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Car Injury Claims

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Car injury claims are the most common type of personal injury claims in Ireland. You will find information and various news items relating to this subject below.

Car injury claims are usually resolved in one of three ways. By negotiation with the negligent driver´s car insurance company, through the Injuries Board, or – when liability or the amount of car injury compensation to be paid is disputed – through the court system.

In order to ensure that you receive a fair and appropriate settlement of your claim for an injury in a car accident, negotiations with insurance companies should always be conducted via a solicitor. Car insurance companies are keen to settle car injury claims as cheaply as possible, with no regard for the level of injury a plaintiff has suffered.

You should also engage the services of a solicitor to help with your application for assessment to the Injuries Board. The Injuries Board can only assess car injury compensation claims on the information provided to it, so it essential that the information is accurate and reflects the full consequences of your accident.

Car injury claims only proceed to court when there is no agreement over liability or how much compensation for injuries in a car accident should be paid. Court hearings of car injury claims are a last resort, and your solicitor will only use this course of action when all other mechanisms for settling your claim have failed.

How Are Settlements of Car Injury Claims Calculated?

The settlement of car injury claims takes into account four potential factors:

  • The degree and permanence of a physical injury.
  • The degree and permanence of a psychological injury.
  • The impact of the injury to the plaintiff´s quality of life.
  • The financial implications of the injury.

 

How much compensation you may be likely to receive for physical injuries sustained in a car accident is governed by the “Book of Quantum” – a publication that lists various types of physical injury and assigns them a financial value according the degree of injury and its permanence.

Compensation for quantifiable psychological injuries such as a loss of confidence or PTSD will be determined according to case history. This factor is often overlooked in the settlement of car injury claims, but something your solicitor will consider if applicable.

Any deterioration in your quality of life due to an injury in a car accident is known as a “loss of amenity”. You can claim compensation for your loss of amenity if your injury prevents you from pursuing activities that would be part of your normal daily life or regular social life.

Compensation for the financial implications of your injury is frequently referred to as “special damages”. Special damages are intended to return your financial position to what it would have been had the car accident not occurred, and includes elements such as loss of earnings, medical costs and travel expenses while you are unable to drive.

Making Car Injury Claims on Behalf of Children

Children and female passengers generally suffer more serious injuries in car accidents because of their weaker physical frames, and because car drivers are more aware of their surroundings and often have a split second to brace prior to impact with another vehicle or hazard.

Injured passengers over the age of eighteen are entitled to make car injury claims on their own behalf; however children must be represented by a parent or guardian acting as a “next friend”. “Next friends” are appointed by a court, once it has been ascertained that there is no conflict of interest – for example, a father cannot represent his son if the father was the party responsible for causing the accident.

Thereafter, the “next friend” makes decisions on behalf of the child when dealing with a solicitor, an insurance company or the Injuries Board. Once a settlement of car injury compensation is agreed, the settlement must be approved by a court to ensure it is in the child´s best interests, before being paid into court funds until the child is eighteen years of age.

Unlike car injury claims made by adults, there is no two-year limit on when a claim for car accident injury compensation can be made on behalf of a child. However, it is often advisable to seek professional legal advice about making car injury claims on behalf of children at the first practical opportunity in order that evidence can be collated to support the claim while it is still recent.

Consult a Solicitor about Car Injury Claims

While we strive to ensure all the articles on this site are factually accurate you should never solely rely on the information supplied here. Every case is different and, while reading one of our articles can provide you with general information, you should always get expert advice and consult a solicitor before taking any action that may have legal consequences.

For this reason we provide a confidential 24-hour helpline through which you can talk with a highly experienced and specialised personal injury solicitor. The solicitor will ask about the circumstances of your accident and the injuries you sustained, and answer any questions you may have about your right to make car injury claims.

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Judge Upholds Settlement of Car Crash Compensation Claims

A judge has upheld the settlement of seven car crash compensation claims and dismissed allegations by a car hire company that the crash was fabricated. In June 2011, three passengers in a hired Ford Fiesta and four occupants of a Peugeot 406 were injured when the two cars were involved in a car crash on a roundabout in Lifford, County Donegal. The injured parties made car crash compensation claims against the driver of the Ford Fiesta and the car hire company from which the car had been rented – Ryans Investments NI Ltd, trading as Hertz Rent-a-Car In 2015, the injured parties were awarded compensation of between €5,050 and €9,550 in settlement of their car crash compensation claims in Buncrana Circuit Court. However, the car hire company appealed the award – alleging the car crash had been fabricated and the injured parties had exaggerated their injuries. The appeal hearing was heard at the High Court in July before Mr Justice Charles Meenan. At the appeal hearing, the court was told that the driver of the hired Ford Fiesta had been overheard calling the driver of the Peugeot 406 when he had returned the vehicle to Hertz´s office in Derry. The call apparently had been made to get the details of the Peugeot 406, but the friendly nature of the negligent driver´s salutation aroused the suspicions of the car hire company. The court heard the injured parties and the negligent driver were known to each other through their association with the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies, and it was this association that strengthened the car hire company´s suspicions of a set up. The injured parties acknowledged they knew each other, but called the allegations of fraudulently making car crash compensation claims outrageous. Judge Meenan closed the appeal hearing by saying he would reserve judgement until October, but earlier than expected he announced his verdict this week – finding in favour of the injured parties and upholding the settlements of their car crash compensation claims. The judge said there was insufficient evidence to prove the accident had been set up or that the injured parties had exaggerated the extent of their injuries.

