Road Traffic Accidents
Posted: June 11th, 2021
At the High Court a 22-year-old woman has settled her legal action, taken due to he traumatic brain injury she sustained when a car her father was driving her in crashed, for €15m.
The female in question, Monika Kazinska, was aged 12 when the accident occurred two days before Christmas in 2011. She was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car and they had just taken her friend home following a sleepover. In a court case held in 2011 her father, Marcin Rafal Kazinski of River Glen , Cappoquinn, Co Waterford pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm and damage. A breath sample taken following the accident indicated that Mr Kazinski was just over three times above the legal limit. He informed that Court that he had not consumed alcohol on the day of the accident but had drunk heavily the previous evening. The accident took place at 12.30pm on December 23rd, 2011.
Monika Kazinska, River Glen, Cappoquin, County Waterford took the car crash injury compensation action via her mother Marzena Kazinska sued in the High Court her father Marcin Rafal Kazinski of the same address who was the driver of the car in which she was travelling on December 23rd, 2011 near Cappoquin, which crashed into a different vehicle.
After being found guilty of the offences Mr Kazinski received a four-year suspended sentence along with hours community service and a 10-year driving disqualification – this was reduced to three years on appeal.
The court was told by Monika’s legal representatives that she sustained horrific head injuries as a result of the road traffic accident. Counsel said: “This is an extremely sad case. It involved catastrophic injuries to Monika who was travelling as a passenger in a car driven by her father, who is the defendant in the case”.
The car that Moika was travelling in crashed into a truck on the opposite side of the road. The Court was informed that there was a failure to stop, swerve, slow down or in any other way to avoid the incident by using the brakes in sufficient time or with sufficient force. After the accident Momika was taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. She spent two weeks in the intensive care unit after being intubated and ventilated and was then moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in July 2012. She is now confined to a wheelchair.
Following the defence team arguing that there was an element of alleged contributory negligence to be considered on the part of the young girl as she was not wearing a seatbelt, the court ruled that there was a duty of care on the father to ensure that his daughter was wearing her seatbelt.
As she was giving her approval to to the €15m road traffic accident compensation settlement, President of the High Court Justice Mary Irvine commented that she hopes that this settlement will provide Monika with the life and dignity she is entitled to.
Posted: April 10th, 2020
A PTSD compensation award of €87,000 has been awarded to a person who arrived at a horrific road traffic accident scene where she viewed the partly decapitated body of a motorist involved in a bus crash.
The woman in question, Lisa Sheehan, now suffers from moderately severe PTSD and had to give up her hairdressing job two years after the accident took place as she felt unable to maintain the position. Mr Justice David Keane awarded her €87,238 compensation in relation her suffering as a result of the incident. The 36-year-old married mother of two, who lives at Banteer in north Cork, took the personal injury compensation case against Bus Éireann and FBD insurance which provided insurance cover for the deceased motorist.
Ms Sheehan informed the presiding judge that she still has nightmares and flashbacks, her condition placed great strain on her relationships and she must attend counselling and medication sessions for the sake of her mental health. She told the court that this suffering was caused due to the negligent operation or control of both the bus and the car. Bus Éireann did not accept the negligence claims while FBD admitted the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased car driver.
Both defendants informed the judge that they were of the opinion that Ms Sheehan’s psychiatric injuries did not give rise to any cause of action recognised by the law and they did not owe her a duty of care in relation to her suffering.
When the accident took place on January 28, 2017, Ms Sheehan was driving home from work in Cork city, having finished her work shift for the day. As she was nearing Mallow her car struck some debris and she came to a complete halt. She noticed the damaged bus and the severely damaged car which had hit it not far away. When she examined the scene more closely car she discovered “a badly disfigured and partly decapitated body”.
She contacted the emergency services and started to examine the the surrounding area for others who might have been involved in the accident. She eventually located the bus driver whose face was covered in blood.
The judge, referring to the legal arguments that the defendants were making, said that it was his opinion that the law on primary/secondary victims is far from settled in this jurisdiction. He continued, while in his view nothing turned on that division in this case, he was happy that Ms Sheehan was a primary victim as her car had been struck by debris from the road traffic accident.
Posted: November 25th, 2019
€15,000 road traffic accident compensation has been awarded to a model and personal trainer due to a shoulder injury she suffered when a cherry picker van reversed into her Audi car close to the famous Five Lamps in Dublin.
Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court praised Ms Zoe Whelan for having made an early disclosure to the defendant that she had previously settled two compensation actions for €12,500 each.
