Personal Injury Compensation

Car Crash Compensation

Claims for car crash compensation may be the most prevalent category of personal injury claim in Ireland, but each car crash compensation claim should still be assessed on its own merits. No two claims for car crash compensation are identical – even when the injuries sustained are the same – as how an injury affects an individual is unique in every case. To ensure that you are treated as an individual, you should call our Legal Advice Centre and discuss the circumstances of your car crash with an experienced car crash compensation solicitor – in total confidence and with no obligation on you to proceed with a claim for car crash compensation once you have spoken with us.

Court Awards Compensation for Car Accident Brain Injury

January 31st, 2016. By Compensation News.

A young man from Longford has been awarded a settlement of compensation for brain injuries he sustained in a car accident when he was a just eighteen.

The car crash occurred on the 27th January 2009, when Francis Smith – of Edgeworthstown in County Longford was driving along a road undergoing roadworks. Yet when he was driving, a vehicle was coming directly towards him and in order to avoid a collision, Mr Smith had to swerve out of the way. However, though this action avoided that crash, it caused Mr Smith to collide with a parked lorry just ahead of him. This crash left him with severe and extensive physical and cognitive injuries.

After the accident, Mr Smith was rendered reliant on his mother – Martine Dempsey – for round-the-clock care and assistance. At the time of the accident, he was employed in a local factory, but his injuries and inability to act independently meant that he had to leave this employment. Acting on behalf of now disabled son, Ms Dempsey filed a claim for compensation against the Longford County Council.The claim alleged the motorists driving along the road were not made sufficiently aware of the ongoing roadworks because of a lack f signposts and bollards. Additionally, there was no flagman at the site to make drivers aware of oncoming vehicles. In her claim, Ms Dempsey also stated that the lorry with which her son collided was parked too far out onto the road, and combined with the nearby road works was a serious risk to drivers.

Longford County Council denied any responsibility for Mr Smith’s injuries, counteracting Ms Dempsey’s claim by stating Mr Smith he had been negligent and driven too fast for the conditions of the road, and as such was largely accountable for his fate.

By the time the case was heard in Dublin’s High Court, the parties had negotiated a €750,000 settlement of compensation – which equates to approximately 25% of the original claim’s value. Mr Justice Kevin Cross oversaw proceedings in the High Court, and approved the settlement. In his closing remarks, Judge Cross said he wished Mr Smith well in his future.

Irish Times Article Warns of Offers of Compensation Settlements from Insurance Companies

September 18th, 2014. By Compensation News.

An article in the Irish Times has warned accident victims to be wary of offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

The author of the article – Brian Byrne – provided an interesting analysis of injury compensation settlements, and reported a 22 percent increase in the value of compensation claims settled in the first 6 months of the year – up to €144 million from the same period in 2013.

Byrne´s analysis shows that, although the average compensation settlement of a personal injury claim made to the Injuries Board remained practically unchanged at €22,000, the number of claims increased significantly within the categories of claims handled by the independent body.

According to the figures from the Injuries Board ´s six-month report which were used to compile the article, motor liability claims increased by 24 percent, the number of public liability claims rose by 30 percent, and claims made against an employer for an injury at work were up 10 percent on 2013.

The large increases were attributed to a spike in claims made during last year which were resolved within the first six months of 2014. However, despite the higher number of claims being resolved through the Injuries Board process, Byrne warns accident victims to be wary of offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

According to the article, an estimated 40 percent of personal injury claims which could be resolved through the Injuries Board process claims are settled “behind closed doors”. He says that private agreements made between plaintiffs and insurance companies have the potential to result in a lack of competitiveness, higher insurance premiums, and the potential for false or exaggerated claims to be settled without a proper investigation of the claim.

However, the Irish Times article omits to comment on the growing trend for “third party capture” – an industry term for when an insurance company talks an injury victim into a compensation settlement lower than what they might have been entitled to in return for a fast settlement.

Offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies can result in financial hardship for the injured victim if they is accepted and subsequently too low to cover medical expenses and living costs. Meanwhile the insurance company may have made a significant saving in its financial liability and can enjoy higher profits.

One potential solution for this situation is to construct a register of settled personal injury claims based on figures coming from the government´s new “Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme”. As insurance companies now have to obtain a certificate of benefits from the Department of Social Protection before settlements of personal injury claims can be paid, it should be possible for the Department of Social Protection to record the value of the claim and start to compile a register.

