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.

Compensation for Death of Child in Car Accident Approved in Court

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015

A settlement of compensation for the death of a child in a car accident has been approved in the Circuit Court in favour of the mother of a toddler who was run over by a neighbour.

On March 3rd 2013, Lily Rose O´Toole was playing in the front garden of her family home in Tallaght, Dublin, watched by her mother Ruth. Ruth left her one-year-old daughter unattended for just a few minutes to chat with a neighbour who was just about to leave in her car.

After waving the neighbour goodbye, Ruth turned back towards her garden but could not see Lily Rose. Ruth then heard a commotion and turned around to see her daughter lying on the floor at the back of the neighbour´s car.

Lily Rose was able to get up and walk a few steps towards her mother but, as Ruth picked her daughter up, she saw a graze on the little girl´s forehead. Lily Rose was taken to the nearby Tallaght Hospital, but died later due to intra-abdominal bleeding caused by internal injuries.

After seeking legal advice, Ruth made a claim for compensation for the death of a child in a car accident under the Civil Liability Act 1962 against her neighbour – Esther Dillon. Liability was accepted by Ms Dillon´s car insurance company and a settlement of compensation was agreed.

Because a part of the compensation settlement was for the mental anguish suffered by Lily Rose´s ten-year-old step-brother – Patrick – the settlement of compensation for the death of a child in a car accident had to be approved by a judge before the claim could be resolved.

Consequently, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court heard the circumstances of Lily Rose´s tragic accident and how the settlement of compensation was to be distributed – €20,394 for Ruth´s mental distress, €10,794 for fees and funeral expenses and €5,000 being awarded to Patrick.

The judge approved the settlement of compensation for the death of a child in a car accident and expressed the court´s deep sympathy to Ruth – saying “the loss of a child is a terrible thing to happen to any mother”.

Judge Awards Woman €30,500 Compensation for a Wrist Injury in a Car Accident

Posted on: November 3rd, 2014

A woman, who had to give up her professional due to injuries sustained in a crash, has been awarded €30,500 compensation for a wrist injury in a car accident.

In December 2011, Denise Murray – a successful horse trainer – was involved in a car accident in Lucan, County Dublin, in which she damaged her heel and her right wrist. The damage to Denise´s heel subsequently cleared up, but the injury to her wrist has prevented her from continuing in her profession as a horse trainer.

Denise (49) made a compensation claim for a wrist injury in a car accident, stating that she had lost income as a result of the crash and had to forgo her outdoor life in exchange for a clerical job in a village post office. She claimed that her wrist was too weak to ride, school or groom the horses and that the slightest twitch in her wrist could cause excruciating pain.

The compensation claim for a wrist injury in a car accident went to the Circuit Civil Court, where Mr Justice Raymond Groake heard that steroid injections to the base of Denise´s thumb had failed to heal her injury and the only option left available to her was surgery that would involve the insertion of pins into Denise´s wrist without any guarantee of success.

During the hearing, Denise told Judge Groarke that turning a key in a door or removing the lid of a jar with her dominant hand was painful and that pain killers did not agree with her. Denise said that she had also been a keen DIY enthusiast, but had to give that up as well as she was unable to use tools with her left hand.

Judge Groarke awarded Denise €30,500 compensation for a wrist injury in a car accident – stating that Denise would have had many more years of enjoying her outdoor life had it not been for the wrist injury in the car accident. The judge also acknowledged that Denise had an underlying arthritic condition in her wrist which had been aggravated rather than caused by the accident.

Judge Approves €1 Million Settlement of Compensation for Brain Injury due to Road Traffic Accident

Posted on: July 31st, 2014

A High Court judge has approved a €1 million settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a road traffic accident in favour of a 60-year-old woman.

In September 2011, Elena Schiopu from Dublin was pushing her granddaughter in a buggy across Morehampton Road when she was struck by a car whose driver was attempting to undertake the vehicle that had given way to the sixty-year-old woman.

