All Posts in Category: Car Accident Compensation

€4.7m Interim Compensation Settlement for Girl who Sustained Serious Brain Injury in Car Crash

A €4.7m interim car crash injury compensation payout has been approved in a High Court action taken by a five-year old girl who suffered a serious brain injury when, as a baby, she was a involved in a road traffic collision.

When the head on car crash occurred Luna Vezignol McGuinness was just over three months old. She was on  holidays with her parents in Lissycasey, Co Clare on February 27, 2016.

Luna’s counsel, Oonah McCrann SC, instructed by Ernest Cantillon, solicitor, said the compensation action was being taken as a result of the ‘tragic circumstances; of the accident. She informed the court that Luna’s father, who is originally from France a French national was driving the family car at this time of the crash. He was pulling out from a petrol station and suffered from “a momentary lapse of concentration”. Unfortunately he drove onto the road prior to the infant being fully strapped in and secured in the baby seat.

Luna sustained multiple skull fractures and she was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Limerick and later moved to Dublin, where she underwent surgery. She was not sent home from hospital until the end of April 2016 and she then spent four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Counsel said Luna is very much loved and brings joy to all her family.

It was alleged in the legal action that Luna’s father Mr Vezignol drove the hire car on the incorrect side of the carriageway and the collision took place an oncoming vehicle. It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to see to it that the intended path of travel was safe and free of vehicles and an alleged failure to keep any proper regard for other road users.

Liability was accepted in the legal action, which was before the court for assessment of damages only.

The Judge was informed that Luna suffers with a type of cerebral palsy and is a beautiful little girl. While her father remains in full-time employment, her mother devotes “every minute of every day” to her daughter’s care. Despite Luna’s uncle and mother both suffering injuries in the crash they had not brought compensation claims in relation to said injuries.

Luna was taking the legal action – through her mother Orla Vezignol McGuinness who has an address at Donadea, Co Kildare – against her own father Laurent Vezignol, and the owner of the car, Flynn Bros Rent a Car Ballygar, Athlone Road, Roscommon town.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross, in giving his approval for the interim compensation settlement,  praised both parents for the care that they are providing for the their daughter. He said that Luna has progressed greatly due to this care and that the claim was necessary claim. Additionally he remarked that other significant claims by Luna’s mother and uncle had not been pursued.

The case to due for further consideration in five years when her future care needs will be assessed.

 

 

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PTSD Car Crash Compensation Award of €87,000 for Woman who Attended Accident Scene

A woman, who was the first on the scene of a horrific road traffic and saw the partly decapitated body of a motorist, has had a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compensation award of €87,000 has been approved.

The woman in question, Lisa Sheehan, began to suffer from moderately severe PTSD following the incident. She felt that she could no longer continue in her job so had to resign from her hairdressing role two years after the accident happened.

Mrs Sheehan (36) is a married mother of two from Banteer in north Cork. She took the legal action for compensation against Bus Éireann and FBD insurance which provided cover for the deceased motorist.

Mrs Sheehan described to the judge how she suffers with nightmares and flashbacks, how her mental condition placed great strain on her relationships and how she still needs counselling and medication.

The court was informed that this suffering arose as a result of the negligent operation or control of both the bus and the car. Bus Éireann refuted the negligence claims. FBD, on the other hand, accepted that the accident was caused by the negligence of the deceased car driver but, in tandem with Bus Éireannm, argued that Ms Sheehan’s psychiatric injuries did not give rise to any cause of action recognised in legislation and they did not owe her a duty of care.

Ms Sheehan was driving home from  her job in Cork city at the end of her work shift when the unfortunate incident took place on January 28, 2017. As she was coming close to Mallow she became aware that her car struck some debris so she brought the car to a complete halt. SHer then discovered that there was a damaged bus and car nearby. Upon further investigation she found “a badly disfigured and partly decapitated body”.

Mrs Sheehan then called the emergency services and investigated the other surrounding areas for other people who might have been involved in the accident. She eventually found the driver of the crashed bus whose face was covered in blood.

Addressing the legal arguments that the defendants were stating, Justice David Keane said the law on primary/secondary victims is far from settled in this jurisdiction. He continued, saying that that, while in his opinion nothing turned on that division in this instance, he was content that Ms Sheehan was a primary victim as her car had been hit by debris from the crash.

Justice David Keane approved the PTSD compensation award of €87,238 compensation in relation to the incident.

