Personal Injury Accidents
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: December 4th, 2018
Luas and Irish Rail management have revealed, in response to separate Freedom of Information requests, that over 110 incidents of tram and train surfing have been recorded on the routes that they provided in and around Dublin since 2014.
This train/tram surfing activity refers to a person that holds onto the outside of a carriage as it departs a station. The activity came to public attention in October 2018 when 20-year-old Rebecca Kelly was awarded €550,000 in personal injury compensation due to sustaining major brain injuries in a fall from a Luas carriage. She was clinging onto Luas when the accident took place.
Recently, the response to a Freedom of Information request made public the fact that in excess of 35 cases of tram surfing have been registered on Luas services in the last three years.
“Tram surfing can be fatal. We have had a very small number of incidents of people trying to ‘scut’ and all staff are trained to be vigilant, observe and report. The public have reported [cases] too. Any activity or even potential concern that is reported – trams will be stopped, security and or gardai called. The risk of serious injury is very high. We show CCTV of various incidents that have occurred along the lines. The purpose is to request parents know where their kids are and if they are on the lines, they’re aware just how dangerous their playground might be” Transdev Representative Ms Dervla Brophy said in a statement released following the Freedom of Information request.
In another Freedom of Information response Irish Rail revealed that 87 occurences of train surfing have been recorded in the last two years. Since 2015 twelve train surfing incidents took place on the Northern commuter route between Dublin and Dundalk. Every one of the officially recorded incidents took place on the routes operated by the Dart.
“On board staff, station staff and security personnel are vigilant in ensuring we respond with security or garda support. Extra security patrols this year are yielding a reduction in the number of incidents”, Irish Rail spokesperson Barry Kenny stated commenting on the revelations.
Posted: October 25th, 2018
€30,000 personal injury compensation has been awarded to a woman after she allegedly sustained first-degree burns during a laser treatment on her face.
Ms Jolanta Skaudvilaite, with an address at Pine Grove, Athlumney Wood, Navan, Co Meath told the High Court that she was absent from work for 10 days of work due to the injuries she suffered during a laser treatment on her cheeks at a beauty salon. The 37-year-old female took the hair salon compensation action against Alchemy Beauty, Trimgate Street, Navan.
Ms Skaudvilaite claimed that she suffered the injuries during the treatment that was being at the Alchemy clinic on July 21, 2011 when she was exposed to a laser treatment that was liable to cause burns. She told the High Court that there was a failure to ensure that the workings of the equipment being used for her treatment was adequate. Along with this she claimed the standard of laser and/or beauty treatment was not in line with common acceptable practice. Alchemy Beauty denied the claims of Ms Skaudvilaite.
Ms Skaudvilaite, a retail assistant, told Justice Kevin Cross that following the treatment her cheeks were sore and she contacted the beauty salon to advise the staff. She said they were surprised that she was feeling pain, something that indicated to her that everything was not in order. She attended a local doctor who prescribed a course of antibiotics. Once she began taking the prescribed medication her cheeks slowly healed over time.
Ms Skaudvilaite also told the High Court that she suffered from a considerable amount of trauma during the incident and was given tranquilisers. While her cheeks had are no longer constantly sore, they can still be quite sensitive on occasion.
A medical report provided by a specialist plastic surgeon said there had been small but significant changes to the colour in Ms Skaudvilaite’s right cheek and she had been told that she must to use sunblock when outdoors to prevent any further damage from being sustained.
Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in awarding the beauty salon injury compensation, said a report from Ms Skaudvilaite’s doctor stated that she was suffered from major upset and remained aware of the burns at all times. Justice Cross said that he believed she had told the truth in relation the injuries and trauma she suffered.
Posted: August 3rd, 2018
The Labour Court has ordered Kepak Convenience Foods Unlimited Co to pay former Business Development Executive, Gráinne O’Hara, €7,500 over continued breaches of the Organisation of Working Time as she was required to deal with out-of-hours work emails, including some after midnight. This led to additional work of over 48 hours a week on a number of occasions.
Ms O’Hara’s contract of employment with the Kepak firm required her to work 40 hours per week. She claimed that she worked close to 60 hours a week. To back up her argument, Ms O’Hara submitted copies of emails that she sent to and/or received from her employers both earlier that her normal start time and later than normal finish time on multiple time when she was employed there.
