Airport. Whilst eating a sausage and bacon sandwich, Shane cracked one of his molars.
Shane sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim for compensation against the bar. In the claim, Shane alleges that his tooth was cracked when he bit into a tough rind of bacon. He claims that this was because the rind had been left out on display “for a number of hours”. However, the owners of the Gate Clock bar denied that they were liable for Shane’s injuries. As such, he was authorised by the Injuries Board to pursue his claim for compensation through the courts.
The claim for restaurant injury compensation was heard earlier this month at the Swords District Court by Judge Patricia McNamara. There, the judge was told that the steel tray from which Shane was served his sandwich was kept over a pan of hot water, and was protected by a glass display. Additionally, the manager claims that the food at the bar is changed every ninety minutes – though she had no written records to confirm this statement.
The legal team representing the bar argued that, had Shane any doubts concerning the freshness of his food, he should not have eaten it. By doing so, he had contributed to his injury.
Shane testified that, because of his injury, he still experiences bouts of pain and has some difficulty eating. Judge McNamara then awarded Shane a compensation settlement consisting of €6,500 in general damages, as well as another €2,500 in special damages.
Yet this figure was then halved to €4,500 when Shane was assigned a fifty percent contributory negligence for not being “careful of a crispy rasher rind”. Judge McNamara added that, had the manager provided adequate records, she would not have awarded Shane any compensation.
Posted: July 26th, 2015
The Circuit Court has refused to approve a compensation settlement of €15,000 for a young girl who suffered psychological trauma whilst attending a crèche.
The child in question, Emilie Kiely – aged four from Sandyford in Dublin – began attending her Giraffe Crèche when she was just eight months old. By September 2012, she was moved to the “Toddlers Room”, but after the move her parents noticed their child becoming increasingly anxious and worried. This was particularly evident in the morning when they were getting ready to drop her off at the facility.
However, in May 2013, RTE’s Prime Time aired a documentary entitled “A Breach of Trust” that alleged Emilie’s crèche of mistreating its charges. Upon seeing this exposé, Emilie was withdrawn from the crèche. Footage included a carer that was responsible for their daughter screaming at another child.
Emilie parents then sought legal counsel before proceeding to make a claim on behalf of their daughter for the psychological trauma she endured. In the claim, John Kiely – Emilie’s father – alleged that her behaviour had altered after entry to the Toddlers’ Room. He claims that she would cry “No crèche” in the morning and that she was terrorised and upset because of the breach in the crèche’s duty of care.
The claim for compensation was contested by Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre, though an offer of compensation totalling €15,000 was offered without an admission of liability. This offer then had to be presented to a judge for approval, as the claim was made on behalf of a minor.
The case proceeded to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Judge James O’Donahue. However, the judge ruled that – given the amount of trauma and upset Emilie had endured – that the settlement was not a sufficient sum.
The judge then ruled that the case would have another hearing before a different judge. This will have implications for twenty-five other claims for child psychological trauma compensation made against Giraffe Childcare and Early Learning Centre. Emilie’s parents, along with many other parents of affected children – have also commenced legal action concerning the crèche’s breach of contract.
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.
Posted: April 3rd, 2015
Taxi drivers have started to install dashboard cameras to prevent fraudulent car accident claims according to a report in the Irish Mirror.
The report alleges that a significant number of fraudulent car accident claims have been made by members of the public who have deliberately walked in front of – or thrown themselves in front of – slow moving vehicles in Dublin City Centre, in areas where they are sure of not sustaining a serious injury due to the low speed limits.
One taxi driver told the Irish Mirror: “I was almost caught out a few months ago when a man jumped off the pavement in O’Connell Street and landed in front of my taxi. I noticed a man weaving his way in and out of the crowds quite hastily and it just struck me it was suspicious so I started to slow and by the time he had thrown himself out in front of my taxi I had managed to slam on the brakes”.
The taxi driver has since bought a dashboard camera to avoid being held liable for fraudulent car accident claims in the future. He said: “Being on the road all day every day for the past 10 years I thought I had seen it all in terms of scams and dodgy claims ploys but this one takes the biscuit.”
Christy Humphreys from the National Private Hire and Taxi Association contributed to the story in the Irish Mirror by saying; “There’s a lot of this going on and drivers are terrified of falling victim to it. But drivers are reporting people now throwing themselves in front of taxis. Like there’s nearly too much going on to get your head around.”
