Posted: November 12th, 2019
A woman, who was injured when she was hit by the wing mirror of a minibus as she crossed a road, has been awarded €192,000 car accident compensation at the High Court.
A medical representative living in Killester, Ms O’Kelly had taken the injury compensation action against Bus Éireann as a result of the accident when she was hit to the ground at Lough Atalia Road in the Galway harbour area on December 16, 2015.
Ms O’Kelly told the court she was walking across the road after 6pm when she saw the minibus just before she was struck on the right shoulder by the wing mirror of the bus. As a result of the injuries, Ms O’Kelly had to have surgery and wear a neck brace for three months and is left with a visible scar on her neck.
Bus Éireann admitted liability for the accident during the hearing of the case and argued that Ms O’Kelly was also allegedly negligent for the injuries she sustained.
The judge ruled that Bus Éireann driver involved was “entirely negligent” in that he maintain an acceptable lookout and did not stay close enough to the left hand side in his own lane and he simply did not spot Ms O’Kelly. Justice O’Hanlon said Ms O’Kelly was lawfully present on the road as she had taken all required precautions as she crossed the road. As such he found that no liability was attached to her for the accident.
The judge said that “a stark transformation” had taken place in Aideen O’Kelly’s working and social life since the accident and the 54-year-old woman’s lifestyle is now “vastly different”. He said: “Despite her stoicism, her daily living is not of the same quality as it was. She has to put up with imbalance, difficulty reaching items in her kitchen and difficulty in the normal day-to-day tasks.”
Ms O’Kelly, she said, was an experienced sailor who participated at a highly competitive level three to four days a week during the sailing season. She said that she can no longer do this.
As Justice O’Hanlon awarded Ms Kelly a total of €192,573, he said that while Ms O’Kelly had managed to go back to work, she reported a lack of dexterity and feeling in her hands which causes issues wearing jewellery or opening jars.