Along with this, Ms O’Hara submitted that emails that were sent to her employers and responses that were received from her employer prior to 8am. Ms O’Hara told the court she was not provided with a copy of all of her emails by her former company.
Ms O’Hara worked with the Kepak firm at its Blanchardstown facility in Dublin from July 2016 until April 14th 2017.
Kepak firm responded to the claims stating that that the level of work carried out by Ms O’Hara was normal for their staff members, none of whom work longer that the 48 hour weekly maximum set out in legislation.
In its final report the Labour Court acknowledged that Kepak did not provide a complete file of Ms O’Hara’s emails and gave no proof to contradict her evidence in relation to this.
The court ruled that Kepak firm breached the Organisation of Working Time Act by allowing Ms O’Hara to work over 48 hours a week and that Ms O’Hara’s complaint had a firm basis.
Ms O’Hara was appealing the quantum of an Adjudication Officer’s ruling that she be given a work injury compensation award of €6,240. She (Ms O’Hara) claimed that the Adjudication Officer did not award her an adequate amount of compensation “for the systemic nature of the breaches of the Act involved in the case”. The Labour Court increased the Adjudication Officer’s award by 20% to €7,500.
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: 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: March 13th, 2018
A driver is seeking van driver accident compensation in the High Court as he claims to have he hurt his back when a mattress he was delivering carried him for 12 feet before throwing him to the ground after it was taken by a gust of wind
The van driver, 54-year-old Mr Declan Homan, stated that was bringing the 4 foot 6 inch mattress to an apartment on his final delivery on December 13 2011 when the accident happened. Three days after the incident he said that he to leave work due to pain and has not been able to work since then. Due to this he has included a claim of €400,000 to compensate for loss of earning since then and in the future.
Mr Homan, Island Lodge, Walsh Island, Co Offaly, has sued Etmar Ltd, with offices at Glen Easton Point, Leixlip, Co Kildare, due to the outcome of the incident that occurred on December 13, 2011. One of Mr Homan’s brothers is a director of Etmar.
Kevin was doing deliveries with another one of his brothers in the Sandyford Industrial Estate in Dublin when he fell from a height of five feet, about twelve feet away from the truck.
Additionally, he has claimed that he was not provided with the required safety equipment such as a safety harness. Due to the injurie Mr Homan alleges that he began to suffer back pain immediately and still he has constant pain that is exacerbated by any degree of activity.
Etmar Ltd are denying these claims.
Mr Homan told Mr Justice Kevin Cross he went to work the next day and attended a doctor three days after the accident occurred.
Legal Representatives for Etmar, while cross examining Mr Homan, put it to him that the extent of his injuries and the consequences were a “gross exaggeration” to which Mr Homan replied: “I disagree with you.”
Counsel suggested to him the mattress incident was not foreseeable by his employer as it was caused by a gust of wind and, additionally, that he (Mr Homan) had not complained it was too windy to do the job. Mr Homan replied there was no point as he would have been told carry on regardless.
The case before Mr Justice Kevin Cross continues.
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: 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: September 26th, 2016
After many years of criticism, a new Book of Quantum will be published in Ireland with updated estimates of compensation settlements.
First published back in 2004, the Book of Quantum is a reference text used by solicitors, insurance companies and judges alike to settle claims for personal injury compensation when the victim of the accident was not at fault. It contains an extensive list of injuries and provides estimates as to how much compensation should be awarded in each instance, accounting for the severity of the injury and the long-term effects it will have on the victim’s health.
Yet the book has not been altered in twelve years, and as such many are dissatisfied with the estimates provided. Some solicitors and judges have stopped referencing the book when settling claims, whilst more still will continue to use the publication and only award the highest settlement. These different approaches to the issue have resulted in inconsistencies in how much compensation victims receive.
In an effort to tackle this problem, many of Ireland’s senior judges, along with the Courts Services and the Injuries Board began to write a new Book of Quantum. The new Book of Quantum uses data collected on over 52,000 personal injuries claims made in Ireland between 2013 and 2014. As such, the book is hoped to reflect current affairs.
