Blog

Luas Accident Claims Dublin

Tram Surfing Public Liability Claim and a Large Compensation Settlement

The last four years, there have been reports of people participating in tram surfing, which has results in incidents and injuries. The Irish Rail and Luas tram have records demonstrating that there have been more than 110 incidents since 2014. Tram surfing is the latest craze that involves a person holding onto the outside of the tram and clinging to the carriage before it is about to move away from the station. This is an activity can have fatal consequences, as the person jumps onto the side door and has to hold on with their fingers on a small ledge.

 

One example of tram surfing happened at Fatima station on 3rd September 2010, where Ms Rebecca Kelly, a 13 year old girl, fell and sustained brain injuries. She was tram surfing on a Luas with a friend and she had attempted to jump onto the Luas tram while it was moving away from the station. This results in her falling backwards onto the tracks and she hit her head on the ground. She sustained bad injuries and even had to be dragged from the tracks to avoid being hit by oncoming trams.

 

A compensation claim action was brought through Elizabeth Kelly, the mother of Rebecca Kelly. It was argued that there has been a failure to provide adequate visual systems on the tram and the driver did not have a clear vision. This meant that the driver could not correctly observe the side of the tram away from the platform and this was not done before the tram moved away from Fatima Station.

 

Although, the High Court was informed that Ms Kelly accepted that what happened was her fault and she was aware that she should not have taken part in tram surfing at the time. Bruce Antoniotti informed the court that Ms Kelly understood that this was a very dangerous activity and that she wished there to be no blame on the drive of the Luas at the time.

 

The claims made by Ms Kelly were denied by Veolia, the operator of Luas. They argued that there has been contributory negligence in this case; Ms Kelly has chosen to tram surf and risk sustaining an injury. She had total disregard for her own safety when she decided to take part in tram surfing.

 

The compensation settlement was approved by Mr Justice Cross. He also stated that Ms Kelly should know that tram surfing was dangerous and should not have to be told it was a silly thing to do. But, he did appreciate that she had been honest. Ms Kelly was awarded €550,000 as a compensation settlement.

 

Moving forward, Irish Rail has made sure that the refurbishments made to the Dart fleet make tram surfing more difficult. This comes after 12 incidents on the luas happened in the last three years between Dublin and Dundalk. This includes changing the headlight units so that it is hard to hang on to them. In addition, staff are being advised to be more vigilant and report any risks that they see to prevent more public injuries and claims from tram surfing.

 

McSweeney Personal Injury Solicitors are always on hand to deal with such claims whether they be Pedestrian accident claims, slip, trip and fall claims, road traffic accident claims or car accident claims. Get in touch today and we will advise you on the best course of action you can take with your claim.

Fatal Accident

New National Database Targeting Uninsured Drivers to be Introduced in 2019

As the New Year begins new measures are being taken to tackle the two major problems facing driver and insurers. A new scheme is being introduced which aims to not only cut down the number of fraudulent insurance claims being made, but also allow the Garda to identify uninsured drivers quickly and easily. Here at McSweeney Personal Injury Solicitors, we are keeping our clients up to date with these changes.

 

Tackling the Problem of Uninsured Drivers

 

By the beginning of the year, the details of drivers who are insured privately will be held in a national database. With the help of a handheld device which can scan licence plates and match them to a number stored on the database, the Garda will be able to identify uninsured vehicles.

This information has been provided by the insurance companies.

 

The scheme, using this licence plate recognition system has been piloted in the Limerick District. As the results looked positive it is soon to be rolled out across all districts. It was originally approved under the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018. This was passed in July 2018 with a view to the scheme being operational by the end of 2018. However, the scheme will not get fully underway until 2019.

 

Insurance companies, whose costs are being forced up by fraudulent claims, have assisted the Garda in putting the database together by providing details of both insured and uninsured vehicles. The information they have gathered is now set to be transferred by electronic link to the Garda’s licence plate scanning system.

 

Tackling Fraudulent Insurance Claims

 

The new database will reveal important information about how an increasing number of claims is leading to increases in insurance costs for drivers. This has become a major issue in Ireland. The Personal Injuries Commission reported recently that payouts for personal injuries in Ireland are considerably higher than in the UK. One example showed that the average sum awarded for whiplash is close to four and a half time what is paid out for similar injuries in the UK

 

The top drivers’ organisations, the AA Ireland claims that insurance premiums could be reduced substantially if more effort was made to deal with fraud and the associated legal fees. This could save the average motorist €100 or more per year.

 

The insurance industry blames the government’s lack of action. They claim the government could have taken steps to resolve the problem. But through not taking the issues seriously enough, insurance companies have no choice but to increase their costs which inevitably has to be passed on to the customer.

