A woman has received nearly €23,000 in compensation for a slip and fall incident that took place in her local Dunnes Stores. 

In November 2011, Anna Manning (66) of Clondalkin, Dublin, was browsing her local Dunnes Stores when she slipped on a potato wedge that had not been cleared up from a previous spill in the shop, and fell to the shop floor. Anna caught herself with her hands and knees, but was required to attend her GP the next day to seek medical attention for pains in her back and neck. 

Anna sought legal advice, and made a claim for compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes. The defendants denied liability for the accident, and refused to give consent to the Injuries Board for Anna's claim to be assessed. Anna was issued with authorisation to pursue her claim for compensation in court. 

The case was brought to the Circuit Civil Court, where it was heard by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge was informed that Anna's slip and fall had aggravated a pre-existing condition, and that she had also sustained a wrist injury. The injury was negatively affecting Anna's daily life, causing her some degree of difficulty. 

Dunnes Stores contested these claims, arguing that it was Anna's own lack of care which caused her injures, and that they were not liable for the accident. The judge dismissed this claim of contributory negligence, and ruled in Anna's favour. He stated that Dunnes themselves had been negligent for failing to thoroughly clean up the previous spill. He added that Anna was a "very poor candidate" to fabricate her claim for compensation. 

Anna was awarded €22,900 compensation for a slip on a potato wedge in Dunnes. The judge commented that, on the balance of probabilities,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.

Fenella Sinclair (62) of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was cycling along Broadwater Forest Lane in July 2011 when a 4x4 vehicle clipped the wheel of her bicycle.

The incident caused Fenella to fall from her bicycle and strike her head on the road. She was brought to hospital, where she was diagnosed with multiple fractures to her skull, brain damage, spinal damage and several broken ribs. As a consequence of her injuries, Fenella to this day remains in a minimally conscious state, four years after the incident. She is entirely dependant on others, and requires 24 hour care.

An investigation was launched into the accident, and the police brought no charges against the driver of the vehicle, Rachel Joyner. However, on her mother's behalf, Fenella's daughter made a claim for cycling injury compensation. Fenella was too brain damaged to make the claim herself, and was also unable to remember the incident that left her so severely injured.

The defendants denied fault, and as a result, Fenella's daughter consulted with an accident reconstruction expert and her solicitors in order to determine the circumstances leading up to the incident. The solicitors, upon receiving information from the Kent police investigators, were able to build a case to support the compensation claim.

Rachel Joyner still refused to accept liability for the accident, resulting in the case being brought to the High Court. Mrs Justice Cox ruled that Rachel Joyner had been negligent in her driving of the vehicle after three days of testimony had been delivered. She was attributed three-quarters of the liability for the injuries, and the rest was delegated to Fenella herself, allowing for the cyclist's position in the road at the time that contact been the wheel and car was made.

The case was then adjourned so that damages could be assessed and predictions of Fenella's future needs could be made. The settlement could reach several million pounds, according to Fenella's solicitor. 

A collision between a motorcyclist and a tractor results in £1 million being awarded to the motorcyclists on compensation for the various injuries he sustained.

In July 2011, Warwick Buswell (44) of the Isle of Wight was travelling along Newport Road on his motorcycle. When he rode over the top of a hill and collided with a tractor and trailer that had been blocking the width of the road, which had been invisible to him until the crash occurred.

Warwick was brought to hospital where he was diagnosed with a serious head injury and several other injuries to his body. It was later discovered that the driver of the tractor was uninsured, and as a result, Warwick made a tractor accident compensation claim against the Motor Insurers Board, who are responsible for settling claims when the driver of the vehicle involved is lacks insurance.

Warwick alleged that the driver of the tractor-trailer combination had not used to correct exit to get onto the road from the farm, suggesting that had he used a more suitable exit, the accident could have been avoided entirely.

The defendant denied full liability for the injuries sustained by Warwick, saying the Warwick had contributory negligence. They claimed that Warwick was either travelling too fast on the road at 60mph, or that he failed to stop in time when the tractor and trailer came into view.

