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.