Judge Linnane said stated: “All medical reports were fully furnished in relation to Ms Whelan’s previous accidents before this case came to court. There is no question of anything having been concealed from the defence and I want to make that very clear.”
Legal representative in court for Ms Whelan, barrister John Nolan, was advised by Judge Linnane that the court had found her testimony in relation to the December 2017 accident far more compelling than that given by the two witnesses appearing on behalf of Electsol Services Limited. The testimony given by these witnesses stated that Ms Whelan had driven at speed into the back of its cherry picker van which was being operated in the repair of street lamps in Dunne Street, Dublin.
Ms Whelan (25), with an address at Newbury Park, Clonshaugh, Dublin, told the court she had stopped to the rear of the Cherrypicker in question. The cherry picker had been partly blocking the street and was shocked when she saw its reverse lights come on as it shifted back backwards towards her. She added that there was nothing else she could do when she saw the reversing lights.
Ms Whelan stated: “I was screaming and pumping the horn but it kept coming and crashed into the front of my car. My right arm was fully extended and firmly on the steering wheel as I pumped the horn with my left hand. When it struck my car my arm was pushed back, injuring my right shoulder.”
In what Judge Linnane referred to as a vigorous cross-examination by defence counsel, Ms Whelan told the court she did not fabricate the events, denying defence allegations that it was her who had driven into the back of the cherry picker.
Tony Doyle, the driver of the cherry picker told Mr Nolan the reverse lights would have come on when he had put the vehicle into reverse gear but he had not moved it as he did not have an interior rear mirror. He said that he had been awaiting hand signals from Mr Leavy. When there had been no signals he had got out and saw there had been an impact with ms Whelan’s car.
Judge Linnane said Ms Whelan had informed the court her shoulders were injured in both of the two previous accidents mentioned and the court accepted the December 2017 incident would not have helped the earlier injuries she sustained.
Posted: October 22nd, 2019
A High Court personal injury compensation action has been settled for €65,000 in favour of a young boy who injured his lip when he fell off his bike after the front wheel allegedly hit a pothole.
On July 14 2011 the then eight-year-old Malcolm Akpaka allegedly fell from his bicycle when his front wheel hit the deep pothole which was one foot deep at Cruise Park Close in Tyrrelstown, Dublin
Mr Justice Garret Simons fell off his bicycle and suffered a deep laceration to his upper lip. The court was told that the pothole in question was around one-foot deep. Following the accident he was taken to hospital to receive medical attention. There Malcolm was administered with stitches to his lip. As a result of the accident and fall from his bicycle the now -16-year-old youth has been left with a scar.
Malcolm Akpaka, with and address at Cruise Park Drive, Tyrrelstown, Dublin took the personal injury compensation action against Fisher Property Management Ltd, Main Street, Ongar, Dublin and Tyrrelstown No 8 Management Company Ltd care of Fisher Property Management, which were charged with maintaining the condition of the roads and areas of the estate common area. he also sued Earthwood Ltd, The Plaza, Tyrrelstown, Dublin, the company who were contracted to construct the roads in the estate where the accident in question occurred.
The accident took place on a piece of roadway which featured a cobblelock footway. The court was told that the pothole had appear in the area between the cobblelock and the tarmacadam. Creating the potential for a dangerous accident.
The presiding judge was informed that all three defendants refuted the allegations that were made against them were contesting the issue of liability in relation to the accident.
Due to this, Mr Justice Simons said he was satisfied to make an order ruling the settlement, without an admission of liability.
Posted: June 29th, 2019
Kieran Brennan, Dublin, has been awarded just under €40,000 car accident compensation at the Circuit Civil Court to a traffic accident that took place on the M50 as he was travelling to his place work on December 21 2015
The Circuit Civil Court was told that Mr Brennan, who has an address at Monastery Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, had brought his vehicle to a halt at the Northwood exit when he was hit from behind by a car owned and driven by Dylan Duffy.
Fiona Pekaar, Barrister for Mr Brennan, told the court that Kieran had experienced shoulder and neck pain following the accident but this had soon improved. Mr Brennan said still experiences constant lower back pain that has prevented him from conducting the same active lifestyle he had previously, including being unable to train for and enter a comparable amount of marathon running and soccer matches as he had before the accident occurred.
Medical evidence was presented in court to show that Brennan had suffered from a pre-accident degenerative condition. However Judge Groarke said that he believed that this condition had not been an issue before the accident happened and he was of the opinion that it had been caused by the M50 incident.
