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'if you get hurted, you get hurted', accident-prone man's claim after his sixth crash in 6 years dismissed

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Gerry McDonagh has been involved in 10 road traffic accidents, as well as being injured
on a water slide

Gerry McDonagh has been involved in 10 road traffic accidents, as well as being injured on a water slide

Gerry McDonagh has been involved in 10 road traffic accidents, as well as being injured on a water slide

An accident-prone Limerick man has told a court "my body is destroyed from people driving into me".

"I don't go around claiming off people for nothing. If you get hurted, you get hurted," Gerry McDonagh said at Ennis Circuit Court.

Mr McDonagh was giving evidence concerning his latest compensation claim, for alleged injuries in a 2012 road traffic accident against a then 19-year-old driver.

The claim was dismissed by Judge Gerald Keys.

Judge Keys found that the threshold had not been reached to prove the driver of the other car, Niamh Kitson, was in any way negligent in causing the accident, at the entrance to a petrol station on Lahinch Road, Ennis, on August 10, 2012.

Fall

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Gerry McDonagh has been being injured on a water slide

Gerry McDonagh has been being injured on a water slide

Gerry McDonagh has been being injured on a water slide

The court heard evidence that the August 2012 crash was one of 10 road traffic accidents Mr McDonagh had been involved in - including six since 2012.

In relation to four separate successful compensation claims, Mr McDonagh, of Fanningstown, Fedamore, Co Limerick, has received combined compensation awards of €40,700 concerning two of the road traffic accidents, one trip and fall in 2008 and another where he fell down the stairs of his local authority house in Limerick 25 years ago.

Counsel for Ms Kitson, Siobhan Gallagher BL, told the court that the August 2012 crash in Ennis followed Mr McDonagh being involved in a road traffic accident in July 2012 and another crash in May 2012.

Ms Gallagher said that Mr McDonagh had also been involved in further road traffic accidents in October 2015, November 2016 and June 2017.

She said Mr McDonagh had also been involved in a number of falls - he fell 6ft off a ladder in May 2013 and had another fall in August 2013.

"There was an incident with a gentleman on a water slide, who fell down on top of you and you sustained injuries," Ms Gallagher said.

Mr McDonagh replied: "I didn't put in claims."

He said that his first accident was in a corporation house in Limerick and he received €14,000 for that.

Mr McDonagh said that 35 years ago he was knocked off his motorbike.

"I never got any money out of that - my mother did. I never got anything," he added.

In 2001, Mr McDonagh received €5,000 from a road traffic accident and a further €11,000 from Limerick County Council as a result of back injuries sustained after a trip and fall in 2007.

Ms Gallagher said that Mr McDonagh received a further €10,700 from a road traffic accident in 2008.

Pressed by Ms Gallagher as to whether there were any other accidents between 2008 and 2012, Mr McDonagh said: "It's like being in school with a teacher giving out to me."

Ms Gallagher said that Mr McDonagh did not make a compensation claim from the May 2012 crash but other members of his family did.

"I have had back pain for years from the accidents I have had," Mr McDonagh said.

"The back pain will never go away. I will be on Lyrica for the rest of my life and I will be on tablets for the rest of my life.

"I was never ever charged with dangerous driving or anything like that. I always travel with insurance and tax on my car."

Mr McDonagh told the court that he aggravated the back pain he sustained as a result of his July 2012 crash in the August 2012 incident.

Minor

In evidence, Ms Kitson said that Mr McDonagh crashed into her stationary car at the exit of the petrol station, contradicting Mr McDonagh's claim that Ms Kitson drove into his car.

Asked to describe the impact, Ms Kitson said: "It was like a crosswind on a motorway. I could barely feel it."

The estimated cost of the damage to Ms Kitson's car was €579 and the estimated cost of damage to Mr McDonagh's was €1,166. An expert told the court that both cars sustained "light impact" from the accident.

Ms Kitson told the court that the damage was so minor to her car she never carried out any repairs on it.

In evidence, Mr McDonagh said: "I never said it was a massive accident.

"The injuries I got in the car accident with that lady [Ms Kitson] were nothing compared to the injuries I got from other accidents. It aggravates my pain a little bit but I wouldn't put it down as major".


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