In this way, there would be visibility of how much compensation each claim is settled for, so that concerns about a lack of competitiveness, higher insurance premiums, and the potential for false or exaggerated claims could be eliminated. Accident victims would also have a point of reference if they receive offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies.

While such a register does not exist, it is advisable for plaintiffs who receive offers of compensation settlements from insurance companies speak with a solicitor to ascertain whether the offer being made to them represents a fair and accurate settlement of their claim.

Judge Approves Settlement of Compensation for Passenger in Car Accident

February 13th, 2014. By Compensation News.

A High Court judge has approved a settlement of compensation for a passenger in a car accident for thirty-two year old woman who was left with devastating injuries from a crash in 2010.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine heard how Lydia Branley from Kinlough, Country Leitrim, suffered devastating injuries when the driver of a BMW Coupe she was travelling in as a passenger lost control of the car, which then went through two crash barriers, hit a telegraph pole, and landed upside down in a stream.

The accident – which happened on the N4 at the Ballisodare slip road – occurred at a speed of 150km/hour in September 2010; and, due to the impact with the telegraph pole, the driver and a second male passenger were thrown clear from the car.

However Lydia – who had been wearing a seatbelt – had to be cut free from the wreckage of the car and was taken unconscious by ambulance to Sligo General Hospital; from where she was later transferred in a coma to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

When Lydia woke from the coma nine months later, she was horrified to discover that she was unable to use her arms and legs, speak or feed herself. She now needs constant assistance with everyday tasks, despite her brain still being completely active.

The driver of the BMW – Martin Kearney from Balinoo in County Mayo – was subsequently convicted of dangerous driving causing serious harm, given a six-year prison sentence and banned from driving for twenty years.

Through her father, Lydia claimed injury compensation for a passenger in a car accident from Kearney and the owner of the car – Kearney´s father – and a settlement of €10 million was agreed between the parties.

Due to Lydia´s inability to communicate, the settlement of compensation for a passenger in a car accident had to be approved by a judge – which is how Ms Justice Mary Irvine came to be told of the circumstances of the accident and Lydia´s injuries.

The judge approved the settlement, adding “It does not give back Lydia her life. Nothing will, but it will provide her with the best care and hopefully bring back a degree of normality.”

Girl Receives Compensation for Prenatal Injuries Caused by Car Accident Two Days before her Birth

October 12th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A teenage girl is to receive compensation for prenatal injuries caused by a car accident after suffering from respiratory distress syndrome when she was born prematurely two days later.

Martina Sheehan was driving the family car along Templeroan Road in Dublin on 13th April 1999 when she was in collision with a car driven by Elaine O´Connor – also from Rathfarnham. Neither woman was hurt in the accident, but two days later, Martina – who was thirty-six weeks pregnant – went into early onset labour and gave birth to a daughter – Aoife.

As soon as Aoife was born, she suffered from respiratory distress syndrome and was transferred to the Coombe Hospital´s neo-natal intensive care unit, where she was placed on a ventilator and given medication to help her breathe independently. Aoife remained in the intensive care unit for three weeks, during which time she was critically ill.

After seeking legal advice, Martina Sheehan made a claim for compensation for prenatal injuries caused by a car accident on behalf of her daughter; alleging that had the accident not occurred she would not have gone into labour at thirty-six weeks, Aoife would not have been born prematurely and she would not have suffered respiratory distress syndrome.

Insurers for Elaine O´Connor denied their client´s liability for Aoife´s injuries, claiming that there was no medical evidence to support the claim that the collision had directly been responsible for the premature birth, that pre-term babies were more pre-disposed to respiratory distress and, as the accident had happened before Aoife was born, Aoife was ineligible to receive compensation for prenatal injuries caused by the car accident.

However, solicitors representing Martina and Aoife continued with the claim and, after a prolonged period of negotiation, a settlement of compensation for prenatal injuries caused by a car accident was agreed that would see Aoife receiving €15,000 in general damages with a further €2,800 in special damages to account for the financial expenses that Aoife´s parents had incurred.

Approving the settlement, Judge Deery said that the solicitors representing Martina and Aoife had done a good job as, in the circumstances, proving liability may have been difficult if the case had gone to trial and might not have ended with the family securing a positive outcome.

Injuries Board Compensation Settlements Increase by 8 Percent

October 5th, 2013. By Compensation News.

