Sunday 15 September 2019

Young sisters awarded €33k in compensation despite no injuries in crash

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

Ray Managh

A seven-year-old girl and her five-year-old sister, both of whom escaped physical injury in a rear-ending accident more than a year ago, have been awarded €33,000 damages between them in an insurance company settlement.

Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, heard Wednesday that sisters Amy and Izy Saul had missed only one day off school while attending their GP on the day after the 11th February 2016 accident involving their family car.

Barrister Francis McGagh, counsel for the girls who live at Rossberry Terrace, Lucan, Dublin, told the court they had been offered settlement damages of €16,500 each, and their court costs, on behalf of defendant motorist Tadgh Hartnett.

Mr Hartnett, whose address was given as that of AIG Insurance, North Wall, Dublin, which made the €33,000 settlement offer on his behalf, was not in court for the brief hearing.

Mr McGagh, who appeared with Keans Solicitors for the sisters, both of whom will celebrate birthdays later this month, said neither of them had suffered any physical injury in the road traffic accident but had experienced psychological injuries following it.

He said they were both rear seat restrained passengers in their family car when it was rear ended by the defendant’s vehicle.

The court heard that the children had attended their doctor on the following day, missing that day from school.  A medical report revealed that psychological injuries consisted of “a mild effect on the mental health” of both girls.

The children were not in court which was attended by the girls’ mother, Claire Saul, who indicated to the judge that she was satisfied with the offer of damages to both of her daughters.

Ms Saul, in an affidavit to the court, said Amy had complained on the day after the accident of having had a headache.  She said both her daughters would become nervous at times in a car which, their doctor, had stated was a common symptom following a road traffic accident and which he expected to diminish.

She told the court the children’s GP had carried out a review of their condition a year after the accident and had been told Amy experienced worry, panic and hyperventilation when large vehicles would pass the family car in traffic.

Ms Saul said Izy would experience worry and panic when large vehicles passed the car in traffic.  She was anxious when travelling in the car, particularly on the Newcastle Road, Lucan, where the accident had happened.  She was fearful of another accident.

Judge Groarke said he felt the offer to each child was a very good one and approved the settlements.  Costs in each case would average about €5,000.

Amy celebrates her eighth birthday on Friday the 13th of October while her sister, Izy, will be six on next Monday, October 9. The money will be invested in court funds until both girls reach the age of 18.

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