A claim for brain damage in a lorry accident has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €750,000 injury compensation settlement.
Twenty-five year old Francis Smith was driving on the outskirts of Edgeworthstown in County Longford when, on January 27, 2009, he crashed into the back of a stationary council lorry while trying to avoid a collision with a car heading towards him.
The lorry had been parked close to where Longford County Council was carrying out repairs to the road, and Francis was unlikely to have seen it as he came around the bend immediately preceding the roadworks.
Although neither of Francis´ two passengers were injured in the crash, Francis suffered brain damage. He now has physical and cognitive difficulties that prevent him from leading an independent life. He has also had to give up the job he had in a local factory.
Francis´ mother – Martina Dempsey – made a compensation claim for brain damage in a lorry accident on behalf of her son – alleging in her legal action that Longford County Council had been negligent by failing to provide warning signs ahead of the roadworks.
It was also claimed that the lorry into which Francis crashed was parked too far out into the carriageway, creating a hazard for motorists coming off of the bend.
Longford County Council denied its liability for Francis´ brain damage. The council argued that Francis had contributed to the cause of the accident, and therefore his injury, by driving around the bend at an excessive speed.
Eventually the two parties agreed on a €750,000 settlement of the claim for brain damage in a lorry accident; but, as the claim had been made on behalf of a plaintiff unable to represent himself, the settlement had to be approved by a judge.
Consequently, the circumstances leading up to Francis´ accident and the impact it has had on his quality of life were related to Mr Justice Kevin Cross earlier this week at the High Court. The judge approved the settlement – noting that it represented 25% of the full value of the claim for brain damage in a lorry accident.