Car Accidents in Ireland

In order to claim compensation for car accidents in Ireland, it has to be established that an accident occurred due to the negligence of another road user who owed you a duty of care. Car accidents injury compensation can be awarded even when the driver of the vehicle in which you were travelling was at fault and should take into account the consequences to ones quality of life due to both the physical and psychological trauma the victim the victim has suffered along with any financial costs which have been incurred. For impartial and accurate legal advice about claiming compensation for car accidents in Ireland speak with one of our professional and courteous solicitors.

Revised Whiplash Injury Compensation Award of €41,000 For Woman

Posted on: August 21st, 2020

A woman has had her personal injury compensations award in relation to the whiplash injuries she sustained in a road traffic accident revised to €41,000 by the Court of Appeal.

The decision was made at a hearing this week to review that car accident compensation award of approximately €70,000 which received High Court Approval in December 2019. Following a hearing at the time Emma McKeown was awarded the damages due to the injuries she experienced in a road traffic accident that occured a number of years earlier.

The defendants in the case, Alan Crosby and Mary Vocella, opted to appeal the amount of compensation was approved at the High Court.

Having considered the details of the case Court of Appeal Judge Justice Seamus Noonan said that the amount of whiplash injury compensation that was awarded in the case was excessive. he said this despite referrer that he was of the opinion that Emma McKeown was honest and at no point in time sought to overstate the suffering that she endured.

Justice Noonan said: “Taking into account all the relevant factors to which I have referred in the context of the proportionality of the award in this case, I am satisfied that by any reasonable measure it cannot be viewed as proportionate. It is not proportionate when viewed against the measure of the maximum for the most serious injuries. The cost of (motor, public or employer’s liability) insurance is for most ordinary people and businesses, a significant outgoing. The extent to which awards by courts influence that cost is in recent times, a matter of widespread public discourse, debate and dispute.

In addition to this Justice Noonan spoke out against the fact that the levels of award can vary greatly depending on the trial judge assigned to hear each case. He said: “Whatever the reality may be, it is clear that awards made by the courts have an impact on society as a whole and the courts are mindful of that fact. Ultimately each member of society must bear the cost of a compensation system whether through the payment of insurance premia in the case of private defendants or taxes in the case of public defendants. Society thus has a direct interest in the level of awards. Frequently, the identity of the trial judge would not be known until moments before the case actually commenced, resulting in varying outcomes depending on the ‘draw’. It is clear that this has the potential for injustice. It cannot be fair to either plaintiff or defendant that the value of their case depends on the identity of the trial judge.”

Lastly Justice Noonon said that there should be no luck involved in the awarding of compensation settlements that can impact the insurance premiums of all people. He said: “Personal injury litigation should not be a lottery and plaintiffs and defendants alike are entitled to reasonable consistency and predictability. This is particularly important in the context of injuries which fall at the lower end of the spectrum as these constitute the vast bulk of cases, most commonly involving soft tissue, or ‘whiplash’ injuries.”



Witness to Road Crash Awarded €87,000 in PTSD Compensation Claim

Posted on: April 16th, 2020

A PTSD compensation award of €87,000 has been approved for a woman who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to seeing a partly decapitated body of a motorist when she arrived at the scene of a road traffic accident.

The woman in question, Lisa Sheehan, began to experience moderately severe PTSD and had to resign from her hairdressing job two years after the accident took place. She did not believe that she was in a position to continue with her duties.

From Banteer in north Cork, 36-year-old married mother of two Mrs Sheean submitted the lawsuit against Bus Éireann and FBD insurance which provided cover for the deceased motorist.

She informed the judge that she still has bad dreams and flashbacks of the incident. She said that her condition placed great strain on her relationships and she still attends counselling and medication sessions. She claimed that this suffering is a result of the negligent operation or control of both the bus and the car. Bus Éireann did not accept the negligence claims while FBD accepted that the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased car driver.

However, both defendants informed the Court that they did not believe that Ms Sheehan’s psychiatric injuries did not give rise to any cause of action recognised by current legislation and, as such, they did not owe her a duty of care.

When the accident took place on January 28, 2017, Ms Sheehan was heading from work in Cork city to her home. When she was coming close to Mallow her car hit some debris and she came to a stop. She then saw the damaged bus and the severely damaged car which had hit it near by. When she went over to the the car she found “a badly disfigured and partly decapitated body”.

She contacted the emergency services and reviewed the surrounding area for others who might have been involved in the accident and eventually identified the bus driver whose face was covered in blood.