 

The cost of meeting insurance claims is somewhere between €55 million to €60 a year. It is estimated fraudulent claims cost the customer an extra €30 to €35 per policy

 

New Legislation

Enterprise and innovation spokesman Billy Kelleher has pointed out that insurance fraud is a legal matter and it should be dealt with through the legal process. Making a false insurance claim is a crime, and it carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison or a €100,000 fine. However, it is very difficult to prove. Despite The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) claim that as many as 1 out or every eight claims are false, the courts have yet to successfully prove a case.

 

This is perhaps more likely to happen in future  thanks to the new Civil Liability and Courts (Amendment) Bill which has been introduced to tackle the problem.

 

The MIBI noticed a significant drop in insurance claims after taking a number of measures to reduce fraudulent claims. Most importantly they pursued a policy of passing any claims they believed to be suspicious to the Garda. The number of claims received by insurers dropped by 8% during the first half of 2018.

 

The Garda, insurance companies and the legal profession are working together and hopefully this will lead to improvements that will benefit both drivers and insurance companies. As solicitors with many years of experience in dealing with motoring and road accident cases, McSweeney Solicitors can provide expert legal advice on all aspects of these issues.

 

 

If you are involved in an accident involving an uninsured driver, you are still able to claim compensation. Indeed a number of road traffic accident claims are made against uninsured drivers. Whether it be a car accident claim or a pedestrian accident claim. Get in touch with McSweeney Personal Injury Solicitors Today for more information.

Fatal Accident

Fatalities on Irish Roads in 2018

Unfortunately, fatalities can happen at any time on the road. Of course, there are a number of reasons why this may happen. But often it is innocent victims that are killed at the hands of an inconsiderate or reckless driver and during an accident on the road. In particular, the statistics for 2018 in Ireland indicate that other drivers and pedestrians are two of the highest groups that have been fatally injured on the road this year.

 

With a yearly comparison, it has been indicated that there have been marginally fewer fatalities on the road in 2018 than there was in 2017. In totally, the number of deaths from road traffic accidents* up to 19th December 2018 was 144. This includes pedestrians, drivers and passengers, as well as motorcyclists and pedal cyclists. The year before, which was up to 19th December 2017, 150 people were killed in an accident.

 

A particularly vulnerable group in 2017 was cyclists and this has not seemed to change this year. Nine cyclists were tragically killed on the road in 2017 and this number remains at nine for 2018. The last two years have been an increase from previous years, which means it is more important than ever for drivers to know and understand road safety and giving space to cyclists. We have also seen a large number of cycling accident claims* in 2018.

 

Another similar vulnerable group on the road is motorcyclists. A total of 14 motorcyclists were killed on the road in 2018 due to a number of reasons. Again, it is important that other drivers give motorcyclists space, as well as for motorcyclists to wear helmets and protective gear to have the best chance of survival in a crash. We have a large number of motorcycle accident claims* in 2018 also which can often be very serious.

 

There is a call for more caution and awareness by everyone that is using the road, particularly, putting mobile devices away and anything else that will aid as a distraction when you are travelling. The highest number of fatalities can be seen by other drivers, with a total of 61 drivers killed in 2018.

 

41 pedestrians lost their lives in 2018 from road traffic accidents. Drivers should be reminded to avoid distractions and to comply with speed limits when they are travelling. In addition, a look out for pedestrians crossing the road is also vital.

 

Road traffic accidents* can also lead to the death of passengers in the vehicle that crashes. While wearing a seatbelt is very important, it is also the driver’s responsibility to be sensible and adhere to all the rules of the road to help to prevent accidents.

 

McSweeney Personal Injury Solicitors Dublin* are on hand to provide support and initiate personal injury claims for any who has been injured in a road traffic or work related injury in 2018 even if it was caused by an uninsured driver. Get in touch today if you have any questions.

Personal Injury Claims DUblin

Making A Personal Injury Claim Through The Personal Injury Assessment Board

Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, the Personal Injuries Assessment board was created. This is an independent statutory body in Ireland that will assess personal injury compensation. If you want to make a personal injury claim in Dublin then it is necessary for your claim to be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. The only exception is if you are involved in a medical negligence case.

 

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board will allow you to seek an independent assessment for your personal injury claim if you have been involved in a road traffic accident, accident in the workplace or a public liability accident. However, if the respondent does not consent to this assessment by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, you will be able to bring your claim to the courts.

 

Normally, you can expect your claim to be assessed by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board within seven months once the respondent has consented. If your claim is going through the court system if there is no consent, known as litigation, this can take longer. This claim could take up to three years.

