A law student was seriously injured when a car, driven by a banned driver, mounted the footpath on which he was walking. He was one of two pedestrians struck by the car driven by the defendant, Mr Connolly. The defendant had a 25-year ban from driving at the time of the accident.
Mr Connolly admitted taking drugs the night before the incident, which occurred when he was driving his child to school and undertook a line of traffic stopped at the railway barrier. He suddenly started swerving and mounted the path before hitting the plaintiff and a 54-year-old man, who was also badly injured. The defendant left the scene of the accident but was pursued by another motorist and later stopped by the Gardai.
The plaintiff sued the driver and the car owner, claiming negligence and various breaches of duty of care.
The court heard that the plaintiff had just completed his first year in college where he studied law and planned to be a solicitor. The injuries suffered by the plaintiff were read out to the court: he suffered catastrophic brain injury, effectively where the brain rotates in the skull, as well as fractured hip, rib and leg injuries. His counsel said he had suffered a life-threatening injury and still suffered from severe cognitive, executive function and memory losses. He spent a year in hospital yet, despite his injuries, it appeared he had made a remarkable recovery.
The medical reports stated he suffered a lifelong injury and needs care for the rest of his life. The defence had taken issue over future care needs because of his recovery but counsel for the plaintiff argued that the case came well within the parameters of previous case law on similar accidents. A settlement of €8m was agreed which included €4million for future care needs.
Dhala v Connolly High Court (Hanna J) 25 January 2022.
If you have any queries regarding the serious personal injuries please contact us by phone at 061 501100, email Thomas Dowling, litigation partner at [email protected] or get a call back by completing our contact form so we can provide you with further information or advice.