In his ruling, the Judge said that Mr Brennan had been suffering from a bulging disk in his back and although most medical reports had indicated this had not been caused by the accident, he could not disregard the report. He said that it had clearly been one of the results of the accident.
Legal representatives for Mr Duffy referred to the fact that Mr Brennan had taken part in the ‘Hell and Back’ obstacle course in Bray, Co Wicklow in October 2016. Hell and Back is an assault course involving various activities and obstacles to be overcome. However, Judge Groarke said Mr Brennan still trains for and takes part in some marathons and also plays soccer once a week, adding that he did not believe his level of physical activity was at the same level as it had been before the accident took place.
Judge Groarke awarded Mr Brennan car accident compensation of €35,000 and special damages of €4,424.82 against Mr Dylan Duffy.
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: December 5th, 2016
A judge at the Limerick Circuit Court has awarded a plaintiff €10,000 compensation for exacerbating whiplash symptoms sustained in previous accidents.
In March 2015, the plaintiff – – a thirty-eight year old father of two from Rhebogue in County Limerick – was waiting at a junction by the Thomond Bridge in Limerick when his employer´s work van was struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver. While the plaintiff was reporting the accident to his employer, the negligent driver sped off – hitting the wall in his rush to leave the scene of the accident.
The plaintiff attended his GP´s surgery the following day complaining of aggravating existing neck, shoulder and lower back injuries – injuries he had sustained in several previous road traffic accidents. He also complained of suffering psychological problems as a result of the accident, and is receiving injections to manage his physical injuries.
When the negligent driver responsible for causing the accident had been located, the plaintiff claimed compensation for exacerbating whiplash injuries. However, the negligent driver´s insurance company refused to give its consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment, and the plaintiff was given an authorisation to claim compensation for exacerbating whiplash injuries through the court system.
The case was heard last week at Limerick Circuit Court, where legal representatives for Liberty Insurance – the negligent driver´s insurance company – told Judge James O´Donohue that the plaintiff had made many similar claims in the past. The representatives read out a long list of previous successful injury compensation claims stretching back almost twenty years – including five in which a road traffic accident had exacerbated previous whiplash symptoms.
The judge was also told that the plaintiff was receiving disability benefits for his existing injuries, and was only allowed to work a certain number of hours each week. Commenting that the plaintiff had been “well compensated in the past”, Judge O´Donohue awarded him €10,000 compensation for exacerbating whiplash symptoms and his costs – describing the plaintiff as a “very unfortunate injury prone individual”.
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: January 14th, 2014
The Road Safety Authority has warned of the risk of fatal and serious injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt in its provisional annual report.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has released provisional figures in relation to road accidents in Ireland in 2013, which show an increase in the number of fatal collision and fatal injuries for the first time since 2005.
According to reports made by An Garda Siochána, there were 181 fatal collisions (152 in 2012) resulting in 190 fatal injuries (162 in 2012) during the year ended 31st December 2013.
Drivers (95) and their passengers (32) accounted for two-thirds of the citizens killed on Irish roads in 2013, with the remainder made up by “vulnerable road users” – pedestrians (31), motorcyclists (27) and pedal cyclists (5).
The RSA identified that many fatal and serious injuries were due to not wearing a seatbelt; claiming that 38% of car user fatalities (in which An Garda Siochána could determine whether the victim(s) had been wearing a seatbelt) could have been avoided if the victim had been secured in the vehicle.
The report highlighted other factors which could have contributed to the increased number of fatal road accidents in 2013 – for example, more motorcyclists were on the roads during the warm summer, leading to a spike in motorcycle accidents.
However, the provisional figures also suggest that there was a decrease in casualties caused by speeding, and showed a decline in fatal accidents involving young drivers in the 21-25 years age group.
The conclusion of the report says that the RSA should allocate more resources to educate both drivers and passengers on the risk of serious injuries due to not wearing a seatbelt.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: November 23rd, 2009
Two Buffalo Department of Street Sanitation workers have been awarded $3.25m for injuries they sustained during a collision in which their rubbish lorry was impacted by a commercial vehicle which had broken a red light.
The workers, who were performing sanitation duties at the time of their accident, required extensive treatment following the crash: both required spinal fusion surgery to address injuries sustained for back, knee, neck and head injuries.
The award was made after an eighteen month Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) failed to produce an agreement and it became clear that the claim would go to court.