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Defective Car Injury Claims Settled in Court

Two defective car injury claims have been settled in the Circuit Civil Court after the car bought by one of the plaintiffs was found to be unfit for purpose. In November 2013, the two plaintiffs and three other family members were travelling from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition. On their journey along the M1 at a speed of around 80kmph, the sun roof of the car they were travelling in blew off. Alarmed at the sudden noise, the driver of the car – one of the plaintiffs – hit the brakes hard and pulled over onto the hard shoulder. The braking action caused the driver, her 72-year-old mother, and the three other family members to suffer whiplash style injuries due to the sudden deceleration of the vehicle. The driver´s mother – the second plaintiff at yesterday´s hearing – suffered a compression fracture in one of the vertebrae of her lower back. Two children also travelling in the car were unharmed. After receiving treatment for their injuries, the mother and daughter both made defective car injury claims via the Injuries Board against the dealership from whom the car had been purchased just four months earlier. They alleged in their legal action the car had not been fit for purpose, of merchantable quality nor free from defects at the time it had been purchased. The car dealership denied liability for the plaintiffs´ injuries and withheld its consent for the Injuries Board to assess the defective car injury claims. The Injuries Board issued the plaintiffs with an Authorisation to pursue their defective car injury claims in court. The case was heard yesterday by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told an independent motor assessor had found corrosion around the remaining frame of the sun roof that would have been present on the vehicle at the time it was sold.  The corrosion, the assessor testified, led to the sun roof blowing off and was a situation that could have been avoided if there had been an adequate pre-sale inspection by the dealership. Following the assessor´s testimony, a representative of the dealership acknowledged the company was at fault – leaving Judge Groarke to rule on how much each of the defective car injury claims should be settled for. As the driver plaintiff had recovered from her injuries quickly, she was awarded €12,500 compensation. Her mother was awarded €25,000. The defective car injury claims of the three other passengers will be heard at a later date.

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Damages in Claim for Bicycle Courier Accident Compensation Determined at Hearing

The value of a claim for bicycle courier accident compensation, made against a Dublin taxi driver, has been determined at a hearing of the High Court. In March 2015, bicycle courier Rotimi Omotayo was knocked from his bike when a Dublin taxi driver by Kenneth Griffin pulled out of stationary traffic on Custom House Quay. Fortunately Rotimi suffered relatively minor injuries, but alleged in his subsequent claim for bicycle accident compensation that he had lost three months of earnings because of his injuries. The taxi driver´s insurance company disputed the amount of compensation being claimed, and also alleged that Rotimi had contributed to the cause of the accident by cycling along the hatched markings between the two carriageways. Unable to conduct an assessment, the Injuries Board gave Rotimi an Authorisation to take his claim for bicycle courier accident compensation to court. The hearing took place recently at the High Court, where Mr Justice Bernard Barton heard experts from both parties give their account of how the accident happened. He concluded that Mr Griffin´s account was closer to the actual events, as expert witnesses described how the only damage done to the taxi was a broken wing mirror. However, Judge Barton ruled that, as Rotimi was about to turn right from the Eastbound carriageway, he was entitled to be cycling in, or close to, the hatched markings between the two carriageways. The judge added that Mr Griffin had failed to keep a proper lookout before executing his manoeuvre and, as such, was fully liable for causing the accident. The judge awarded Rotimi €30,000 general damages in settlement of his claim for bicycle courier accident compensation, but said there was insufficient evidence before the court to justify his claim for loss of earnings. Other items of special damages that had been “properly vouched and agreed” were allowed, including Rotimi´s legal costs.

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Injury Claim for a Car Crash in Antrim Resolved at High Court

A passenger´s injury claim for a car crash in Antrim has been resolved following a hearing at the High Court in Belfast and an award of £464,655 compensation. In July 2012, 29-year-old Rosie Sands was a passenger in a friend´s car travelling along the A57 near Doagh in County Antrim, when the car was involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming jeep and trailer driven by Stephen Hamilton. Rosie´s friend – 21-year-old Michelle Hulford – was tragically killed in the accident, and the driver of the car and two further passengers were also injured. Rosie from Exmouth in Devon was taken to hospital with injuries to her back, abdomen and shoulder. Rosie returned to Exmouth on her release from hospital, but suffered from flashbacks and nightmares that prevented her from completing her honours degree at Bath Spa University and competing in the British Sailing Championships. She was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and, after seeking legal advice, Rosie made an injury claim for the car crash in Antrim – seeking compensation for her personal injuries, her loss of earnings and the cost of her care and treatment. The driver of the jeep admitted liability for causing the accident, and the injury claim for a car crash in Antrim proceeded to the High Court in Belfast for the assessment of damages, where it was heard by Mr Justice Adrian Colton. At the hearing, Judge Colton heard how Rosie´s life had changed “irrevocably” due to the accident. Formerly a Gold Standard sailor, Rosie´s injuries now prevent her from competing competitively. She has also had to abandon a planned career in the RAF or Navy. Judge Colton said that the evidence Rosie had given in support of her injury claim for a car crash in Antrim had been “honest, understated, stoical and admirable”. He awarded Rosie £464,655 and wished her well for the future.

