201703.03
0

Broken Restaurant Chair Accident Claim Resolved in Court

A broken restaurant chair accident claim has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court in favour of a woman who suffered a soft tissue back injury.

In May 2014, the thirty-four year old woman from Finglas in Dublin was dining at the China Kitchen restaurant in Beaumont when a leg of the chair she was sitting on became detached from the body of the chair, causing the chair to collapse.

The woman manged to avoid falling onto the floor, but jolted to her right side to prevent her fall and twisted her lower back as the chair gave way. A waiter came to her assistance, but rather than replace the broken chair, he tried to repair it.

Due to the tenderness and pain across her lower lumbar region, the woman attended her GP and was prescribed painkillers. She also attended physiotherapy sessions, but continued to experience intermittent pain in her back after working in her job as a cleaner or after sitting for long periods.

The woman made a broken restaurant chair accident claim against the owners of the China Kitchen restaurant – Xwfx Limited – claiming that the restaurant had been negligent in providing her with a dangerous chair that constituted a trap.

The owners failed to respond to the Injuries Board request for consent to conduct an assessment, or attend a subsequent court hearing to defend the broken restaurant chair accident claim. The woman consequently obtained a judgement in her favour in default of appearance.

When the broken restaurant chair accident claim was presented to Judge Jacqueline Linnane at the Circuit Civil Court, the judge was told that it was for the assessment of damages only. After hearing details of the woman´s accident and her subsequent injury, Judge Linnane awarded the woman €17,500 in settlement of her broken restaurant accident claim.

201702.25
0

Judge Awards Woman Compensation for an Injury in a Taxi Accident

A woman, described in court as a talented musician, has been awarded compensation for an injury in a taxi accident that prevents her practising the violin.

On March 8th 2012, the woman – a thirty-three year old musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare – was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. The woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident and was prescribed painkillers for her injury by her GP when she sought medical attention the following day.

When the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, the negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment was rejected by the woman, who claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury.

The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim in court and, at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day. He was also told by the defendant´s insurance company that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.

Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the balance of probabilities the woman had likely made a full recovery from her injury. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin and as such it was an exceptional case.

Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the March 2012 accident.

201701.30
0

Man Awarded Compensation for Slipping on a Path at Work

A former sewerage plant employee has been awarded compensation for slipping on a path at work after a judge found him 40% responsible for his accident.

On 3rd February 2010, the former sewerage plant employee was working as a maintenance engineer at the plant in Templemore, County Tipperary, when he slipped and fell on sewerage that had overflowed from the flumes surrounding the inlet channels.

As a result of his slip and fall accident, the employee sustained a back injury that prevented him from returning to his job. He applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his claim but his employers – Templemore Town Council – refused to give its consent for the assessment to be conducted.

The Injuries Board issued the former employee with an authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation for slipping on a path at work in court. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the High Court before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

At the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that the employee worked alone at the now decommissioned plant, and his duties included cleaning the flumes and ensuring that the paths were free from hazards. It was argued that, by failing to fulfil his duties, the employee had contributed to the accident by his own lack of care.

Judge Fullam agreed that the employee should take some responsibility for his accident, and if he had needed additional tools to fulfil his duties, he should have asked for them. However the judge also accepted the employee´s evidence that there was an issue with the pumps at the time of the accident, and that he did not have the time to clean the paths.

The judge acknowledged that flumes surrounding the inlet channels were in a bad state on the day of the accident, but said that the employee had to take some responsibility for his accident and subsequent injury. He awarded the employee €79,000 compensation for slipping on a path at work, but reduced the award by 40% to €47,400 to account for his contributory negligence.

201701.27
0

Judge Orders Full Hearing of Claim for a Broken Leg at Play School

Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke has said the proposed settlement of a girl´s claim for a broken leg at play school is inadequate.

In April 2015, the plaintiff was just three years of age when she climbed onto an open wardrobe at the Larkin Early Education Centre in Ballybough, Dublin, and fell – landing awkwardly. X-rays revealed that the young girl had fractured the tibia in her right leg, and she had to undergo a manipulation of her bones under anaesthesia.

She was discharged from hospital wearing a long leg cast, and had to wear a walking boot for several weeks afterwards. Despite the accident occurring almost two years ago, the girl continues to feel pain in her leg and, on her behalf, her mother made a claim for a broken leg at play school against the Larkin Early Education Centre.

The claim for a broken leg at play school was assessed by the Injuries Board and, once the assessment was completed, an offer of settlement was made by the school amounting to €31,000. The family´s solicitor advised the girl´s mother not to accept the offer and, as no improved offer was forthcoming, the case went to the Circuit Civil Court for evaluation

The hearing took place earlier this week before Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. At the hearing, Judge Groarke was told the circumstances of the accident and how the settlement of the claim for a broken leg at play school had been determined. He agreed with the family´s solicitor that the offer of settlement was inadequate and ordered that it go to a full trial at the Circuit Civil Court.

According to the recently revised Book of Quantum, the range of compensation settlements for a moderate lower leg fracture in which the bones have been displaced is €40,500 to €70,400. Considering that injuries to the tibia are considered to be more serious than those to the fibula, and that the young girl continues to experience pain in her leg, the final settlement of her claim for broken leg at play school is likely to be at the higher end of the scale.

201701.23
0

Woman Settles Injury Claim for a Trip and Fall in a Creche

A childcare worker has settled her injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche, during a hearing to determine liability at the Circuit Civil Court.

The 26-year-old woman worked at the Precious Minds childcare facility in Dublin when, in January 2015, she was asked to assist a superior with nappy changing duties in the babies room. Although she was looking after several one and two years at the time, the woman agreed – taking with several of the children in her care who were not sleeping.

The superior member of staff subsequently left the babies room to attend to other matters – leaving the woman to look after nine children. While she was attending to one of the children, she tripped on a plastic plate that had been left on the floor and landed awkwardly on her back – sustaining soft tissue injuries to her lower back and upper leg.

Despite seeking prompt medical attention from her GP, the woman continues to suffer back pain as a result of her injury. Conscious that she may have to look for other work due to her injury, she made an injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche. Precious Minds denied their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment, and she was issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court.