In relation to the legal claims that the defendants were registering, the judge said the law on primary/secondary victims is far from definitive in this jurisdiction. He went on to say that, while in his opinion nothing turned on that division in this case, he was happy Ms Sheehan was a primary victim as her car had been struck by debris from the crash.

He then awarded her €87,238 PTSD compensation in relation to her claim.

High Court Action Settled for €135,000 in Favour of Dead Woman’s Family

Posted on: December 13th, 2019

The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and the family of a woman who was killed in a hit-and-run accident have settled a compensation action in the High Court for €135,000

The court was informed that the driver of the car did not stop, fled the scene and is still untrace. He (the untraced driver) struck mother of one Caroline Watkins (40)fatally struck with his/her car while she was crossing the road at the Goldenbridge Luas stop on Davitt Road, Drimnagh, Dublin on May 30, 2014.

The legal action alleged that the untraced driver was driving in a dangerous and careless fashion and failed to come to a halt, slow down or swerve to reduce the impact of the collision. The allegations were denied by counsel for the MIBI.

Michael O’ Scanaill SC, with Bonnie Hickey BL was appearing at the High Court on behalf of the Watkins family in court. He informed the court that Caroline’s daughter Ella Watkins (16) of Esker Glebe, Lucan, Co Dublin, was only ten years old when her mother was killed in the collision, and was taking the legal action through her grandmother Ethel Watkins. Mr O Scanaill told the High Court that Ella now resides with her aunt and is “an incredible well-rounded individual

The High Court was told that Caroline’s family were left traumatised as the driver fled the scene and, to this date, remains untraced. Recorded security footage of the accident scene shows Ms Watkins got across half of the carriageway and was moving faster than a walking pace. Despite this, the  pedestrian light was not in her favour and the person accompanying her had not tried to cross the road with her. The legal representatives also said that it was of the belief that the car which hit Ms Watkins was moving at a speed of 55 km /h in a 50 km/h zone.

At an official inquest into the death of Ms Watkins it was heard that she had been travelling home to Ballyfermot from a pub, with her partner, at about 10.30pm. They opted to walk to Davitt Road to get a taxi. When they reached the Goldenbridge Luas stop, they got to the edge of a pedestrian crossing and waited. Ms Watkins then walked out onto the road and collided with the bumper of a car. This collision threw her onto  the bonnet and windscreen before she was thrown forward, landing about thirty feet away on the ground. A postmortem found Ms Watkins passed away due to multiple injuries sustained in the collision.

As he was giving his approval to the €150,000 settlement in the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said he could understand the anger, upset and frustration e of the Watkins family where the driver abandoned the scene and “did not face the music.”

He went on to say that the driver “showed no courage” and commented that, from watching the security camera footage footage, Ms Watkins looked like she was “in a bit of a hurry” and had to cross the road through traffic coming in both directions. The red light was against her and she took a chance, the judge remarked.

Due to this he awarded 40pc of the full value of the compensation claim, €135,000, to Ella.

Librarian Awarded €60k Compensation for Crash Involving Former BoI Governor

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019

A car crash compensation settlement of €60,000 has been approved in the Circuit Civil Court between a 64-year-old librarian and the former Bank of Ireland Governor Laurence Crowley after the latter admitted liability for road traffic accident that occurred in August 2015.

The librarian, Richard Barrett who has an address at Upper Rathmines Road, Dublin, submitted the personal injury compensation action against Mr Crowley and O’Flaherty Holdings Limited (the registered owners of the car) as a result of the injuries he suffered in the car crash at Monkstown Crescent, Dublin.

The court sitting was scheduled to hear Mr Barrett’s testimony regarding his injuries following the incident and the medical reports. Mr Crowley was not in the Circuit Civil Court for the legal proceedings. Mr Barratt advised presiding Judge Mr Justice Groarke that he had experienced shock and trauma due to the collision. Mr Barrett had a prior history of suffering from anxiety disorder and the accident brought on subsequent attacks. Mr Barrett was taken to the emergency department of St Vincent’s University Hospital where Dr Nigel Salter, consultant in emergency medicine, treated him. Mr Barrett told Justice Groarke that he did not suffer any bone fractures due to the car collision in Monkstown. Despite this he was still prescribed a course of anti-inflammatory and pain killing medication to tackle injuries on his chest and abdomen.

Mr Crowley had been driving the Mercedes 300 car in a negligent fashion when the crash took place according to the allegations of Mr Barrett. Mr Barrett informed the Judge that on August 29th 2015 he was a passenger in a vehicle when a car driven by Mr Crowley came out from a minor road and crashed into the car he was in. Mr Barrett said that he was of the opinion that Mr Crowley was driving at an excessive speed and that the driver had not shown an appropriate level of awareness for other road users.