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Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Crash with a Lorry

The High Court has approved a €750,000 settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a crash with a lorry in favour of a twenty-five year old man. Francis Smith from Edgeworthstown in County Longford was just eighteen years of age when – on 27th January 2009 – he crashed into a stationary council lorry while trying to avoid hitting a car that was heading towards him as he came off of a bend on the southbound carriageway of the road. The stationary lorry had stopped close to where Longford County Council was carrying out roadworks. Francis sustained a traumatic brain injury in the accident, due to which he suffers from physical and cognitive difficulties and has had to give up his job in a local factory. As he is unable to represent himself legally, Francis´ mother claimed compensation for a brain injury in a crash with a lorry against Longford County Council on his behalf. In her claim for compensation for a brain injury in a crash with a lorry, Francis´ mother alleged that the council had been negligent by failing to warn motorists of the roadworks on the southbound carriageway. She claimed that there were no warning signs, no bollards around the roadworks and that the council´s lorry projected into the road – creating a further hazard for motorists. Longford County Council initially refused to accept responsibility for Francis´ injury and argued that Francis had been negligent by taking the bend at an excessive speed. However, after a period of negotiation, the two parties agreed on a €750,000 settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a crash with a lorry. As the injury compensation claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement went to the High Court to be approved by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. Judge Cross heard the circumstances of the accident and the impact it had on Francis´ life before approving the settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a crash with a lorry. The judge noted that the €750,000 settlement represented a quarter of the claim´s full value and said that, in the circumstances, the settlement was a good one. Judge Cross closed the approval hearing by wishing Francis all the best for the future.

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Judge Approves Settlement of a Claim for a Fatal Injury Caused by a Drunk Driver

A judge has approved the settlement of a claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver relating to an accident that happened almost ten years ago.   In December 2006, thirty-one year old Martin McDonagh was fatally injured in a single-car accident on the Kilgarvan-Killarney road. Martin was the front seat passenger in a car driven by his brother – Thomas – that, at the time, was being pursued by the Garda at a distance after it had been reported that the car was being dangerously driven. Thomas McDonagh was arrested and, after it was found he had been driving with excess alcohol in his system, without a license or insurance, charged with dangerous driving causing death. He was given a three-year prison sentence by the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee in 2008 after the court heard that Martin was the third member of the family to be fatally injured in a car crash. Martin left a widow – Anne Marie – and five children. On behalf of one of the children – Melissa – Anne Marie made a claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – an organization that pays injury compensation to the victims of accidents and their families when a negligent driver is uninsured or untraceable. Liability for the accident was not in doubt due to the custodial sentence delivered by Tralee Circuit Criminal Court, and an offer of settlement was made amounting to €15,000. As the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver had been made on behalf of a child, the offer had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be concluded. The approval hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, where Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident. Melissa´s counsel also told Judge Groarke that, if the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver went to a full hearing, the settlement of the claim might be reduced because Martin had got into his brother´s car knowing he was drunk and had failed to wear his seat belt. Judge Groarke approved the €15,000 settlement of the claim for a fatal injury caused by a drunk driver and closed the hearing by expressing the court´s deep sympathy to Anne Marie and her family.

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Compensation for Death of Passenger in Fatal Car Accident Approved in Court

A family from County Monaghan has been in court to hear the settlement of compensation for the death of a passenger in a fatal car accident approved by a judge. The widowed husband of Rose Martin (57) of Carrickakelly in County Monaghan and members of the couple´s family made their claim for compensation after the events of New Year´s Eve in 2006, when a car driven by Jason Kearney of Dundalk, County Louth, crashed head-on into the Martin´s car. William Martin´s leg was broken in the accident, while the couple´s 28-year-old son – David – had to undergo emergency surgery for an abdominal injury at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. Rose suffered devastating internal injuries in the accident, and died in hospital eleven days later. On behalf of the family, William Martin claimed compensation for the death of a passenger in a fatal car accident, and for the injuries that both he and his son had sustained. In his action against Kearney, William alleged that Kearney had been driving too fast for the road conditions and prevailing weather. Liability was acknowledged by the negligent driver´s insurance company and a compensation settlement of €650,000 was negotiated for Rose´s wrongful death and the physical and psychological injuries sustained by the other family members. At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard about the circumstances of the accident, how David Martin suffers from Down Syndrome and that Rose had been his primary carer throughout his life. The judge was also told about the shock that William Martin had suffered on learning that his wife was dying from her injuries. Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for the death of a passenger in a fatal car accident, and extended her sympathy to the family.

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We Have Updated our Page on Compensation for Whiplash Injuries

We have updated our page on compensation for whiplash injuries to provide additional information on how much compensation for whiplash injuries a plaintiff in Ireland may be entitled to. The information is now particularly relevant for all plaintiffs who have sustained whiplash injuries in a road traffic accident in Ireland in order to assess what is included when compensation settlements are negotiated or assessed by the Injuries Board. As ever, it is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced personal injury solicitor to have your whiplash injury compensation claim assessed, for as it states in our article, “a typical payout for whiplash does not exist”. You can read more on “What is the Typical Payout for Whiplash?” 