The hearing took place before Judge Brian O´Callaghan last week at the Circuit Civil Court. The woman´s counsel claimed that Precious Minds had failed to have regard for the woman´s safety by asking her to look after so many children at the same time, and the allegations were supported by evidence from a forensic engineer, who testified that adult/child ratio was too high.

In its defence, the creche claimed it was among the woman´s duties to keep the floor clear from hazards and, by failing to do so, she was the author of her own misfortune. A short adjournment followed, after which Judge O´Callaghan was told that the injury claim for a trip and fall in a creche had been settled for an undisclosed amount without an admission of liability.

201611.15
3

Customer Awarded Compensation for a Knee Injury in Tesco

A customer, who fractured their knee when tripping and falling over a six-pack of beer, has been awarded €42,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco.

The customer – a thirty-two year old female nurse from Dublin – was entering her local Tesco Metro store in Terenure in January 2014, when she tripped and fell over a six-pack of beer that had been left on the floor by a customer waiting to use the self-service check-out.

The woman was taken to St James´s Hospital by ambulance and her left knee x-rayed. The x-ray revealed a fracture and the woman – who had previously undergone reconstruction surgery of the same knee – had to undergo two further surgeries and two and a half years of physiotherapy treatment.

Consent to conduct an assessment of compensation for a knee injury in Tesco was denied by the store, and the woman was issued with an authorization to pursue her claim through the courts. The hearing to determine liability took place last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke heard that Tesco´s was denying liability because the claimant had tripped over a brightly-coloured package of beer that had been placed on the floor just seconds before her accident. There was nothing that could have been done, Tesco´s argued, to prevent the accident.

However, the judge also heard that the layout of the Terenure branch of Tesco Metro meant that customers entering the store had to navigate through any customers waiting to use the self-service checkout. The judge commented that, if a better system of customer traffic control had been applied, it would have prevented this accident from occurring.

Judge Groarke found in the claimant´s favour, initially awarding her €60,000 compensation for a knee injury in Tesco, and then reducing the award by 20% to account for her contributory negligence. The judge said it had been an especially nasty fracture and it was still symptomatic almost three years after the accident.

201611.02
0

Passenger Awarded Compensation for an Accident at Tara Street Station

A passenger, who fractured his shoulder in a fall between a train and the platform, has been awarded compensation for an accident at Tara Street station.

The passenger was travelling on an Irish Rail train from Dun Laoghaire to Connolly Street in Dublin on 2nd August 2012, when he mistakenly got off of the train at Tara Street. On realising his mistake, the passenger turned quickly to re-board the train, but slipped and fell through the gap between the train and the platform.

The passenger – a fisherman from Dun Laoghaire – was able to climb back up onto the platform, get on the train and continue his journey to Connolly Street. On his arrival at his destination, he reported the accident to a member of staff. The following day, he attended St Michael´s Hospital complaining of a pain in his right shoulder, and an x-ray revealed a triple fracture.

The passenger applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation for an accident at Tara Street station. Irish Rail declined to consent to the assessment and the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the passenger to pursue his claim through the courts. The claim for an accident at Tara Street station was heard last week at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that, despite there being “probably more CCTV cameras at Tara Street Station than there are at Pinewood Studios,” there was no recording of the accident. He also heard Irish Rail argue they could not be liable for a passenger who injured himself because he failed to look where he was going.

Counsel for the passenger said once he had purchased his ticket, there was an obligation on Irish Rail to provide safe transit and that obligation had not been met. Drivers were supposed to warn passengers to mind the gap and, despite there having been eleven previous incidents of passengers falling between the train and the platform in the past five years, no warning was given.

Judge Groarke found in the passenger´s favour – commenting that Irish Rail had an “absolute requirement” to warn passengers to mind the gap. The judge added that, although the passenger may have been distracted by getting off of the train at the wrong station, he agreed the passenger should have taken more care for his own wellbeing. The judge awarded the passenger €50,000 compensation for an accident at Tara Street station, but reduced it by 50% to account for the passenger´s contributory negligence.

201610.07
0

Judge Approves Settlement of Child´s Fall from Window Injury Claim

A Circuit Court judge has approved an Injuries Board assessed settlement of a child´s fall from window injury claim in favour of a five-year-old girl.

In August 2012, fifteen-month-old Róisín Byrne fell eleven feet onto an emergency fire escape from a window of her parent´s temporary accommodation in Blackrock, County Dublin. Róisín injured her head, punctured a lung and fractured a rib in the accident. Now five years of age, she still has a visible scar on her forehead.

Róisín´s parents – Ronan Byrne and Chloe Murphy – had previously complained to the caretaker of the property about the large Georgian sash window from which their daughter fell. They claimed that it presented a risk of injury due to opening just twenty-one inches from the floor and had asked for a security mechanism to be fitted so that the window could be locked shut.

The request was never attended to and, on Róisín´s behalf, Chloe applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of the child´s fall from window injury claim. The owner of the accommodation – Enda Woods – gave his consent for process to continue, and the Injuries Board assessed the injuries to Róisín as having a value of €46,000.

Both parties accepted the Injuries Board´s assessment but, as the child´s fall from window injury claim had been made on behalf of a minor, the proposed settlement first had to be approved by a judge. As the value of the assessment was in excess of €15,000, the approval hearing was held at the Circuit Civil Court before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

At the approval hearing, the circumstances of Róisín´s accident were related the judge, who was also informed about the scar on her forehead. Judge Groarke approved the settlement of the child´s fall from window claim, which will now be paid into court funds until Róisín is eighteen years of age.

201609.23
0

New Book of Quantum to Bring Consistency to Personal Injury Awards in Ireland

A revised Book of Quantum is expected to bring consistency to personal injury awards in Ireland when it is published in the next few weeks.

The Book of Quantum is a publication used to assess how much compensation a plaintiff is entitled to for a physical injury sustained in an accident for which they were not to blame. The Book lists a comprehensive selection of physical injuries and assigns each a range of financial values according to their severity and permanence.

As it was first published in 2004, the Book of Quantum has been criticised in recent years for being out of date. Judges, solicitors and insurance companies have sometimes ignored the Book´s guidelines – or automatically defaulted to the highest value in the range – when calculating personal injury awards in Ireland, resulting in inconsistencies in compensation settlements.

