Posted: April 4th, 2019
Taxi Driver Dolores McMahon (57) has been awarded almost €75,000 road traffic accident compensation at the Circuit Court in relation to two separate accidents where she had different taxis written off.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke told the court that Ms McMahon had shown great courage for returning to her occupation after being badly injured in both collisions. In both accident she had seen her taxi damaged beyond repair and she was awarded personal injury compensation in relation to for her suffering, loss of income and compensation for two written off cars.
Legal representative for Ms McMahon, Caitriona O’Reilly, advised the Circuit Civil Court that her client had been inflicted with neck and shoulder injuries in one accident on December 14 2014 and a lower back injury in a subsequent collision that took place on July 14 2016. She went on to say that, in both car collisions the driver of the other car had driven into the path of Ms McMahon’s vehicle. Liability was admitted in both claims.
Unfortunately, Ms McMahon had exacerbated the damage to her neck and shoulders that she had suffered in the first crash just over 18 months earlier.
Justice Roarke was being asked to assess damages.
Ms McMahon initiated the taxi accident compensation action against the other drivers – Mr Arthur Oliver Ryan and Martin Mann – following the accidents that occurred at Old Airport Road, Santry, and Balheary Road, Swords.
In considering the case Judge Groarke commented that, following periods of recovery after each of the incidents, Ms McMahon returned to her taxi driving duties despite having been nervous about it and has took the decision not to drive on the 14th of the due to superstition.
Ms McMahon was awarded an overall sum total of a total of €74,912. This was made up from €46,468 compensation for personal injuries, loss of earnings car replacement and special damages in the first accident and €28,444 combined damages in the second crash.
Judge Groarke commented: “This is a lady who was very genuinely and very badly affected psychologically and has suffered quite extensive physical injuries.”
Posted: January 22nd, 2019
Personal injury claims totalling up to almost €500,000 were lodged on Monday in relation to a car crash involving eight Polish people where two cars crashed on an approach to a roundabout at Lusk, Co Dublin
Judge Raymond Groarke awarded each of the three claimants damages of €10,000 with District Court After hearing their testimonies today. There are five additional compensation claims to be heard in relation to this accident. Each claimant ihas also submitted a car accident compensation claim of €60,000 amounting to an total compensation claim value of €480,000 from a single car accident.
Today’s claimants, Arkadiusz Rokicki (23); Daniel Kutszal (24) and his sister, Majal Kutszal (34), all with addresses in the village of Lusk, were badly injured when they were passengers the car crash that occurred in Lusk. The vehicle in question was being driven by the defendant Dariusz Chudyk. Mr Chudyk has returned to Poland to live. However, he was indemnified through his insurance policy with Axa.
Barrister Paul Gallagher, appearing for the claimants with Robert Anderson of Anderson and Gallagher Solicitors, told the court they had suffered severe injuries when Mr Chudyk’s car collided with the rear of another car as he was driving near a roundabout in Lusk. It was claimed, in the legal action, that each of the claimants had experienced whiplash injuries. Mr Gallagher informed the court that each of his clients had registered pain and stiffness to the neck and in their lower back after the road traffic accident and had been prescribed medication to ease their suffering in the aftermath of the incident.
In approving the award of car accident compensation Judge Groarke said he was happy the accident was a genuine one and that there was no ambiguity remaining in his mind. He said he felt thatit was a genuine accident and the claimants were equally genuine. He said: “There is nothing in that evidence to compel me to accept that these people do know one another or that there is any association between them. I don’t blame the insurance company for adopting a very defensive attitude to this case which had the hallmarks of something that warrants that degree of investigation. Every case of this nature warrants a degree of investigation.”
Posted: September 18th, 2018
Whiplash injury compensation payments in Ireland are, on average, 4.4 times higher than awards for similar injuries in England and Wales.
This statistic was revealed in the Final Report of the Personal Injuries Commission. The report recommends that the Judicial Council should compile judicial guidelines for whiplash injury compensation awards.
The Commission’s finding found that the average soft tissue award is €17,338 compared to just €3,984 for the same compensation award in Britain. Commission chairman Justice Nicholas Kearns commented in his second and final report, that while genuine claimants need adequate compensation, the negative affect of high premiums on businesses and consumers had to be acknowledged.
Justice Kearns said: “The multiple that has emerged in the benchmarking process is so significant that the Commission is satisfied that it calls for a response that is effective and achievable in the shortest time”.
Insurance Ireland said an urgent policy response is required as the cost of the average award is continuing to “spiral” with the average Circuit Court award increasing by approximately 50% from 2013 to 2016 – from €11,941 to €17,722.
CEO of Insurance Ireland Kevin Thompson commented: “It is also clear that the Irish public supports reform as according to a nationally representative poll conducted by Ipsos MRBI in January, 78% of Irish people would support proposals to reduce personal injury award levels.”
However, there was some concern expressed Director General Ken Murphy of the Law Society of Ireland who said that lower damages did not automatically result in lower insurance premiums. He said: “Simply reducing damages takes money away from those who suffer injuries through no fault of their own and puts it in the pockets of the already very profitable insurance companies”.
Posted: June 15th, 2018
A taxi driver who is now unable to play golf and experienced post traumatic stress disorder after a road traffic accident has been awarded a total of €82,000 in car crash compensation by the High Court.
Patrick Murphy was unable to swing the golf club following the crash four years ago Justice Bernard Barton was advised. The judge accepted the medical arguments made on behalf of Mr Murphy that as a result of the accident, where a van crashed into his taxi, that his arthritis was rendered symptomatic and he now suffers from a severe and painful condition in his elbows.
