Several victims of an SUV accident-who received soft-tissue damage-have received various settlements of compensation after their case was heard in the Limerick Circuit Court.
In October 2011, Mary O’Reilly was driving her husband’s SUV from Charleville, to Rathkeale, Co. Cork, when the vehicle was rear-ended by a rental van. Despite initially feeling no pain, Mary and her three passengers subsequently sought medical attention for soft tissue injuries that they had sustained in the accident.
The four women sought legal counsel, and made a claim for injury compensation from the driver of the rental van, Jeremiah O’Brien. They also sought legal action against Enterprise Rent-a-Car-the company from which the van had been hired-and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Mary’s husband-William O’Reilly-also made a further claim for compensation for property damages to his SUV.
Both the MIBI and Enterprise Rent-a-Car denied liability for the accident. They stated that the circumstances of the accident did not stand up to scrutiny. They alleged that Jeremiah O’Brien and William O’Reilly were known to each other, and that the Gardaí who attended the scene of the accident had not recorded any property damage.
The defendants denied consent for the Injuries Board to assess compensation settlements for an SUV accident, and thus the case was brought to the Limerick Circuit Court. Judge Karen Fergus heard the case. She was informed that, although William O’Reilly’s parents had once lived near Jeremiah O’Brien’s parents, the two men had only met once in their life.
Judge Fergus was informed of the various injuries that had been sustained by Mary and her passengers, and that one of the passengers – Lisa O´Reilly had already settled her claim out of court. The judge ruled in their favour, and awarded multiple compensation settlements for an SUV accident to Mary O´Reilly (€7,500), Caitriona McDonagh (€10,000) and Breda McCarthy (€12,000). William O´Reilly was also awarded €4,800 for the property damage to his SUV.