Elena was knocked to the ground, and although she had been injured in the accident she went home with her unharmed granddaughter. She later developed slurred speech and a weakness in her upper and lower limbs.

Elena´s family insisted that she went to hospital, where she was admitted and remained in intensive care for seventeen days as her condition deteriorated and she was unable to communicate. Elena was diagnosed with a quadriplegic brain injury and transferred to a nursing home in 2012.

Through her daughter, Elena claimed compensation for a brain injury due to a road traffic accident against the driver of the car who had struck her as she was crossing the road – Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin.

McElwain contested the claim on the grounds that he had not been speeding or driving dangerously and that Elena had not been looking as she attempted to cross the road. Elena´s family argued that McElwain had undertaken the stationary vehicle when he should have known it might be unsafe to do so.

A settlement of compensation for a brain injury due to a traffic accident was negotiated between the two parties and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told of the circumstances that led to Elena´s tragic injury, after which she approved the settlement and extended her sympathies to the family.

Compensation Claim for Brain Injuries Sustained in Drink Driving Accident Resolved at Court

Posted on: July 16th, 2014

A compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident has been resolved at the High Court after a judge approved a €1.2 million settlement.

On June 20th 2009, Laura Byrne (26) – a veterinary student living in New Ross in County Wexford – was talking with friends on John Street in New Ross, when she was hit by a car driven by Polish national Karol Chrzan.

When Chrzan hit Laura, she landed on the bonnet of the vehicle and cracked her head against the windscreen of the car and suffered traumatic brain injuries. Laura was taken by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital, and afterwards transferred to Cork for specialist treatment.

As a result of the brain injuries Laura sustained in the accident, she had to abandon the veterinary course she was studying due to attacks of double vision and problems with her balance. Five years after the accident, and despite intensive therapy, her left arm is still weaker than her right arm.

Immediately after the accident, Chrzan drove off with Laura lying on the road. He was later tracked down by the Garda and admitted to panicking after the accident due to drinking six beers and some vodka. The Garda also discovered he had been driving his partner´s car, for which he was not insured.

Chrzan was sentenced to three years in prison for dangerous driving and was also banned from driving for six years, after which Laura made a compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the organisation that settles claims against uninsured drivers.

A €1.2 settlement of Laura´s compensation claim for brain injuries sustained in a drink driving accident was negotiated to account for her injuries and lost opportunities; and, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement – commenting that it was a very good one in the circumstances.

The judge closed the case by adding that although no amount of money could compensate for the trauma Laura had suffered, she hoped that the extra money would make life better.

Settlement of Fatal Car Crash Injury Compensation Approved at Court

Posted on: July 5th, 2014

A €650,000 settlement of fatal car crash injury compensation in favour of a family who lost its wife and mother has been approved at the High Court in Dublin.

The family of Rose Martin from Carrickakelly in County Monaghan made their claim for fatal car crash injury compensation following an accident at Philipstown Corner in Killerley on New Year´s Eve 2006, after which Rose (57) died from her injuries.

Rose had been travelling as a front seat passenger in a car driven by her husband William, when it was hit head-on by a car driven by Jason Kearney from Dundalk in County Louth. Rose sustained fatal injuries in the collision which resulted in her death eleven days later in hospital, while William suffered a permanent leg injury and one of the couple´s children – David – required emergency abdominal surgery.

On the family´s behalf, William Martin made a claim for fatal car crash injury compensation against Kearney – not only for his wife´s death, but for the injuries that he and his son – who suffers from Down Syndrome – had sustained.

William claimed in his action that Kearney had driven directly into the path of his own car, at a speed that was inappropriate for the prevailing circumstances and conditions. Liability was accepted by Kearney´s insurers, and a settlement of the family´s claim for fatal car crash injury compensation was negotiated.

However, as David suffers from Down Syndrome – and due to the nature of the claim for fatal car crash injury compensation – the settlement had to be first approved by a judge before it could be finally resolved; and therefore, at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard about the circumstances of the accident and the impact it had on the family.

