Category: Street Trips and Falls

When you are claiming compensation for injuries sustained in street trips and falls , not only does it have to be shown that you have sustained an injury, but also that the negligent party failed in their duty of care to provide you with safe access in the street. Not all street trips and falls are attributable to a lack of care by the local council. Some faults in streets and pavements may be due to the negligence of a shop keeper, a shopping centre, a utility company or even a private individual. Furthermore, the negligent party´s duty of care may not be “absolute” – meaning that the party should be allowed a reasonable period of time in which to replace or repair the hazard in the street. Therefore, to establish that you have a compensation claim for street trips and falls which is worth your while to pursue, you are invited to call our freephone Solicitors Advisory Panel and discuss the circumstances of your accident directly with an experienced solicitor.

Lengthening Delays For Violent Attack Compensation Claims Being Heard

The Irish Examiner newspaper has reported that there is an increasing backlog in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, leaving victims of serious violent attacks waiting years to be compensated.

Since 2012 only 597 payments were made from the 1,357 claims have been submitted. More recently, in 2017 only 31 payments were made to the 181 new applications. In 2018 only 10 victims were compensated by the end of May this year when 73 new cases were registered during that time period.

The details were revealed in the answer to a parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD John Curran has now called for an immediate review of the scheme to find out what is causing the hold-ups.

In response to this the Mr Curran TD released a statement which said: “Despite the fact that the number of cases which settle in a pay-out is declining year on year, there are lengthy delays in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal assisting victims of crime in Ireland. As it stands, should this year’s applications be managed in the very same poor manner it’s likely that just 24 cases will be settled in 2018.”

He added: “Victims should expect that they will receive their compensation in a prompt manner and in accordance with constitutional justice. In correspondence I received, the Tribunal itself cited its limited resources and “economic constraints” as contributing factors in the slow process of claims and victims obtaining their due compensation.

“The Tribunal receives roughly €4 million in budget each year, but it is uncertain how this budget is set considering the number of, and types of cases varies year on year.

The TD concluded saying: “A thorough review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal must be carried out before next year’s figure of unsettled claims rises even more. This review could not come quick enough for very many victims of crime or their families.”

You can read the full text of his statement by clicking here.

 

 

 

Jogger Awarded Compensation for a Trip and Fall Injury on Council Land

A jogger has been awarded €60,000 compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land after the council attempted to argue that the claim was fraudulent.

On September 18th, 2011, the male jogger tripped on a hole in the surface of a footpath in the Clondalkin caravan site in Dublin. When he fell, he fractured a knuckle on his right hand which he subsequently had to undergo surgery for and has since been left with a scar.

As the caravan site is owned and managed by South Dublin County Council, the jogger claimed compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land. The council disputed liability and argued the man – who was a keen boxer – had injured his knuckle in a fight.

Due to the dispute over liability, the case went to the High Court where it was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr. During the hearing, it was disclosed that the man had been involved in a car accident the previous day in which he had suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back.

The council used this information to express doubts that the man would have gone jogging the day after an accident, and repeated its argument that the injury had been sustained in a boxing match. However, judge Barr accepted the evidence of a medical witness, who testified that the man was just trying to run off his soft tissue injury.

The judge concluded this was a “credible explanation” for why the man had been jogging on the morning after a car accident, and awarded him €55,000 compensation for a trip and fall injury on council land – increasing the award by €5,000 to account for the aggressive manner in which the council had pursued their argument the claim was fraudulent.

Judge Barr said in his closing remarks that the evidence suggested the plaintiff was injured in the manner in which he had claimed. He added there was no evidence to suggest the jogger was making a fraudulent claim, and he was entitled to the additional compensation for the upset caused to him by the nature of the unsuccessful defence put forward by South Dublin County Council.

Claim for an Injury in a Train Station Accident Resolved at Court

A claim for an injury in a train station accident has been resolved at a hearing of the Circuit Civil Court in which the passenger was found 50% at fault.

The claim for an injury in a train station accident was made following the events of 2nd August 2012, when the plaintiff – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin – mistakenly alighted from an Irish Rail commuter train at Tara Street instead of his intended destination of Connolly Street.