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Dentist Negligence Compensation Action Settled for €60k

Roisin Mimnagh, has settled a €60,000 dentist negligence compensation claim against her former dentist for an undisclosed figure in the Circuit Civil Court following a treatment that she said left her scared to smile.

Following the treatment of 50-year-old Mrs Mimnagh, the Court was informed that she had been shocked to see that an incisor had been filed away without her permission and filled in with an amalgam or composite.

Mrs Mimnagh legal counsel, David McParland, informed Judge Jacqueline Linnane that his client was someone who was normally happy with how she looked. She had made an appointment with Dr Anna O’Donovan, Griffith Avenue, Dublin, to have an incisor realigned. He stated: “To her horror she afterwards found that her tooth had been filed away and replaced with an amalgam or composite that was smaller and shorter and different from her original tooth”.

Dr O’Donovan, represented Barrister Sarah Corcoran, informed the Judge that her client had entered a full defence to Ms Mimnagh’s legal action. However they had accepted that written consent for the specific treatment for her tooth had not been received prior to it being administered. She went on to say that the case before the court was not one of deciding liability but a matter of assessing damages.

Remedial work was carried out in 2013 shortly after the initial treatment. Mr McParland said Ms Mimnagh was still wearing an appliance on her tooth. He added that a dental expert was of the opinion her that she would need further realignment work.

Judge Linnane was informed by Mr McPartland that his client at first thought she was going to have some white filling applied to her tooth to make it look straighter. She was very traumatised when she later saw it had been filed away and an amalgam or composite applied to it. This left her scared to smile.

Judge Linnane told the Court that she had reviewed the pleadings and had found that the latest expert report was over three years old. Due to this she said that she would be unable to assess damages as the reports were outdated. As an alternative route, Judge Linnane suggested some talks about settling the case. Ms Corcoran informed her that Dr O’Donovan had always had “a significant willingness” conduct talks. Mr McParland returned to Court shortly later to advise the Judge that the case had been settled and could be struck out with an order for Ms Mimnagh’s legal costs to be taxed in default of agreement.

 

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€64,000 Awarded to Man after Bicycle Accident on Repaired Road

A 47-year-old man who sustained a serious back injury when his bicycle slipped on a road where a lot of bitumen sealant had been applied in repair work, has been awarded €64,000 Bike Accident Compensation at the High Court.

Mr Kearney, from Portlaw, Co Waterford took the road bike accident compensation action against Tipperary County Council as it is the body responsible for the upkeep of the road.  He took a separate action against Roadstone Wood Ltd, the company which carried out the repairs on the road.

Judge Bronagh O’Hanlon said it was obvious that the man, Joseph Kearney, experienced major pain and a loss of the amenities of life to a significant degree due to the accident that occurred at Ballinaraha, Kilsheelan, Cloneml, Co Tipperary, on St Stephen’s Day 2011.

In addition to this Mr Kearney had also suffered serious ongoing pain for nine months and had significant pain and suffering for another two years. According to the judge.

The judge, in ruling that both Tipperary Co Council and Roadstone Wood were liable, said it seemed to the court they accepted the testimony of Mr Kearney that there was faulty workmanship in terms of the original work on the road and the repair. Additionally, a similar incident had occurred elsewhere on the road which had been witnessed by a person who gave evidence in this case.

The Judge told the Court that Roadstone Wood had completed he remedial works without ensuring it was done to the correct standard in line with the correct specifications. She said Tipperary County Council was also negligent because it could have been reasonably foreseen that such patching negligently done, in breach of the regulations, would result in an accident. This should have been obvious after the other accident had occurred, she said.

The court was advised that Mr Kearney’s accident occurred when 17 people were cycling two abreast on the hard shoulder. Mr Kearney was a member of this group and was wearing a helmet. As he approached a curve on the road, he was suddenly slipped and fell from his bike. The judge said Mr Kearney had given his evidence carefully and honestly and did not exaggerate his accident or injuries.

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€7.5m Compensation Award After Brain Injury Suffered Before Birth

A boy who was inflicted with a brain injury just before has born when his mother was thrown from a car as she was on her way to have a final pregnancy scan has settled his High Court Baby Injury Compensation action for €7.5m.