The lobby group Insurance Ireland has also set up a special committee in a bid to tackle the issue and has identified six locations where there has been a spate of fraudulent car accident claims – the locations being Swords and Tallaght in Dublin, Galway, Cork, the Border region, and Ennis in County Clare.
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: August 1st, 2014
A settlement of €1 million compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident has been approved at the High Court in favour of a sixty-year-old woman.
On September 9th 2011, Elena Schiopu from Dublin was attempting to cross the Morehampton Road with a buggy containing her young granddaughter. A car stopped to give way, and Elena stepped out from the pavement. As she did so, Elena was hit by a vehicle that had attempted to undertake the stationary car, and despite suffering cuts and bruises, Elena continued home with her unharmed granddaughter.
On arriving home, Elena started to experience a weakness in her arms and legs and later developed slurred speech. She went to hospital for an examination and was admitted before being transferred to intensive care as her condition deteriorated. Elena remained in intensive care for seventeen days – during which time she was diagnosed as quadriplegic due to a brain injury. Elena lost all method of communication and is now confined to a wheelchair.
In 2012, Elena was moved into to a specialist nursing home where she can receive 24 hours-a-day specialist care and a claim for compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident was made on Elena´s behalf by her daughter against the driver of the vehicle that had hit her – Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin.
McElwain´s insurers contested the claim for compensation – arguing that their policyholder had not been speeding or driving dangerously and that Elena had failed to pay attention to the road conditions as she stepped out from the pavement. Elena´s solicitors countered by saying McElwain had engaged in a dangerous manoeuvre and should have been aware that there was the potential for a pedestrian to be crossing the road.
The two parties negotiated a €1 million settlement of compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident; but, due to the fact that the claim was made on Elena´s behalf as she was not able to represent herself, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before the case could be resolved.
Due to the magnitude of the settlement, the case was heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court. Judge Irvine was told the circumstances of Elena´s accident and the nature of her injuries, after which she commented that this was a particularly distressing case, and she extended her sympathies to the family as she approved the settlement of compensation.
Posted: July 15th, 2014
The High Court has approved a €1.2 million settlement of compensation for a hit and run brain injury in favour of a former veterinary student who was hit by an uninsured drunk driver.
Laura Byrne from New Ross in County Wexford was just twenty-one years on age when – on June 20th 2009 – she was hit by a drunk driver in John Street while talking to friends in the street. The driver – Karol Chrzan – panicked and left the scene of the accident, later admitting to police that he had drunk six beers and some vodka before driving his partner´s car, for which he was not insured.
Laura was rushed to Waterford Regional Hospital and later transferred to Cork for treatment to a brain injury she sustained when hitting her head on the windscreen of the car driven by Chrzan. Despite intensive treatment, Laura still has problems with her balance, has one arm weaker than the other and suffers from double vision. As a result of her injuries, Laura had to abandon the veterinary course she was studying at college.
Chrzan was charged with dangerous driving causing serious harm and sentenced to three years imprisonment. He was also banned from driving for six years. Laura made a claim for compensation for a hit and run brain injury against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the body responsible for settling claims against uninsured drivers – and a settlement of €1.2 million was negotiated to account for Laura´s injuries and her lost opportunities.
At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances which led to Laura´s injuries and of Chrzan´s subsequent conviction for dangerous driving. The judge approved the settlement of compensation for a hit and run brain injury – commenting that it was a very good one in the circumstances – and saying while no amount of money would compensate Laura for the trauma she had suffered and the opportunities she had missed, she hoped the extra money would make life better for her.
Posted: May 8th, 2014
The High Court has approved a settlement of compensation for injuries sustained in a bus accident in favour of a young Spanish student, who was hit by the bus as he was fleeing from other youths.
On February 4th 2009, Carlos Tesch was walking with fellow Spanish students along Herbert Road in Bray, County Wicklow, when the group was approached by a number of youths, who had previously been verbally abusive to them.
Carlos ran into the street in order to avoid the older boys, but as he did so he was hit by a bus coming up the road from behind him. Carlos suffered serious head injuries in the accident, including the fractured base of his skull, for which he has subsequently twice been to China for stem cell treatment.
As a result of his injuries sustained in the bus accident, Carlos is unable to speak and can only walk a few steps without assistance. His father – Hams Tesch – has given up his managerial position to care for Carlos, who is able to attend classes in his home town of Bray, County Wicklow, during term time.
Through his father, Carlos claimed compensation for his injuries sustained in the bus accident against the operators of the Bray bus service – Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus contested their liability for the boy´s injury, claiming that it was unreasonable for the bus driver to have predicted that Carlos would run out into the road in front of the bus.