Due to defendant contesting the liability, the claim for injury compensation went to the High Court in London. Warwick's barrister stated that "His case is that this was obviously an unsafe place to exit the field and that there are a large number of alternatives which would have been safer." The hearing is still ongoing.

Settlement Awarded for Motorcycle Accident Victim

A settlement has been awarded to a man who suffered serious brain damage after a being involved in a motorcycle accident.

In May 2009, Marcel Beasley was driving his motorcycle along the A453 north of Barton-In-Farbis in Nottinghamshire. Marcel moved to the centre of the road to overtake slower vehicles as traffic slowed while approaching a roundabout. 

Marcel slowed and moved back into the line of traffic to allow oncoming vehicles to pass. When he attempted to move back out into the centre of the road to overtake some more vehicles, he drove directly into a vehicle whose owner had made a quick and unexpected U-turn.

Marcel was thrown from his motorcycle across the bonnet of the car he had struck, across the road, where he landed in a ditch. The emergency services were notified, and he was airlifted to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. He spent several weeks in the facility in a coma until he was transferred to Richardson Mews in Northamptonshire. There, he endured fifteen months of treatment in the facility's specialist unit for brain injuries.

Marcel has been left with limited mobility, and is now wheelchair dependant. He has speech problems, limited cognitive ability and problems with behaviour due to the brain trauma. Due to a brachial plexus injury, his left arm has also been rendered useless.

On his nephew's behalf, Cadell Beasley made a claim for compensation against the driver who decided to take a U-turn, Paul Alexander. The driver admitted that he had not noticed Marcel driving when he attempted to make the U-turn, but denied full liability, stating that Marcel had been driving too fast and was moving in and out of the line of traffic.

The Royal Courts of Justice heard the claim in July 2012. Evidence was presented by several witnesses to Sir Raymond Jack. He eventually ruled in Marcel's favour, stating that even if Marcel had been driving more slowly, the collision with the car still would have caused him significant injury. He also stated that his driving in and out of the line of traffic was not a cause of the accident.

Sir Raymond Jack adjourned the case so that an assessment of Marcel's future needs could be made, but stated that Marcel was to receive interim payments of compensation for Alexander's insurance company. Earlier this month in the High Court, Marcel was awarded a total settlement estimated to be £10 million. This includes a £4.2 million lump sum, and annual tax-free index-linked payments of £175,000.

Compensation has been awarded to a cyclist who suffered severe brain trauma after he was knocked from his bicycle by a negligent driver.

In September 2010, John Wellock (65) of Greater Manchester was cycling along the A62 in Oldham when his bicycle was struck by a driver pulling out in front of him. He was knocked off of his bicycle, and-in spite of wearing a helmet-suffered serious brain trauma and fell into a coma.

John spent the subsequent nine months in hospital undergoing treatment for his injuries. He attended intensive care rehabilitation, and underwent therapy for his injuries. His wife was forced to give up her job in order to be able to care for him full time so that he could finally return home.

In Oldham Magistrates Court the following year, the driver involved in the accident admitted that he was guilty to driving without due care and attention. As a result of this admission of guilt, John made a claim for traumatic brain injury compensation against the driver's insurance company.

The insurance company admitted that their client was liable, and £2 million of compensation was negotiated as settlement after an investigation had been conducted on his future needs. The money will go towards providing John with support and care in the future, and will allow him to continue his recovery. John will continue to receive intensive care and rehabilitation.

After the case was closed, John stated:"I believe wearing a cycle helmet saved my life, I've been campaigning to try and make them compulsory for all. Anything that can be done to improve safety for cyclists is extremely important."

Elaine-John's wife-added that "The settlement is a massive relief and a weight off our shoulders. We can now look to the future as we know that John's care needs will be taken care of for the rest of his life".

Cyclist Awarded Compensation for Broken Wrist

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A cyclist who broke his wrist after being hit by a car at a junction has received an undisclosed sum as compensation for his injury. 

In November 2010, John Agius (62) was cycling along the High Street in Benfleet, Essex, when a car struck him down while emerging from a road junction. John was thrown onto the car's bonnet, and broke his wrist due to the force of the impact. 