Now, after lengthy discussions between the senior judges, the Courts Service and the Injuries Board – and research into 52,000 personal injury awards in Ireland during 2013 and 2014 – a revised Book of Quantum is due to be published within the next few weeks. Those involved in its preparations say the updated publication will bring greater consistency to personal injury awards in Ireland.

As well as updating the financial values assigned to physical injuries, the revised Book of Quantum includes more degrees of severity and permanence. This higher level of granularity will enable judges, solicitors and insurance companies – and, to a degree, the Injuries Board – to more accurately assess personal injury awards in Ireland.

Although the revised guidelines and greater consistency they will bring are to be welcomed, it should be noted that personal injury awards in Ireland are not solely calculated on the extent and permanence of a physical injury. If you have been injured in an accident for which you were not at fault, you may also be entitled to compensation for your emotional trauma or any deterioration in your quality of life. For this reason, you should always seek professional legal advice from a personal injuries solicitor.

201608.20
0

Bicycle Courier Awarded Taxi Accident Injury Compensation

A bicycle courier has been awarded €30,000 taxi accident injury compensation after claims that he contributed to the cause of the accident were dismissed.

In March 2015, Rotimi Omotayo was cycling between carriageways on Custom House Quay, when a taxi driven by Kenneth Griffin pulled out from a line of stationary traffic, knocking Rotimi from his bike.

Fortunately, Rotimi escaped serious injury, but when he applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of his injuries, consent to conduct the assessment was denied on the grounds of contributory negligence.

The Injuries Board issued Rotimi with an authorisation to pursue his claim for taxi accident injury compensation in court, and the case was heard recently by Mr Justice Bernard Barton at the High Court.

At the hearing, Judge Barton heard witnesses on behalf of both parties testify how the accident happened – the significant issue being if Rotimi had been in breach of Road Traffic Regulations by cycling in the hatched area.

After hearing that Rotimi was delivering to the river side of the Quay, and had every entitlement to cycle in the outside lane before turning right, Judge Barton found in his favour. The judge said that Rotimi had the right of way and was sufficiently close to Kenneth Griffin to give the taxi driver a duty of care.

Judge Barton dismissed the claim of contributory negligence and assigned full liability to Mr Griffin for pulling out into bicycle courier´s path. However, when it came to assessing damages, Judge Barton said he was not going to rely on the Book of Quantum as it was “hopelessly out of date and of little assistance”.

Instead the judge applied the principals of Tort law to award Rotimi €30,000 taxi accident injury compensation for his general damages. With regard to his claim for special damages, Judge Barton said there was insufficient evidence to justify Rotimi´s alleged loss of earnings due to his injuries. The judge allowed “properly vouched and agreed” special damages – including Rotimi´s legal costs.

201607.08
0

Claim for an Accident at Dublin Zoo Resolved at High Court

A woman´s claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo has been resolved following a hearing at the High Court and an award of €105,000 injury compensation.

In June 2011, forty-three year old Gwen Kane took her family to Dublin Zoo to celebrate the birthday of her youngest son. As she was pushing her son in his buggy alongside the sea lion enclosure, Gwen slipped on a manhole cover that was still wet from the previous night´s rain and fell, dislocating her right ankle.

Gwen – from Firhouse in Dublin – was taken to hospital, where her ankle was put into a plaster cast. The cast remained in place for seven weeks, after which Gwen was on crutches for a further nine weeks until her ankle had fully healed. Despite being able to discard the crutches, Gwen still experiences pain in her ankle.

Gwen applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of compensation but, even though the Zoological Society of Ireland consented to the assessment, the Injuries Board figure was contested. Gwen was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo through the courts.

At the subsequent hearing at the High Court, Mr Justice Anthony Barr heard that the Zoological Society of Ireland had agreed it had been negligent by failing to clear rainwater away from walkways and viewing and that, as a consequence of her accident, Gwen was unable to continue her hobbies of Breton folk dancing, cycling and long-distance walking.

Judge Barr awarded Gwen €105,000 in settlement of her claim for an accident at Dublin Zoo – commenting he was satisfied Gwen had given a fair and accurate account of the consequences of her accident. In addition to the settlement for her pain and suffering, the judge also awarded Gwen €9,988 special damages to account for the financial cost of her injury.

201606.24
0

Judge Awards Injury Compensation for a Jogger Hit by Van Mirror

A High Court judge has awarded €134,000 injury compensation for a jogger hit by a van mirror after finding the driver of the van liable for the accident.

Forty-seven year old Donna Woods – a school teacher from Mullingar in County Westmeath – was jogging along the Ballynacarragy to Mullingar road in January 2013, when she was hit by the wing mirror of a van travelling in the opposite direction. Donna sustained a fractured wrist due to the impact of the van mirror and was treated at hospital for other injuries to her hand, elbow, shoulder and jaw.

Donna applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of injury compensation for a jogger, but the driver of the van – Joseph Tyrell – denied that he was totally to blame for Donna´s injuries and refused to give his consent for the assessment to take place. Donna was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her claim in court, and the hearing took place earlier this week.

At the hearing, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told that, on 22nd January 2013, Donna and her friend were jogging along the road against the oncoming traffic and that a tractor and trailer combination had just passed them on the far side of the road.

The two joggers had seen Tyrell pull over onto the grass verge alongside the road to give the tractor a wide berth, but believed he would return to the carriageway once the tractor had passed and continued running towards the van. However, Tyrell continued to drive along the grass verge – the wing mirror of his van hitting Donna and causing her injuries.

Defending the claim for injury compensation for a jogger, Tyrell alleged that Donna was guilty of contributory negligence because she and her friend had run two abreast against the traffic without wearing high-visibility clothing. The judge dismissed the claim of contributory negligence by noting that Donna had been wearing bright clothing on the morning of the accident.

Acknowledging that Donna had previously been a “very active lady”, and that the injuries she had sustained in the accident had prevented her from competing in physically demanding sporting activities, the judge found in Donna´s favour and awarded her €134,000 injury compensation for a jogger hit by a van mirror.

201605.25
0

Claim for Slipping on Wet Leaves at Work Resolved in Court

A claim for slipping on wet leaves at work has been resolved at the Circuit Civil Court with the award of €25,879 injury compensation to a kitchen assistant.