Mr Murphy (62), with an address at Cranfield Place, Sandymount, Dublin, took the car crash accident compensation action against Malone Engineering Services Ltd, Ballycoolin, Dublin, owners of the van which crashed in to Mr Murphy, and the driver, Francis Cleary, a worker at the company.
Mr Murphy said that on March 29, 2014 he was driving his taxi on the James Larkin Road, Dublin, moving beyond the junction with the Howth Road, when without the van suddenly made a right hand turn and crashed into the front of his car.
Liability was accepted in the case and it was before the court for final assessment of damages only.
Mr Murphy told the court that he experienced shock, fright and distress and had pain in neck, lower back and both arms. He also had flashbacks and traumatic nightmares following the accident. Judge Bernard Barton said that he believed Mr Murphy to be a truthful witness.
The judge told those present that Mr Murphy attempted to return to work but was unable to work nights following the accident.
Additionally the judge said that Mr Murphy had been unable to resume his hobbies of golf and DIY.
The judge accepted the proof given in relation to Mr Murphy suffering post traumatic stress disorder from which he has now largely recovered.
Posted: May 23rd, 2018
An incident where a drunken 20-year old-man stole a bus after a night drinking in the pub and drove the bus on motorways around Shannon town after crashing it into a wall was referred to a judge as ‘bizarre.’
in the case that wa sbeing heard at Ennis District Court, solicitor for Adam O’Brien, Daragh Hassett said that Mr O’Brien was involved in a “drunken prank that went horribly wrong. In fact, it was more serious than that”.
Mr O’Brien, with an address at Ravendale, Pass Road, Meelick crashed the 16 seater bus, belonging to PK Travel, into a wall in Shannon Co Clare causing €5,020 worth of damage.
After driving the bus around Shannon for one hour on February 10 this year Mr O’Brien and was swerving from lane to lane on the M18 motorway, heading into Limerick when he was stopped by Gardai in Bunratty at approximately 3am.
Mr Hassett said that Mr O’Brien had been waiting for a taxi to take him home at the front door of the Old Lodge pub at Ballycasey in the early hours of the morning. He stated: “There is a bit of Hollywood in this. Mr O’Brien is waiting for the taxi but what pulls up is his drinking buddy driving a bus who had taken it with the keys in it from the nearby car-park. The doors open and Mr O’Brien gets on.”
He said: “They get onto the road and his friend says ‘I’m a bit drunk, will you drive?’ and Mr O’Brien, who had lots to drink, decides to take the wheel of the bus and drive around Shannon.”
Mr Hassett said that Mr O’Brien’s decision to take the wheel of the bus “is something he will regret for the rest of his life”.
Judge Durcan remanded Mr O’Brien on bail to re-appear before the court on June 6.
Posted: April 12th, 2018
A child car accident compensation award of €37,500 settlement for two children injured has been referred to as ‘inadequate’ by their father.
The child car accident compensation award was split into €20,000 for his nine-year-old in relation to a suspected broken arm and €17,500 for his seven-year-old brother in relation to some soft tissue injuries.
The young boys were injured in a car accident which happened on March 26, 2016 and had sued the insured driver of the other vehicle, Dusan Gabor through their father Graham Comiskey
Through the boy’s Barrister John Nolan their father advised Judge Terence O’Sullivan in the Circuit Civil Court that was not satisfied with either road accident compensation settlement.
Mr Nolan remarked: “While the boys have sued through their father, Mr Comiskey, I have to consider the interests of the children and I do not believe they would gain higher awards in a full trial and may even be awarded much less”.
Mr Comiskey compared the settlement to the figures in the Book of Quantum in relation the compensation for injuries like these. He stated that they were at the lower end of suggested damages for these types of injuries.
He also asked if he would be able to appeal should the settlement should the judge approve the child road accident compensation.
Judge O’Sullivan outlined to Mr Comiskey that a separate different judge may award a smaller amount of road accident compensation to his boys. He went on to say that he was satisfied that the compensation settlement fell in the range of €15,000 and €20,000.
Legal representatives for the Comiskey family told Judge O’Sullivan that this had been made clear to Mr Comiskey. However, the boys’ father was still keen to reject accepting the settlement.
Judge O’Sullivan decided o approve both child road accident compensation settlement offers and said that the funds should be paid into court funds on behalf of the children that were injured.
He ended by saying that Mr Comiskey could appeal “any decision of the Circuit Court”.
Posted: February 14th, 2018
Since 2016 there has been a 10% increase in the number of accident compensation claims, accidents involving uninsured or untraceable drivers, that were submitted to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
Insurance sector sources point to the fact that the rising expense of insurance premiums could be a huge factor in the increase in claims registered.
Set up in 1955, the MIBI was put in place to compensate individuals involved in car and road accidents caused the drivers of uninsured and unidentified vehicles. Insurance companies are required to contribute to its operation.
The MIBI awards between €55 million and €60 million in insurance awards on an annual basis with €55,364 per claim being the average figure awarded.
Co Dublin registered 41 per cent of all compensation claims (1,140) handled by the MIBI during 2017.
Across the country, the highest percentage increase was recorded in Leitrim with 70%.
Other increases include:
- Roscommon at 60 per cent
- Carlow at 43 per cent
- Monaghan at 42 per cent.
MIBI figures show that in total, 2,758 compensation claims for accidents involving uninsured drivers or untraceable vehicles was registered throughout 2017, a small increase on the 2,802 claims made during the previous year.