John was immediately transported to hospital where emergency surgery was performed on his wrist. Several months after the accident occurred, John was informed by medical professionals that the bones in his wrist were not fusing as they should and that he would need to undergo a second operation to correct this. 

In an attempt to encourage the bones in John's wrist to fuse together, doctors inserted a bone graft from John's hip into his wrist during the second surgery. This measure was not entirely successful and half a year after the accident occurred, John underwent a third surgery to attend to the numbness that he had started to notice in his hand.

Despite the three operations, John is still unable to lift heavy weights with his left hand and often requires assistance for basic tasks both at work and at home. John had to take six months off his job as a rescue and recovery driver due to his injury. John admits that he is now wary of riding his bicycle again and conscious that he will never fully regain the strength in his left hand.

John sought legal counsel, and made a claim for compensation for being hit by a car at a junction. The driver of the car denied liability for John's accident, stating that John had been negligent himself and partially responsible for his injuries. 

After some time negotiating between the two parties, an undisclosed settlement of compensation for being hit by a car at a junction was negotiated. It is believed that this settlement is the full amount initially claimed by John. 

Judge Finds Split Liability in Pedestrian Car Accident Case

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A judge at the Belfast High Court has declared split liability in a case of a pedestrian being hit by a car, stating that the woman's intoxicated state was contributory to the accident.

In September 2010, Stacey McCaughey (24) was walking home after an evening with friends in the nearby inn. As she was walking along the Carrickmannon Road in Balloygowan, she was struck by a car. The emergency services were notified, and she was immediately taken to hospital. After initial treatment, she was placed in intensive care. She remained there for four days, suffering from a frontal lobe contusion, a spinal injury and multiple fractured bones. Due to brain trauma, she suffers severe mood swings, headaches and memory loss to this day. She also has significant facial scarring.

Stacey sought legal counsel, and made a claim for compensation for a pedestrian hit by a car injury against the driver of the vehicle-Brian Mullen. She alleged that he had been driving too quickly along the unlit road, and would not have been able to avoid her. 

Mullen and his solicitors disputed this claim, stating that Stacey herself had been under the influence of alcohol and was wandering across the road. Therefore, she had been negligent in her own safety. A forensic engineer was consulted, and he confirmed Mullen's version of events. Mullen claimed that he swerved to avoid the larger group of friends with whom Stacey had been travelling, but could not avoid hitting Stacey.

Due to the dispute in liability, the case was brought before the Belfast High Court. Mr Justice O'Hara heard the case. Evidence was presented by the forensic engineer and the police-who supported Mullen's testimony that he had been sober the night of the incident.

The judge supported Stacey's allegation that Mullen had been driving too quickly along the unlit road, and thus was acting irresponsibly in such conditions. He reduced her settlement from £110,000 to £44,000-a reduction of sixty percent due to her contributory negligence. He stated that "by walking in the middle of a dark, unlit road while drunk and incapable of being alert to traffic".

Woman Receives Undisclosed Amount in Car Injury Compensation

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A woman-who broke both her arm and her leg when a car knocked her down at a zebra crossing-has received an undisclosed amount in compensation for her injuries. 

In December 2011, Janet Churchley (57) from Hull was crossing the road at a zebra crossing on Carr Lane after finishing work when she was struck down by a car. The impact broke Janet's leg, and when she fell to the ground, the landed at an awkward angle which caused her arm to fracture. The emergency services were immediately notified, and she was treated at the scene before being transported by ambulance to the Hull Royal Infirmary.

Due to the extent of Janet's injuries, she was confined to a wheelchair for three months. During which time, she was entirely dependant upon her husband for basic tasks such as washing or dressing, and was unable to make the journey upstairs so was forced to sleep on her sofa. Janet also had to undergo surgery to ensure that her broken arm and leg healed properly. She has been left with scars on her body due to these injuries.

Janet was unable to work for nearly a year after the accident occurred due to her injuries. She is now only able to work part-time. She has also become wary of crossing the road, even at zebra crossings, where it is normally deemed safe to do so.