 

The medical evidence that you submit and that is from your doctor will be used for assessing your claim. There are some instances when an independent doctor will be required for a report and this will be arranged by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. Taking into account your injuries and individual circumstances, an assessment of the damaged will be made. The Book of Quantum can be seen to examine the guideline amounts for compensation. If the respondent does not agree with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board’s reward, the claim can go to the courts by referral.

 

If you have suffered psychological injury in the accident, this is not suitable for assessment during the Personal Injuries Assessment Board’s procedure. Under section 17 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, you may gain permission to take your claim to court.

 

Due to the Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance Scheme, there is the possibility to recover some illness-related social welfare payments. This can be done by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and compensation can be recovered from the compensator.

 

Rules to Follow

 

There is a time limit on claims set by the Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to make a claim. However, it is best to send your claim in writing and by registered post to the person you believe to be responsible for your injuries within two months of the accident. This should not affect your application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, but it can make a different if you have to go to court later on.

 

You will receive a receipt from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board when they receive your application. This will have the fee and application number on it. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board will then take the next step to inform the other party that you believe is responsible for the injury about the claim. The respondent is given 90 days to accept and consent to the assessment of the claim by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. However, if they do not consent, you will be given Authorisation by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. Authorisation is a legal document that will allow you to take your claim to the courts. It is your decision whether you do this.

 

You will have the choice whether you accept or reject the award given by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. You have 28 days to make your decision. To accept your compensation, you should accept in writing to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If you fail to write to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board in 28 days, it is automatically assumed that you reject the compensation.

 

The other party will have 21 days to response to the assessment, either by accepting or rejecting the decision made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If they fail to reply within this time, it will be assumed that they accept the assessment that has been made. Once both parties have accepted the assessment, an Order to Pay will be used by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

 

Rates for Application

 

You can expect there to be a charge of €45 for an application to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.  Respondents can expect to pay a fee of €600 to allow for an assessment to take place by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If you do have insurance in place, they will cover this fee.

 

Making an Application

 

It is important to send your personal injury claim online or by post to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. This should include an application form and a medical assessment form. This makes up Form A and Form B. Payment should be made by telephone or online when you are submitting your application. It is possible to send a cheque or postal order.

 

Receipts for any financial loses that you have should be included with the other forms and documents. This will ensure they are part of your personal injury claim.

McSweeney are experienced in all types of injury claims including: Motorcycle Accident Claims, Cycling Accident Claims, Road Traffic Accident Claims, Car Accident Claims, Accident At Work Claims and Fatal Injury Claims in Dublin. Get in touch today for more information.

Find out more about No Win No Fee Personal Injury Solicitors In Dublin

Car Accident

Car accident injuries that were settled in court

In November of 2013 saw two plaintiffs succumb to injuries in a car accident. They were both travelling in the same car from Dublin to Newry for a pre-Christmas shopping expedition. The accident occurred whilst travelling down the M1 in the speed region of 80 and 90 kilometres an hour. While travelling at this speed saw the sunroof fly off of the car with such ferocity it gave the passengers all a fright. With panic circling inside the car, the driver was left with no choice but to brake harshly. In the hasty deceleration resulted in two plaintiffs and three family members also travelling in the car suffer severe car-whiplash injuries. The worse injuries were suffered by the driver’s 72-year-old mother. She had suffered a compression fracture to one of the vertebrae in her lower back.

Car Accident

The injured members of the vehicle filed for car accident injuries claims from where the car had been purchased from four months prior to the incident. It was alleged in the claims that the sunroof fault was not and should have been identified by the dealer. The dealer who sold the plaintiffs the car was Dennis Mahony Limited of Killabarrack Road in Dublin.

Dennis Mahony denied Legal responsibility for the accident is the fault of the dealership in not servicing their cars at a high standard. Unfortunately for Dennis Mahony at The Circuit Civil Court in Dublin Mr Justice Raymond Groarke was told that the deterioration found in the structure of the sunroof would have been in attendance on the Toyota car at the showroom whilst it was being sold. The statement of a self-governing motor evaluator found that the deterioration in the structure of the sunroof led to it being blown off with such ferocity whilst the car was travelling between 80-90kmh.

Judge Groarke came to the conclusion that braking so suddenly and harshly was understood to be an appropriate action taken by the two plaintiffs as the fear of having a sunroof torn off the car whilst travelling at the speed of 90kmh would have been terrifying. The end result of the case saw the driver of the car awarded with the sum of €12,500 compensation and her mother the sum of €25,000.