On 19th November 2012, Ann Groves (58) was walking along a path towards the back entrance of the Baltinglass Hospital when she slipped on wet leaves and injured her ankle. Ann – who worked at the hospital as a kitchen assistant – was able to reduce the swelling with an ice pack and later attended her GP, who strapped Ann´s ankle for support after diagnosing a soft tissue injury.

Unfortunately the pain from the ankle injury continued. Unable to sleep, walk or stand for long periods, Ann sought medical attention from a number of specialists. She underwent sessions of physiotherapy and acupuncture before having a spinal cord stimulated surgically implanted in 2014; which although it helped with the pain, did not resolve the problem completely.

On her solicitor´s advice, Ann made a claim for slipping on wet leaves at work against her employer – the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE denied responsibility for Ann´s injury at work, contesting the claim on the grounds that a sage cleaning system was in place at the hospital, and that Ann had contributed to her accident and subsequent injury due to her own lack of care.

With no agreement on liability, the Injuries Board issued Ann with an authorisation to pursue her claim for slipping on wet leaves at work through the courts. The case was heard earlier this week by Judge Barry Hickson at the Circuit Civil Court, who was told that Ann´s accident had occurred early on a Monday morning after a particularly stormy weekend.

The judge found in Ann´s favour and dismissed the HSE´s claims of contributory negligence after hearing evidence from a maintenance engineer who testified that the maintenance team at the hospital started work after the kitchen assistants. The judge awarded Ann €25,879 compensation in settlement of her claim for slipping on wet leaves at work.

201604.23
0

Pony Trek Injury Claim for Compensation Settled during Court Hearing

A pony trek injury claim for compensation, made by a woman who alleged she was given an unsuitable pony to ride, has been settled during a court hearing.

On 15th July 2013, Maria Gray (35) from Belfast was one of a party of friends celebrating a hen weekend by taking a pony trek at Feeney’s Riding School in Thonabrocky near Galway City. After the group had done some trotting, the friends made their way down an incline.

It was at this point that the legs on Maria´s pony – “Chancer” – buckled, and Maria was thrown onto the tarmac. Maria suffered several injuries in the accident and received stitches for a cut to her chin, which have left a visible scar.

Maria – a dentist by trade – also suffered an injury to her wrist. The injury deteriorated and Maria had to wear a splint for eight weeks, during which time she was unable to work and had to undergo physiotherapy.

After seeking legal advice, Maria made a pony trek injury claim for compensation against the owners of the riding school – Gerard and Siobhan Feeney. In her claim, Maria alleged that the pony she had been given to ride was unsuitably small for a 10 stone 5lb woman, 5 foot 8½ inches in height and that it was “on its last legs”.

The Feeney´s denied that Chancer was too small for Maria to ride and contested Maria´s other allegation that she had been given no instructions on how to ride the pony. Due to the dispute over liability, the Injuries Board was unable to conduct an assessment and Maria was given an authorization to pursue her pony trek injury claim for compensation in court.

The case opened last week before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam at the High Court. However, prior to the second day of the hearing, Judge Fullam was told that the pony trek injury claim for compensation had been settled for an undisclosed amount and the case could be struck.

201604.09
0

Court Awards Compensation for a Waitress Hand Injury after Hearing

The High Court has awarded a woman €500,000 compensation for a waitress hand injury after finding jugs used in a hotel breakfast bar were unfit for purpose.

Sophie Caillaud (42) claimed compensation for a waitress hand injury after suffering a deep cut in her thumb when a glass jug she was filling at the Lough Rynn Hotel in Mohill, County Leitrim shattered in her hand.

Sophie underwent surgery to repair the soft damage tissue in her thumb but, due to the thumb failing to regain its strength, Sophie has been unable to return to waitressing since her accident – the injury also affecting her ability to perform day-to-day activities.

After seeking legal advice, Sophie claimed compensation for a waitress hand injury against the hotel and the two companies that manufactured and supplied the glass jugs to the hotel – Bunzl Outsourcing Ltd and Utopia Tableware Ltd.

The defendants contested the claim for compensation for a waitress hand injury due to the amount that was being requested and because, it was argued, that Sophie had contributed to the cause of her accident through her own negligence.

As the claim could not be resolved through the Injuries Board process or through negotiation, the case went to the High Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Kevin Cross. At the hearing, Judge Cross was told that staff members had previously reported injuries due to the glass jugs shattering.

Judge Cross also heard testimony from an expert, who explained that the rapid cooling and heating of the jugs when used in a dishwasher weakened the joint between the jug´s thick handle and its thinner body. The expert concluded that the jugs were unfit for purpose.

After hearing evidence from Sophie, the judge also dismissed the allegations of contributory negligence and suggestions that Sophie was exaggerating her injuries. Commenting he found Sophie to be “entirely genuine”, Judge Cross awarded her €500,000 compensation for a waitress hand injury.

201603.17
0

Court Awards €153,000 Compensation for a Workplace Manual Lifting Injury

A former picker at a Dublin distribution centre has been awarded €153,150 compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury by a judge at the High Court.

Forty-seven year old Slovakian, Salmovir Spes, made his workplace manual lifting injury claim after hurting his back while working at the Windcanton distribution centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin. Salmovir´s job at the distribution centre was to manually lift or “pick” goods from pallets and load the goods onto trolleys for transportation to twenty-four Supervalu supermarkets in the area.

Salmovir´s injury occurred on October 29th 2011 as he was lifting trays of yoghurts from a pallet. As he turned to place the yoghurts onto a trolley, Salmovir felt a sharp pain in his back. Although he went home immediately to rest his back, and then sought prompt medical attention, Salmovir was unable to return to work at the distribution centre. He remained on sick leave until 2014 when he was made redundant.

Salmovir claimed compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury, but Windcanton withheld their consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment. Salmovir was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury through the courts, and his case was heard recently at the High Court by Mr Justice Anthony Barr.

At the hearing, Judge Barr heard that Salmovir was set a “pick rate” of 1,200 picks per seven-and-a-half hour shift. It was alleged by Salmovir that he had not been trained in the correct way of manually lifting goods in a safe way to meet his target, and that he was especially selected for heavy manual lifting because of his nationality.

The defence argued that Salmovir had not been treated differently than any other employee, that adequate training was provided and that workers were given refresher courses at regular intervals. It was suggested that Salmovir´s injury had been caused by his own negligence due to taking a short cut in the correct procedures.

