Posted: August 4th, 2017
Seven personal injury compensation claims against Hertz Rent-a-Car have been upheld following a hearing into an appeal by the car hire company.
The compensation claims against Hertz Rent-a-Car were made following an accident in June 2011, when seven men were injured in a crash between a hired Ford Fiesta and a privately-owned Peugeot 205. The accident happened at a roundabout in Lifford, County Donegal, and – 2015 – the seven injured men were awarded between €5,050 and €9,550 by the Buncrana Circuit Court.
Hertz Rent-a-Car appealed the compensation awards – claiming the injured men were all known to the driver of the hire car and the accident had been set up for the sole purpose of making compensation claims against Hertz Rent-a-Car. The car hire company also alleged the plaintiffs had exaggerated their injuries to maximise the value of their claims.
The appeal was heard in July this year by Mr Justice Charles Meenan at the High Court. At the hearing, the judge was told the allegations of collusion were based on an overheard telephone conversation made by the driver of the hired Ford Fiesta to the driver of the Peugeot 405, in which the negligent driver had addressed the injured driver in friendly tones.
The plaintiffs agreed they knew the driver and each other because of their memberships of the Joseph Plunkett and Charlie D’Arcy Societies, but described the allegations of collusion as outrageous. Judge Meenan said he would reserve his decision until October, but earlier this week upheld the compensation claims against Hertz Rent-a-Car and dismissed the car hire company´s appeal.
Giving his verdict, Judge Meenan said the overheard telephone conversation was insufficient evidence to prove the accident had been set up on purpose and there was no evidence at all to suggest the men’s injuries were fabricated. The judge added: “One would have thought, if the collision was a setup, the information sought in the call would already have been firmly fixed prior to returning the hire car.”
Posted: June 12th, 2015
A judge in Dublin’s High Court has awarded a man compensation for his hit and run injury claim after an agreement was reached where liability for the injury was divided.
The accident occurred on the 2nd November 2012 when Anthony Driver – aged twenty-five from Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow – was hit by car at the junction between Sidmonton Avenue and Meath Road. He had been waiting at the junction for a friend to take him home, and the vehicle was never identified.
Anthony cannot clearly remember the incident, only that the car briefly pulled over after the collision before then driving off without calling for assistance or checking that he was okay.
Later that night, Anthony was discovered lying beside the road by a passing Garda. He was subsequently taken to hospital, where he received treatment for fractures to his spine and ribs, as well an the many extensive internal injuries he sustained – including a lacerated liver.
Anthony stayed in hospital for a further nine days, four of which he spent in an intensive care unit. Once he was discharged, he still experienced severe pain in his back and difficulties eating.
The driver of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was never identified. As such, Anthony made a claim for compensation against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Ireland (MIBI). This organisation is responsible for compensating victims of car accidents where the perpetrator is unidentifiable or uninsured.
However, MIBI contested Anthony’s claim for compensation. This was based on the description of Anthony as “grossly intoxicated” by the Garda who found him. The MIBI have said that, given his intoxication, it is likely that Anthony was responsible for his own injuries.
The Injuries Board issued Anthony with authorisation to pursue his claim for compensation through the courts as the liability was not determined through negotiations.
Earlier this month, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns heard the case at the High Court of Dublin. Anthony admitted to the judge that he was drunk when the accident occurred. The MIBI reiterated that, given this fact, some of the liability for the accident should be assigned to Anthony.
After a brief adjournment, Judge Kearns informed Anthony that he had been assigned seventy-five percent of the liability for the accident. He was then awarded an undisclosed settlement of compensation.