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Whiplash Injury Claims

Whiplash injury claims are the most frequent reason for an application for assessment being submitted to the Injuries Board, yet no two whiplash injuries are the same. Whiplash injury claims for compensation have to account for the pain and suffering experienced during the recovery from a whiplash injury, the effect that a whiplash injury has made to a claimant´s quality of life, and the financial cost directly attributable to the whiplash injury. Furthermore, awards of compensation for whiplash injury claims will factor in the age of the claimant, their gender and general state of health before the whiplash injury occurred. Whiplash injury claims are also more likely to be contested for contributory negligence – where a claimant has failed to seek medical attention immediately after an accident – and consequently it is advised that you speak with an experienced personal injury solicitor as soon as possible after you have been diagnosed with a whiplash injury.

Fraudulent Whiplash Claims Blamed for Hike in Car Insurance Costs

In January 2017, the Personal Injuries Commission with the aim of examining personal injuries claims in Ireland. The commission’s investigations focussed on the proliferation of soft tissue and whiplash claims, as these types of claims appeared to be inexplicably on the rise in Ireland. It has been widely noted that car insurance costs has increased by 70% for the average car owner in the three-year period between 2013 and 2016. It is unlikely that the number of injuries or accidents has increased so sharply as to directly correlate with this figure. As a result, experts believe that exaggerated or fraudulent claims are responsible for this sharp increase. However, the Personal Injuries Commission believe that setting up an independent medical panel to investigate each cases of whiplash would interfere with a claimant’s rights. It is their recommendation that a different course of action be taken to sort the fraudulent claims from the veritable ones. The Personal Injuries Commission has called for the establishment of a uniform approach for medical staff dealing with whiplash injuries. At present, there is no specific accreditation required or benchmark standard for a doctor wanting to complete a medico-legal report on a personal injury claim in Ireland. To combat this lack of standards, the Personal Injuries Commission states that doctors should adopt a standardised approach to diagnosing, treating and reporting on soft tissue injuries. As most of these soft tissue injuries are whiplash related, it should give a more accurate figure for the true rate of whiplash injuries in Ireland. If the current figures are to be believed, based off claims made against car insurance companies, then Ireland is experiencing a much higher rate of whiplash than other European countries. In particular it recommended that the Quebec Task Force Whiplash Associated Disorder grading scale should be implemented by medical professionals reporting on relevant injuries. This scale is based on the severity of symptoms and associated physical indicators. It states “Training and accreditation in soft tissue reporting is agreed as being the best practice requirement for those wishing to complete relevant reports”. It is believed that a self-testing element by the injured party should also be adapted to assess compensation and damages. The commission, chaired by Judge Nicholas Kearns, also called on insurance companies to publish details on the incidence of whiplash injuries. This could be an integral part of the National Claims Information Database currently being developed by the Central Bank of Ireland. Justice Kearns stated that such dissemination of information on whiplash injuries would improve the personal injuries compensation environment in Ireland by encouraging ‘an objective standard’ for reviewing whiplash injuries. He added that, going forward, reports will look at comparative systems and bench marking compensation award levels globally. He stated: “Preliminary findings suggest that the frequency of soft-tissue injury claims in Ireland would appear to be significantly higher than a lot of other European countries. It remains to be determined whether this could be a contributing factor in terms of claims frequency or exaggeration.”

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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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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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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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Whiplash Injury Litigation settled for £13,300 award

A man, who claimed that injuries from a head-on car crash affected his weight loss program, has been awarded almost £13,300 compensation in a whiplash injury litigation case. The judge was told how Declan O’Hora (45) had suffered injuries to his neck and shoulders following a road traffic accident in October 2008. These injuries, it was claimed, prevented Mr. O’Hora from continuing with swimming exercises designed to help with a weight loss problem, and had also been responsible for the development of sleep apnoea – a condition where the sufferer experiences abnormal pauses in breathing while sleeping, leading to daytime sleepiness and fatigue. As liability had been conceded by the negligent driver – Brian Duggan of Knocklyon, County Dublin – the only issue still to be determined was the amount of personal injury compensation to be awarded. This was set by Mr Justice Matthew Deery at just under £13,300.

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Designer Awarded Compensation for Whiplash Symptoms

An interior designer, who was hit on the head by a falling display frying pan, has been awarded 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms by a judge at Dublin´s Circuit Civil Court. Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard how Francesca De Cataldo (33) from Dublin had been ascending the stairs at the Avoca Restaurant in June 2005, when a metal frying pan which had become dislodged from its display shelf fell and hit her on the head. Although she sustained no physical injury, Francesca described to the court how she had suffered stiffness in her neck and shoulders after the accident and had developed light-headedness, feelings of nausea and sleeplessness – similar to whiplash symptoms. The Avoca Restaurant denied the claims, stating that the only witness to her accident – a store security man – could not confirm what exactly had caused Francesca to fall on the stairs. However Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that he was satisfied that Francesca´s story was credible and awarded her 12,240 Euros in compensation for whiplash symptoms against the store.

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