The case went to the High Court last year, where Dublin Bus were found 70% liable for Carlos´ injuries because the bus driver had been distracted by a passenger just before Carlos ran out into the road. Dublin Bus appealed the verdict, but the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court, and the case was returned to the High Court for the assessment of damages.
At the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that a €9 million settlement of compensation for injuries sustained in a bus accident had been negotiated and, after hearing the circumstances of Carlos´ accident and the care and devotion his father has shown for him in the five years since, Judge Irvine approved the settlement – adding she was aware of the sacrifices that parents will make when their children are badly injured.
Posted: April 7th, 2014
A court has approved a settlement of injury compensation for a scooter accident on a Dublin City path in favour of a young girl who suffered a serious arm injury in a fall from her bike.
On May 31st 2007, Charlotte Clapperton was aged just nine years of age and was riding her electric scooter along Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore, Dublin, when she hit a raised section of the footpath. Charlotte fell from her bike and landed heavily on her left elbow.
Charlotte had to undergo two operations on the elbow to repair a broken bone and has a 10cm scar as a reminder of the injury. Whereas before her accident Charlotte was a keen gymnast and Irish dancer, she can no longer partake in these activities, and she has still not regained full flexibility of her elbow.
Through her mother – Collette Clapperton of Bluebell in Dublin – Charlotte claimed injury compensation for a scooter accident on a Dublin City path, on the grounds that the path was in a poor condition because the roots of nearby trees (which were Dublin City Council´s responsibility to maintain) had grown up through the paving slabs on the footpath.
Dublin City Council acknowledged that the footpath was in such a state to render it a hazard, and a settlement of injury compensation for a scooter accident amounting to €125,000 was agreed. However, before Charlotte´s claim for scooter accident compensation could be closed, the settlement first had to be approved by a judge as the claim was made on a child´s behalf.
Consequently, the circumstances of Charlotte´s accident and injury were heard by Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court; who, after inspecting the scar on Charlotte´s arm, approved the settlement and awarded the Clapperton family the costs of their action.
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 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: June 1st, 2013
A six-year-old child, who had his right arm severed by a lawnmower blade, has had a settlement of lawnmower accident injury compensation approved at the High Court.
Conor Byrne from Kilva in Cork was weeks away from his third birthday in May 2009 when the accident happened in his aunt´s garden in Carrigogna. His mother had visited her sister to help sow some flowers in her garden and, while she did so, Conor was playing on the veranda of his aunt´s home.
However, while he was playing, Conor fell from the patio to the lawn, where his cousin was cutting the grass with a drive-on lawn mower. Despite the blade of the lawnmower being protected by a safety guard, Conor´s right arm went beneath the guard as he fell and his right arm was cut off just below the elbow. Conor was immediately hurried to Cork University Hospital, but doctors could not re-attach the amputated arm.
Conor´s father – Ciaran – made a claim for lawnmower accident injury compensation against his wife´s relatives – Tom and Mary Keohane – and, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Feeney heard that that a compensation settlement of €1.5 million had been agreed.
The judge was also advised that the value of the compensation settlement had been calculated with consideration of Conor´s expected losses in the future and included the cost of renovating the family home in Kilva. Mr Justice Feeney approved the settlement of lawnmower accident injury compensation after hearing that, despite his accident, Conor was doing well at school.
See also: http://www.injury-compensation.ie/
Posted: April 16th, 2013
A man who injured his eye when a tree branch shattered a window on the Dublin Buss in which he was travelling, has been awarded €8,000 in compensation for a personal injury claim for a bus accident.
35-year-old Rafal Kowalski of Castleknock, Dublin sustained his injury in July 2011 when a window was shattered on the top deck of the Nº 37 bus showering him in glass and debris. He did not seek medical attention immediately, but upon later examination it was found that he had dry eye syndrome which Dublin Bus did not contest.
Judge Matthew Deery at the Circuit Court awarded Mr Kowalski Rafal €8,000 compensation in settlement of his personal injury claim for a bus accident.
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: February 22nd, 2013
A 25-year-old Wicklow man has been awarded €300,000 in compensation by the High Court after he was hit on the head by the wing mirror of a council truck.
Mr Justice Iarflaith O’Neill heard how Ciaran Chestnutt was standing at pedestrian traffic lights on Paddy Brown’s Road, Waterford, on October 26, 2007 when he was struck by the mirror of a passing truck. As a result of the accident the victim suffered memory loss, the development of a permanent black spot in the vision of his right eye and a permanent scar on his forehead. The victim also lost his sense of taste and smell and missed a year of college.