On realising his mistake, the plaintiff tried to re-board the train, but slipped and fell through the gap between the platform and the train. Although he was able to extricate himself and continue his journey, an x-ray taken the following day revealed that he had fractured his right shoulder in three places.

The plaintiff applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his claim for an injury in a train station accident, but Irish Rail denied its consent for the assessment to be done. The Injuries Board subsequently issued the plaintiff with an authorisation to pursue his claim through court action.

The claim for an injury in a train station accident was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court last week. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told that, despite there being “probably more cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios,” the accident had not been captured by CCTV.

The judge heard that Irish Rail was contesting the claim for an injury in a train station accident because they felt the plaintiff was the architect of his misfortune by failing to look where he was going, although this argument was countered by the plaintiff´s counsel, who contested that Irish Rail had an obligation to provide safe transit and that obligation had not been met.

After hearing there had been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between a platform and a train in the past five years, Judge Groarke commented that Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap. The judge found in the plaintiff´s favour – although attributing him 50% contributory negligence – and awarded him €25,000 compensation in settlement of his claim for an injury in a train station accident.

Court Awards Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury in a Bar

The Circuit Civil Court has awarded a painter and decorator €20,000 compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar after a hearing to determine liability.

Thirty-one year old David O´Keeffe made his claim for compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar after badly cutting his hand on a piece of glass at the Woolshed Baa & Grill on Parnell Street in Dublin on 18th September 2011. David had been in the bar to watch the All Ireland Football Final and, at the end of the game, he left his group of friends to visit the bathrooms.

As David manoeuvred his way through the packed bar, he slipped on the wet floor and fell – badly cutting his hand on broken glass that had been left on the floor. David was picked up by a member of the bar staff and given First Aid. He later attended the St James´ Hospital, where his cut hand was cleaned properly and the injury stitched.

David claimed compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar, alleging that the Woolshed Baa & Grill had failed to follow proper cleaning procedures and that, because of this, the bar was liable for his injury. The bar denied its liability for David´s injury, and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment of the claim. Consequently David was issued with an authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar through the court system.

The hearing to establish liability took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court, where Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard arguments that David´s injury was attributable to his friends trying to lift him up and dropping him while he had a glass in his hand. The bar owners testified that the venue had followed its cleaning procedures, and that an accident report had been filled out at the time, but that it could not be found.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Linnane found in David´s favour. She said that she accepted David´s version of events, as the bar had been packed “to the point that one would not have been able to see that the floor was wet”. The judge awarded David €20,000 compensation for a slip and fall injury in a bar.

Claim for an Accident at Dublin Airport Settled at High Court

A disputed claim for an accident at Dublin Airport has been settled at the High Court with the allocation of one-third contributory negligence against the plaintiff.

Sixty-nine year old Elizabeth Lavin arrived at Dublin Airport on 2nd November 2011 with the intention of flying to Manchester. As she was travelled towards Terminal 2 departures on the escalator, it suddenly juddered, causing Elizabeth to fall forward over her hand luggage and hit her head on the metal stairway.

Elizabeth – from Kilcullen in County Kildare – was taken to the Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, where her head injury and minor lacerations were treated. She subsequently had to undergo orthopaedic treatment for pain in her arm, hip and knee after trying to manage the pains with painkillers. Elizabeth still has scars on her face and her upper lip from her accident.

A claim for an accident at Dublin Airport was submitted to the Injuries Board, but Dublin Airport Authority PLC denied liability for Elizabeth´s accident. The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for Elizabeth to pursue her claim for an accident at Dublin Airport through the courts, and it was heard this week by Mr Justice Michael Hanna.

At the High Court, Judge Hanna heard Elizabeth´s legal representatives claim that Dublin Airport had failed to take reasonable care of her safety. They also alleged that the Airport Authority had been negligent when designing the airport, so that the only apparent way in which passengers with luggage could reach the upper level of Terminal 2 was by escalator.

Dublin Airport argued that Elizabeth had failed to appropriately use the handrail of the escalator and had contributed to the accident by placing her hand luggage in front of her, instead of behind her. The airport produced CCTV footage to show how Elizabeth´s accident had occurred, and also told the judge that the option of a lift was available to passengers with luggage.