Judge Irvine was told that Rose had been David´s primary carer for 28 years, and that the loss of his wife was emotionally traumatic for William, who had failed to believe that his wife was actually dead. The judge approved the €650,000 settlement of fatal car crash injury compensation and expressed her sympathy for the family.

Court Approves Compensation for Car Crash Injuries in the Womb

Posted on: October 10th, 2013

A teenage girl, who suffered respiratory distress syndrome when she was prematurely born two days after her pregnant mother was involved in a car crash, has had a settlement of compensation for car crash injuries in the womb approved at the Circuit Civil Court.

Aoife Sheehan (14) from Rathfarnham in Dublin was delivered prematurely at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin in April 1999 after her mother – Martina – had been involved in a car crash two days previously, which resulted in the early onset of labour.

Martina Sheehan had been driving the family car along Templeroan Road in Rathfarnham, when it was in collision with a car driven by Elaine O’Connor also from Rathfarnham. Although Martina Sheehan was not injured in the accident, the shock of the collision resulted in Aoife being delivered at thirty-six weeks, and immediately suffering respiratory distress syndrome.

Aoife was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Coombe Hospital where the severity of her respiratory distress increased and her breathing had to be supported by a ventilator. Aoife remained critically ill for some time and, after she was able to breathe independently, stayed in neo-natal intensive care for a further three weeks.

Through her mother, Aoife made a claim for compensation for car crash injuries in the womb against Elaine O´Connor – the driver of the vehicle responsible for causing the collision prior to her birth – claiming that had the accident not occurred, she would not have suffered respiratory distress syndrome.

Liability was denied by Ms O´Connor´s insurers on the grounds that, even if it could be proven that the car accident was the cause of Aoife´s premature birth, any injuries that Aoife had suffered had occurred before she was born and she was therefore not eligible to receive compensation for car crash injuries in the womb.

Nonetheless, as Judge Matthew Deery heard at the Circuit Civil Court, an offer of compensation for car crash injuries in the womb had been made by Ms O´Connor´s insurers amounting €15,000 in general damages and a further €2,800 in special damages. Approving the settlement, Judge Deery said that it was a good settlement in the circumstances as there would be substantial difficulties proving liability given the circumstances and the medical evidence available to Aoife.

More Injuries Board Assessments Being Rejected

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013

The six-month analysis produced by the Injuries Board has shown that more Injury Board assessments are being rejected than ever before.

The analysis – which is published on the news pages of www.injuriesboard.ie – demonstrates that fewer plaintiffs are accepting the Injuries Board assessments of their compensation claims, and using solicitors to negotiate a settlement directly with the negligent party´s insurers or pursuing court action.

In the six months to June 2013, the Injuries Board received 16,162 applications for assessment and had 5,286 assessment accepted by plaintiffs – 32.7 percent. In the corresponding period for 2012, 14,685 applications for assessment were received by the Injuries Board, of which 5,180 assessments (37.2 percent) were accepted.

Selected extraordinary Injuries Boards assessments – including their largest ever award of €976,000 – increased the total value of personal injury compensation processed by the organisation during the six month period to €118.14 million (up 8.35 percent on 2012), while the average time it take to process Injuries Board assessments crept up once again to 7.4 months – meaning that, with the 90 days a respondent gets to consent to an assessment by the Injuries Board, and the time that elapses between both parties accepting an assessment and an Order to Pay being issued, it is likely to take more than a year to settle a claim for personal injury compensation through the Injuries Board process.

Please note: even if your solicitor is in negotiations with the party responsible for causing you an injury, it is still necessary to go through the Injuries Board process (except in the case of medical negligence compensation claims and certain professional negligence claims). Should your solicitor be unable to obtain a satisfactory resolution of your claim through negotiation, he or she will need an Authorisation from the Injuries Board to pursue court action – Authorisation which can only been issued once an assessment has been completed and rejected.