Amongst other changes, the estimates were altered from the original to account for inflation over the last twelve years and changes in the cost of living. Additionally, more subcategories were introduced to facilitate fair and accurate compensation settlements.
Those hoping to recover compensation for injuries they sustained through accidents that were not their fault should consult a personal injuries solicitor as soon as possible after the accident occurred. The Book of Quantum only considers physical injuries, but it is also possible to claim for compensation if you have suffered a negative impact on your quality of life, emotional trauma or financial loss. A solicitor will help you through the complicated legal processes and work with you to recover a fair settlement.
Posted: August 21st, 2016
A judge in Dublin’s High Court has dismissed any allegations that a courier, who was injured when knocked down by a taxi whilst on a delivery, was at fault for his injury.
The courier, Rotimi Omotayo, was injured in March 2015 when delivery to a location off the Custom House Quay. Rotimi was cycling between lanes when a taxi, driven by Kenneth Griffin, quickly pulled out from a lane on the carriageway. Rotimi was hit by the taxi and fell to the ground.
Rotimi was incredibly fortunate in that he did not sustain any sever injuries as a result of the fall, and he returned to work relatively quickly after the accident occurred. Upon making an application for assessment to the Injuries Board, Rotimi learned that he was being accused of negligence leading to his own injuries. As such, the Injuries Board refused to assess his case. The courier was still issued with authorisation to pursue his claim through the High Court, where it was overseen by Mr Justice Bernard Barton earlier this month.
The court heard evidence from a variety of witnesses supporting both opposing parties. Before awarding compensation, the court needed to assess whether or not Rotimi was guilty of contributory negligence by breaching Road Traffic Regulations.
However, Judge Barton ruled that Rotimi was not breaching regulations. As he was crossing to the “river side” of the quay, he was entitled to be in the outside lane before turning. All allegations of contributory negligence were dismissed.
Judge Barton also commented on a contemporary issue in the courts when he said that he would not use the Book of Quantum in determining the settlement as it was “hopelessly out of date and of little assistance”.
Instead, the principles of Tort Law was applied and Rotimi was awarded €30,000 in general damages for his injuries. The courier did not receive any special damages as Judge Barton ruled that the claim lacked evidence, though Rotimi was compensated for his legal costs.
Posted: June 16th, 2016
The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations has recently stated that the Irish government should compensate a woman for the ordeal she endured to access an abortion, as well as calling for reform of the restrictive laws.
These criticisms come in spite of changes to the Eighth Amendment – which protects the right to life of the unborn – that were introduced in 2013. Under the new regulations, women may access terminations if it can be shown that their health is put at risk by the pregnancy. However, this applies to a limited number of cases and there are still many instances in which terminations are illegal. These include fatal foetal abnormalities and pregnancies that result from rape or incest.
With such restrictive laws, many Irish women will choose to travel abroad for treatment. Amanda Mellet was once such woman – at twenty-one weeks, she learned that her foetus had abnormalities that would inevitable lead to a miscarriage or death shortly after birth. Amanda did not want to endure either scenario, and travelled to the United Kingdom – a common destination for those in similar situations – for treatment.
Amanda has since testified that her experience was traumatic and upsetting. The regulations meant that it was hard to access information on the procedure before she left, and it prevented her from seeking bereavement counselling upon her return. Amanda then decided to start “Termination for Medical Reasons”, an campaign that fights for changes to Irish law. The organisation has even gone to the UN Human Rights Committee, arguing that claims that the current laws are cruel, discriminatory, inhuman and degrading.
The Human Rights Committee ruled in Amanda’s favour, finding that the current laws put Amanda’s health and wellbeing at risk.The committee called for the a settlement of compensation to be paid to Amanda, as she underwent necessary financial and emotional suffering because of the government’s failure to provide terminations “in the familiar environment of her own country and under the care of health professionals whom she knew and trusted.”
The United Nations went further in their criticisms of the State, saying that the government should consider revising the Eighth Amendment to allow “effective, timely and accessible procedures for pregnancy termination in Ireland, and take measures to ensure that healthcare providers are in a position to supply full information on safe abortion services without fearing being subjected to criminal sanctions.”