Judge Hanna then heard that Elizabeth was unaware that the option of a lift was available because signs directing passengers to the lift were not erected until 2013. The judge said that Elizabeth could not be considered to have contributed to the accident for failing to appropriately use the handrail or for placing her hand luggage in front of her.

However, the judge said that she could have asked a member of the airport staff to direct her to the lifts. In this respect, the judge said, Elizabeth should take some responsibility for her injuries. He assigned Elizabeth one-third contributory negligence and reduced the settlement of her claim for an accident at Dublin Airport from €60,000 to €40,000.

Compensation Claim for Slip on Wet Stairs Settled during Court Hearing

The settlement of a compensation claim for a slip on wet stairs was agreed part way through a court hearing when plaintiff agreed to settle out of court.

The compensation claim for a slip on wet stairs was brought by William Busteed (59) from Cork, who suffered a fractured arm and head injuries as he was leaving his council-owned property on May 9th 2009 to catch a taxi to the airport.

As William started to descend the stairs in his six apartment complex, he slipped on a wet step and fell to the bottom of the stairway sustaining his injuries and spending the first day of his holiday at the Cork University Hospital.

William made a compensation claim for a slip on wet stairs against his landlords – Cork City Council – alleging that the hazard was due to a faulty smoke alarm which went off randomly and resulted in the vents above the stairway to open and allow the rain to enter.

The council denied its liability for William´s injuries – despite William having made a complaint about the faulty smoke alarm just days earlier – and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for William to pursue his compensation claim for a slip on wet stairs at court.

At the High Court, Mr Justice Daniel Herbert was told that Cork City Council had previously attended William´s complaints in good time, and defence counsel produced William´s medical records at the time of his admission to Cork University Hospital which showed high levels of alcohol and cannabis in his blood. The council argued that William was intoxicated, and that was the reason for his slip.

William denied that he had been drunk on the day of his accident, and he told the Judge that he had only drunk two small bottles of beer that day – mindful of the fact that airlines could refuse boarding to intoxicated passengers. He also said that he had never smoked cannabis and that the medical record must be wrong. William´s solicitor described the recording of the drug as “outrageous”.

At the end of the first day of the hearing, Mr Justice Daniel Herbert adjourned proceedings to be continued the following morning. However, when the hearing restarted on day two, the Judge was told that William had agreed to an undisclosed settlement of his compensation claim for a slip on wet stairs and that the case could be struck out.

Public Liability Claims by Women Outnumber Claims by Men 2-to-1

According to statistics released by the Injuries Board, public liability claims by women in 2013 outnumbered those made by men by two-to-one.

Public liability claims for compensation are the second-most common category of personal injury claim in Ireland after claims for injuries sustained in motor accidents; and last year more than 1,700 assessments of public liability injury compensation were accepted by people who had suffered injuries in public liability accidents.

The most common type of public liability accident was trips, slips and falls in places of public access – more than two-thirds of the accepted assessments related to accidents such as slips on wet floors, trips over broken pavements and falls due to uneven drains and manholes – while a higher than usual number of injuries were sustained in leisure facilities such as cinemas, sports clubs and hairdressers.

Accidents in shops and supermarkets accounted for a considerable number of public liability compensation settlements and, possibly due to the high number of shopping accidents, the volume of public liability claims by women outstripped those made by men by 71.4 percent -v- 28.6 percent – with the majority of injuries sustained being fractures, cuts and soft tissue injuries such as bruises and strains.

Also possibly due to the high number of injuries sustained in shopping accidents, Saturday was the most common day of the week for accidents in public places for the third consecutive year. The month of July 2013 saw the highest level of accidents throughout the year, while January – surprisingly considering the nature of the weather in January – was the safest month to be out and about.

The total amount of compensation for public liability injuries assessed by the Injuries Board in 2013 amounted to €44 million, with the average accepted assessment being €25,120 – an increase of more than 10 percent on 2012. Despite the number of public liability claims by women being more than double those made by men, men accepted awards slightly higher on average than those for women (€25,664 -v- €24,902).