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10 Percent Rise in Assessments by the Injuries Board

A report published by the Injuries Board has revealed a 10 percent rise in assessments by the Injuries Board in the six months to June 2013. During the first half of the year, 16,162 applications for assessments by the Injuries Board were received by the government body – up from 14,685 during the corresponding period in 2012. Plaintiffs accepted 5,286 assessments of compensation made by the Injuries Board – an increase from the 5,180 accepted assessments in the first half of 2012. However, these figures also revealed a lower percentage of Injuries Board assessments being accepted (32.7 percent, down from 32.7 percent) – indicating that more plaintiffs are pursuing a negotiated settlement or court action, rather than relying on the Injuries Board to resolve their injury compensation claims. The highest proportion of assessments by the Injuries Board was in respect of car accident compensation (75.5 percent), with the remainder divided between employer liability (compensation for accidents at work – 8.1 percent) and public liability (compensation for accidents in shops, on the street or in other places of public access – 16.4 percent). The total value of awards made by the Injuries Board and the average value of each award also increased, however Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – was keen to point out that this was primarily due to a small number of exceptional assessments by the Injuries Board which had been made during the first half of 2012. Ms Byron was also keen to express that the increase in assessments by the Injuries Board was no excuse for insurance companies to raise insurance premiums. She explained that a reduction in the processing fee charged to insurers representing negligent parties more than covered the increase in how much compensation was assessed by the Injuries Board. Readers should note that despite the high number of Injuries Board assessments being rejected, plaintiffs should still apply to the Injuries Board (with the help of a solicitor if your claim is not straightforward) for an assessment of personal injury compensation. Should a negotiated settlement with the negligent party not be possible, you will need an Authorisation from the Injuries Board to pursue your personal injury compensation claim through the courts.

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Boxer´s Taxi Accident Whiplash Claim Resolved in High Court

A champion boxer has been awarded 26,000 Euros in settlement of his taxi accident whiplash claim following a hearing in the High Court. David Maguire (35) from Clondalkin in Dublin sustained his injuries when a taxi he was travelling in was rear-ended by an unidentified vehicle in at the junction of Ballyfermot Road and O’Hogan Road, Dublin, on March 26, 2010. In his action against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), Maguire claimed that as a result of the impact he suffered injuries to his lower back and neck however, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said there was “no merit” to his claim that he suffered injuries to his neck. Highlighting the fact that there was no reference made to Maguire sustaining any neck injury in a report prepared by his GP following the accident, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns also pointed out that in the months after the accident Maguire went on to win the Leinster heavy weight boxing championship and competed in the All Ireland championships. However, the judge conceded that Maguire was entitled to taxi accident whiplash compensation for the injuries he had sustained to his lower back and acknowledged that Maguire had fought through the pain at the Leinster boxing championships in his attempt to become a professional boxer. Hearing that liability for the taxi accident whiplash claim was not being contested by the MIBI, and that the case was before him for assessment of damages only, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns awarded Maguire 26,000 Euros in compensation for whiplash from a taxi accident plus the costs of bringing his action – adding that he wished him well in his bid to become a professional boxer.

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Insurers Ordered to Pay Damages for Rear-End Accident Claim of Collusion

A judge at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court has ordered insurance company AXA to pay a claimant aggravated damages after the company made allegations of collusion in defence of a claim for rear-end injury compensation. Mr Justice Matthew Deery imposed the order after the company and their client – Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, County Dublin – failed to pursue allegations of collusion against claimant James O’Sullivan, of Clane, County Kildare following a rear-end accident which occurred in Eirhouse in County Dublin in September 2008. The judge heard how an affidavit had been sworn on behalf of AXA insurance company and Reilly alleging collusion between O´Sullivan and another defendant in the case, but the claim was not pursued in the hearing – prompting Mr Justice Matthew Deery to criticise the manner in which the two defendants had defended the claim. He ordered the insurance company and Reilly to jointly and severally pay O´Sullivan 3,000 Euros damages for their rear-end accident claim of collusion in addition to the award of 7,750 Euros for whiplash injury which was made against the AXA insurance company.

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Record Settlement for Compensation Claim against Uninsured Parent

A record compensation settlement has been awarded to a ten-year-old boy who had made a compensation claim against uninsured parent after suffering devastating injuries in a car accident for which his mother was to blame. Cullen Kennedy from Loughrea, County Galway, made the claim through his grandmother against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland following the events of 5th May 2008 when his uninsured mother veered across the road and into the path of an oncoming vehicle due to being distracted by her son on the way to taking him to school. Both Cullen´s mother and the driver of the other vehicle sustained minor injuries, but Cullen – who had been strapped into a bolster chair on the back seat – was catapulted into the windscreen and suffered terrible spinal injuries which left him a quadriplegic and requiring a ventilator to breathe. Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard at Dublin´s High Court that Cullen´s mother and grandmother have been caring for Cullen since his tragic accident with support from nurses and special needs assistants. Despite his debilitating injuries, Cullen suffered no mental impairment and was described in Court as a “lively and vivacious” child. Approving the record settlement of 11.5 million Euros, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said although the outcome of the compensation claim against uninsured parent was “excellent” and should meet Cullen´s lifelong care requirements, she was concerned that laws providing for periodic payment orders had not yet been introduced. Acknowledging that the government had significant issues to deal with elsewhere, she said “The reality is the courts don’t know when people are going to die,” and expressed concerns that catastrophically injured people could run out of funds to provide for their care if they lived longer than medical experts believed they would.