Posted: January 21st, 2018
A sister-in-law of a well-known member of the Dublin crime scene, Noeleen Coakley aged 45, was labelled “a woman who just seemed to attract misfortune” by judge Judge Raymond Groarke while assessing damages awarded to her in a rear end accident
Judge Groarke was referring to the fact that Ms Coakley had been injured in six car accidents in recent years. He made the remark as he approved a road accident compensation award of €28,000 for car accident injuries she sustained.
Noeleen Coakley Hutch (45) was married to Derek Hutch, who died in 2009, brother to Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch. The court was advised that Ms Coakley has been involved in six previous car accidents being awarded €60,000 car accident compensation in total from those incidents.
The hearing was an assessment of the compensation for a car accident being awarded, as liability had already conceded in the case.
Judge Groarke commented that, despite the similarities in Ms Coakley’s road traffic accidents, he found her to be an honest lady, thought with an unlucky record of accidents.
He went on to say that he did not agree with the manner that the legal team for the defence sought to argue that, Ms Coakley was “a chancer or a fraud” due to her experience of so many road accidents. The Judge said that he believed that she was an innocent party in all of those previous accidents.
Judge Groarke, in assessing the damages for this particular case, was advised that Ms Coakley had been rear-ended while travelling in her car in Ballybough, on May 19, 2014. She was brought, by ambulance, to the Mater Hospital Emergency Department folowing the accident. She received medical treatment here.
Judge Groarke award Ms Coakley€28,000 and legal costs in her road traffic accident claim.
Posted: November 23rd, 2017
Following a car accident that occurred in 2010 a Garda has been awarded €31,000 work accident damages due to injuries he suffered when his Garda squad car was rammed.
Former Limerick hurler Garda Nigel Carey (46), from Croom, Co Limerick, was injured when the Garda squad car he was sitting in was rear ended in October 2010 during a high-speed chase.
Legal Counsel for Mr Carey, Barrister Kevin D’Arcy, said his client had previously been quite a well known athlete, a hurler, at the time of the crash happening in 2010. Mr Carey attended his GP once regarding his neck, shoulder and lower back injuries and was advised to seek physiotherapy therapy.
Garda Carey advised the court that the Garda squad car was “sent flying” due to the force of the crash impact, the vehicle damaged to the extent that it had to be written off in the aftermath of the incident.
Mr Carey’s neck, right shoulder and lower back had been injured in the accident. He said that his shoulder was still restricted but it did not impede his movement to any great extent.
Presiding Judge, Mr Justice Bernard Barton said “the best medical report supporting Garda Carey’s claim for compensation” was given by the chief medical officer from An Garda Síochána who had reviewed Mr Carey’s injuries on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure.
Mr Carey did not try to gather up more and more medical reports to exaggerate his injuries. He also returned to work as soon as possible after the incident happened.
For this behaviour, the judge paid tribute to Garda Carey’s dedication during the Workplace Car Accident Compensation hearing as he had only been absent from work for just three days in the aftermath of the incident. He went on to say it was to Garda Carey’s eternal credit that he had not made an issue of his back injury which quickly became better.
Posted: October 8th, 2017
Izy and Amy Saul, two young sisters from Dublin have been awarded €33,000 in car accident damages due to a rear ending incident that saw the family car they were travelling in struck from behind in February 2016.
The two girls, aged seven and five years old, were travelling with their family when a car owned by defendant Tadgh Hartnett, collided with the back of their family car. Izy and Amy, from Rossberry Terrace, Lucan, Dublin were represented in court by Barrister Francis McGagh. Mr McGagh told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that the sisters were lucky to avoid serious injuries in the incident.
However, the girls were absent for one day of school following the accident to see their family doctor.
The girls mother, Claire Saul, made an affidavit to the court which said her daughters, who both have their birthdays later in October, now become nervous when travelling in a motor vehicle. Their family doctor said, in the official medical report, that this was a commonly experienced symptom following such a rear end collision.
The barrister, Mr McGagh advised Justice Groarke the Court that the family doctor found that the sisters had suffered minor psychological injuries due to the traffic accident. The official medical report from their family doctor was provided that said the girls’ had been inflicted with “a mild effect on the mental health”. The family doctor concluded that he expected this nervousness to fade over time.
The defendant Mr Hartnett, who was not present in Court, gave an address at AIG Insurance, North Wall, Dublin. The insurance provider made the road traffic compensation settlement offer of €16,500 each to the two girls, and their court expenses, on behalf of Mr Hartnett.
Claire Saul told the Judge that hat she was content with the €33,000 road traffic compensation offered to her daughters.
Posted: August 4th, 2017
A judge at the High Court has upheld seven car hire injury compensation claims relating to an accident in Lifford, County Donegal, in 2011.
On June 28th 2011, the driver of a hired Ford Fiesta failed to slow down as he was approaching a roundabout in Lifford, County Donegal, and hit a Peugeot 406 that was on the roundabout at the time. The driver of the Peugeot and six other men suffered soft tissue injuries. They subsequently made car hire injury compensation claims against the driver of the Ford Fiesta and the company from which it had been hired – Hertz Rent-a-Car.
In 2015, the seven victims of the accident were awarded amounts of €5,050 to €9,550 in settlement of their car hire injury compensation claims by Buncrana Circuit Court. Hertz Rent-a-Car appealed the awards – claiming that the accident had been fabricated and that the plaintiffs making the car hire injury compensation claims had exaggerated their injuries and the effect the injuries had on their quality of life.