Commenting on the release of the six-month analysis, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – said that despite the “double digit increases” she saw no reason for insurance companies to use these figures as the basis for a hike in premiums. Ms Byron added that a reduction in the processing fee paid by respondents (usually insurance companies) should more than offset the increased number of claims and higher average awards.

Passenger to Receive Compensation for a Brain Injury in a Car Crash

Posted on: July 9th, 2013

A former honours university student, who had to abandon her plans to become a teacher after a horrific road traffic accident, is to receive 3 million €uros in compensation for a brain injury in a car crash.

Rhona Murphy (34) from Newcastle in County Galway suffered her traumatic injury in February 1999 when she was a front seat passenger in a car which attempted to undertake a slower moving vehicle on the Galway to Headford Road.

The driver of the car lost control of the vehicle and collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction – causing 20-year-old Rhona to sustain life-threatening injuries which, the High Court heard, she was lucky to survive.

Rhona had to give up her studies and her potential teaching career because of the brain damage she suffered, and has been cared for by her father since the accident. Rhona is still under medication to help her cope with her loss of memory and loss of balance.

Through her father, Rhona made a claim for compensation for a brain injury in a car crash against the driver of the vehicle – alleging that they had been driving in a reckless manner and had attempted a dangerous manoeuvre at an excessive speed.

Liability for the claim was accepted by the driver and, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that an offer of 3 million €uros had been made in settlement of the claim for a brain injury in a car crash which Rhona´s family had agreed to.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of compensation for a brain injury in a car crash, commenting that it was a good settlement in the circumstances considering the doubt that Rhona had been wearing a seatbelt at the time and that she had consciously travelled as a passenger in a car which was being driven under the influence of alcohol.

Settlement of Claims for Childrens Injuries in a Car Crash Approved in Court

Posted on: May 28th, 2013

Two sisters have the settlement of their claims for childrens injuries in a car crash approved following a High Court hearing.

The two sisters – Aislinn and Meabh Reid from Malahide in County Dublin – were aged just four and nine years of age respectively when their mother – Marian – sustained fatal injuries in a car crash as the family were travelling to attend the wedding of Marian´s brother in County Clare in June 2004.

The accident, which happened on the Nenagh bypass in County Tipperary, was caused by the girls´ father – Derek – driving into a stationary truck. Marian Reid – who was a primary school teacher – died the day before her 39th birthday from the injuries she sustained in the accident, while Aislinn suffered a broken leg and Meabh sustained soft tissue bruising.

Through relatives, the two girls made claims for childrens injuries in a car crash against their father and, following a High Court hearing in Dublin the two settlements of compensation were approved – Aislinn receiving €155,000 and her elder sister Meabh being awarded €75,000.

Back Seat Passenger Injury Compensation Awarded against Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland

Posted on: May 14th, 2013

An award of back seat passenger injury compensation has been made to an eighteen-year-old GAA player after a hearing at the High Court.

Ben Conroy – from Montrath in County Laois – was travelling in the rear seat of a car which was hit from behind by another vehicle attempting to overtake the car on the Rushin Road in Mountrath on March 15th 2009.

Ben suffered severe physical and psychological injuries as a result of the accident and, as he only fourteen years of age at the time, a claim for back seat passenger injury compensation was made against the driver of the vehicle – Craig Dooley of Mountrath – by Ben´s father.

As Craig Dooley was uninsured, the back seat passenger injury claim had to be made against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI); who accepted liability for Ben´s injuries but with whom Ben´s solicitors could not agree a settlement of injury compensation.

The claim was settled in the High Court where, after hearing evidence of Ben´s injuries, the court awarded the GAA player €20,600 in compensation.

Annual Report Reveals Awareness of Right to Claim Personal Injury Compensation

Posted on: April 2nd, 2013

The Injuries Board Annual Report for 2012 has revealed a greater awareness of an injured party´s right to claim personal injury compensation when they have been hurt in an accident which was not their fault.