If you have any question don’t be afraid to contact us at on our email info@mcsweeneysolicitors.ie or call us on 01-887448

Affidavit

Getting an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration Witnessed

Some important documents such as Affidavits and Statutory Declarations require the signature of the person making it to be witnessed by a Commissioner for Oaths or Practising Solicitor. Your own solicitor is prohibited by law from swearing your Affidavit or Statutory Declaration, so even if you have a solicitor already involved in your case they cannot witness your document. You must therefore go to a solicitor in another firm or an independent Commissioner for Oaths.

Affidavit

Conveniently located in Dublin City Centre, McSweeney Solicitors provide a hassle-free Commissioner for Oaths and solicitor service to witness your signature on an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration. Usually we can facilitate a same day service, but in order to avoid a possible wasted trip it is always best to call ahead to confirm.

Getting An Affidavit Sworn

Affidavits are common in all court proceedings and probate matters. An Affidavit is a sworn document that is generally used as evidence in court proceedings. An Affidavit will contain a statements of facts relevant to the person’s case. It is important to remember that the Solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths is not verifying the statements you have made or approving the content of the Affidavit; they are only ensuring that the necessary formalities are complied with. It is the person making the Affidavit’s responsibility to ensure they understand it and the contents are accurate.

In addition to general Affidavits other common types of Affidavits are: Affidavits of Means; Affidavits of Welfare; Affidavits of Verification; CA24 Inland Revenue Affidavits; Oath of Executor; etc.

Please click in this link to find out more about swearing an Affidavit

Getting A Statutory Declaration Witnessed

A Statutory Declaration, similar to an Affidavit, is an important legal document. Commonly Statutory Declarations are required for Naturalisation applications, property transactions, the Companies Registration Office (CRO), Passport Office, HSE Employment Declaration of Character, Local Authorities, Teaching Council, and other professional bodies.

 Passport Application Forms For Children

An application for a passport for anyone under the age of 18 requires the consent of all parents/guardians and this consent must be witnessed.The list of suitable witnesses can be found here. https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/top-passport-questions/how-to-get-your-application-witnessed/

If you are an unmarried mother or other sole legal guardian of a child you must sign a Sole Legal Guardian Affidavit and submit this with your child’s passport application form.

McSweeney Solicitors can witness your child’s passport application form and/or Sole Legal Guardian Affidavit.

Application For Naturalisation As An Irish Citizen

We also regularly get asked to witness the application form for Naturalisation (Form 8 – Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1958).

Fees

The fees that a Commissioner for Oaths/Solicitor can charge are laid down in law in the Rules of the Superior Courts (Fees Payable to Commissioners for Oaths) (SI 616 of 2003). The standard fee is €10 per signature on an Affidavit or Statutory Declaration. If there is an exhibit, for example a marriage certificate, attached to the document which also needs to be witnessed, there is an additional €2 charge per signature.

What Do I Need To Do?

  • You need to read the completed Affidavit or Statutory Declaration to ensure you are satisfied the contents are correct.
  • Call us to make an appointment
  • Bring suitable photographic identification (passport or driving licence)
  • Pay the fee

It’s as simple as that! Please feel free to call us if we can help you.

Fatal Accidents

Fatal Injuries Claims – McSweeney Personal Injury Solicitors Dublin

Fatal Injuries Claims:

Has a family member died in an accident?

If a family member or loved one has died as a result of an accident or crime which was not their fault, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Fatal Accident

The first requirement for such a claim being that you are a “dependent person” under Irish law. You may qualify as a dependant person by falling in to some of these categories; spouse, parent, grandparent, step parent, child, stepchild, grandchild, sibling or step sibling of the deceased.

You may also qualify as a dependent person if you have cohabited (not necessarily married) with the deceased until the date of death for a continuous period of 3 years.

Although nothing can compensate the loss of a loved one, the purpose of these claims is to ease the financial strain burdened by the dependants as a result of the fatal injury, such recoverable damages are included but not limited to financial loss, mental distress, and expenses (commonly funeral expenses etc.).

Although there may be many dependent people entitled to the claim, one such nominee known as the “personal representative “ may take the claim with the consent and on the behalf of all the dependants wishing to be involved in the matter. This is governed by section 48 of the Civil Liability Act of 1961.

If you believe you have a fatal injuries claim time is off the essence and you should notify our office as soon as possible as there may be applicable time limitations. Our office will assess the initial merits of the claim and advise you of the necessary process and steps that will follow guiding you throughout by direct contact.

Injury At Work

Three Common Causes of Injury at Work

Accidents can happen at any given time and this includes in the workplace. Unfortunately, a lot of injuries that occur within the office are due to negligent actions, which could have been corrected and avoided. When you are at work, your employer has a legal duty and responsibility for your health and safety. If you have sustained injury in an accident that you believe was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.

