A girl, now aged 14, who was injured in a car accident just two days before she was born, has been awarded €18,000 in damages arising from a personal injury* claim.
The Judge of the Circuit Court was told that the girl was still in her mother’s womb when the car accident occurred in April 1999. The Court was told that the girl’s mother was 36 weeks pregnant when a car crashed into the car in which they were travelling. Counsel for the girl told the court that the crash induced an early onset of labour which resulted in a pre-term birth leading to the girl suffering from respiratory distress syndrome. The Court was also told that the girl was transferred to the intensive care unit of the Coombe hospital a few hours after birth.
The insurers on behalf of the Defendant entered a full defence to the injury claim and said that if the girl suffered injury, it had been caused prior to her birth and was it was therefore not liable to pay compensation.
Counsel for the girl told the court that the Defendants had offered a settlement of €15,000 in general damages and the sum of €2,800 in special damages, which he was recommending to the court. The Judge of the Circuit Court, Judge Deery, commented that it represented a very good settlement for the girl given the substantial difficulties in proving liability.
*In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.