The report, which has been published on the injuriesboardie.com web site, showed that applications for the assessment of personal injury claims in Ireland submitted to the Injuries Board had risen 4.7 percent in 2012 to 28,962 (excluding claims for DePuy Hip Replacement Compensation); mostly influenced by a significant rise in the number of personal injury claims for compensation following a road traffic accident (up 6.7 percent on 2011).

Just less than 35 percent of the assessments made by the Injuries Board were accepted by plaintiffs as acceptable (10,136) with the average settlement value being €21,502 and 75 percent of those being for road traffic injury compensation claims. Injuries at work accounted for 8 percent of accepted Injuries Board assessments, while people injured in a place of public access made up the remainder of those exercising their right to claim personal injury compensation.

In a press statement accompanying the release of the 2012 Annual Report, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – commented on the greater awareness of an injured party´s right to claim personal injury compensation by saying “The steady but consistent increase in claims volumes over the past five years is a real concern at a time when our roads have never been safer and we have fewer people at work”.

Ms Byron also expressed her fears that there was an “emerging claims culture” which, she hoped, would be addressed in the forthcoming Legal Services Bill, which is due to be introduced this coming summer by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Settlement of Compensation for Serious Road Traffic Accident Injuries Approved in Court

Posted on: March 13th, 2013

A man who suffered quadriplegic injuries and severe brain damage following a head-on crash has had a €6.5 million settlement of compensation for serious road traffic accident injuries approved in the High Court.

Alan Kavanagh (41) from New Ross, County Wexford, suffered his serious injuries when he and his daughter were involved in a head-on crash with a van recklessly being driven by Liam Toohey of Nenagh, County Tipperary in November 2004.

Having sustained multiple fractures and brain damage which left him in a quadriplegic condition, Alan is completely dependent on others for nursing care, is unable to feed himself and is confined to a wheelchair. Fortunately for Alan´s daughter, the only injury she sustained in the accident was a broken finger.

At the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Alan had made a claim for serious road traffic accident injuries compensation through his brother against Toohey and the owner of the van – John Heffernan, a haulage contractor, also of Nenagh, County Tipperary. Responsibility for Alan´s injuries had been accepted before the court hearing, and the case was before the judge for assessment of damages only.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told in court that Alan was currently living in a nursing home for the elderly which was not suitable for his needs; however a settlement of €6.5 million had been proposed in settlement of the claim for compensation for serious road traffic accident injuries which would provide financial security for the rest of Alan´s life and enable the family to afford the level of care he required.

After hearing evidence from Loretto Power – Alan´s partner and the mother of his daughter – that the family was happy with the proposed settlement of compensation, Ms Justice Mary Irvine gave the settlement her approval – saying that it was an excellent settlement which gave Alan the best chance of meeting his future requirements.

Compensation for Orthopaedic Negligence after Crash Approved

Posted on: October 24th, 2012

A girl who emerged from surgery with one leg shorter than the other after being taken to hospital as the victim of a car crash has had a settlement of compensation for orthopaedic negligence approved in the High Court.

Aine Marie O´Neill (13) of Ballylongford, County Kerry, was just three years of age when she was rushed to Tralee General Hospital in January 2003 with serious leg injuries after being involved in a car crash.

Aine had been a back seat passenger in a car driven by her mother – Deirdre – which had been struck head-on by a four-wheel vehicle driven by Seamus Danaher who had allegedly been travelling on the wrong side of the road.

Aine received treatment for her injuries in hospital for two weeks and then – as her consultant surgeon was about to go on vacation – was passed into the care of consultant orthopaedic surgeons, Doctors Mohammed Ashrad Khan and Michael J Murphy.

Despite her reservations, Deidre O´Neill was persuaded into allowing Drs Khan and Murphy to perform surgery on Aine´s leg after being told that Aine would be left with a permanent limp if the leg was left to its own devices

However, immediately after surgery, Aine was in agony. After ongoing complaints from Deidre O´Neill and her sister – who herself was a nurse – Aine´s plaster cast was removed to reveal an ulceration and two significant areas of skin necrosis.