The value of Injuries Board compensation settlements has increased by more than 8 percent according to the six-month analysis published on the Injuries Board website.

Figures recently published on the Injuries Board website have shown an increase of more than 8 percent in the value of Injuries Board compensation settlements awarded during the first six months of 2013 in comparison with the corresponding period last year.

More than €118 million was awarded in Injuries Board compensation settlement up to June 2013, compared with €109 million in 2012, with the average settlement value also increasing (by 4 percent) to €22,349 from €21,049.

The analysis also showed a major increase in the number of applications for assessment received by the Injuries Board (16,162 – up from 14,685) and the length of time it now takes for Injuries Board compensation settlements to be processed.

Explaining the increase in Injuries Board compensation settlements, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – said that there had been a higher than usual volume of claims for road traffic injury compensation and a few small exceptional awards – including one for €976,000.

The proportion of Injuries Board compensation settlements awarded for road traffic accidents accounted for more than three-quarters of the accepted settlements, while less than a fifth were for public liability claims, and compensation awards for injuries at work fell once again to just under a twelfth of all applications for assessment received by the Injuries Board.

One statistic that might be of concern to Ms Byron is that the number of accepted assessments made by the Injuries Board fell once again. In the first six months of 2012, 37.2 percent of proposed Injuries Board compensation settlements were accepted by plaintiffs whereas, up to June 213, that figure had declined to 32.7 percent.

Despite more than two-thirds of personal injury claims for compensation now being resolved outside of the Injuries Board process, plaintiffs are still advised to submit applications for assessment to the Injuries Board with the assistance of a solicitor to ensure that your full entitlement to personal injury compensation is accounted for.

Woman Sues Own Insurance Company to Recover Compensation for Serious Whiplash Injuries

September 25th, 2013. By Compensation News.

A woman who was rear-ended by a Texas Forest Service employee has had to sue her own insurance company to recover compensation for serious whiplash injuries.

In April 2011, Brenda Nolen (51) from Texoma in Young County, Texas, was driving her Dodge pick-up when it was rear-ended by a Texas Forest Service employee who had fallen asleep at the wheel. The force of the impact pushed Brenda´s vehicle into a petrol pump on a garage forecourt, which exploded as she hit it and burst into flames.

With help from passers-by, Brenda escaped from the burning wreckage of her vehicle, but had suffered multiple burns, a broken arm and serious whiplash injuries. Brenda had to undergo multiple surgeries to repair the damage to her neck from the initial rear-ending and was unable to work or drive for almost two years.

Brenda made a claim for compensation for serious whiplash injuries against the State of Texas – who are responsible for the Texas Forest Service – to cover her medical costs and loss of property. However, insurers for the State of Texas denied their liability for her injuries; claiming that the Homeland Security Act made employees of the State Forest Service immune from liability for any injuries or accidents caused while on their way to an emergency.

Brenda then approached her own insurance company – State Farm – who used the same anti-terrorist legislation to decline her claim for serious whiplash injuries, despite having a statement from the Texas Forest Service employee that he had fallen asleep at the wheel of his vehicle and was not en route to an emergency.

With mounting medical costs – and an unsympathetic insurance company – Brenda was forced to take legal action against her own insurers. With the help of a solicitor, Brenda pursued her entitlement to compensation for serious whiplash injuries and, after a two-year legal battle, an undisclosed settlement was negotiated which enables Brenda to get a new car and cover most of her medical costs.

Hen Weekend Accident Compensation Awarded to Karting Accident Victim

November 5th, 2012. By Compensation News.

A woman, who sustained neck injuries after a crash 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 celebration whenshe and her friends decided to try their hand at go-kart racing at Kylemore Indoor Karting racetrack.

Having agreed to a disclaimer which carried 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 stated, that she and other racers had been forced to brake abruptly because a race marshal had stepped on to the track. Although Karen was able to stop in time, another driver bumped into the back of her kart, pushing her neck and shoulders backwards and leaving with neck injuries similar to whiplash.

After seeking legal counsel, Karen made a claim for go-karting accident compensation 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 claim went to court.

At the Circuit Civil Court, Mr Justice Matthew Deery was informed that although 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 informed by racetrack 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 sufficent headrests or neck restraints fitted, and that novice karters should have also been instructed 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.

Child’s Compensation Fund Access Denied by Judge

November 2nd, 2012. By Compensation News.

A District Court judge has turned down  a request to access court-held injury compensation, insisting that a child’s compensation funds should not be used for family expenses.

