Friday 23 June 2017

Teenage boy granted €3.3m for head injury caused in car crash that claimed mum's life

The High Court, Dublin
The High Court, Dublin

A teenage boy who suffered a profound head injury in a car crash when he was just a toddler has settled his High Court action for €3.3million.

The boy's mother was also injured in the crash and died ten days later in hospital, the court heard.

The boy cannot be named because he is a ward of court and nothing can be published which would identify him.

Senior counsel Liam Reidy said the child, who was two years old, was travelling in the back seat of the car driven by his mother and was strapped in to his baby seat.

It appears, in the accident, the roof of the car came down on top of him, counsel said.

The accident happened in the north of the country when a car ran in to the back of the vehicle he was in, propelling it in to the path of another vehicle.

Through his father, the boy sued two men: the driver and owner of the car which ran in to the back of the car.

It was claimed there was an alleged failure to stop, slow down, swerve or in any way to manage and control the motor vehicle so as to avoid collision.  It was also claimed the defendants' car was driven in a careless and inattentive manner.

Approving the settlement, High Court president, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, said the boy was left with the scars of the awful accident.

He praised the boy's father who had relocated in his job and put his career on hold to look after his son.

His counsel, Mr Reidy, said the boy suffered a very profound head injury.

A CT scan indicated he had a compound skull fracture with fragments of bone going into his brain.

He underwent surgery to elevate his depressed skull, and to remove the lodged bone fragments.

A subsequent haematoma required another operation, and he was in intensive care for a number of weeks, before being transferred to the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

He has developed epilepsy in the years after the accident, and his brain injury causes him major problems in decision making and interacting with others.

In particular, he suffers from profound anxiety and panic attacks.

Eyesight issues means he will not be able to drive and his physical problems mean that he has never been able to play sport.

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