Áine Marie was transferred to Cork University Hospital and was discharged 71 days later with her left leg shorter by two centimetres than her right leg, having developed a limp and a deformity to her left ankle and thigh bone. It later transpired that neither Dr Khan nor Dr Murphy had ever previously attempted the surgery undertaken at Tralee General Hospital.

Through her mother, Aine sued Seamus Danaher for causing the car crash and made a claim for compensation for orthopaedic negligence against the Health Service Executive and the two consultant orthopaedic surgeons.

Mrs Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court that a settlement of 365,000 Euros had been negotiated – with 55,000 Euros to be paid by Seamus Danaher´s insurers with the balance settled against the Health Service Executive – and that the case was before her for approval of compensation for orthopaedic negligence only.

Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine told Aine that she believed it was a good agreement. The total amount of compensation included special damages of 240,000 Euros, and Ms Justice Mary Irvine commented that had it been any more, the whole settlement may have been appealed with Aine ultimately receiving less.

Hit and Run Cyclist Compensation Approved in Court

Posted on: October 3rd, 2012

A teenage cyclist, who suffered head injuries and a broken leg when being hit by a car whose driver fled from the scene of the accident, has had a negotiated compensation settlement of 635,000 dollars approved in court.

Andrew Mallee (15) of Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia, was cycling along the New Gulph Road in July 2009, when he was hit by a Volvo driven by 77-year-old Suzanne Lammers. Andrew sustained a broken leg in the accident and head injuries which resulted in permanent ear and facial nerve damage.

Lammers fled the scene of the accident, but witnesses gave police details of the car which was found several hours later in the woman´s garage covered with a blanket which hid a smashed windscreen. Lammers told police that she thought she had hit a deer and was going to go back and check but panicked when she heard police sirens.

In July 2010, Lammers pleaded guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, as well as the summary offence charge of failure to give information or render aid and was sentenced to 90 days. However, in the civil claim for hit and run compensation which followed, Lammers´ defence argued that she did not cause the accident and that Andrew´s head injuries would not have been so severe had he been wearing a cycle helmet.

A court hearing was scheduled to be heard at Montgomery County Court but, before the trial was able to commence, the two parties settled the claim for hit and run compensation by agreeing to a settlement of 635,000 dollars. After the settlement was approved by the court, the family´s solicitor said “Although Andrew sustained serious injuries initially, thankfully he recovered quite well and is back playing sports and doing well with his studies preparing for college.”

New Personal Injury Court to Open in Edinburgh

Posted on: October 2nd, 2012

A groundbreaking court, specialising only in personal injury claims, is to be established in Edinburgh. The first of its kind in Britain, the court will deal with claims for personal injury compensation from all over Scotland.

The specialist court, in which claims will be heard by experienced Sheriffs, was a key recommendation in Lord Gill´s 2009 review of the Scottish court system after it was determined that the current system – in which claimants with a claim valued at over 5,000 pounds can have their claim heard in the Court of Session – took too long and was too expensive.

Solicitors and trade union organisations have welcomed the announcement of the new court – stating that it is an important step to ensure fair judgements and consistent levels of personal injury compensation to victims of accidents at work, those injured through no fault of their own in road traffic accidents and in places of public access.

Leading solicitors in Scotland have denied that the court is necessary to cope with a growing “compensation culture”. Statistics show no real change in the number of personal injury claims being made or the settlements being achieved. “‘Compensation culture’ is just a phrase that has been created to put people off making claims and save the insurance industry money” said one solicitor. “You don’t stop claims by preventing people who are injured seeking just redress, you stop claims by preventing accidents in the first place.”

Changes will be required to existing Scottish law before the court becomes a reality, but legislation is expected to be included in the Scottish Government´s List of Bills for next autumn. It is also expected that the new personal injury court will be located in Edinburgh´s Parliament House – where personal injury cases are already heard, but in future will be presided over by Sheriffs rather than Court of Session judges.