The appeal was heard last month by Mr Justice Charles Meenan at the High Court. During the hearing, Judge Meenan was told the driver of the hired Ford Fiesta had been overheard calling the driver of the Peugeot 406 to get the details of his car when he returned the Ford Fiesta to the Hertz Rent-a-Car office in Derry. Due to the friendly nature of the call, the car hire company made further investigations and discovered all the plaintiffs were known to the negligent driver.
The barrister representing the seven plaintiffs told the court the allegations of fraudulently fabricating the accident were outrageous and lacking in support. Judge Meenan said he would reserve his decision until October, but earlier this week dismissed the car hire company´s appeal against the settlement of the car hire injury compensation claims and found in favour of the seven plaintiffs.
Upholding the awards of the Buncrana Circuit Court, Judge Meenan said the overheard telephone conversation was insufficient evidence to prove the accident had been fabricated and that “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 14th, 2017
A driver and her passenger have been awarded compensation for whiplash-like injuries which they sustained after the sunroof of their car flew off as they were driving along a motorway.
In November 2013, a family were travelling along the M1 at approximately 80 km/h in a four-month-old Toyota. Suddenly, the sun roof of their car blew off, creating a noise which one plaintiff described to be similar to “a bomb going off in the car” The driver, alarmed at the sudden noise, braked sharply, causing all five adult occupants of the car to suffer whiplash-type injuries due to the sudden stop. Fortunately, the two children travelling with them were strapped into child seats and were left unharmed.
After seeking legal counsel, the driver of the car and her 72-year-old mother claimed compensation for car accident injuries against Denis Mahony Limited of Kilbarrack Road in Dublin, where they had recently purchased the vehicle. They claimed in their legal action that their injuries were directly attributable to a fault with the sun roof that should have been identified in a pre-sale inspection.
The initial denied liability, stating that the sun roof was not faulty at the time of purchase. They contested the claims for compensation for car accident injuries. Due to the dispute in liability, the case was brought to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. An independent car assessor was brought as a witness to assess the condition of the car. They stated that they found extensive corrosion of the remaining frame of the sun roof and testified the corrosion had made the car unsafe to drive and should have been identified before it was sold to the driver.
Judge Groarke also heard that the five adult occupants and two children in the car had been travelling to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition at the time of the accident. The driver had subsequently pulled in to an AppleGreen filling station and stuck a plastic sack over the hole in the roof, but the shopping trip had to be abandoned due to their injuries and shock.
The judge said he accepted the sun roof flying off would have been a terrifying experience, and added that he understood why the driver had applied the brakes so sharply. He found in favour of the plaintiffs and awarded the driver of the car €12,500 and her mother, who had suffered more severe injuries, €25,000 compensation for car accident injuries.
Posted: April 3rd, 2017
A cyclist has received compensation for traumatic brain injuries he received after being involved in a road accident.
In late 2013, a man (thirty-three years old at the time of the incident) was cycling in Blanchardstown area of Dublin. As he was approaching the junction of the Ongar Distributor Road and Shelerin Road, he was hit by a van coming in the opposite direction. The driver of the van immediately fled the scene. According to eyewitnesses of the accident, the impact of the van threw the cyclist nearly three metres into the air, and he landed on his head. The onlookers immediately called emergency services were called.
The cyclist was immediately brought to Beaumont Hospital. Here, it was determined that the cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. At the hospital he underwent a decompressive craniotomy. After this initial treatment, he was later transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre. The cyclist suffered amnesia for four months due to the severity of his head injury. He had no memory of the accident, and later had be informed that he had been involved in the life-changing accident.
A police investigation was launched. A forensic investigator concluded the van was travelling at a speed close to 60 kmph when it hit the cyclist. The driver of the van was found and subsequently charged with criminal offences. He was brought before the courts in November 2015, where he was convicted with dangerous driving and causing serious harm while driving without a license or insurance. He was sentenced to 3½ years in prison. Following the criminal conviction, the cyclist´s wife claimed cyclist brain injury compensation on behalf of her husband.
As the van driver was uninsured, the claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The claim was not contested. Reports were made to assess the plaintiff´s future needs, and they concluded that a €3 million settlement of the cyclist brain injury compensation was sufficient. This offer of compensation accounts for the fact that the the cyclist had not been wearing a cycling helmet and therefore was liable for some of the damages. As the claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement went to the High Court for approval.
The case was heard at the High Court by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. The judge was told the circumstances of the tragic accident, the consequences of the accident, and the fact that the settlement had been reduced to reflect the cyclist´s contributory negligence. Judge Cross approved the settlement of cyclist brain injury compensation. The judge closed the case by commenting it had been a dreadful incident, and closing the approval hearing by wishing the cyclist and his family the best for the future.
Posted: March 16th, 2017
A “talented” musician has been awarded €25,000 in compensation for a shoulder injury she sustained in a road accident in Dublin.
On Wexford Street in Dublin in March 2012, one taxi rear-ended another. The passenger in the front taxi-a thirty-three year old musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare-suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident. The was diagnosed with soft tissue damage, and prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP when she sought medical attention the day following the incident.
The woman sought legal advice for pursing a claim for compensation for her injuries. Following the advice her solicitor, 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 of compensation for her injuries was rejected by the woman, who happened to be a musician. She claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury, as it affected her ability to play violin.
The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, after the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court. Mr Justice Raymond Groarke presided over the case. He heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day. In contest to this, the judge was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.