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Car Crash Injuries Compensation Awarded by Court

A volunteer New York firefighter, who sustained terrible injuries when his car was in collision with a Ford works vehicle, has been awarded 1.275 million dollars by a court in Oneida County after his legal team rejected an initial offer of car crash injuries compensation from Ford´s insurers. The jury at Oneida County Supreme Court heard how Paul Tully from Utica, New York, was driving past the NYE Ford facility in Oneida, New York, when a vehicle driven by Ford employee – Keith Chase – emerged from the manufacturing plant and crashed into him. Paul sustained terrible injuries to his head and spine in the accident and spent a significant time recovering in hospital. The jury also heard that since the accident in 2009, Paul has been unable to return to work and still requires full-time care to assist with his day-to-day activities. Liability for the accident was admitted by Keith Chase, who confessed to not looking left along Genesee Street as he pulled away from the Ford facility, and the jury was told that the case was before them for assessment of damages only after Paul´s legal advisors had rejected an offer of car crash injuries compensation amounting to 150,000 dollars. After due consideration, the jury at Oneida County Supreme Court awarded Paul 1.275 million dollars – comprising of 675,000 dollars for the pain and suffering he experienced at the time of the car crash, 400,000 dollars in relation to medical expenses Paul and his family had already incurred and were likely to incur in the future, and 200,000 for future pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

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Interim Compensation Payments made in Car Crash Claim

The High Court in Birmingham, West Midlands, has heard how interim compensation payments have been paid to the family of a car crash victim to provide medical care while a final settlement for their car crash claim was being negotiated. Judge Martin McKenna was approving a compensation settlement for Cerys Edwards (6) from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, who suffered catastrophic brain damage when her family´s car was on a head-on collision with a driver travelling at 70mph on a road with a 30mph speed limit. Cerys, who was just eleven months old when the accident occurred in November 2006, cannot now breathe without a ventilator, has undergone a dozen operations and requires around-the-clock care. The negligent driver was jailed in 2008 for causing the accident, at which point negotiations started between the Edwards´ legal representatives and the negligent driver´s insurers to finalise a suitable and appropriate car crash claim settlement that would provide care for Cerys for the rest of her life. While negotiations were ongoing, the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group paid over 4 million pounds in interim compensation payments to help support the Edwards family and little Cerys. The judge heard that a final settlement in respect of the Edwards´ car crash claim had been agreed, with the family receiving a lump sum payment of almost 5 million pounds (less the amount received in interim compensation payments) with annual payments of 4450,000 pounds providing care for Cerys as long as she lives. Approving the settlement, Judge Martin McKenna said that it was “one of the saddest cases he had ever come across”.

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Pedestrian Hit by Lorry has Brain Damage Injury Compensation Approved in Court

A woman who was walking home from the shops when she was struck by a lorry trying to avoid impact with cars that had already crashed on a busy dual carriageway has had her brain damage injury compensation settlement approved at London´s High Court.  Devbai Patel (60) from Neasden, London, was returning home from a visit to the shops when the accident occurred in January 2008. The lorry mounted the pavement alongside the North Circular Road and hit Devbai before crashing into a wall. The driver of the lorry was killed instantly, and Devbai was air-lifted to hospital with multiple fractures and a traumatic brain injury. Devbai underwent emergency surgery and remained in intensive care for two weeks. She had to undergo months of rehabilitation before being discharged from hospital, and is now cared for at home by her husband and children. After seeking legal advice, Devbai´s family made a pedestrian accident claim for brain damage injury compensation and, at London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Cox heard that an agreement had been reached between the family and the insurance company of the driver responsible for causing the multiple vehicle accident. The settlement of brain damage injury compensation will see Devbai receiving an immediate lump sum payment of 750,000 pounds, with annual index-linked and tax-free payments of 25,000 being made to the family to provide her with the ongoing care she needs. Mrs Justice Cox approved the settlement and wished the family well for the future.

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Compensation for Accident with Untraced Driver Awarded in Court

A woman whose arm was broken when a hit and run driver reversed over her and then fled the scene of the accident has been awarded 79,000 Euros in compensation for accident with untraced driver at Dublin´s High Court. Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill heard how Siofra O´Loughlin (24) from Rolestown in Dublin had been with friends at Dollymount beach in July 2006, when she slipped and fell face forwards while playing with a ball. According to Siofra´s testimony and that of her friends, as Siofra lay on the floor, a car reversed over her – fracturing her upper arm bone and causing significant abrasions to her back. According to her testimony, the driver of the car stopped a short distance away, looked back at the scene and returned to his car before driving away. The driver was never traced, and Siofra made a personal injury claim for compensation for accident with untraced driver against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland – the organisation established to deal with compensation claims when a liable driver cannot be traced or is uninsured. The claim for compensation claim for accident with untraced driver had come to the High Court as the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland disputed the events of the accident – claiming that Siofra had given a different version of the accident to the Garda officer who first arrived at the scene. However Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill dismissed their allegations in making his award of 79,000 Euros, stating that he believed Siofra´s account of how her injuries were sustained.