Injuries Board Makes Interim 2012 Report

Posted on: September 28th, 2012

An interim report from the Injuries Board has shown an increase of 4.1 percent in the number of personal injury claims in Ireland submitted to the authority for assessment.

In the first six months of 2012, the Injuries Board received 14,669 applications for assessment – the majority of which were for traffic accident claims (59.4 percent) with the remainder comprised of public liability claims (27.2 percent) and work injury claims (13.4 percent).

Although fears of an anticipated spike in personal injury claims in Ireland due to the “recessionary environment” did not materialise, the Chief Executive of InjuriesBoard.ie – Patricia Byron – noted that there had been a tendency for more claimants to pursue lower value claims.

She also acknowledged that information on the Internet had also had an impact on the number of personal injury claims in Ireland – an indication that people in Ireland are becoming more aware of their rights to claim personal injury compensation when they have been injured in an accident for which they were not to blame.

The proportion of Injury Board assessments which were accepted by claimants and respondents remained steady at approximately 35 percent, while there was a slight decrease in the average value of Injuries Board assessments – from 21,086 Euros in 2011 to 21,049 Euros during the first six months of 2012 – which was attributable to a slightly lower volume of work injury claims.

Ms Byron also highlighted that there had been an increase in issue-specific applications for assessment which the Injuries Board were unable to process – most notably individual applications submitted by members of the Irish Thalidomide Association and those making DePuy compensation claims after the recall of the faulty metal-on-metal hip replacements.

Commenting on these two issue-specific cases, Ms Byron said “Currently when multiple issue-specific claims first arise, InjuriesBoard.ie is obliged to release these cases to the Courts until a compensation benchmark has been established. As litigation costs typically add over 50% to the cost of underlying awards this can mean additional costs of €500,000 per €1million in awards, even in circumstances where liability is not in dispute. Assessing these cases through a non adversarial process, such as InjuriesBoard.ie, could result in substantial savings.”

Childs Bicycle Injury Claim Resolved Prior to Court Hearing

Posted on: July 17th, 2012

The family of an eleven-year-old boy, who sustained terrible head injuries and a broken leg when the tricycle he was riding was in collision with a car, have resolved their child´s bicycle injury claim for compensation shortly before a High Court hearing was due to commence in Dublin.

The boy – Bartosz Zakrzewski from Birr in County Offaly – sustained his injuries in July 2010 while cycling along An Coran Street in Birr. His tricycle was hit by a car driven by Caitríona Kelly – also from Birr – with such force that he was thrown several metres from the site of the collision. As a result of the accident, Bartosz suffered head injuries, cuts, bruising and lacerations all over his body and a broken leg.

After seeking legal advice, Bartosz´s mother – Monika – made a claim for child´s bicycle injury compensation against Ms Kelly, claiming that she had been negligent in causing the accident and was in breach of her duty of care. Ms Kelly denied the claims and, as the Injuries Board were therefore unable to assess damages, the case was scheduled to be heard at Dublin High Court.

However, shortly before proceedings were due to begin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told that the two sides had negotiated an agreement which would see Bartosz receive 100,000 Euros in child´s bicycle injury compensation without an admission of liability from Ms Kelly. After hearing the circumstances of the accident and statements from both parties, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement of Bartosz´s child´s bicycle injury claim – expressing her sympathy for both Bartosz´s family and Ms Kelly.

Periodic Payments Call after Child Head Injury Settlement Approved

Posted on: July 4th, 2012

Ms Justice Mary Irvine has repeated the call for a system of periodic payments for victims of catastrophic injuries to be introduced after approving a 5.5 million Euros child head injury settlement at the High Court.