Judge Barr found in Salmovir´s favour – commenting he was satisfied that Salmovir´s back injury was attributable to a lack of adequate training, unreasonably high pick rates and being forced to take short cuts to meet his target. The judge said there was no evidence to support Salmovir´s allegations of discrimination or the defence´s argument that Salmovir had contributed to his injury through his own lack of care.

The judge awarded Salmovir €153,150 compensation for a workplace manual lifting injury, saying he was satisfied that the plaintiff had suffered a significant injury to his lower back due to his employer´s negligence that not only rendered him “permanently disabled in the work aspects of his life”, but also continued to cause him pain in his day-to-day domestic activities.

201603.15
0

Negligence Determined in Claim for a Workplace Accident at Dunnes

A High Court judge has found Dunnes Stores negligent in a claim for a workplace accident in Dunnes, made by an employee who fell down a flight of stairs.

Jean O´Reilly from Wexford was employed as a checkout operator at her local Dunnes Stores in Redmond Square, when – on 9th December 2011 – she lost her footing while reading the staff noticeboard and fell down a flight of stairs leading from the staff locker room to the ground floor.

Jean was taken to hospital by ambulance, where she was treated for soft tissue injuries to her neck and back. Jean had to wear a neck brace to support her head for the six weeks she was unable to work and also underwent a course of physiotherapy to help her recover from her ordeal.

After obtaining legal advice, Jean made a claim for a workplace accident in Dunnes against her employer –  alleging that the staff noticeboard was dangerously positioned too close to the top of the stairs and that, had there been a handrail of both sides of the flight of stairs, her fall could have been prevented.

Dunnes Stores contested the claim for a workplace accident at Dunnes and refused to consent to an Injuries Board assessment. Jean was subsequently issued with an authorisation to pursue her workplace accident claim through the courts process and her case was heard at the High Court.

At the end of the hearing, Mr Justice Raymond Fullam found in Jean´s favour. Judge Fullam ruled that Dunnes Stores had been negligent in two respects – for the dangerous placement of the staff noticeboard at the top of the flight of stairs and for the lack of a handrail on both sides of the flight of stairs.

Judge Fullam awarded Jean €81,500 compensation in settlement of her claim for a workplace accident at Dunnes – €65,000 general damages for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity as a result of her accident, and €16,500 special damages for her loss of income and the costs she had incurred.

201602.01
1

Dublin Bar Injury Compensation Claim Settled at High Court

A Dublin bar injury compensation claim has been settled at the High Court in favour of a woman who dislocated her thumb in a slip and fall accident.

On May 28th 2011, Sharon Kelly (44) from County Offaly attended a thirtieth birthday party at the Arc Café Bar on the Fonthill Road in Dublin. Shortly after midnight, Sharon crossed the wooden floor in the lobby area to go to the bathroom, slipped on some liquid spilt on the floor and dislocated her thumb as she fell.

In pain from her injury – which has left her with a loss of sensation in the tip of her thumb and a reduced pinch grip – Sharon sought legal advice and made a Dublin bar injury compensation claim against Lackabeg Limited trading as the Arc Café Bar, alleging that there had been a failure to monitor the floor surfaces and take corrective action when a risk of injury was identified.

Lackabeg Limited denied liability for Sharon´s injury, and contested the Dublin bar injury compensation claim on the grounds that the bar had a comprehensive cleaning system in place. The owners of the bar alleged that Sharon had been drinking at the party for more than five hours and was wearing four-inch heels at the time of her accident.

With liability contested, the Injuries Board issued Sharon with an authorisation to pursue her Dublin bar injury compensation claim in court. Consequently, the case was heard by Mr Justice Anthony Barr at the High Court.

During the hearing, Judge Barr was told that the liquid on the floor could either have been caused by a patron spilling their drink or water being walked out from the ladies toilet. The judge accepted the evidence of two other women that the toilets in the public bar had been in poor condition that night and complaints were made to bar staff.

The judge also reviewed CCTV footage of Sharon´s slip and fall accident, and heard that the bar had been particularly busy that evening due to a two-for-one drinks promotion to promote a televised Champions League football match. The judge said he was satisfied that there was liquid on the wooden floor where Sharon slipped and fell.

Awarding Sharon €90,000 in settlement of her Dublin bar injury compensation claim, Judge Barr said: “People cannot be expected to look at the floor when walking across a bar. She was entitled to expect that the floor was dry and it was safe for her to walk across it.”

201511.19
0

Castolin Eutectic Employee Awarded Compensation for a Pallet Truck Accident

An employee of Castolin Eutectic has been awarded €46,000 compensation for a pallet truck accident in which he slipped and fell, and injured his back.

On 5th March 2012, Daniel Hanley (24) from Stoneybatter in Dublin was working at the Castolin Eutectic manufacturing plant in the Magna Business Park, when he slipped and fell while pushing a pallet truck. Daniel was taken to hospital with a back injury, treated for soft tissue damage and was off work for six weeks.

Daniel claimed compensation for a pallet truck accident against his employer – alleging that Castolin Eutectic had not implemented a safe system of work. Due to slipping on an accumulation of graphite spillage on the floor, Daniel also claimed that his employer had failed to ensure that the floor surface was suitable and fit for purpose.

Castolin Eutectic denied liability for Daniel´s injury, and declined consent for the Injuries Board to conduct an assessment of his claim. Consequently Daniel was issued with an authorisation to pursue compensation for a pallet truck accident through the courts. His case was heard this week by Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court.

At the hearing, Judge Cross heard Castolin Eutectic argue that Daniel´s slip and fall injury was due to his own negligence. However, the judge also heard evidence that there had been a number of slip and fall accidents due to graphite spills in the week´s leading up to Daniel´s injury, and safety measures that were suggested to the company´s management were not put in place.

Mr Justice Cross said that there was no suggestion Daniel had been doing anything wrong at the time of the accident and, based on the evidence he had heard, it was likely that there could have been a small amount of graphite on the floor at the time. The judge found in Daniel´s favour and awarded him €46,000 compensation for a pallet truck accident.

201511.13
1

Judge Awards Compensation for a Slip on a Potato Wedge in Dunnes

A judge has awarded an injured shopper €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes following a hearing at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin.