Waterford City Council – which owned the truck- and employed the driver, denied their liability but after hearing evidence from witnesses representing both parties, Mr Justice Iarflaith O´Neill said he was satisfied the accident was caused by the negligence of the driver and therefore the Council was vicariously liable. Awarding the compensation the judge said Mr.Chestnutt’s injuries have had a huge impact on his life but he has done extremely well coping with his injury.
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: 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.
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: August 6th, 2012
A woman from Dublin, has been awarded €79,000 in compensation after a car reversed over her after she had slipped and fallen.
Siofra O´Loughlin (24) from Rolestown, Dublin slipped on wet sand while trying to retrieve a ball on Dollymount Beach in July 2006 and was on the ground when a motorist reversed over her. According to a report given to the Gardai by Ms O’Loughlin and her friends, the driver of the vehicle stopped a short distance from the incident and saw Ms O’Loughlin injured on the ground before driving away.
Gardai were unable to trace the driver of the vehicle therefore Ms O’Loughlin had to make her compensation claim for a hit and run injury against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland. The MIBI disputed the compensation claim arguing that a different version of events had been reported to Gardai however Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill dismissed their argument and awarding Ms O’Loughlin €79,000 in compensation for the injuries she sustained in the hit and run incident.
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: May 18th, 2012
A 26-year-old women has had her €7 million settlement of compensation approved by the High Court. Valerie Bourke of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary suffered serious brain damage after her car collided with a truck in May 2006 when she was 21 years old.
The accident occurred on the Carrick-on-Suir to Waterford road and from there Ms Bourke was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital where she remained for eleven months. She was then transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire and from there to a neuro-rehabilitation centre in England six months later. In December 2008 – two and a half years after the accident- she was able to return home.
Ms Bourke’s parents had renovated the family home to accommodate her needs although the court heard that her mobility and cognitive functions remain limited. The driver of the truck Patrick Holden and its owner Stefan Gilchrist of Piltown, County Kilkenny admitted liability for the victim’s injuries and Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill approved the settlement ordering €4 million to be put aside for Ms Bourke’s future care. He also announced that an application was to be made to make Valerie Bourke a ward of court.
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: February 8th, 2012
A six-year-old boy, who was knocked from his bike by a neighbour reversing out of her drive has successfully been awarded compensation for a child bicycle accident.
Claiming through his father Eric Ryan of Lucan, Dublin, the court heard how Cian Ryan sustained terrible injuries to his leg after Ms Kishwar Shafgat knocked him from his bike in April 2009.
It was claimed that Ms Shafgat failed to keep a proper lookout when reversing and was therefore negligent. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard that the victim still walked with a limp as a result of the accident and suffered recurring nightmares. The judge approved a compensation award of €87,000 for a child bicycle accident and set aside €1,000 so the victim could attend Old Trafford to see Manchester United.
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: December 16th, 2011
A Wicklow man has been awarded almost €16,000 in compensation after he sustained whiplash injuries that affected a training programme he was undertaking for weight loss.
The Circuit Court heard how Declan O’Hora of Blessington sustained injuries to his neck and shoulders following a road traffic accident in October 2008. The injuries prevented Mr. O’Hora from continuing with swimming exercises designed to assist with a weight loss problem, and it also led to the development of sleep apnoea which is a condition that disrupts sleep patterns.
As liability had been conceded by Brian Duggan of Knocklyon, County Dublin who was the negligent driver, Mr Justice Matthew Deery instructed that just under €16,000 should be awarded in compensation.
Posted: November 23rd, 2011
A man who suffered a serious brain injury from a hit and run accident after a night out, has been awarded €2 million in compensation by the High Court in Dublin.
Paul Gogarty (35) from Kingscourt, County Cavan was walking home after a night out when he was hit by a vehicle which failed to stop. The victim suffered a severe bilateral traumatic brain injury and as a result of this, he has been forced to give up his job as a factory worker.
The driver of the vehicle was never traced, therefore Paul’s brother, Oliver took a claim for road traffic accident compensation was brought against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The High Court heard how Paul’s injuries have left him requiring lifelong care and on-going treatment for post-traumatic epilepsy and as a result he has suffered persistent cognitive and behavioral problems.
Mr. Justice Nicholas Kearns was told that an offer of €2 million in compensation had been made by the MIBI which the family had agreed to accept and the judge approved the settlement adding that an application would be made to make Mr.Gogarty a ward of court.