In a landmark ruling at the High Court, compensation for overseas traffic injury was determined applying judicial discretion rather than the Book of Quantum for the country in which the injury was sustained.
The case in which the judgement regarding compensation for overseas road traffic injury was made concerned Peter Kelly (75) of Ranelagh, Dublin, who in June 2009 was run over by a maintenance van belonging to the municipality of Cannes while on holiday in France. Peter fractured his hip in the overseas road traffic accident and, in 2011, had to undergo a hip replacement operation.
Although the municipality´s insurers – Groupama – accepted liability for Peter´s injuries, the company argued that the compensation for overseas road traffic injury should be resolved according to the French Book of Quantum rather than that of Ireland which awards significantly higher levels of personal injury compensation.
Accepting the argument, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill at the High Court, applied the methodology that would be used in a French court to determine how much compensation for overseas road traffic injury Peter should receive, but added a considerable amount of damages to compensate Peter – who had enjoyed a high level of physical activity prior to his accident – for his loss of amenity.
The judge noted that although any figures quoted in the French Book of Quantum could be considered a viable guide, it did not restrict a judge in determining how much compensation for overseas road traffic accident should be awarded in total. Consequently, and including 24,267 Euros which had already been agreed in special damages, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill awarded Peter 88,167 Euros in compensation for overseas road traffic accident rather than the 62,773 Euros he would have received had his damages been assessed in France.