Judge Mary Collins decreed that funds held by the court on behalf of four-year-old Oluwatimileyin Olaleye, who was awarded 4,500 Euros following a traffic accident in 2010, should not be released in order that the family could purchase a new car.

The boy’s father, Ibrahim Olaleye, from Lucan, County Dublin, had asked for the court for the release of 1,500 Euros from his son’s award in order to buy a car for the family. However, Judge Mary Collins refused to free any money from the boy’s court account, saying that child’s compensation fund had never been meant for the purchase of a car or any other family expense.

Oluwatimileyin had been awarded the compensation last year for injuries he sustained in a car crash in which his mother, Veronica, had been the driver. The award of 4,500 Euros had been approved in court after a compensation claim had been filed by Oluwatimileyin through his father, but Judge Mary Collins said the money was to remain in court until Oluwatimileyin was 18; at which time it would be released to him with any interest gained.

Whiplash Claim Aggravated Damages to be Paid by Insurers

June 19th, 2012. By Compensation News.

An insurance company has been ordered to pay whiplash claim aggravated damages after failing to pursue allegations of collusion against the claimant.

Mr Justice Matthew Deery made the order against the AXA insurance company after it had accused the injured victim of a rear-end accident – James O’Sullivan, of Clane, County Kildare – of colluding with a defence witness in order to support his whiplash injury compensation claim.

The judge was told how the negligent driver in the case – Gary Reilly, of Ballyfermot, County Dublin – had sworn an affidavit concerning the events of September 27, 2008, when Reilly´s taxi rear-ended O´Sullivan vehicle in Eirhouse in County Dublin.

However Mr Justice Matthew Deery said that the accusation had not been pursued at the hearing and directed that AXA and Reilly pay aggravated damages of 3,000 Euros to O´Sullivan for the manner in which they had defended the whiplash injuries claim in addition to the award of 7,750 Euros for whiplash injury.

Car Accident Compensation Claim against MIBI Approved in Court

March 2nd, 2012. By Compensation News.

A man, who suffered a severe brain trauma and now requires permanent care after being thrown from a car driven by an uninsured driver, has had his car accident compensation claim against MIBI approved in court.

The man – who is a ward of court and cannot be named for legal reasons – was just 19 years old when, in March 2008, he was a back seat passenger in a car which went out of control, left the road and ran into a tree. The victim, who was thrown from the car as it left the road, suffered a severe brain trauma which has left him needing permanent nursing care and only able to communicate by means of thumb up or thumb down.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine at the High Court heard that the driver of the car was not uninsured, and that an injury compensation claim against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) had been made. She also heard that an agreement had been reached between the man´s legal team and MIBI to award 4.25 million Euros to the victim – an amount which had been reduced by 20 per cent to account for the man’s contributory negligence of failing to wear a seatbelt.

The judge approved the settlement of the unnamed man´s car accident compensation claim against MIBI, stating that it was an excellent settlement which would provide the car he required for the rest of his life. She also ruled that the foster mother who had been caring for the victim since his accident should receive an immediate lump sum payment of 544,800 Euros to cover the expenses and hospital bills she had already incurred.

Dublin Van Accident Compensation Award of 177,575 Euros Paid

July 26th, 2011. By Compensation News.

A woman who was hit by a van while crossing a busy Dublin street has been awarded almost 178,000 Euros in a Dublin van accident compensation award in the High Court.

Amy McKernan, aged 36, from North Ewington, Oxfordshire, was crossing the road at the junction of Wicklow Street and Clarendon Street on May 7th 2002, when she was struck by a van driven by Yuk Fong from Dublin. The collision knocked her onto the bonnet of the vehicle, before she landed on the road surface – sustaining facial and back injuries.

In her claim against Mr Fong and the owner of the van – Mr Yau Tsali Li – Amy alleged that the van was driven at excessive speed, as she had seen the van pulling away from the Chinese restaurant outside which it had been parked and felt she still had plenty of time to cross the road.

Yuk Fong and Yau Tsali Li denied the compensation claims, and counter-claimed that Amy had contributed to her own injuries by failing to keep a sufficient lookout. However, as Amy was about to step onto the pavement when the van accident occurred, Mr. Justice John Quirke at the High Court determined that Amy had established negligence in the driving of the van, whereas the defendants had failed to show that Amy had in any way been responsible for the accident and her injuries.


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