Mr Barratt’s legal representative in the Circuit Civil Court, Barrister Ivan Daly appearing with HJ Ward Solicitors, told Judge Justice Raymond Groarke that there had been an acceptance of liability by the defendants. Due to this, and following an assessment of damages, there had been an agreement to settle the case which could now be struck out with an order for costs.


Car Crash Involving 8 People Leads to Compensation Claims of Almost €500k

Posted on: January 21st, 2019

Following a car crash involving eight Polish people where two cars collided on an approach to a roundabout at Lusk, Co Dublin – personal injury claims totalling up to approximately €500,000 were lodged on Monday

Arkadiusz Rokicki (23);  Daniel Kutszal (24) and his sister, Majal Kutszal (34), all with addresses in the village of Lusk, suffered injuries when they were passengers in a car crash. The car was being driven by the defendant Dariusz Chudyk who is now living in Poland but was indemnified through his insurance policy with Axa.

Legal counsel for the claimants, Barrister Paul Gallagher who was appearing with Robert Anderson of Anderson and Gallagher Solicitors, informed the court they were injured when Mr Chudyk’s car crashed into the back of another vehicle as he was driving near a roundabout in Lusk. It was alleged that all of the claimants had suffered whiplash injuries as a result of the crash.

Mr Gallagher told the court that each of his clients had experienced pain and stiffness to the neck and in their lower back following the road traffic accident and had been prescribed medication to deal with the pain.

Judge Groarke said he was satisfied the accident was a genuine one and that there was no question left in his mind other than that it was a genuine accident and the claimants were equally authentic. 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.”

Judge Groarke awarded each claimant damages of €10,000 with District Court costs due to the extent of their injuries.  There are still five remaining car accident compensation actions to be heard due to this accident. Each claimant is also suing for personal injury compensation of €60,000 amounting to a total compensation claim value of €480,000.

€256k PTSD Awarded to Chinese Woman Knocked Down by Car in Dublin

Posted on: July 17th, 2018

An accountancy student has been awarded more than €250,000 in personal injury compensation damages after a High Court judge found she experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after being struck by a car in Dublin in 2011.

The total award to Cheng Zhang (36) by Mr Justice Anthony Barr was €465,526 but this was reduced as contributory negligence. The contributory negligence attributed to her was assessed at 45pc as she had opted to cross the junction when the pedestrian light was red.

The judge said that due to the car crash Ms Zhang became profoundly mentally unhealthy and could no longer work. Her job was her only source of income and, as a result, she fell into rent arrears, became homeless and required local authority emergency accommodation.

Due to the level of intelligence, ambition and high level functioning which Ms Zhang displayed prior to the accident, Judge Barr said that was satisfied that she would have gone on to qualify as a certified accountant and would have secured full employment if it was not for the accident.

Ms Zhang, a native of the Liaoning province of China came to Ireland in 2003 to study English. When the accident occurred she was studying accountancy.

She had sued the driver of the car Stephen Farrell of Shelbourne Park Apartments,  Ringsend, Dublin as a result of the accident  April 17 2011. She was crossing at the junction of Merrion Row and Merrion Street Upper when she was thrown into the air having been hit by a car which was turning left from Merrion Street Upper into Merrion Row.

It was stated in Court that she suffered soft tissue injury to her knees and pelvis and a blow to the head. This meant that she was unable to move or communicate for about an hour after the accident occurred. The Court was also told that Ms Zhang went on to develop severe and persistant mental illness in the form of post traumatic stress disorder  as well as the condition referred to as fibromyalgia.

Legal representative for Mr Farrell argued that Ms Zhang had listed a number of physical complaints for which no organic basis could be established and that she now suffers from an anxiety disorder.

Mr Justice Barr accepted the evidence of Ms Zhang’s psychiatrist that she suffered significant and serious mental health issues due to the road accident and that following the accident there was a catastrophic change to her mental stability.

He also accepted the evidence of the psychiatrist Ms Zhang’s symptoms are severe, chronic and enduring despite treatment efforts to date.


Bus Passenger Awarded €25k for Injuries Sustained in Sudden Braking Incident

Posted on: July 4th, 2018

A bus passenger who was injured after a bus she was travelling was involved in a crash has been awarded €25,000 in the Circuit Civil Court.

The accident occurred when a man ran onto a road in front of a bus to attack a group of Asian people, forcing the bus drover to suddenly brake.

