A six-figure settlement of compensation has been awarded to a young man who sustained severe brain injuries after a car crash.
The accident occurred on the 27th January 2009 when Francis Smith, aged eighteen from Edgeworthstown in Co. Longford, crashed into a stationary lorry. However, he collided with the lorry as he was attempting to avoid a head-on crash with another vehicle. The lorry had stopped close to where roadworks were being undertaken by the council.
As a result of the accident, Francis sustained dramatic brain injuries. He still suffers from both physical and cognitive difficulties, and has not been able to return to his job in a local factory. As it was determined that Francis was unfit to represent himself in legal proceedings, his mother made a claim for car injury compensation against the Longford County Council on her son’s behalf.
In the claim, it was alleged that by failing to adequately warn drivers of the roadworks, the County Council had been negligent. Francis’ mother alleged that there were no signs or other such indicators to show that the roadworks were being undertaken. Additionally, she claimed that the way the lorry was parked meant it projected onto the road, proving a hazard for motorists.
The county council argued that Francis had been negligent as he was driving too quickly, and as such had caused his own injury. However, once negotiations began between the party, the council agreed to pay a €750,000 compensation settlement to Francis for his brain injuries.
The settlement then proceeded to the High Court for approval by Mr Justice Kevin Cross – a necessary procedure, as the claim had been made on the behalf of someone unable to represent themselves in court.
After hearing the circumstances of the accident, Judge Cross approved the settlement, dismissing any allegations of contributory negligence. As he closed the hearing, he wished Francis well for the future.