After the accident, Cian Hammel had to be delivered by emergency Caesarean section in hospital. The High Court was told that in the accident his mother, aged 17 at the time, was thrown from the seven-seater vehicle in which she was a back-seat passenger. The driver of the car did not have motor insurance.  The accident occurred on February 3, 2009 near Manhanagh, Screen, Co Wexford. The boy now has difficulty walking and is unsteady on his feet and also has difficulties with language.

Taking the Baby Injury Compensation action through his grandmother Ann, Cian Hammel of Ford Court, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford sued the driver of the car, Simon Jordan, of Monaseed, High Fort, Gorey, Co Wexford.

The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), which handles compensation claims for victims of uninsured driving, was also sued as a result of the accident.

The car which was driven by Mr Jordan allegedly went out of control and flipped causing Cian’s mother Roisin Hammel, who was in a rear seat, to be flung from the vehicle. Senior Counsel Rosario Boyle told the court that Roisin, who was studying for her Leaving Cert, had accepted a lift to attend her final scan.

Additionally, it was alleged that Mr Jordan had overtaken another vehicle when it was not safe to do so and that he was driving at an excessive speed given the weather conditions. These claims were denied.

Ms Boyle said Ms Hammel was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. However, the MIBI later acknowledged that, had she been wearing a seat belt, the consequences for Cian would not have been better.

She said Ms Hammel’s waters broke and, due to this, she had to have an emergency caesarean section in hospital due to foetal distress. Ms Hammel, counsel said, was told to prepare for the worst and when Cian was delivered. He had to be resuscitated and there was multi-organ failure.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the baby injury compensation settlement and said he hoped it will provide for Cian’s needs for the future.

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Injuries Board Awards Increase by 8 Percent

Injuries Board awards of compensation have increased by more than 8 percent during the first six months of the year according to a report published on the government body´s website.

Both the total number of applications for assessment (16,162) and the average value of Injuries Board awards (€22,349) increased in relation to the corresponding period in 2012, but Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge.

She said that, as the Board´s processing fee for respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00, the savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims and added that early indications from the third quarter of 2013 show a general decline in the number of applications for assessment being received by the Injuries Board.

The highest proportion of Injuries Board awards were made for traffic accident compensation claims (75.5 percent), with claims for injuries sustained in public places (public liability claims) accounting for 16.4 percent of accepted Injuries Board assessments and the balance (8.1 percent) being made up of awards of compensation for accidents at work.

One figure understandably not highlighted by the Injuries Board is that the percentage of accepted assessments (Injuries Board awards that plaintiffs agree to) fell from 37.2 percent in 2012 to 32.7 percent in 2013 – a statistic that would indicate a higher proportion of claims for personal injury compensation are being settled outside of the Injuries Board process.

However, it should be noted that – even if you are in advanced stages of negotiating a compensation settlement with an insurance company – an application for assessment should still be submitted to the Injuries Board. If your negotiations are unsuccessful, and court action is required to resolve your claim, you (or your solicitor) will require that an Authorisation” is issued by the Injuries Board before court action can proceed.

Please also note that the Injuries Board does not accept applications for assessment when plaintiffs have sustained a loss, injury or the deterioration of an existing condition due to medical negligence, and it is always recommended that you seek the advice of a solicitor in these circumstances.

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Neck Injury Victim Awarded Go-Karting Accident Compensation

A woman, who sustained neck injuries due to a rear-end collision on a go-karting track, has been awarded more than 9,000 Euros in go-karting accident compensation at the Circuit Civil Court.

Karen Wimpory (31) from Maidenhead in Berkshire was visiting Dublin in March 2009 with friends on a hen weekend when, as part of the celebration, she and her friends choose to try their hand at go-kart racing at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack.

Having signed a disclaimer which had a warning that motor sport could be dangerous and “in the absence of any negligence on the part of the company” she was participating entirely at her own risk, Karen watched a safety video before climbing into her go-kart for a four-circuit warm-up.

It was at the end of this warm-up, Karen claimed, that she and other racers had to brake abruptly because a race marshal had stepped on to the track. Although Karen stopped in time, another driver crashed into the back of her kart, pushing her neck and shoulders backwards and leaving with neck injuries similar to whiplash.

After seeking legal advice, Karen made a compensation claim for go-karting accident against Grovepark Services Ltd., which trades as Kylemore Karting, alleging that her neck injuries were attributable to the negligence of the company. Grovepark Services denied that they were liable and the karting compensation claim proceeded to court.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery heard that even though Karen had watch the safety video and signed the disclaimer before commencing her warm-up, there had been no instruction given about what to do when traffic warning lights on the racetrack were illuminated.