Judge Terence O’Sullivan was advised that the man had flung a bottle at group of people and then “turned on a sixpence in a millisecond” giving a Dublin Bus driver no chance to swerve and avoid hitting him. Susan Lennox BL told the court Rachel Hardiman (28) was a passenger on the bus at the time and was thrown forward sustaining injuries to her face, neck, shoulders and arm in the incident that took place on September 23, 2012.

Judge O’Sullivan, in approving an award to Ms Hardiman of €25,000 bus injury compensation and costs against Dublin Bus, said although the driver had lifted his foot off the accelerator after spotting the man on the road, the court did not believe this to have been a sufficient course of action. He also granted Dublin Bus an order for €25,000 and costs against Mr Richardson, the individual who threw the bottle in the incident that resulted in the bus traffic accident.

Gerard O’Herlihy, legal representative for Dublin Bus, told Judge O’Sullivan James Richardson had been joined to the proceedings as a third party but was not present in court despite having been served with the proceedings.

The judge felt any competent driver would have had enough time to slow down as drivers could not always expect pedestrians to do exactly what they expected. The bus driver had incorrectly predicted that the pedestrian was going to continue across the road instead of turning around and this was not what happened.

Van Driver Awarded €116,000 after being Rear-Ended in Traffic

Posted on: April 18th, 2018

A driver who suffered a serious back injury after being rear-ended while stopped in traffic in Castlemartyr, Co Cork has been awarded over €116,000 in compensation.

His vehicle was struck from behind by a Ford Transit van whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The man, Christopher Quilligan, of Avalon, Lehenaghmore, Farmers Cross, Cork, took a a case for rear-ended traffic accident compensation in Cork.

John O’Mahony, Mr Quilligan’s legal representative began presenting evidence in the case. However, before the second day of the hearing, yesterday afternoon, counsel  for the defence Tom Creed advised presiding Mr Justice Robert Haughton that the parties had reached agreement on a settlement of €116,956.

The Judge praised the parties for reaching a settlement and liability was accepted. The case was before the court only for final assessment of damages.

Mr Quilligan, describing the events of leading up, during and following the accident said: “It was 5.15pm. All of a sudden there was a bang. I was pushed forward. The driver behind fell asleep and pushed me on 10 to 15ft and pushed me on to the car in front of me. When I initially got out of the car I had low back pain and pain across my ribs where I was wearing a seatbelt. I drove the car home. That evening after a few hours I went to Cork University Hospital. The pain was severe and protracted.”

Mr Quilligan was aged 23 when the accident occurred. He was in a very fit and healthy with no previous history of back difficulty but due to this accident, he suffered a rupture that made surgery necessary.

His legal Counsel Mr O’Mahony stated that: “The problem is that, notwithstanding neurosurgical interventions ,he has continued to be symptomatic. He has had a rough period of time since December 2012.”

Whiplash Compensation Claims Higher in Ireland than Rest of Europe: Personal Injuries Commission Report

Posted on: December 6th, 2017

Ireland currently experiences a much higher rate of whiplash than in most other European countries, according to the findings of the Personal Injuries Commission.

The Personal Injuries Commission was established in January 2017 to examine personal injuries claims with a particular emphasis on the proliferation of soft tissue and whiplash claims.

Car insurance costs increased by 70% in the three-year period between 2013 and 2016. It is believed that exaggerated or fraudulent claims are behind for this sharp increase.

However, the Personal Injuries Commission believe that setting up an independent medical panel to assess cases of whiplash would interfere with a claimant’s rights, so it is not recommending that course of action.

Alternatively it calls 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. In essence, it states that doctors should adopt a standardised approach to diagnosing, treating and reporting on soft tissue injuries, which are mostly whiplash related.

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”.

The belief is 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 app-ear 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.”

Sisters´ Emotional Injury Compensation Settlement Approved

Posted on: October 5th, 2017

Two sisters, who escaped physical injury in a rear-end car accident, have had their emotional injury compensation settlement approved at the Circuit Court.

On 11th February 2016, the two girls – aged six years and four years at the time of the accident – were in the back seat of the family car, when it was rear-ended by a negligent driver on the Newcastle Road in Lucan, Dublin. The negligent driver admitted liability for causing the accident.

The two girls were examined by the family´s GP the following day, but no physical injuries were identified. However, shortly after the accident, the older of the two girls complained of having a headache and both sisters started showing symptoms of panic when large vehicles passed the car.

A subsequent review of their condition resulted in both girls being diagnosed with “a mild effect on the mental health” – the older girl in particular due to experiencing worry, panic and hyperventilation while travelling in the family car, especially close to where the accident had occurred.

