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€60,000 awarded in compensation for girl (12), who suffered migraines for years after accident

A 12-year-old girl whose backseat headrest was struck from behind by a wheelchair lift in a car accident four years ago, has been awarded damages of €60,000 in the Circuit Civil court.

The Court heard that the child, had been a backseat passenger in a stationary car when it was rear-ended by another vehicle.

The injured child sued through her mother as next friend. 

The court heard that there had been a wheelchair accessible lift installed in the car the child had been a passenger in. When the crash occurred the lift had been propelled forward from behind the seat where the child was sitting and had impacted on her headrest.

The family returned home following the accident but had later experienced nausea and headaches.

When reviewed by her GP some days later it was discovered that she had suffered soft tissue injuries to her neck and upper back during the crash.

She said, while at school, the child’s teachers had noted that every second or third day she had experienced episodes of headache and that she had put her head down and had appeared to be in discomfort. As a result, she had missed several weeks off school as a consequence of this.

The court heard that the Child had been seen by a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist. His opinion had been that she had suffered a mild concussion during the accident and that as a result of this she had been experiencing post-traumatic headaches in the form of chronic daily migraine. The Paediatric Neurologist had been of the opinion that as she had been suffering headaches three years after the accident, it had been likely she would continue to do so for the next two to three years.

The Plaintiff had been previously offered a settlement sum of €45,000 general damages but that this sum had been refused as inadequate by a Circuit Court.

The Court advised that a sum of €60,000 for general damages would be a more appropriate sum given the medical evidence that was before the Court.  The solicitors for the defence accordingly improved their offer to and this was approved by the presiding Circuit Court Judge

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