Month: December 2014

Compensation for Pedestrian Hit by Car Reduced due to Contributory Negligence

An award of compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car has been reduced by a judge in Belfast to account for the plaintiff´s contributory negligence.

Stacey McCaughey was walking along the Carrickmannon Road in Ballygowan on 26th September 2010, after an evening out with some friends at the nearby Chestnut Inn, when she was hit by a car driven by Brian Mullan.

Twenty-four year old Stacey was taken to hospital where she remained in intensive care for four days suffering from a frontal lobe contusion, a spinal injury and multiple fractures. Despite receiving prompt medical attention, Stacey suffered brain damage from which she suffers moods swings, headaches and memory loss.

After seeking legal advice from a solicitor, Stacey – who also has significant facial scarring – claimed compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car on the grounds that Mullan had been driving too quickly along the unlit road.

Mullan disputed the claim on the basis that the group had been very drunk and wandering across the road with no regard for their own safety. A forensic engineer confirmed the driver´s version of events that he had swerved to avoid the main body of friends, but could not avoid hitting Stacey.

As liability was contested, the claim for compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car went to the Belfast High Court, where Mr Justice O´Hara heard evidence from both parties, the forensic engineer and the police – who confirmed that Mullan had been sober on the night of the accident.

The judge agreed with Stacey that Mullan had been driving too fast in the conditions and awarded her £110,000. However, the judge then told Stacey that he was reducing her award of compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car by 60 percent to £44,000 – explaining that she had failed to take her own safety into account “by walking in the middle of a dark, unlit road while drunk and incapable of being alert to traffic”.

Model Awarded Compensation for Injuries at Petrol Station

A model has been awarded compensation for injuries at a petrol station after she was attacked by a sales assistant who claimed she had not paid for her petrol.

In May 2011, Trudy Higgins (26) from Drumcondra in Dublin was returning to her car after filling it with petrol at the Castle Service Station in Artane, Dublin, when she noticed a sales assistant approaching her and apparently taking photographs.

Trudy got inside her car, closed the doors and went to call her father for assistance. However, before she could do so, the sales assistance moved alongside her car and smashed the driver´s window with his fist.

According to evidence presented at the Circuit Civil Court, the glass from the driver´s window shattered and Trudy suffered cuts to her face, neck and back. She drove to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where she was treated for her injuries.

After seeking legal advice, Trudy made a claim for compensation for injuries at a petrol station against Chopard International Ltd – trading as Castle Service Station. She claimed that the company were responsible for the negligent actions of the sales assistant.

Chopard International Ltd denied its liability for Trudy´s injuries, and alleged that the sales assistant was trying to prevent Trudy leaving the petrol station without paying, that she had trapped his hand in the driver´s window and that he had to break the glass to avoid being dragged down the road.

With liability being denied, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the case to be heard before Judge Francis Comerford at the Circuit Civil Court. The judge found in Trudy´s favour after the petrol station could not provide CCTV to support their claims and the sales assistant failed to appear.

Judge Comerford awarded Trudy €9,000 compensation for injuries at the petrol station, saying that Trudy did not have a distinctive scar as a result of her trauma.

Family Awarded Compensation for Fatal Car Accident in Which Son Died

A settlement of compensation for a fatal car accident in which a four-year-old child was killed has been approved after a hearing at Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Ciaran Treacy (4) from Portarlington in County Laois was killed in a fatal car accident when his mother´s car was involved in a head-on collision along the Portarlington to Portlaoise Road at Ballymorris.on April 17. Ciaran´s brother Sean (8) and his mother Gillian were also badly injured in the accident – Gillian being confined to a wheelchair as a result of her injuries.

The negligent driver – Finbar O´Rourke – was arrested at the scene of the accident and charged with dangerous driving causing death. Although his case is still to be heard, Ciaran´s father – Ronan – made a claim for compensation for a fatal car accident, to account for the mental distress he and his family had suffered over Ciaran´s death.

The claim was not contested and, at the Civil Circuit Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke awarded the family €35,000 in compensation for a fatal car accident – the maximum which is allowed for mental distress over the loss of a loved one under Civil Liability Act 1961.

The judge heard that the settlement of compensation who be divided between the members of the family; with Ronan and Gillian Treacy each receiving €10,000; €5,000 going to each to Ciaran’s two siblings – brother, Sean, and two-year-old sister Caoimhe – with €1,250 being awarded to each of Ciaran’s maternal grandparents, Noel and Marie Ryan; and €1,250 to each to his paternal grandparents, Patrick and Mary Treacy.

Judge Groarke approved the distribution of compensation for a fatal car accident and awarded Ronan Treacy a further €8,000 towards the cost of Ciaran´s funeral. The judge expressed the court’s deep sympathy to the Treacy family for their tragic loss.