On their behalf, the girls´ mother made an emotional injury compensation claim against the driver of the negligent vehicle and, on the advice of her solicitor, accepted an offer of settlement amounting to €33,000. As the claim had been made on behalf of plaintiffs unable to represent themselves, the emotional injury compensation settlement had to be approved by a judge.

Consequently, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident, the nature of the girls´ injuries and the fact that they had only missed one day from school as a result of the accident in order to be examined by the family´s GP.

The judge also heard the girls´ mother was satisfied with the amount offered and that the emotional injury compensation settlement was to be divided equally between the sisters. Approving the settlement, Judge Groarke ordered that it be paid into court funds until the girls reach the age of eighteen years.

Car Crash Injury Settlements Upheld after Court Hearing

Posted on: August 2nd, 2017

Seven car crash injury settlements, originally awarded by Buncrana Circuit Court in 2015, have been upheld after a hearing of the High Court.

On June 28th 2011, a two-car accident on a roundabout in Lifford, County Donegal, result in seven men suffering soft tissue injuries. The injured men claimed car crash injury compensation against the driver of the vehicle of the vehicle responsible for causing the accident, and against Ryans Investments NI Ltd – trading as Hertz Rent-a-Car – from whom the negligent driver´s car was rented.

In 2015, the seven men were awarded car crash injury settlements of between €5,050 and €9,550 by Buncrana Circuit Court. Ryans Investment NI Ltd appealed the decision, arguing that the injured men were all known to the negligent driver and that the accident had been fabricated with the sole purpose of extracting injury compensation from the company´s insurers.

The appeal was heard last month at the High Court before Mr Justice Charles Meenan. Judge Meenan was told by barristers representing Ryans Investments that the negligent driver had telephoned one of the injured men when returning the hire car to the Derry Hertz office, and that his tone during the telephone conversation had led to the belief the accident was fabricated.

Further investigation by the company´s insurers discovered the negligent driver and plaintiffs were known to each other through their membership of the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies. The insurance company also alleged the plaintiffs had considerably exaggerated the nature, extent, and effects of their various injuries to maximise the value of their car crash injury settlements.

Judge Meenan reserved his decision until earlier this week, when he upheld the car crash injury settlements awarded by the Buncrana Circuit Court. The judge commented that Ryans Investment´s appeal was based on an overhead telephone conversation the negligent driver had made in order to obtain details of the car he had damaged in the accident.

He said “one would have thought, if the collision was a setup, the information sought [by the negligent driver] in the call would already have been firmly fixed in his mind prior to returning the hire car.” He added: “This information would be an essential part of the whole operation.”

Judge Awards Compensation for Injuries due to a Faulty Sun Roof

Posted on: May 22nd, 2017

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has awarded a total of €37,500 compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof to mother and daughter plaintiffs.

In November 2013, the two plaintiffs were part of a family group driving from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition. As they travelled along the M1 at a speed of 80-90kmph, the sun roof blew off, causing a noise described in court as “a bomb going off in the car”. The driver of the car braked sharply, causing the adult members of the family group to suffer whiplash-type injuries.

The driver of the car – a recently purchased Toyota – and her 72-year-old mother claimed compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof. They alleged in their claim against Denis Mahony Limited that the sun roof had been faulty at the time the car was purchased, the fault should have been identified and rectified in a pre-sales inspection, and the undiscovered fault had been attributable to their injuries.

Mahony´s denied the sun roof had been faulty at the time the Toyota was purchased and contested the claims for compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof. However, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin last week, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard from an independent car assessor, who found extensive corrosion surrounding the remaining frame of the sun roof. The assessor testified that the corrosion was so bad it would have been apparent in any adequate pre-sales inspection of the vehicle.

Judge Groarke said it was reasonable to expect the car to be fit for purpose, of merchantable quality and free from defects at the time it was purchased. He added that he accepted the sun roof blowing off would have been a terrifying experience understood why the driver had applied the brakes sharply. He found in favour of mother and daughter plaintiffs, and awarded the driver of the car €12,500 compensation for injuries due to a faulty sun roof and her mother – who had suffered a compressed fracture of a vertebrae in the accident – €25,000 compensation.

Court Approves €5 Million Settlement of Compensation for a Wing Mirror Injury

Posted on: July 26th, 2016

The High Court has approved a €5 million settlement of compensation for a wing mirror injury that left a young boy with intellectual difficulties.

On 13th August 2008, Ryan Bastin was just five years of age and enjoying a family holiday at his grandparent´s home in Mitchelstown, County Cork, when he ran out into the road to follow his father, brother and sister, who had gone to look at cows grazing in a neighbouring field.