The judge stated that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting”. The judge did conclude that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, and that the woman was likely to make a full recover. In spite of this, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin and as such it was an exceptional case, as she had been described as a “talented musician” in court.
Judge Groarke finally 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 March 2012 accident.
Posted: January 31st, 2016
A twenty-five year-old Longford man has received a settlement of compensation for brain injuries he sustained at just eighteen years old.
On the 27th January 2009, Francis Smith – of Edgeworthstown in County Longford and employed in a local factory – was driving along a road. However, because of an oncoming vehicle, Mr Smith had to suddenly swerve to avoid a collision. This action, regrettable, caused his to collide with a parked lorry just ahead of him, and left him with severe and extensive physical and cognitive injuries.
Mr Smith, then aged just eighteen years old, was so severely injured by the collision that he can no longer work, and is reliant on his mother, Martina Dempsey, for twenty-four-seven care. Acting on behalf of hew disabled son, Ms Dempsey filed a claim for compensation against the Longford County Council. In the claim, Mr Smith’s mother alleged that there were the ongoing roadworks were not sufficiently advertised and as such motorists were not adequately aware of their presence. Additionally, there was no flagman at the site to make drivers aware of oncoming vehicles. She also claimed that the lorry with which her son collided was parked such that it extended too far onto the road, and its nearness to the roadworks posed another danger.
Longford County Council never conceded liability for Mr Smith’s injuries, counteracting Ms Dempsey’s claim by stating Mr Smith was mostly accountable for his injuries as he had been negligent and driven too fast for the conditions of the road.
When the case went to Dublin’s High Court, the parties had negotiated a €750,000 settlement of compensation – roughly 25% of the claim’s full value. The case was overseen by Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who proceeded to approve the settlement of compensation. In his closing remarks, Judge Cross said he wished Mr Smith well in his future.
Posted: November 28th, 2015
A teenager, who successfully made a claim for compensation for injuries she sustained in a traffic accident when she was just six years old against her mother, has received a €1.3 million compensation settlement.
The accident occurred on the 26th November 2005, when Beth Cullen – then aged just six years old, from Wicklow – was travelling as a passenger in a car driven by her mother, Caroline Barrett, along the infamous Nine Bends, part of the N11. As a result of the accident, beth became blind in her left eye, deaf in her left ear, and lost her sense of smell.
William Cullen, Beth’s father, proceeded to make a claim for compensation on his daughter’s behalf against Ms Barrett. In the claim, he alleged that – as well as not having enough regard for their daughter’s safety – Ms Barrett could not adequately steer, stop or manoeuvre the family car that she had been driving. As such, she caused the crash which resulted in Beth’s serious injuries.
Ms Barrett’s insurance company conceded liability for the accident, and the parties proceeded to negotiate a compensation settlement for Beth. When the sum – €1.3 million – was agreed upon, the case proceeded to the High Court. As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, a judge had to approve the settlement before it could be awarded.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross oversaw proceedings in the High Court earlier this month. After hearing the circumstances of the case, and details of how Beth was managing to do well in school in spite of her obvious difficulties, Judge Cross approved the settlement for car crash compensation, wishing Beth well for the future.
Posted: June 13th, 2015
A High Court judge has ruled that the victim of a hit-and-run accident was partially liable for his injuries.
The accident occurred on the 2nd November 2012 when twenty-five year old Anthony Driver, from Enniskerry in Wicklow, was waiting on a friend after a night out. He was hit whilst standing at Sidmonton Avenue Junction.
Anthony cannot remember much of the accident. He can recall that the car – which was never identified – briefly pulled over after hitting him, but proceeded to drive away. The driver did not check Anthony’s condition or call the emergency services.
Later that night, Anthony was found by a passing Garda. The Garda proceeded to take Anthony to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with extensive fractures to his spine and ribs, lacerations to his liver and other internal injuries.
Anthony spent a total of nine days in hospital, with four of them spent in the intensive care unit. Despite his treatment, Anthony still experiences pains in his back and found it difficult to eat.
To claim compensation, Anthony had to make his claim with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MBI). The MBI handle claims where the perpetrator of the crime was never traced by the police, as is the case with Anthony’s accident. They also handle cases where the driver was uninsured.
However, Anthony’s claim was disputed by the MBI. This was based on a testimony from the Garda who found him, who described Anthony as “grossly intoxicated” on the evening of the hit and run. Taking this statement into account, the MBI argue that Anthony was partially responsible for his injuries.
The case proceeded to the High Court in Dublin to settle the liability dispute. There, the case was heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns. Anthony confessed to the judge that he had been inebriated on the evening of the accident, which caused the MBI to restate their argument that he was somewhat liable for what happened.
The hearing was briefly adjourned before Judge Kearns returned to assign Anthony 75% contributory negligence for his hit-and-run injuries.
Posted: October 30th, 2014
A car accident wrist injury claim, made by a woman who was forced to retire from training horses, has been resolved after a hearing in the Circuit Civil Court.
Denise Murray (49) from Newcastle in County Dublin made her car accident wrist injury claim after a crash in December 2011 left her with a weak right wrist. Denise – who up until the time of the accident had been a stud groom with a small stable of horses that she trained for show jumping and eventing – was unable to continue her outdoor profession and had to take a clerical job in a village post office.
Before Mr Justice Raymond Groake in the Circuit Civil Court, Denise explained that she was no longer able to ride, school or groom her horses and that the slightest pull on her wrist could cause excruciating pain. She added that turning a key in a door or opening a jar with her dominant right hand resulted in pain and that pain killers did not agree with her.