The judge said that the current system of lump sum payments means “we are not protecting the welfare of the young and most vulnerable in society”. Ms Justice Mary Irvine was speaking at the conclusion of a case brought before her concerning the approval of damages for nine-year-old Ian Cusack, who was left a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy following a tragic accident when he was just five years of age.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard that Ian – from Clarina, County Limerick – was leaving home with his mother Oorla to attend dancing classes in September 2008 when, as his mother´s attention was distracted, he crossed the road outside the family home with his dog. Although safely reaching the opposite pavement, Ian bent down to stroke his pet, at which time he was hit by a car driver by Niamh Cusack – also of Clarina, County Limerick.

Ian suffered devastating head injuries in the accident, due to which he is completely dependent on his mother and healthcare workers, is unable to speak and is prone to spasms. In July 2010 Ian was admitted to the St. Joseph´s Foundation in Charleville, Cork – a respite facility and long-term home for children. However, due to Health Service Executive cut-backs, care can only be provided during the week.

Through his mother, Ian made a claim for compensation for his injuries against Niamh Cusack and, although liability was denied, a child head injury settlement of 5.5 million Euros was agreed. After hearing the tragic details of the case, Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement and repeated her call for a more suitable structure to be introduced for victims of catastrophic injury.

Insurers Penalised after Rear-End Accident Injury Claim Withdrawn

Posted on: June 20th, 2012

The insurance company, AXA, has been ordered to pay aggravated damages to a man injured by their client in a rear-end accident after a claim of collusion was not pursued in court.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery ordered the insurance company to pay the additional damages after they and their client – Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, County Dublin – withdrew an affidavit alleging collusion between the injured party – James O’Sullivan, of Clane, County Kildare – and another witness for the defence.

The judge heard that James O´Sullivan had made a claim for personal injury compensation after he was rear-ended by a taxi driven by Reilly in Eirhouse, County Dublin, in September 2008. However, Reilly and his insurers defended the claim by alleging that O´Sullivan had colluded with a defence witness to gain support for his claim.

The allegations of collusion were not brought up at the court hearing, and Mr Justice Matthew Deery was critical of the way in which AXA Insurance and Reilly had handled their defence.   The judge 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 a settlement of 7,750 Euros for whiplash injury compensation which was made against the AXA insurance company.

Claim for Overseas Accident Compensation Resolved in Dublin

Posted on: May 5th, 2012

In the first case of its kind in Ireland, a claim for overseas accident compensation was determined in an Irish court using judicial discretion rather than standard European compensation procedure.

The claim for overseas accident compensation was made by Peter Kelly (75) of Ranelagh, Dublin, who in June 2009 sustained a hip injury when struck by a local council van while crossing the Traverse de la Tour in Cannes. Although not initially serious enough to warrant surgery, the condition of Peter´s hip deteriorated until he was forced to undergo a hip replacement operation in 2011.

After seeking professional legal advice from an Irish solicitor, Peter made a claim for overseas car accident compensation against the public liability insurers of the Cannes municipality – Groupama. Groupama accepted liability for Peter´s injuries, but argued that how much compensation for overseas accident he was entitled to should be determined by the French Book of Quantum, which allocates significantly lower values to injuries than the Irish equivalent.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill ruled that the Book of Quantum exists in France to ensure that awards of personal injury compensation within France remained constant, and although he was prepared to use it as a guide, he was not going to allow any figures quoted in the French Book of Quantum to restrain him from awarding a fair and adequate settlement of overseas accident compensation.

The judge added that the claimant had been an active person prior to his injury and hip replacement, and his loss of amenity had been significant due to the van driver´s negligence. However, in assessing the value of Peter´s overseas accident compensation, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill stated that he was prepared to use French methodology to calculate the award of compensation, but adjust it to reflect Irish values.

Awarding Peter 63,900 Euros for the pain he experienced at the time of his initial injury and suffering due to the hip replacement operation, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O´Neill explained to the court that exclusively using the French Book of Quantum, the claim for overseas accident compensation would have been settled for 38,506 Euros. The judge also advised the court that special damages for overseas accident compensation of 24,267 Euros had already been agreed between the two parties and the total award would now amount to 88,167 Euros.



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.