As he ran across the road, Ryan was struck by the wing mirror of a car driven by Hannah Murray from Ballyporeen in County Tipperary. Ryan picked himself up from the road, but immediately started vomiting. An ambulance was called and Ryan was taken to Cork University Hospital.

During his transfer to the hospital, Ryan lost consciousness. On his arrival he was diagnosed with a fractured skull and underwent a series of operations. Ryan remained in intensive care for several months before returning to his family home in Brussels.

After undergoing rehabilitation treatment in Brussels, Ryan claimed compensation for a wing mirror injury through his mother – Sinead Mullins. In the claim it was alleged that Hannah Murray had not been driving with due care and attention, and should have seen Ryan run into the road.

Murray denied her liability for Ryan´s injuries and said that she was driving within the speed limit at the time. A forensic expert supporting her defence calculated that Murray had a maximum of 1.75 seconds to react after Ryan had run into the road.

The case went to the High Court, where Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that Ryan had been left intellectually impaired as a result of the accident. It was argued that, even with just 1.75 seconds to act, Murray could have swerved just enough to have avoided hitting the child.

Judge Cross found in Ryan´s favour, but attributed him with 40% contributory negligence. As a settlement had been agreed in principle subject to the determination of liability, this resulted in a settlement of compensation for a wing mirror injury amounting to €5 million.

The judge approved the settlement and wished Ryan and his family all the best for the future.

Compensation for an Injured Jogger Awarded by Court

Posted on: June 25th, 2016

The High Court has awarded €134,000 compensation for an injured jogger who suffered a fracture wrist when she was hit by the wing mirror of an oncoming van.

In January 2013, Donna Woods – a forty-seven year old teacher from Mullingar in County Westmeath – was jogging along the Ballynacarragy to Mullingar road with a friend, when she was hit by the wing mirror of a passing van.

Donna was taken to hospital, where she received treatment for injuries to her right hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and an injury to her jaw. Donna´s wrist was also put into a cast when it was discovered that she had sustained a flake fracture.

After seeking legal advice, Donna claimed compensation for an injured jogger – alleging that the driver of the van – Joseph Tyrell – had driven dangerously close to her and her friend. Tyrell denied liability for Donna´s injuries, and Donna was issued with an authorisation to take her claim to court.

At the High Court hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that, as the two friends were jogging along the road against the traffic, a tractor and trailer had passed them on the far side of the road. Tyrell had given the tractor a wide berth by moving onto the grass verge, but had failed to rejoin the carriageway once the tractor had passed.

In his defence, Tyrell claimed that he had not seen Donna because she was not wearing high-visibility sportswear. He also claimed that Donna must take some of the responsibility for her injuries as she and her friend were running along a busy road two abreast.

Judge Cross dismissed Tyrell´s defence. He said that, on the day in question, Donna had been wearing bright clothing and there would have been plenty of room to avoid the two runners had Tyrell rejoined the carriageway rather than continuing along the grass verge.

The judge awarded Donna €134,000 compensation for an injured jogger – commenting that Donna had suffered quite significant injuries that would persist and prevent her from competing in triathlons and other physically demanding activities.

Brain Injury Claim for an Accident with a Lorry Resolved

Posted on: January 26th, 2016

A brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry has been resolved with the approval of a €750,000 settlement of compensation for the accident victim.

In January 2009, eighteen-year-old Francis Smith from Edgeworthstown in County Longford was driving along a road on the outskirts of his home town, when he had to take evasive action to avoid a car heading directly towards him. As Francis swerved to avoid crashing into the approaching car, he drove into the back of a lorry that was parked ahead of some council roadworks.

Francis (now twenty-five years of age) sustained severe brain damage in the accident. He now has cognitive difficulty and mobility issues and has had to give up his full-time job at a nearby factory. He is no longer able to live independently, and is cared for at the family home by his mother – Martina Dempsey.

Martina made a brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry on her son´s behalf against Longford County Council. She alleged in her legal action that the council´s failure to give adequate warning of the roadworks was responsible for Francis´ injury. She also claimed that the lorry into which he crashed was parked so far out into the road that it was a hazard to vehicles driving in a southbound direction.

Longford County Council contested the brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry, arguing that Francis was the author of his own misfortune due to driving at too high a speed for the road conditions. However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €750,000 settlement of the brain injury claim for an accident with a lorry had been negotiated between the parties.

The judge approved the settlement after noting that it represented 25 percent of the full value of the claim. Judge Cross commented that it was a good settlement for Francis in the circumstances, and he closed the approval hearing by wishing Francis all the best for the future.