A former DIY enthusiast – Denise has had steroid injections in the base of her thumb to try and resolve her wrist injury, and the only option available for her – Judge Groarke heard – was to undergo surgery that would involve the insertion of pins into her wrist. Denise said that there was no guarantee that this would be successful and that an existing asymptomatic arthritic condition had also been aggravated as a result of the accident.
The judge agreed with Denise´s car accident wrist claim, and said that Denise would have had an ongoing good quality of life for many years had it not been for the trauma she suffered as a result of the car crash. He awarded Denise €30,500 compensation for the injury and her loss of an outdoor occupation.
Posted: October 14th, 2013
The Civil Circuit Court in Dublin has approved the settlement of a teenagers injury compensation claim after a hearing into the events before and after her birth in 1999.
Aoife Sheehan (14) from Rathfarnham in Dublin was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital on 15th April 1999 after her mother had gone into early onset labour at thirty-six weeks following a car crash.
Unable to breathe independently after being born, Aoife was transferred to the neo-natal intensive care unit of the Coombe Hospital, where her breathing had to be assisted by a ventilator and medication. Aoife was found to be suffering from respiratory distress syndrome and remained critically ill in intensive care for three weeks.
Through her mother – Martina Sheehan – Aoife made a teenagers injury compensation claim against the driver of the vehicle who had been in collision with her mother – Elaine O’Connor also from Rathfarnham – claiming that had it not been for the accident, Martina would not have gone into early onset labour, Aoife would not have been prematurely and not have suffered from respiratory distress syndrome after her birth.
Insurers for the defendant denied their client´s liability, stating that there was no medical evidence to support an alleged connection between the accident and Aoife´s premature birth, that babies born prematurely were more likely to suffer from respiratory distress and, as the accident happened while Aoife was still in her mother´s womb, she was ineligible to receive compensation anyway
Solicitors representing Aoife pursued her teenagers injury compensation claim and, and following a long period of negotiation, acquired a settlement that would see Aoife receive €15,000 compensation in general damages for the pain and suffering she was subject to after her birth with a further €2,800 allocated in special damages to account for the expenses her parents had incurred looking after her.
At the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Matthew Judge Deery approved the settlement of Aoife´s teenagers injury compensation claim; commenting that her solicitors had done a good job in securing a positive outcome, as it would have been difficult to establish Ms O´Connor´s liability had the case been heard in court.
Posted: December 27th, 2012
A twelve-year-old girl from County Meath has been awarded €3.9 million in child passenger compensation after suffering spinal injuries which left her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Britney Arendse from Kells suffered her life-changing injuries after being involved in a crash in June 2009 with her mother Bridgette – who was driving – her mother’s friend, and her mother’s friend’s two daughters.
The car Britney was travelling in was hit by another vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the road. After the accident Britney and the four other passengers had to be cut from the vehicle by firemen and rushed to hospital. Britney had fallen into a coma by the time she arrived at the hospital. She spent three weeks in Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin, before being moved to the National Rehabilitation Unit.
After hearing that her daughter would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Bridgette sought legal advice and decided to pursue a claim for compensation against the negligent driver Sean McKenna, and the owner of the car, Patricia McKenna.
The McKennas accepted liability fort Britney’s injuries and agreed to pay a settlement amounting to €3.9m. As Britney was a minor at the time of her accident the award had to be approved by a judge and paid into court funds, where it will rest until Britney reaches eighteen years of age.
You can read more detailed information about here about passengers in car accidents.
Posted: November 12th, 2012
A woman from Berkshire, England has been awarded €9,000 in compensation at the High Court for neck injuries she sustained during a Go-Karting accident at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack in Dublin. Karen Wimpory (31) had been in Dublin on a hen’s party weekend at the time of the accident in March 2009.
Wimpory, who signed a disclaimer stating that the track owner could not be held liable for injury “in the absence of any negligence on the party of the company” and watched a training video prior to getting into her kart, was injured when a race marshal stepped out onto the track without warning, causing her to brake and the driver behind her to slam into the back of her kart.
After her accident Wimpory sought legal advice from a personal injury claims solicitor and pursued a claim for neck injury compensation against Grovepark Services Ltd, which trades as Kylemore Karting, claiming that the neck injuries she sustained were the brought about by the negligence of the company.
Justice Matthew Deery decided to approve Wimpory’s request for neck injury compensation after deciding that despite the fact that the plaintiff had watched a safety video, there were no instructions provided to her about what to do if the warning lights on the track were illuminated. Deery also heard how the karts did not have neck restrains or headrests fitted, and how novice racers should have been told to sit at full extension.
Two of Kylemore Karting’s management team, racetrack designer Stewart Cosgrave and race controller Denis Gaffney, said that although it was unlikely that a race marshal would walk onto the track while the karts were travelling at speeds in excess of twenty miles per hour, the marshal in question is not available to provide evidence as he has since died in a road traffic accident.
Posted: June 25th, 2012
An insurance company has been order to pay aggravated damages for a whiplash claim after it failed to pursue accusations of collusion against the defendant, James O’Sullivan of Clane, Co Kildare. Insurance company AXA had claimed that O’Sullivan had colluded with a defence witness to extract compensation from the company.
O’Sullivan’s taxi had been rear-ended by Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, Co Dublin, who later swore an affidavit concerning the accident. Reilly rear-ended O’Sullivan’s taxi in Eirhouse, Co Dublin on September 27, 2008.