In November 2011, sixty-year old housewife Anna Manning from Clondalkin in Dublin was entering the fish section of her local Dunnes Stores, when she slipped on a potato wedge that had been left on the floor following an earlier spill and fell onto the shop floor.

Anna landed on her hands and knees, but the following day attended her GP for treatment to pains that had developed in her back and neck. Anna also sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes.

Dunnes Stores refused its consent for Anna´s claim to be assessed by the Injuries Board and she was issued with an Authorisation to pursue her claim in court. The claim for compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes was recently heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court.

At the hearing Judge Groarke was told that Anna´s slip and fall had aggravated an existing condition, and that she had also sustained a wrist injury that was having a negative effect on her quality of life. Dunnes Stores contested Anna´s claim, and argued that she had contributed to her injuries by her own lack of care.

Judge Groarke dismissed Dunne´s argument of contributory negligence and found in Anna´s favour. The judge commented that Anna was a “very poor candidate” to fabricate her story considering her previous medical history and he considered Dunnes Stores to have been negligent for failing to thoroughly clean up the previous spill.

Judge Groarke awarded Anna €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes, adding on the balance of probabilities that the potato wedge on which Anna had slipped had likely been a “brother or sister” of the wedges that had been spilled earlier in the day.

201506.08
1

Hit and Run Injury Claim Settled with Split Liability

A hit and run injury claim has been settled during a break in proceedings on the first day of a hearing after an agreement was reached on the division of liability.

Anthony Driver (25) from Enniskerry in County Wicklow made his hit and run injury claim after being run over by an unidentified car at the junction of Sidmonton Avenue and Meath Road in Bray on 2nd November 2012.

Anthony – who was on his way to meet a friend to get a lift home – remembers that the unidentified car pulled over after hitting him, but then drove off again without calling for help or offering assistance.

It was only when Anthony was found lying injured in the street by a Garda that he was taken to hospital where he was treated for a fractured spine, fractured ribs, a lacerated liver and various internal injuries.

Anthony remained in hospital for none days – four of them in intensive care. After his discharge from hospital he experienced difficulty eating for some time and he still suffers from pains in his back.

As the driver of the car that struck Anthony could not be traced, Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was made against the Motor Insurers´ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – the body that are responsible for paying injury compensation when the owner of a vehicle cannot be traced or is uninsured.

The MIBI disputed liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim as the Garda who found Anthony had described him as “grossly intoxicated”, and the insurers´ bureau said that Anthony was likely responsible for his injuries due to his own lack of care.

As liability for Anthony´s hit and run injury claim was disputed, the Injuries Board issued Anthony with an authorisation to allow the option of court action. The case went to the High Court last week where it was heard by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns.

At the hearing, Anthony admitted to Judge Kearns that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The MIBI repeated their argument that, because of his condition, Anthony should accept some level of liability for his injuries.

Discussions regarding a negotiated settlement started as the court was adjourned for lunch. On Judge Kearns´ return, he was informed that Anthony had agreed to an undisclosed settlement of his hit and run injury claim after accepting 75% contributory negligence.

201505.19
0

Claim for a Fall in a Farmyard Barn Resolved at Court

A claim for a fall in a farmyard barn, in which the plaintiff lost his senses of smell and taste, has been resolved at the High Court with the approval of a €300,000 compensation settlement.

On 11th August 2008, Con Oxley – a self-employed electrician from Cullahill in County Laois – was rolling out electric cable in preparation of implementing a lighting installation in a farmyard barn in nearby Ballacolla.

As he stepped onto a plank suspended between two boxes to move from the first installation to the second, the plank snapped beneath him and he fell eight feet (2.5 metres) to the floor.

Con hit his head on the floor of the farmyard barn as he landed and suffered brain damage as a result. He now has no sense of smell or taste and is partially blind in his left eye.

After speaking with a solicitor, Con made a compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn against the owner of the farm – Mark Quigley – alleging that the planks he had been provided with were unsuitable for supporting his weight.

In addition to claiming that Quigley was negligent for providing materials unsuitable for the job, Con also claimed that Quigley had failed to ensure his safety by neglecting to put intermediary supports beneath the planks or any mechanism to arrest a fall.

Quigley denied his liability for Con´s injuries, and Con was issued with an authorisation by the Injuries Board to pursue his compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn through the court system.

However, before a hearing was scheduled, an agreement was made to divide liability on a 50/50 basis – with Con agreeing to a €300,000 settlement of compensation in return for Quigley not having to admit liability.

At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement of Con´s compensation claim for a fall in a farmyard barn – saying that the settlement was a good one in the circumstances.

The judge said that Con´s contributory negligence for failing to inspect the plank before stepping onto it would have counted against him had the claim for a fall in a farmyard barn gone to a full court hearing.

201505.13
0

Judge Awards Compensation for a Health Club Accident

A judge at the Circuit Civil Court has awarded a plaintiff €30,000 compensation for a health club accident after dismissing claims that the plaintiff contributed to the accident by her own lack of care.

Thirty year old Timea Babos – a supervisor at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin – was visiting the West Wood Club on a free guest pass when, on 13th November 2011, she decided to go for a swim after coming out of the health club´s sauna.

Only intending to swim a few lengths, Timea dived head-first into the swimming pool. However, the depth of the water in the pool was only 1 metre 35 centimetres (around four feet) and Timea hit her face on the bottom of the pool – breaking her two upper front teeth.

With nobody around the pool area to help her – Timea made her way to the club´s reception area still bleeding from the mouth to report her accident and complete an accident report form. Timea then went straight to her doctor´s surgery, where she was treated for her injuries and prescribed painkillers.

Two weeks after the accident at the health club, Timea flew to Hungary to have crowns fitted to her front teeth and, on her return, she sought legal advice before claiming compensation for a health club accident.

In her claim, Timea alleged that the health club was liable for her injuries as there were no signs warning of the shallow depth of the pool or a lifeguard on duty to prevent her from diving in. However, the West Wood Health Club denied its liability, and contested the claim on the basis that Timea had been negligent by diving into a swimming pool without first checking the depth of the water.

With liability contested, the Injuries Board issued Timea with an authorisation to pursue her claim for compensation for a health club accident through the courts; and the case was heard this week at the Circuit Civil Court before Judge Jacqueline Linnane.