Claim for a Back Injury in a Car Park Accident Dismissed by Judge

Posted on: December 3rd, 2015

A judge has dismissed a claim for a back injury in a car park accident after photos were presented to the Court from the plaintiff´s Facebook page.

On 5th April 2014, Rita Milinovic (29) from Citywest in Dublin was looking for a parking space when she was reversed into by a van driven by Paul Ferris. Despite the car park accident being described as “minor collision”, Rita claimed that she had suffered a back injury as a result of the accident that prevented her from working as a waitress for six months.

Rita made a claim for a back injury in a car park accident and asked for a €60,000 compensation settlement. Paul Ferris and his employer – O´Dwyer Property Management Limited – contested the value of the claim and the case went to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the hearing, Rita winced in the witness stand as she recounted the extent of the injury she had suffered. However, her claim for a back injury in a car park accident collapsed when barristers representing Ferris and O´Dwyer Property Management Limited presented photos to the court taken from Rita´s Facebook page.

The photos showed Rita at the top of Bray Head six weeks after her accident and of her working out in a gym. Other photos showed the bikini-clad Rita competing at an international body sculptor competition. The barristers told the court that Rita´s claim for a back injury in a car park accident was a lie from beginning to end.

Judge Groarke said: “Trying to be as politically correct as one can be in this situation, it doesn’t look like a person with such a fine physical physique as Ms Milinovic could have been suffering a great deal of pain”. He accepted that some of the pictures may have taken at photo-shoots, but others showed her doing physical exercises “which somebody with a bad back would certainly not be engaging in”.

The judge dismissed Rita´s claim for a back injury in a car park accident and made an order for costs against her. In summing up, Judge Groarke commented that, while Rita may have suffered some degree of injury, the law demanded that people came to court in total honesty. The failure to do so, the judge said, would attract the penalty of dismissal.

Settlement of Injury Claim for a Car Accident in Wicklow Approved in Court

Posted on: November 23rd, 2015

The settlement of an injury claim for a car accident in Wicklow has been approved in the High Court in favour of a sixteen year old girl.

Beth Cullen from Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow was just six years of age when she was badly injured in a car accident that occurred on the notorious “Nine Bends” stretch of the N11 near Ballinameesda. As a result of the November 2005 accident, Beth lost her sight in her left eye, her sense of smell and her sense of hearing in one ear.

Through her father – William Cullen – Beth made an injury claim for a car accident in Wicklow against her mother – Caroline Barrett – who had been driving the car when the accident occurred. In the injury claim for a car accident in Wicklow, it was alleged that Beth´s mother had failed to steer, stop, swerve or manage the car, and failed to have any or any adequate regard for the safety of her passenger.

Liability was conceded by Barrett´s insurance company, and a settlement of the injury claim for a car accident in Wicklow amounting to €1.3 million was agreed. As the claim had been made on behalf of a legal minor, the proposed settlement had to be approved by a judge to ensure it was in Beth´s best interests before the claim could be fully resolved.

Consequently, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances of the accident and the impact it had on Beth´s life. After hearing that Beth was doing well at school despite her injuries, the judge approved the settlement and wished Beth well for the future. As Beth is still a legal minor, the compensation settlement will be paid into court and be released when Beth is eighteen years of age.

Passengers Injury Claims for a Rear End Accident Resolved in Court

Posted on: November 5th, 2015

A driver´s and two passengers´ injury claims for a rear end accident have been resolved at a hearing of the Limerick Circuit Court.

On 18th October 2011, Mary O´Reilly was driving Lisa O´Reilly, Caitriona McDonagh and Breda McCarthy in her husband´s SUV from Charleville in County Cork to Rathkeale. As the SUV approached a roundabout on the outskirts of Rathkeale it was rear-ended by a rental van driver by Jeremiah O´Brien.

Although Mary and her three female passengers initially appeared to be uninjured, each started to experience pains in their heads, arms and backs consistent with a whiplash injury in the days following the accident. After seeking medical advice, Mary claimed compensation from O´Brien, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).

Lisa O´Reilly, Caitriona McDonagh and Breda McCarthy also made passengers injury claims for a rear end accident and Mary´s husband – William O´Reilly – claimed compensation for the damage to his vehicle. However, Enterprise rent-a-Car and the MIBI denied their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of the claims.

The defendants alleged that Mary´s and the passengers injury claims for a rear end accident did not stand up to scrutiny. They claimed that Jeremiah O´Brien and William O´Reilly were known to each other, and that when the Gardai attended the scene of the accident, no property damage was recorded. Furthermore, Mary and one of her passengers had made several personal injury claims in the past.