Mr Justice Matthew Deery ordered AXA to pay €3,000 in aggravated damages for a whiplash claim to O’Sullivan after they failed to pursue the accusation, in addition to €7,750 for the whiplash injury.
Posted: May 11th, 2012
A Texan woman whose car was hit by lorry driver talking on a mobile phone has been awarded $24 million for neck, spine and back injuries she sustained in the collision. Thirty-seven-year-old Vanice Chatman-Wilson from Corpus Christi in Texas sustained the injuries when her car – a Ford Fusion – was hit by a Coca-Cola delivery lorry being driven by Araceli Vanessa Cabral who had been talking on her mobile phone and not fully concentrating on the road.
Chatman-Wilson managed to secure compensation after seeking legal advice from a personal injury claim solicitor and despite the fact that driving while talking on a mobile phone is not against the law in Texas. In court, Chatman-Wilson secured compensation after Coca-Cola defended itself by pointing out that it operates a hands-free policy for staff; Cabral said that she had never been made aware of the dangers of driving while talking on a mobile phone.
The jury at the Corpus Christi High Court awarded Chatman-Wilson the $24 million for her pain and suffering and punitive damages. She was left with permanent nerve damage despite undergoing a lumbar operation in February last year. Her solicitor said after the claim that the jury’s decision should serve as a warning to Coca-Cola that they need to better educate their drivers on the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.
Posted: January 12th, 2012
A man who suffered a broken neck and devastating spinal injuries when a trailer broke free from a truck and crushed his car from above has been awarded $1.4 million in road traffic accident compensation.
William Geary (60) sustained his injuries as he was waiting for a red light to change colour at an intersection. After the accident, which occurred when truck driver Phillip McCullough failed in a risky manoeuvre on a road above, was trapped for an hour and a half after the trailer landed on the roof of his car.
McCullough was later fined for making an improper turn and for careless driving. After an investigation it was found that the brake slack adjusters were not properly matched and that the brakes on the trailer had not been properly aligned.
Geary, from Medford, in Jackson County, Oregon, successfully negotiated a settlement for road traffic accident compensation which took into account his pain and suffering, loss of amenity and loss of income ($700,000), consideration for his future medical expenses ($400,000); and medical expenses he had incurred to date ($300,000).
Posted: September 15th, 2011
A woman from Oakland, California has agreed to accept a $10.5 million out-of-court settlement for a crushed hip and broken femur she sustained after being trapped under the chassis of a bus for 15 minutes. Abby Nichols (23) was trapped under a bus at a pedestrian crossing after crossing at a green light, and was left there in pain as the driver did not know how to operate the hydraulic lever used to move the chassis.
Nichols, who had just finished work at a San Francisco bagel shop when the accident occurred, still walks with the aid of a cane and has to undergo physical therapy.
After the bus company conducted an investigation into the accident it found the driver guilty of negligence. It failed to arrange a quick settlement for Nichols however, and it was only when she decided to pursue compensation for being trapped under the chassis of a bus did the bus company choose to engage in talks.
Posted: August 14th, 2011
A 53-year-old man has been awarded $950,000 in compensation for a severe whiplash injury he sustained while being rear-ended by a van belonging to the County of Los Angeles. Felipe Medina was awarded the settlement days before his claim was due to be heard before a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Medina sustained his severe whiplash injury after being rear-ended in his Saturn Vue by a van being driven by Los Angeles county employee Wille Duckworth westbound on the 105 freeway in Lynwood, California. Medina came to a stop due to a traffic jam in front of him.
Police investigating the incident later discovered that Duckworth had been travelling at excessive speed and had been unable to stop when he crashed his van into the back of Medina’s Saturn Vue.
Medina suffered extensive shoulder and neck injuries during the collision which it was feared may prevent him from continuing his job as a maintenance supervisor. He was forced to undergo several operations to relieve him of his pain, and had to wear a back brace and receive epidural injections and painkilling tablets for a time after the collision.
Felipe pursued his claim against the County of Los Angeles after seeking legal advice. In California employers can be held liable for the negligent acts of their workers.
Posted: July 17th, 2011
A golf club in Texas has been ordered to pay out almost $1 million in wrongful death compensation after it was found that Lance Shelter, a father of three and inventor of medical devices that benefited children, would still be alive if the club had adhered to its own policy of not over-serving patrons. Shelter was killed by a drunk driver who had been drunk 18 cans of beer at the club and been allowed to drive home.
Fort Worth District Court judge Dana Womack heard that the Southern Oaks Golf Club in Burleston, Texas, sold Mark Charles Pierce 12 cans of beer before his round of golf, and another six after, despite the fact that he showed clear signs of intoxication.
Pierce later drove home from the golf club and was found to have been responsible for the accident in which Shelter was killed.
Posted: May 22nd, 2011
Claims for whiplash injury compensation in the UK are the highest among all European countries, James Dalton, Assistant Director of Motor and Liability for the Association of British Insurers has claimed.
Dalton, who was speaking at the 2011 Whiplash Conference in Leeds, said that claims for whiplash account for two-thirds of all compensation claims pursued in the UK, and that insurance companies are paying out almost two billion pounds per year to claimants. Dalton called for the government to quickly implement their proposals for civil justice reform.
According to the Association of British Insurers 1,200 claims for whiplash are made in the UK every day – six times the amount of claims pursued for work related injuries. The sheer volume of whiplash complaints adds around £74 to each insurance policy in the UK, say the Association.
Dalton claims that civil justice reform measures proposed by the Government would mean a decrease in fraudulent claims for whiplash injury compensation; and that genuine claimants would receive fairer settlements and quicker access to rehabilitation.