Settlement of Child´s Claim for Injury Due to Faulty Footpath Approved in the High Court

A young girl has had the €125,000 settlement of her claim for an injury due to a faulty footpath approved at the High Court.

Nine-year-old Charlotte Clapperton (now 16 years of age) was riding her electric scooter on May31st 2007 when it hit an uneven section of the footpath on Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore, Dublin, and Charlotte fell from the scooter – severely injuring her left elbow.

The damage to her elbow meant that Charlotte had to undergo two operations, and she still has a 10cm scar on her forearm. Her elbow still troubles her, and Charlotte is unable to participate in her former pastimes of gymnastics and Irish dancing.

Charlotte made a claim for an injury due to a faulty footpath through her mother – Collette Clapperton of Bluebell in Dublin – on the basis that the footpath was in a poor state due to the roots of nearby trees pushing the flagstones up, and that the footpath was in such a condition to make it a safety hazard.

Dublin City Council – who had responsibility for the maintenance of the tress and the footpath – admitted liability for Charlotte´s injuries and a settlement of injury compensation for an injury due to a faulty footpath amounting to €125,000 was agreed.

However, before Charlotte´s injury claim could be completely resolved, the settlement first had to be approved by a judge as the claim had been brought on behalf of a minor. Consequently, at the High Court in Dublin, the circumstances of Charlotte´s accident and injury were retold to Ms Justice Mary Irvine.

Judge Irvine approved the settlement, after inspecting Charlotte´s injury and stating that it did not look as bad as she had anticipated. She told Charlotte that she hoped the injury was not going to affect her in the future.

Woman Settles Injury Compensation Claim against Irish Rail

A woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on ice at Connolly Station in Dublin has settled her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail after a hearing at the High Court.

Ciara Morgan (32) from Kentstown in County Meath was returning from a Christmas shopping trip in Belfast on 10th December 2010, when the train she was travelling on arrived at Connolly Station in Dublin.

The platform at which the train stopped had been exposed to the elements throughout the day and, as she stepped down from the train carriage onto the platform, Ciara slipped on the icy surface and broke her ankle as she fell.

Ciara – who works as a clerical assistant for the Health Service Executive – was assisted at the scene of her accident by an Irish Rail employee, but spent the Christmas period with a plaster cast over her foot and was unable to return to work for eight weeks.

In her subsequent injury compensation claim against Irish Rail, Ciara alleged that she sustained a back injury in the accident which still troubles her now and prevents her from picking up her small child or wearing high-heeled shoes.

Irish Rails admitted that it was negligent for failing to grit the platform, clear the snow before it had compacted on it, or give any warning of ice on the platform, but contested the extent of Ciara´s injuries and the case went to the High Court for the assessment of damages.

At the High Court Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon heard how the Irish Rail worker had tried to assist Ciara by placing her in a shopping trolley while waiting for a wheelchair to be located. In a scenario described in court as “hapless and comical”, Ciara explained that her back injury was a result of falling from the shopping trolley.

Ciara told Judge O´Hanlon “I will never get that Christmas back when my first child was three years of age. It was a horrible time for all my family.” The judge subsequently awarded her €50,000 in settlement of her injury compensation claim against Irish Rail.

Report Reveals 10 Percent Increase in Compensation Claims to the Injuries Board

Claims to the Injuries Board have increased by 10 percent in the first half of the year according to a report published on the government body´s website.

The analysis of claims to the Injuries Board from January to June 2013 show that the number of applications for the assessment of compensation received by the Injuries Board increased from 14,685 in the corresponding period in 2012 to 16,162 – a rise of just over 10 percent.

The number of assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 to 5,286, but this represented a significant drop in the percentage of claims to the Injuries Board which were successfully resolved (37.2 percent > 32.7 percent) and indicates that fewer claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved through the Injuries Board process.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of each assessment also increased (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively); however CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – Patricia Byron – explained that this was due to a small number of exceptional claims to the Injuries Board – one of which resulted in the highest ever accepted Injuries Board assessment of €976,000.