She sought legal counsel, and made a zebra crossing injury compensation claim. The driver of the vehicle that hit Janet admitted that he had not seen her while crossing the road as he had been distracted. Despite this admission, his insurance company was slow in acknowledging how much compensation Janet was entitled to.

Janet was awarded an interim settlement while the negotiations were ongoing to cover her medical fees, and when such negotiations were eventually completed, Janet received an undisclosed sum as compensation-believed to be in the high five figures.

Value of Compensation Awards in Ireland Increases

The Irish Independent has printed a report which shows that the value of compensation awards in Ireland has increased by 22% in comparison to last year. 

The Irish Independent has released information today that shows the value of compensation awards in Ireland saw an increase of 22 percent in the period between January and June of 2014 in comparison to the same period in 2013. €144 million was paid out in compensation for the first six months of this year. The increase is attributable to an increase in claims received during 2013, and those claims being resolved early 2014.

Conor Pope-the Irish Independent correspondent responsible for the story-has written that the overall number of claims for compensation has actually decreased from the 2013 numbers this year, and he speculates that this is due to the economic recovery of the country. The report also states that the average value of compensation in Ireland is €22,000. Claims involving motor accidents account for 75 percent of the total amount of claims received. 

The Irish Times have released a similar report which analysed the increase in compensation awards in Ireland, and where they came from. Their reporter-Brian Byrne-identified a year-on-year increase in public liability claims of 30 percent, motor liability claims of 24 percent and employer liability claims of 10 percent.

Brian Byrne also reported that approximately 40 percent of personal injury claims which are settled directly between claimants and insurers. He reported that insurance companies should make public compensation awards in Ireland that are settled "behind closed doors" in order that there is visibility on competitiveness, premiums and on false or exaggerated claims.

Both reports fail to express concerns about "third party capture", in which insurance companies try to lowball accident victims with inappropriate settlements of compensation before the victim even has the chance of speaking with a solicitor. Negotiations "on the steps of the High Court" have also become increasingly common, particularly with claims against the HSE. 

A solution for the lack of visibility of compensation awards has been suggested. If there were a register base on the government's new "Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme"-launched in August-insurance companies would have to obtain a certificate of benefits from the Department of Social Protection before settling any injury compensation claims. It would not be difficult for the department to then compile data regarding the actual value of compensation awards in Ireland.

€1 Million Awarded to Traffic Accident Victim

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The family of a Dublin resident has been awarded €1 million in compensation after the grandmother of the family sustained major brain trauma as a result of being struck down by a car. 

In September 2011, Elena Schiopu (60) was crossing the Morehampton Road in Dublin. While she was pushing her granddaughter in her buggy, she was struck down by a car that was attempting to undertake the car that had given way to Elena as she was crossing. 

Elena thought that she only suffered cuts and bruises as a result of the accident, so returned home with her granddaughter, who was unharmed in the incident. Some time after the accident, Elena developed slurred speech and experienced weakness in her limbs, and went to hospital for an examination. 

Elena was then admitted to hospital, where her condition deteriorated so rapidly that she was forced to remain in the intensive care unit for seventeen days. Eventually, Elena lost all of her ability to communicate, and was diagnosed with a quadriplegic brain injury. In 2012, Elena was transferred to a nursing home for specialist care. 

On behalf of her mother, Elena's daughter claimed pedestrian accident brain injury compensation against the driver of the vehicle. The driver-Eamon McElwain of Donnybrook in Dublin-contested the claim. 

In their action, Elena's family argued that McElwain had undertaken the stationary car when he should have realised that it was not safe to do so. McElwain argued that he had not been speeding nor was he guilty of dangerous driving, and Elena herself was negligent as she had failed to look for oncoming traffic as she stepped out from behind the stationary car. 

After much negotiation, a settlement of €1 million of compensation for pedestrian accident brain injury was agreed upon by both sides. Ms Justice Mary Irvine of the High Court in Dublin was told of the circumstances of the accident, and of Elena's life-changing and tragic injury. The judge approved the settlement for the family, and extended her sympathies to them for this "distressing case".