Judge Deery was also told by track designer Stewart Cosgrave and race controller Denis Gaffney that, although it was improbable that a race marshal would walk onto the circuit in front of karts travelling in excess of 20 miles per hour, the marshal in question had since died in a road traffic accident and would be unable to provide evidence.

After hearing evidence from forensic engineer Pat Cullerton that the karts did not have headrests or neck restraints fitted, and that novice karters should have also been told to sit at full extension when driving, Mr Justice Matthew Deery found in Karen´s favour and awarded her 9,064 Euros in go-karting accident compensation plus costs.

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Injury Compensation Claims for Whiplash Dropping According to Government Statistics

Figures released by the Department for Works and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit have revealed that claims for whiplash injury compensation have fallen year-on-year by more than 4 percent.

A total of 547,405 claims for whiplash injury compensation were recorded by the Compensation Recovery Unit in 2011/2012, whereas in the previous twelve months 571,111 whiplash injury compensation claims were registered.

The fall in the volume of claims for whiplash injury compensation was noted by president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) – Karl Tonks – when he was giving evidence to a Transport Select Committee ahead of the latest amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill 2012.

Mr Tonks also produced the results of a survey prepared on behalf of APIL by market research company Canadean which showed that 40 percent of people eligible to make claims for whiplash injury compensation declined to do so. The survey also revealed that 1 percent of respondents to the survey had suffered a whiplash injury in the past twelve months, while 20 percent of those had experienced a whiplash injury in the past suffered symptoms of their whiplash injury for more than twelve months.

The Government is expected to announce plans for new specialist medical panels to support improvements in the diagnosis of whiplash and to increase from 1,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds the value up to which claims can be handled by the small claims court, but Mr Tonks warned the Transport Select Committee that the Government could be embarking on a potentially damaging reform agenda.

Acknowledging that a “universal commitment was required to reduce the number of fraudulent claims for whiplash injury compensation, Mr Tonks added “But it’s even more important to stand firm against any move to put barriers in the way of the majority of people who have genuine injuries and who need to make genuine claims.” Mr Tonks presented a ten point plan to the Transport Select Committee which he hoped could be discussed with the Government.

1. Information on fraud to be freely available to all parties to help identify fraudsters

2. Claimants to be subject to a legally binding statement of truth

3. Ban insurers from paying compensation without medical evidence

4. No offers of gifts or cash to potential clients to be made by any party

5. Enforcement of future ban preventing insurers from selling claimants´ details

6. Identities of potential expert witnesses to be shared by both sides

7. New guidance to help medics identify and understand whiplash injury

8. Photo ID to be provided when attending a medical

9. Claimant´s solicitor to organise access to relevant medical records

10. Spam texting to be banned

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Compensation for Child Mismanaged Birth Approved in Court

A woman, who was starved of oxygen at birth and has suffered a lifetime of learning difficulties, has had a settlement of child mismanaged birth compensation approved at London´s Royal Courts of Justice.

Susanne Turner (45) from Wittersham in Kent was born at Buchanan Street Hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea after a delayed Caesarean operation due to neither a surgeon nor an anaesthetist being on call to perform the procedure. As a result, Susanne was deprived of oxygen in the womb, unable to breathe on her own when she was given birth to and suffered severe brain damage.

Susanne´s parents – Christopher and Sandra – raised Susanne without any assistance, and  not aware that they were entitled to claim compensation for the child mismanaged birth, until they read a magazine article which explained Susanne´s rights to compensation.

When they sought legal advice about their situation, Christopher and Sandra discovered that – as Susanne did not have the mental capacity to bring a claim for child mismanaged birth compensation herself – they were still within the time frame allowed to sue the South East Coast Strategic Health Authority for the negligent situation which had occurred in 1967.

After reviewing the claim for child mismanaged birth compensation, South East Coast Strategic Health Authority quickly admitted their liability for Susanne´s birth injury and, at the Royal Courts of Justice, issued a formal apology for the mismanagement of Susanne´s birth.

Approving the settlement of compensation for child mismanaged birth, which will take the form of annual payments and a lump sum payment to pay for a specially-adapted home for Susanne, judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies paid tribute to Christopher and Sandra´s “love and devotion”. The settlement is thought to be worth 4.2 million pounds and will provide Susanne with the care she needs for the rest of her life.

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