Posted: April 2nd, 2011
A Cavan man who suffered severe brain injuries during a hit and run incident has been awarded €2 million in compensation after his brother successfully pursued a claim on his behalf. Oliver Gogarty pursued the claim on behalf of his brother Paul, formerly a factory worker, after his was knocked down by an unknown driver while walking home from a night out in Kingscourt.
As the vehicle involved in the accident was never identified the claim was brought against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI.
Since the accident Paul has required on-going care for post-traumatic epilepsy, and the nature of his injuries has also caused cognitive and behavioural problems.
On approving the €2 million settlement for hit and run incident compensation, which was proposed by the MIBI, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said that Paul will be made a ward of the court.
Posted: January 25th, 2011
Three young siblings have been awarded a combined €56,000 for their whiplash injury claim after the car in which they were travelling with their mother was rear-ended in January 2007. The children had suffered recurrent and protracted symptoms and have had to visit their GP and a specialist, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard during the claim, which was brought by the children’s father Thomas Hopkins on their behalf.
Rachel Hopkins (9) and her brothers Daniel (10) and Thomas (7) from Broadford, Co Kildare were hurt when their mother’s car was rear-ended by Monica Carey from Lucan, Co Dublin. Daniel and Thomas received awards of €20,000 each as their injuries are thought to be more problematic than Rachael’s, who received €16,000.
The children’s awards will be paid into court funds where they will remain until the they reach eighteen years of age.
Posted: December 2nd, 2010
A 26-year-old man from Waterford has been awarded £3 million in car crash compensation by a court in Belfast after he sustained catastrophic injuries while asleep in the back of a friend’s car in Scotland. Owen Griffen pursued his claim against the driver of the car in which he was travelling after the head-on collision with a motorbike.
Griffen, who was asleep and seat-belted in the back of the car when the accident occurred, was left comatose and with brain injuries. He has been living with assistance from carers since February 2007.
Two others died in the accident.
Griffen’s claim was heard in a Belfast court as the driver against who he pursued compensation is from Omagh, County Tyrone.
Posted: July 2nd, 2010
The family of a Filipino nurse who was killed in a road accident involving a bus have received a settlement of €575,000 in the High Court. Maria Verdida (52) was killed when she was knocked down by a Dublin Bus in October 2003. The claim for compensation for Maria’s wrongful death was pursued by her husband Resituto, who has since moved back to the Philippines.
Dublin Bus admitted liability for Maria’s death, despite the fact that the bus driver Frank Turner from Crumlin said that he was travelling at a safe speed. Turner said that he did not see Maria because of he was temporarily blinded by strong sunlight on his windscreen.
Turner apologised to Maria’s family and was given a €500 fine and a six-month suspended sentence.
There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the accident.
Posted: June 14th, 2010
The family of a 42-year-old mother of nine children who was killed in a collision with a drunk driver have been awarded €506,000 in road accident claims compensation by a judge at the High Court. The family of Bridget O’Reilly from Ballybeg, County Waterford, which includes a three-year-old child, pursued the claim against Frank Prendergast – the drunk driver – and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.
O’Reilly died in hospital a few weeks after the crash, which occurred in Powerstown, County Carlow in 2002. The claim was taken by her husband, Edward O’Reilly. O’Reilly’s sister, who has her own large family, has been helping Edward to take care of the children since he lost his wife.
The court heard how Prendergast was travelling at speed prior to the crash, and crossed into the lane on the other side of the road before colliding with her car.
Posted: May 22nd, 2010
Twelve Irish road traffic organisations have signed the European Road Safety Charter, which aims to reduce the number of road traffic accidents in Europe through improvements in vehicular safety and driver behaviour, and through added emphasis on road infrastructure safety. The charter was signed in Dublin on Wednesday.
It is estimated that the 1.3 million road accidents in the European Union in 2008 led to 1.6 million injuries and 39,000 road deaths, costing the Union around 2% of its annual Gross Domestic Product.
The twelve new Irish signatories are Cavan Area Rural Transport, Dun Laoighaire – Rathdown Couty Council, Community Transport Association of Ireland, ECO Unesco, Irish Medical Organisation, Headway Ireland, Irish Road Haulage Association, Shell, Metroplex Ireland, Vantastic, The Irish Insurance Federation and World Rally Team Ireland.
Posted: March 28th, 2010
Twenty-five-year-old Claire Noone has been awarded €4.35 million in car crash compensation by the High Court for injuries she sustained in a collision near Enfield, County Meath in November 2005. Noone suffered severe lower back injuries which mean that she can now only walk short distances without feeling pain. Her boyfriend, John Larkin died in the crash.
The accident occurred when the car in which Claire and her boyfriend were traveling was hit by another vehicle, which just prior to crashing into the couple’s vehicle.
As Noone was ejected from the car on impact questions were raised about whether or not she was wearing a seatbelt at the time, and therefore if contributory negligence would be a factor.
In court, Mr Justice John Quirke expressed his disappointment that car crash compensation claims in Ireland can only be paid in lump sums and not through instalments; he described the system as a “lottery situation”.
Posted: February 28th, 2010
A four-year-old boy has been awarded €2.9 million in car crash injury compensation after being rendered blind and suffering brain damage while traveling in a car driven by his mother, who was uninsured at the time. Ben McHale’s claim was taken on his behalf by his uncle William McHale, against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland.
Ben, from Clonmel in Tipperary, had his settlement approved by Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court.