Injury At Work

Slips, Trips and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls accounts for over one third of all work-related compensation claims. Pathways in the workplace should always be kept clean and clear, if you find yourself slipping on a wet floor, tripping over loose wires or falling over clutter obstructing pathways or workspaces, you may be able to make a personal injury claim.

At the time, you might think you are only suffering from embarrassment. But, the truth is soft tissue injuries can have a delayed reaction and only reveal pain and discomfort hours or even days after the incident. Even worse, your accident can lead to fractures or broken bones, which will build up costly medical bills that you should not have to pay.

Falling Objects

When you don’t see something coming, the impact when it hits you is always worse. Sustaining injury from falling objects is a common problem in the construction industry, but it can also happen in an office environment from negligent storage or poor organisation.

Sustaining abrasions or bruises can be painful and uncomfortable and if you have suffered from a concussion after being struck by an item, it can cause subsequent headaches and visual disturbances. These injuries should not happen in a workplace.

Manual Handling

Activities that involve lifting, carrying and moving items, account for another third of work-related accidents. Most injuries are musculoskeletal and take the form of muscle strains and pulled ligaments. It can be easy to twist your neck or pull a back muscle from heavy and constant lifting, which can be felt for weeks or even months afterwards. You should always be allowed sufficient rest periods to avoid this overexertion.

Pain and discomfort can also develop from repetitive strain, which is becoming increasingly common in office environments. Constantly doing the same tasks over and over again can lead to long term, negative problems for your muscles and joints, which should be taken more seriously by employers.

Conclusion

Anyone can fall victim to an accident at work that is outwith his or her control. If you have suffered a minor or major injury in the workplace in the last two years, which was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of earning and pain and suffering.

 

By Calling McSweeney Solicitors today, you can receive help from specialist personal injury solicitors with extensive experience in handling all types of work-related incidents. We can advise you on what steps you can take and whether you are entitled to make a compensation claim for your accident at work.

No Win No Fee

No Win, No Fee Solicitors Dublin – Is There A Catch?

If you have been injured in Ireland and it wasn’t your fault, then the chances are you will have little difficulty getting a solicitor to agree to take on your case on a no win, no fee (sometimes also called no foal, no fee) basis. The fact of the matter is, even though solicitors are prohibited from broadcasting this service to prospective clients by solicitor advertising regulations, that the majority of personal injury claims* in Ireland are taken on by solicitors on a no-win no-fee basis. Importantly solicitors are not prohibited from taking on cases on a no win no fee basis but merely prevented from advertising that fact.

 No Win No Fee

What Does No-Win, No-Fee Mean?

No-Win, No-Fee means that if your case is unsuccessful your solicitor will not charge you any fees. If a consulting engineer is required as an expert witness to prepare a report on your accident they also usually agree to operate on a no-win no-fee basis.

 

What If I Lose My Case Could I Be Liable For The Other Side’s Legal Costs?

There is absolutely no financial or costs bringing your claim through the InjuriesBoard.ie/PIAB process, which is where all personal injury cases must be brought before they can go to court. This is because Board has no power to award costs against a claimant. It should be borne in mind that only a minority of personal injury cases ever end up in the court process, and of the cases that do only a very small fraction of them ever end up going to hearing before a judge.

But you really should not let the possible risks associated bringing court proceedings discourage you unduly because if you have a valid claim and do not give false or misleading evidence about your injuries your risk of losing your case is very low. In all cases, you will be fully advised by us and your barrister of the prospects of success and the risks as your case progresses. In addition, in appropriate cases we can help arrange After the Event (ATE) or legal expense insurance which eliminates the risk to you as this covers the other side’s legal costs if you lose your case. Usually the premium for ATE insurance is only paid on the successful conclusion of a case and is not payable if you lose.

 

If My Personal Injury Claim Is Successful Do You Charge A Percentage Or A Success Fee?

Solicitors are prohibited from charging a percentage in contentious work such as personal injury cases and we never charge a success fee. If your case settles at an early stage before the InjuriesBoard.ie/PIAB process or ‘on the steps’ of court, we always try and maximise the amount the other side contributes towards your legal costs. In many cases the other side covers your entire legal costs but sometimes you may be asked to cover any shortfall.

 

How Do I Know If I Can Bring A No Win No Fee Personal Injury Claim?

You should discuss your case with a personal injury solicitor. We would be more than happy to provide no obligation legal advice so please feel free to contact us today to pursue your legal right to make a claim.

 

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.