Judge Linnane heard evidence from a forensic engineer supporting Timea´s claim that there were inadequate warnings around the perimeter of the swimming pool to indicate guests that it was unsafe to dive into the pool. He also told the judge that the swimming pool was unusual in design as it had a constant depth throughout with no deep end.

The judge dismissed the allegations by the West Wood Club that Timea had contributed to her injuries through her own lack of care, and awarded Timea €30,000 compensation for a health club accident.

201504.01
2

Compensation Claims to the Injuries Board Remain Stable

The number of compensation claims to the Injuries Board remained stable throughout 2014 according to figures released in the organisation´s annual review.

During 2014, 31,576 compensation claims to the Injuries Board (2013 – 31,311 claims) resulted in 12,420 assessments being accepted (2013 – 10,656 accepted assessments) resulting in a total award value of €281.2 million (2013 – €243.5 million).

The discrepancy between the two year´s acceptance rates (2014 – 39% / 2013 – 34%) is attributable to a large volume of compensation claims to the Injuries Board being received towards the end of 2013 which were not resolved until 2014. The Injuries Board reported a slight decrease in the length of time it took to process an injury claim.

The annual review also revealed a slight decrease in the average assessment of an injury claim (€22,642 from €22,847), although there was a significant increase in the average value of a claim for an injury at work (€32,134 from €28,886). The largest single assessment was made for a claim for an injury at work – €972,898 being related to an employer liability claim.

Commenting on the figures contained within the annual review, Patricia Byron – the Chief Executive of the Injuries Board – said: “While the volume of new claims stabilized last year, the increase in the number of awards made by the Board is a clear indication that more respondents, typically insurers, are opting to engage with our low cost claims resolution service and recognize the real value of avoiding unnecessary and costly litigation where uncontested claims are concerned”.

Ms Byron continued: “2014 was an important year for us as we marked a decade in operation. As a result of our journey, personal injury compensation is now delivered in 7 months and at a processing cost of 6.7%, compared to almost 3 years and a cost of 58% for litigated claims. With over €1 billion in savings delivered to date and a ten year track record behind us, the benefits of non-adversarial claims resolution are unequivocal.”

201502.20
1

Judge Awards Compensation for a Pedestrian Hit by Car

A judge at the High Court in Limerick has awarded €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car to a man who had a similar accident once before.

On March 5th 2010, Edmund Quinlan (72) of Garryspillane in County Limerick was walking from his home to the local pub for a drink and a game of cards with his friends, when he was hit and knocked down by a car whose driver had failed to see him due to the low sun.

Edmund was taken to hospital with extensive leg fractures and spent ten weeks with his leg placed in balanced suspension. His recovery was especially complicated as he had broken the same leg six years previously and the bone supporting a metal plate that had been inserted was shattered in the accident.

On his discharge from hospital, Edmund sought legal advice and claimed compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car. Full liability for Edmund´s injuries was disputed by the driver that hit him, who claimed that Edmund had been drinking prior to the accident and that his intoxicated state contributed to his unsteadiness as he was walking along the road.

With issues over liability, the Injuries Board issued an authorisation for Edmund´s case to be heard in court. However, the day before the hearing was scheduled to get underway at the High Court in Limerick, the allegations of Edmund having been drinking were withdrawn and the case was presented to Mr Justice Paul McDermott for the assessment of damages only.

At the hearing, Judge McDermott heard from Edmund´s surgeon – Dr Thomas Burke – that his patient had made a near-miraculous recovery from his leg injuries, but due to his increasing frailty he now resided in a nursing home. The judge said that Dr Burke should be proud of what he had achieved in his treatment of Edmund, who himself had been very stoical in dealing with the injuries he had sustained.

The judge awarded Edmund €177,630 compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car, which comprised of €115,000 general damages for his injury and suffering, and €62,630 special damages to pay for Edmund´s medical and nursing home costs.

201502.13
2

Passenger Whiplash Compensation Claim Settled in Court

A passenger whiplash compensation claim has been settled at the Circuit Civil Court with an award of €10,000 to a man who was injured in his aunt´s car.

John Connors (20) was a passenger in his aunt´s car when it was involved in an accident on Kiltipper Road in Tallaght on 2nd December 2010. John – who was fifteen years of age at the time of the accident – was treated at the Tallaght Hospital for soft tissue injuries caused by whiplash, and he returned to the hospital on four or five more occasions to receive physiotherapy on his neck and back.

As John was too young to represent himself, his father made a passenger whiplash compensation claim on his behalf against the driver of the car in his he was a passenger – John´s aunt, Bridget Connors. Bridget Connors admitted liability for the accident, but John´s father was not satisfied with the assessment of the passenger whiplash compensation claim by the Injuries Board.

The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the claim to be heard in court, and the case went before Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the Circuit Civil Court for his assessment of damages.

As the passenger whiplash compensation claim was before the judge for the assessment of damages only, John was asked about any long-term consequences he had suffered as a result of the car accident. John replied that the injuries to his neck and back had healed, but that he suffered from an unrelated liver condition that meant he would age prematurely

Judge Groarke awarded John €10,000 compensation in settlement of his passenger whiplash compensation claim and the costs of bringing his legal action to court. The judge commented that there was doubt that John had suffered soft tissue injuries to his neck and back as a result of the accident and that liability for the accident had not been contested.

201408.01
0

DSP Changes introduced for the Recovery of Welfare Benefits

A new scheme has been introduced today for the recovery of welfare benefits from successful personal injury claims.

The “Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme” comes into force today (Friday August 1) enabling the Department of Social Protection (DSP) to recover welfare benefits paid to recipients of personal injury compensation.

The scheme – which is a result of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2013 – replaces the current practice of deducting welfare benefits from compensation for loss of earnings, and operates in a similar way to the Compensation Recovery Unit in the UK.

From today, a compensator – usually the negligent party´s insurance provider – will be required to request a statement from the DSP outlining the value of certain welfare benefits that the plaintiff has received in the previous five years which relate directly to the accident or injury for which their compensation claim was made.

Copies of the statement will also be sent to the plaintiff and the Injuries Board (in cases where they have been responsible for completing an accepted assessment) detailing the deductions that are to be made from compensation settlements for the recovery of welfare benefits.

