A man has received compensation worth 25% of the total claim after sustaining a brain injury in a road accident for which he was partially liable.
While driving on a local road in January 2009, Francis Smith of Edgeworthstown in County Longford was forced to quickly turn out of the way of an oncoming car. As Francis took the sharp manoeuvre to avoid a collision with the car, he collided with the back of a council lorry that was parked ahead of some roadworks.
Francis-who was only eighteen years of age at the time of the incident-sustained traumatic permanent brain damage in the accident. As a consequence of his injuries, Francis has cognitive and physical disabilities. He is no longer able to return to work as a full-time employment at a local factory or live independently. Francis is cared for at the family home by his mother, Martina Dempsey.
As her son was unable to make the claim himself, Martina made a brain injury claim for compensation against Longford County Council. She stated in her claim that the council had been negligent by failing to give adequate warning of the roadworks by means of bollards or warning signs, and that there was no flagman in place to warn oncoming traffic of the obstruction in the road.
Martina further alleged that the lorry into which Francis had crashed was parked in such a way that it protruded extensively into the road. Due to the proximity of the roadworks to a bend in the road, the lorry, it was claimed, was a danger to other road users who were unable to view oncoming traffic.
The defendants denied its liability for Francis´ brain injuries. The council counter-claimed that Francis himself had significantly contributed to the cause of the accident by driving too fast into the bend in the road. However, at the High Court, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard that a €750,000 settlement of the brain injury claim for compensation had been agreed between the two parties.
The judge was informed that the settlement of the brain injury claim for compensation represented 25% of the full value of the claim, Judge Cross approved the settlement. The judge commented in his closing remarks that the settlement was a good one in the circumstances and he wished Francis all the best for the future.