Once again, claims for injuries sustained in road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of claims to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while there was an ongoing reduction in claims for injuries at work (8.1 percent). The remainder of the requests for an assessment of injury compensation were made in respect of public liability claims – injuries sustained in places of public access and product liability claims.

Discussing the increased volume of claims to the Injuries Board and the higher level of injury compensation settlements, Ms Byron warned insurance companies not to use the Injuries Board statistics as an excuse to raise insurance premiums. She said “Given a reduction of 30 percent in the Boards processing fee to respondents [down from €850.00 to €600.00], we see no basis for insurance premium hikes at this time”.

Potential plaintiffs should that while it may still be quicker to resolve a claim for personal injury compensation through direct contact with the negligent party´s insurers, making a claim to the Injuries Board is still necessary (except in claims for medical negligence and professional negligence) in case your claim cannot be resolved by negotiation and requires court action.

Woman Awarded Compensation for Fall on Moving Walkway

A woman who caught the heel of her shoe in a hole on a travelator in a Dublin shopping centre has been awarded €13.150 in compensation for a fall on a moving walkway after a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court.

Nuala Holloway Casey (60) from Blackrock in Dublin brought her action against Secret Retail Holdings (trading as Superquinn Shopping Centre) and Kine (Ireland) Limited, travelator and escalator fitters, of Ballymount, County Dublin, after suffering an ankle injury at the Superquinn Shopping Centre in December 2007.

Judge Barry Hickson in the Circuit Civil Court heard that on December 21st 2007, Nuala had caught the high heel of her shoe in a hole at the entrance to a descending moving walkway and fallen heavily – damaging her left ankle. Nuala told the court that she still suffered pain in the ankle and had been forced to give up playing tennis because of the injury.

The court also heard that liability for the injury had been admitted by the joint defendants but how much compensation for a fall on a moving walkway Nuala should receive was in dispute as Nuala had failed to visit her doctor for 10 days after the accident and exacerbated her injury by a separate fall in 2009.

After reviewing the medical evidence in support of Nuala´s claim, Judge Hickson awarded the former Miss Ireland €12,000 compensation for the fall on the moving walkway plus an additional €1,250 to account for the expenses she had incurred which were directly attributable to her accident.

Shop Shutter Compensation Claim fSettled in Court

A woman, who suffered facial injuries when she walked into a shop shutter, has had her shop shutter compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents settled at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

Yvonne McEvoy (42) from Clondalkin, Dublin, had been shopping in Tuthill´s Newsagents in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre when, in October 2010, she was distracted by a Halloween-themed display as she was exiting the shop and walked into a shutter that was partly closed.

The shutter, Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court was told, was often used like this as the shop was about to close to dissuade new customers from entering, but Yvonne failed to hear the warning shouted to her by a shop assistant and walked straight into it – sustaining an injury to the left side of her face.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard from forensic engineer Alan Conlon that closed circuit television video recordings of the incident showed a previous customer ducking underneath the shutter as he left the shop, but that Yvonne was looking to her right as she walked towards the exit. The presiding judge also heard that Yvonne had fallen pregnant in 2011 and was unable to take painkilling medication to ease the pain.

Finding Tuthill´s Newsagents negligent by lowering the shutter while there were still people in the shop, Judge Jacqueline Linnane ruled in favour of Yvonne and awarded her 17,500 Euros in settlement of her compensation claim for an accident in a newsagents.

Pedestrian Brain Injury Compensation Settlement for Victim

The family of a father of two, who suffered brain damage when hit by a speeding car, has agreed a 300,000 pounds pedestrian brain injury compensation settlement with the negligent driver´s insurers.

Zahid Hussain (30) of Blackburn, Lancashire, was crossing the street near his home in March 2007 when he was struck by a silver Volkswagen Golf and was left fighting for his life after sustaining four fractures to his skull and swelling on the brain.

Although Mr Hussain has partially recovered from his injuries, he still suffers cognitive and psychological problems and has been forced to move from the family home in Blackpool to his parent´s home in London.

In the High Court in London, Judge Alison Hampton QC was told that the two parties had agreed on the amount of compensation that should be paid and, approving the settlement commented that “I hope the money can be put to good use, and in the best interests of the claimant.”