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Injury Claim for Children Injured in Car Accident settled for €26k

An injury claim for four children injured in a car accident, when the vehicle driven by their mother was in collision with a Garda patrol car, have been awarded a total of 26,000 Euros in personal injury damages. Dean McEvoy (15) and his three sisters, Lauren (13), Cody (11) and Megan (10), were travelling with their mother – Lorraine McEvoy of Crumlin, Dublin – when the incident occurred on the Tallaght bypass in November 2005. Circuit Civil Court President, Mr Justice Matthew Deery, heard that the Garda squad car that struck the McEvoy car was being driven “at some degree of urgency”, but without its siren or warning lights on.  Lorraine McEvoy and her four children all experienced soft tissue injuries as a result of the impact. Mr Justice Matthew Deery was also told that the State had accepted liability for the accident only after a lengthy dispute was settled in the High Court and he was asked to approve agreed settlements of 6,000 Euros for Megan and Lauren, 6,500 Euros for Dean and 7,500 Euros for Cody who had been the worse injured of the child passengers in car accident.

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Woman Knocked Down by Bus at Pedestrian Crossing Accident awarded €8m

A woman who was knocked down by a bus on a pedestrian crossing is to receive an award of €8m in compensation after representatives of the bus company agreed to an out-of-court settlement just as the jury were being seated at the Alameda County Superior Court. On November 3 2008, Abby Nichols (23) of Oakland, California, had just finished her day’s work at the San Francisco bagel shop in which she worked as an assistant, and started crossing the road at the junction of Telegraph Avenue and 51st Street. Despite the green light being in her favour, a bus turned into the road, knocking Abby over, and trapping her beneath the chassis of the vehicle. She stayed trapped for a further 15 minutes, as the bus driver did not know how to operate the hydraulic lever, and Abby sustained a crushed hip that needed to be replaced, a broken pelvis and femur. The bus company, AC Transit, found in their own examination that the bus driver was guilty of negligence but failed to arrange a quick settlement for Abby. It was only when a legal action was taken that Abby – who stills undergoes physical therapy and walks with the aid of a cane – managed to obtain the bus injury compensation to which she was entitled.

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Brain Injury in Car Accident leads to £4m settlement

A settlement of £4 million was handed out at the High Court to Ms Caroline Bogue, one of the largest for a victim suffering a brain injury in a car accident. However, Mr Justice John Quirke claimed that he was unhappy with the current system of compensation settlements when awarding the settlement to Ms Bogue of Belturbet, Co Cavan, following an agreement between the claimant and the joint defendants – her cousin Ciaran Bogue and the Motor Insurance Board of Ireland (MIBI). He stated that the money would be gone within 10 years and said he was not happy with the lack of staged payments for awards of personal injury compensation and commented that the value of the settlement represented just 60% of what the claim was worth. His comments follow the case of Caroline, who suffered severe brain damage  in the car accident when the uninsured automobile, driven by the defendant’s brother, crashed into a tree close to her home town of Belturbet in May 2003. Despite wearing a seatbelt, Caroline – who was aged 17 when the incident occurred – was admitted to Cavan Hospital where a CT scan of her brain showed she had suffered major hemorrhaging. Now aged 24, Caroline needs daily assistance in her life and is unable to feed herself due to the consequences of her accident. She also has difficulty sleeping, suffers from poor short-term memory and slow speech. She will need permanent care throughout the rest of her life, and Mr Justice John Quirke is concerned that the settlement is not adequate for her lifetime and that she will become reliant on the State. The defence alleged that Caroline knew that the car in which she was travelling was uninsured so Mr Justice John Quirke accepted that there was a risk that the claimant might be awarded less if the case went forward to a full hearing, and was guided by Caroline’s counsel. However, he expressed that he was unhappy that he had to approve “a settlement so utterly speculative and imprecise from Caroline’s point of view”. An alternative system, which is due to be introduced in about 18 months time, will provide for continual payments over the period of the victim’s life.

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Compensation for Being Hit by Van Crossing Road

A woman has been awarded almost 178,000 Euros in compensation for being hit by a van crossing the road in the High Court. Amy McKernan (36) from North Ewington, Oxfordshire, was crossing the road at the junction of Wicklow Street and Clarendon Street on May 7th 2002, when she was struck by a van being driven by Yuk Fong from Dublin. The force of the crash knocked her onto the bonnet of the vehicle, before she landed on the road surface – sustaining facial and back injuries. In her action against Mr Fong and the owner of the van – Mr Yau Tsali Li – Amy claimed that the van was driven at excessive speed, as she had seen the van pulling away from the Chinese restaurant outside which it had been parked and felt she still had plenty of time to cross the road. Yuk Fong and Yau Tsali Li denied the allegations, and counter-claimed that Amy had contributed to her own injuries by failing to keep a proper lookout. However, as Amy was about to step onto the public footpath when the accident happened, Mr. Justice John Quirke at the High Court determined that Amy had established negligence in the driving of the van, whereas the defendants had failed to show that Amy had in any way been responsible for the accident and her injuries.

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Bus Injury Award set at €121k

A bus injury award of €121,493 has been made to a woman who suffered a spinal injury after a bus in which she was a passenger drove over a speed ramp too quickly. Ciara Whelan (23) from Drumcondra, Dublin, was travelling on a Dublin Bus being driven through the grounds of the Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown in April 2006, when it hit a speed ramp too quickly and caused Ciara to hit her head severely on the roof of the bus. After falling into a nearby seat, Ciara was unable to catch her breath or speak. Another passenger witnessed what had occurred and alerted the bus driver who stopped the bus. An ambulance was called, and Ciara was admitted into the hospital where she was treated for a crush fracture of the L3 lumbar vertebra. Mr Justice John Quirke at the High Court heard that Ciara remained in hospital for over a week, after which she was required to wear a neck brace for three months. Ciara told the court that she currently suffers frequent back pain but it is controlled by anti-inflammatory drugs and ongoing physiotherapy. The court was also told that Dublin Bus had admitted liability for Ciara´s injuries and the case was before Mr Justice John Quirke for assessment of damages only. On awarding Ciara €121,493 in compensation, Judge Quirke said that it was established that Ciara had suffered a very serious injury which would cause her continuing pain and restriction of movement in the future.