The case went to the Limerick Circuit Court to be resolved, where Judge Karen Fergus was told that, although William O´Reilly´s parents had lived close to Jeremiah O´Brien´s parents, the two men had only met once before. Furthermore, as one of the plaintiffs – Lisa O´Reilly – had settled her claim out of court, and a second – Caitriona McDonagh – had experienced severe difficulties during a pregnancy due to her injuries, the judge found in the plaintiffs´ favour.

Judge Fergus awarded Mary O´Reilly €7,500 for the neck and back injuries she had sustained in the accident and the two passengers injury claims for a rear end accident were settled for €10,000 (Caitriona McDonagh) and €12,000 (Breda McCarthy). The judge also awarded William O´Reilly €4,800 for the damage to his vehicle.

High Court Compensation Awards Rise by 34% in 2014

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015

The motor insurance industry has blamed over-generous judges for a 34 percent rise in High Court compensation awards over the past year.

The increase in High Court compensation awards was highlighted by by Davy Stockbrokers analyst Emer Lang, who used information gathered from the Courts Service annual report to show that a total of €155 million was awarded over 509 personal injuries claims in 2014.

Ms Lang compared the average claim value of €304,000 in 2014 to that of the previous year (€227,000) to arrive at her figure of 34%. During the same period, the average value of assessments conducted by the Injuries Board has remained steady at €22,600.

Experts from the motor insurance industry were shocked when they were told of the increase. AA Ireland’s Conor Faughnan said there was a need for training for judges to help them understand that High Court compensation awards are paid for by the country´s two million drivers.

Some of the blame for the increase in High Court compensation awards has been attributed to changes made under the Courts and Civil Law Act 2013, in which cases expected to settle for in excess of €60,000 are heard in the High Court.

Prior to the increase to €60,000, the lower limit for High Court compensation awards was €38,092, and Dorothea Dowling – founding chairperson of the Injuries Board, and the chair of the Motor Insurance Advisory Board – believes that plaintiffs are shunning Injuries Board assessments for more money at the High Court.

“The Department of Justice was forewarned well in advance,” Ms Dowling told the Independent. “This is what happens when you increase the limits of the lower courts – it sends out the message that €38,000 is small money.”

Ms Dowling does not share the same opinion as Mr Justice Bernard Barton, who in July this year criticised the government for not updating the injury compensation values published in the Book of Quantum – the publication on which the Injuries Board bases its assessments – since 2004.

In McGarry v McGarry Judge Barton commented “it is unquestionably in the interests of the proper administration of justice that the Book be reviewed and be kept updated to properly reflect [High Court compensation awards]”.

Court Awards €177,630 Compensation for a Pedestrian Injured in a Car Accident

Posted on: February 19th, 2015

The High Court in Limerick has awarded €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident to a man who was knocked down on the same stretch of road for a second time.

Edmund Quinlan had the misfortune to be run down by a car in 2004 and suffer a broken leg. Due to the skill of his doctors, Edmund (72) – a retired council worker – recovered well and was able to live independently in Garryspillane, County Limerick.

On March 5th 2010, Edmund was again walking from his home to the local pub for a drink with his friends and a game of cards, when he was knocked down by a car whose driver had failed to see him in the road due to the setting sun.

Edmund was taken to hospital with extensive fractures to the leg he had broken previously and spent ten weeks with his leg held in balanced suspension. His recovery on this occasion was all the more complicated due to the bone supporting the metal plate that had been inserted previously being shattered.

When he was discharged from hospital, Edmund claimed compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident against the driver that had run him down. Full liability for the accident was disputed by the driver that had hit Edmund, who alleged that Edmund had been walking along the road as if he were drunk.

As there was a dispute over liability, the Injuries Board declined to assess Edmund´s claim for compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident, and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for Edmund´s case to be heard in court.

However, the day before the hearing was due to start at the High Court in Limerick, the defendant withdrew his allegations that Edmund had been drinking and the case was presented to Mr Justice Paul McDermott for the assessment of damages only.

At the hearing, Dr Thomas Burke – Edmund´s surgeon – told Judge McDermott that his patient had made a near-miraculous recovery from his leg injuries but, due to Edmund´s increasing frailty, he had been moved to a nursing home.

The judge complimented Dr Burke for his treatment of Edmund, who – the judge said – had been very stoical in dealing with the injuries piled on him. Judge McDermott awarded Edmund €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian injured in a car accident, which included €115,000 for Edmund´s pain and suffering and €62,630 to cover the costs of Edmund´s medical and nursing home expenses.

This is an Information site only – if you feel you have a potential claim, you should discuss your situation with a solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland.