Wednesday 22 October 2014

Woman who suffered brain injury after she was mowed down by hit-and-run driver settles for €1.2m

Published 10/07/2014 | 17:53

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told today the driver was over the legal alcohol limit.

A WOMAN who suffered a brain injury after she was mowed down by a hit and run driver as she stood on a street has settled her High Court action for €1.2 million.

Laura Byrne (26) was talking with friends on the pavement in John Street, New Ross, Co Wexford, when she was hit by the car in 2009.

She was thrown in  to the air and her head hit the windscreen of the car before she fell to the ground. The car then left the scene.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told today the driver was over the legal alcohol limit.

The driver of the car, Polish national Karol Chrzan, was later sentenced to three years imprisonment with the last six months suspended after pleading guilty to dangerous driving on June 20, 2009 causing serious harm to Ms Byrne.

Wexford Circuit Court heard that Chrzan admitted he had been drinking and he had about six bottles of beer and some vodka earlier in the day. He told gardai he left the scne of the accident becuase he panicked.

Chrzan was also disqualified from driving for six year.

A garda gave evidence to the Circuit Court that Chrzan who was 24 years of age at the time had taken his partner's car and was not insured.

Ms Byrne of Parkfield, New Ross, sued Mr Chrzan of Belleville, New Ross and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.

Her counsel Rosario Boyle told the court Ms Byrne, who was 21years of age at the time of the accident, was rushed to Waterford Regional Hospital and later transferred to Cork.

At the time of the accident she had completed the first year of a veterinary course, but had to give it up afterwards because of her injuries.

Cousel said Ms Byrne still has problems with her balance and her left arm is weaker than her right and she has from to time suffered double vision.

Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Irvine said it was a very good one.

She said nothing would compensate Ms Byrne for her injuries but she hoped the money would help make life better for the young woman.

Ms Byrne told the judge she was happy to be at an end to the proceedings.

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