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Brain Injury Settlement Award is €7m

A 26 year old woman, who was left irreparably brain damaged after her car was involved in a collision with a truck, has had a 7 million Euro brain injury settlement award approved in the High Court. Valerie Bourke from Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, had just turned 21 in May 2006, when the red Nissan Micra she was driving between Carrick-on-Suir and Waterford was struck by a truck driven by Patrick Holden of Carigee, County Waterford. Suffering from catastrophic brain damage, Valerie was taken to the Waterford Regional Hospital. She remained there until April 2007, during which time she was unable to communicate, required twenty four hour care and was fed via a tube. She was then transferred to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire and six months later moved to a neuro-rehabilitation centre in England for further assessment of her needs. In December 2008 – two and a half years after the accident – she was able to return home. Valerie´s parents constructed a special extension to their family home in order to accommodate her special needs but, although Valerie made a little progress with her mobility and cognitive functions, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill at the High Court heard that prospects for Valerie’s future remained limited. In an case against Patrick Holden and the owner of the truck – Stefan Gilchrist of Piltown, County Kilkenny – it was alleged that their negligent actions were responsible for Valerie´s injuries. Liability was admitted and the case was before Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill for final assessment of damages only. Announcing the award of just over 7 million Euros, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill said that 4 million Euros was to be put aside for Valerie´s care in the future and that an application was to be made to have Valerie made a ward of court.

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Award for Injury Caused by Colliding with Horse

A GP, who sustained serious neck and back injuries after his car was in collision with a stray horse, has been granted a £560,238 award for injury caused by colliding with a horse. Thomas Breslin, aged 46, was driving along the road outside his home town when the accident happened in January 2007. The horse, which had escaped from the field it was being held in, collided with his car with such impact that the animal landed on the roof of Dr Breslin´s car – trapping him inside for more than two hours until he was released by emergency services. Mr Justice Eamon de Valera at the High Court heard that as a result of the incident Dr Breslin had to undergo surgery on his back and have a plate inserted in his neck. He also suffered psychologically as a result of the accident and was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. The court also heard that Dr. Breslin will only be able to work on a temporary basis due to his injuries and may even have to retire from his practise. The negligent party in the action was named as Richard Johnston who admitted liability for not securing the horse in the field and the case was before Mr Justice Eamon de Valera for assessment of damages only. Announcing the award of £560,238, the judge said that it was clear that Dr Breslin would continue to suffer physically and mentally as a result of the incident.

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Claim for Death in Car Crash settled at £83,500

The family of a mother and child, who were both tragically killed in a road traffic accident which occurred in 2006, have been awarded more than £83,500 in a joint compensation claim for death in a car crash. Both Yvonne Mahoney (24) and her daughter, Bobbi-Ann (2), died when a car driven by Yvonne’s partner John Maloney (33) was struck by another car as it exited the crossroads junction on July 9 2006. Mr Maloney also died in the accident. In a law case brought by Yvonne´s widowed mother, Mary (56), it was alleged that the local council had failed to maintain a clear line of sight at the junction by not cutting down, pruning or trimming the trees and hedges on the side of the road. It was also alleged that they had failed to construct yield or stop signs. Mrs Mahoney additionally sued the estate of John Maloney, claiming that Mr. Maloney had been negligent on the day of the accident by way of his driving. It was claimed that the deceased driver had caused Mrs Maloney and her other eight children to suffer mental distress. The judge in the High Courty heard that the issue of liability had been withdrawn, and awarded Mrs Mahoney and the family of Yvonne and Bobbi-Ann a compensation settlement of £83,500 plus costs.

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Child Whiplash Injury Compensation results in £47,000 settlement

Circuit Court President Justice Matthew Deery approved an award of £47,000 for child whiplash injury compensation for injuries suffered by three siblings, after hearing how their mother’s car had been rear-ended in an accident which occurred in January 2007. Rachael Hopkins (9) and her brothers Daniel (10) and Thomas (7) from had been passengers in a car driven by their mother Jennifer, when it was hit from the back by Ms Monica Carney of Lucan, County Dublin. In a legal action brought through the children’s father, Thomas Hopkins, the court heard how the children had received treatment for recurrent and protracted symptoms of their injuries from the family GP and a specialist consultant. The injuries had been more problematic for the two brothers, Daniel and Thomas, who were each approved an award of £16,000. An award of £13,300 was approved for Rachael Hopkins, and the compensation award will remain invested in court funds until they are 18 years of age.

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Car crash passenger awarded £4m in compensation

Caroline Bogue, a car crash passenger from Belturbet, County Cavan, has obtained a settlement of over €5 million in a High Court settlement after an uninsured car in which she was travelling as a passenger crashed into a tree, resulting in severe injuries. She suffered brain damage and will require assistance for the rest of her life. The accident happened on May 1st, 2003, when Caroline Bogue was 17 years old. The case was taken against the car driver Declan Bogue, the owner of the car Ciaran Bogue, and the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. Liability was denied in the case on the grounds that Caroline Bogue was aware that car was uninsured and was allegedly taken without the permission of the owner. The settlement was made without any party admitting liability. Mr Justice John Quirke said that the case highlighted the necessity for a new system of staged payments in personal injuries cases.