The benefits which apply under the new scheme are confined to:

  • Injury Benefit
  • Illness Benefit
  • Partial Capacity Benefit
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Disability Allowance
  • Invalidity Pension

In the past welfare benefits have usually been deducted from a plaintiff´s loss of earnings settlement, and therefore there will be no difference in how much personal injury compensation they receive. However, due to the new process, it is likely to take several weeks longer for a compensation settlement to be received.

It is important to note that the recovery of welfare benefits is not the responsibility of the plaintiff, nor does the receipt of welfare benefits exclude a plaintiff from making a claim for personal injury compensation.

It is also important that plaintiffs check their copy of the benefits statement to ensure that it is accurate, and reflects only to welfare benefits they have received in respect of their injury. An appeals procedure exists in the event that the value of welfare payments contained in the DSP´s statement is considered to be incorrect.

For professional legal advice about how to check the recovery of welfare benefits – and what to do if you consider the DSP´s figures to be incorrect – it is recommended that you consult with a personal injury solicitor.

201311.04
0

HSA Warns About Slips and Falls in the Workplace

The Health and Safety Authority has issued a warning about slips and falls in the workplace after more than €22 million was awarded last year in workplace slip and fall injury compensation.

The warning came in a statement made to the press by Martin O´Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – in response to figures released by the Injuries Board that showed there were 807 assessments of injury compensation for injuries at work accepted in 2012 amounting to €22 million (1).

More than one third of the accepted assessments of injury compensation for workplace accidents were attributable to avoidable slips and falls in the workplace, and Mr O´Halloran urged employers to take better precautions against such preventable injuries.

He referred to research in which it was indicated that employees take less care than they should at work because of the employer´s responsibility to prevent slips and trips, and because of bad practices developed at home – especially when working at height.

Mr O´Halloran revealed that a quarter of all workplaces surveyed by HSA inspectors last year had not conducted a risk assessment to assess the dangers of slips and falls in the workplace, and that two of the highest accepted assessments of compensation for slips and falls in the workplaces related to preventable fatal accidents.

Other statistics related to compensation claims for accidents at work included:

  • The average award for a workplace accident was €27,286. The average award for men was slightly higher at €27,657, while women received an average award of €26,456.
  • Men are twice as likely as women to sustain a workplace injury with men accounting for 69 percent and women 31 percent of the accepted assessments for slips and falls in the workplace.
  • The majority of awards were to workers in the 25 to 34 age group (32.2%) while over 1 in 5 (22.6%) were in the 35 to 44 age bracket. The vast majority of awards (82.6%) were under €38,000.
  • For the second consecutive year, Thursday was the most common day for workplace accidents while the least number of accidents occurred on Sunday. July saw the highest number of accidents in 2012.
  • Slips, trips and falls were the most common accident type accounting for one third (33.6%) of all awards for workplace accidents.

Mr O’Halloran concluded by saying “Effective management of workplace safety and health not only protects workers from injury and ill-health, but also has the potential to save businesses thousands of euro. Proper management of workplace safety and health contributes to long-term commercial success and profitability. I would urge all business owners and directors to take some time this week to consider the safety systems they have in place and make sure not to leave anything to chance”.

(1) It should be noted that, in 2012, less than one-third of assessments made by the Injuries Board were accepted – indicating that the number of compensation claims for slips and falls in the workplace would likely be approaching 2,500.

201310.03
0

Injuries Board Claims Rise by 10 Percent

Injuries Board claims and applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation have risen by 10 percent in the first six months of 2013 according to a report published on injuriesboard.ie.

The analysis of Injuries Board Claims to June 2013 shows that the number of applications for the assessment of personal injury compensation received by the government body rose from 14,685 in the first six months of 2012 to 16,162 in the corresponding period of 2013 – an increase of just over 10 percent.

The total value of accepted assessments and the average value of Injuries Board claims also rose (by 8 percent and 4 percent respectively), predominantly due to a small number of exceptionally high claims assessments – one in particular (for €976,000) being the highest-ever assessment of personal injury compensation made by the Injuries Board.

The number of Injuries Board claims assessments accepted by plaintiffs also increased from 5,180 in 2012 to 5,286 in 2013; but this represented a substantial decrease in the percentage of Injuries Board assessments accepted (32.7 percent from 37.2 percent), indicating that more claims for personal injury compensation are being resolved by direct negotiation and court action.

As with previous years, Injuries Board claims for road traffic accidents accounted for the highest proportion of applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board (75.5 percent), while the proportion of claims for injuries sustained at work continued to decline (8.1 percent). The balance of Injuries Board claims was in respect of public liability claims and product liability claims.

Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board in Ireland – commented that the higher volume of claims and increased value of accepted compensation assessments did not provide an excuse for insurance companies to increase the premiums they charge. She said that, as the Board´s processing fee to respondents had been reduced from €850.00 to €600.00, the savings made by insurance companies should counter the increased value of Injuries Board claims.

For comprehensive information about compensation claims, please refer to this article.

201303.26
0

Report Reveals Awareness of Right to Claim Injury Compensation

The Annual Report from the Injuries Board has revealed a greater awareness among citizens of their right to claim injury compensation from a negligent party.

The report, published on the injuriesboardie web site, showed that applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board had risen 4.7 percent in 2012 to 28,962 (excluding claims for DePuy Hip Replacement Compensation); mostly driven by a significant rise in the number of claims for injury compensation following a road traffic accident (up 6.7 percent on 2011).

Just under 35 percent of the assessments made by the Injuries Board were accepted by claimants (10,136) with the average award value being €21,502 and 75 percent of those being for road traffic injury compensation claims.

Work injuries accounted for 8 percent of accepted Injuries Board assessments, while people injured in a place of public access made up the remainder of those exercising their right to claim injury compensation when they have been hurt in an accident for which they were not to blame.

In a press release accompanying the publication of the 2012 Annual Report, Patricia Byron – CEO of the Injuries Board – commented “The steady but consistent increase in claims volumes over the past five years is a real concern at a time when our roads have never been safer and we have fewer people at work”.

Ms Byron also expressed concern that there was an “emerging claims culture” which, she hoped, would be addressed in Justice Minister Alan Shatter’s forthcoming Legal Services Bill, which is due to be debated this summer.