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Compensation for Car Crash Injuries Awarded to Driver

A female driver, who sustained severe back injuries after a car ran a red light and crashed into her, has been awarded 4.35 million Euros compensation for car crash injuries in Dublin´s High Court. Claire Noone (25) from Enfield, County Meath was made the award after the High Court heard how, in November 2005, she and her boyfriend had been hit by the car as they were driving through Johnstown. Claire´s boyfriend, John Larkin, was killed in the accident and Claire sustained severe back injuries which limit her ability to walk more than short distances. Claire claimed compensation for car crash injuries and, in the High Court, Mr Justice John Quirke made the award of 4.35 million Euros – critical of the fact that compensation law in Ireland only allowed him to award lump sum payments rather than regular annual payments. The judge described the situation as a lottery, as it is unclear how much the cost of care will be in years to come.

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Brain Injury Compensation Claim Resolved Against Parents

A young child, who suffered severe brain damage when his mother drove an uninsured car into a wall, has been awarded 2.9 million Euros following a High Court hearing. Ben McHale, now four years of age, from Clonmel, County Tipperary, was just an infant when the accident occurred in April 2006. Ben´s mother, Disislave McHale, was driving an uninsured vehicle owned by his father, Marcus McHale, when she suffered a blackout at the wheel and drove into a wall. Ben, who was seated in the rear seat at the time, suffered severe brain damage and was blinded as a result of the accident. At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice John Quirke heard that Ben had made a brain injury compensation claim against his parents and the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland through his uncle, William McHale, acting as his “next friend”. As liability was not contested, a settlement of brain injury compensation had been agreed where Ben was to become a ward of court and compensation in the amount of 2.9 million Euros was to be paid into court for his upkeep and to pay for stem cell surgery in Dusseldorf to improve his brain development. Ben´s legal counsel informed Mr Justice John Quirke that Ben´s life expectancy was likely to be limited to 21 years and the judge approved the settlement – at the same time extending his sympathy to the family for the unfortunate circumstances.

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Personal Injury Claims in Ireland on the Increase

Figures released by the Injuries Board have revealed that the number of personal injury claims in Ireland increased by 5 per cent from 2008 to 2009. However, of 25,919 new claims received by the Injuries Board, only 8,645 settled for the amount assessed. The disparity between the two figures was explained by more personal injury claims in Ireland being settled by negotiation before an assessment is complete, an increase in the number of claims that are going directly to court and claims in which the Injury Board´s assessment is rejected for being too low. The majority of personal injury claims in Ireland made to the Injuries Board were for traffic accident compensation, with remainder mostly comprising of claims for injuries sustained at work and those involving public liability compensation. The total value of assessments for personal injury claims in Ireland that were accepted by the claimants amounted to just over 118 million Euros, with the average value of an assessment being 23,166 Euros – a decrease of 5 per cent from 2008.

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Car Crash Passenger Compensation Awarded to ex-Singer

A promising young singer, whose career was terminated due to a horrific car crash, is to receive 3 million pounds in car crash passenger compensation after a settlement was agreed between his solicitors and insurers for the driver of the car in which he was travelling. Owen Griffin (26) from Waterford was the back seat passenger in a car travelling from Glasgow to Stranraer, when the driver was in a head-on collision with a motorcyclist. Both the motorcyclist and the driver´s five-year-old son were killed in the accident, while Owen suffered severe physical injuries and brain damage which left him in a coma for weeks. Owen still has no recollection of the accident and, in 2007, had to move into an assisted living scheme to receive the round-the-clock care and attention he needs. He was forced to abandon his career with the boy band Idolize as he can no longer sing due to the effects on his voice of a tracheotomy performed after the accident. Owen brought a car crash passenger compensation claim against the driver of the car but, because he was the injured passenger in an accident where the driver was from Northern Ireland, the case was due to be heard at the High Court in Belfast. However, shortly before the trial was due to commence, Mr Justice McLaughlin was told that the two sides had agreed a settlement figure and the case was to be struck.

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Court Settles Compensation for Accident with Uninsured Driver

A court in Scotland has had to determine the settlement of compensation for accident with uninsured driver, after the representatives of a man who sustained brain injuries in a tragic accident could not reach an agreement with the Motor Insurers´ Bureau. Lord Woolman, at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, heard how Sean Milligan (44) spent 28 weeks in a brain injury rehabilitation unit after being involved in a van accident in May 2004. The driver of the stolen van which hit Sean´s Nissan Micra head-on had been banned from driving and was under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened. Despite his extended rehabilitation, Sean still suffers from bouts of anger and depression, and finds it difficult to concentrate, balance and walk. As the driver responsible for Sean´s injuries – Mark Lynch – was uninsured, a claim for compensation for accident with uninsured driver was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau. However, no agreement could be reached on how much compensation for accident with uninsured driver Sean should receive, and the case was before Lord Woolman for assessment of damages only. Announcing a decision to award 3.3 million pounds, Lord Woolman stated that the crash had devastating consequences for Sean which were “demonstrated by the fact that he requires round-the-clock care, seven days a week”.

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