Posted: February 17th, 2017
A musician who sustained injuries to her neck and arm in an accident between two taxis has received compensation in what the judge called an “exceptional case”.
On March 8th 2012, a musician from Ardnacrusha in County Clare – was a passenger in a taxi when it was rear-ended on Wexford Street in Dublin by another taxi. Despite the low-speed collision, woman suffered pain in her neck and right shoulder as a result of the accident. She sought medical attention from her GP the day following the incident. She was diagnosed with soft-tissue damage, and was prescribed painkillers for her injury.
When the woman applied to the Injuries Board for an assessment of her claim, the negligent taxi driver accepted liability for causing the accident and her injuries. However, the amount of the assessment, and thus the value of compensation, was rejected by the woman. She claimed the proposed settlement of compensation for an injury in a taxi accident did not reflect the full consequences of her injury, and in particular did not reflect her reduced ability to play music.
The Injuries Board issued an authorisation for the woman to pursue her claim against the negligent taxi driver in court. The case was heard at the Circuit Civil Court in Dublin by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke. The judge heard how the pain in her right shoulder prevented the woman from practising her violin several hours a day, as she was required to do to maintain her career. The defendants protested this claim, stating that her injury was unrelated to the “insignificant” collision between the two vehicles.
Judge Groarke admitted that the medical evidence in the case was “very conflicting” and that on the “balance of probabilities” the woman would likely made a full recovery from her injury and would suffer no long-term damages. However, while concluding that the injuries from the accident were “not particularly serious”, the judge acknowledged that the woman needed a perfect shoulder to practise her violin. As such it was an exceptional case, and even her not particularly severe injuries should be treated as serious for a “talented musician” like her.
Judge Groarke awarded the woman €25,000 compensation for an injury in a taxi accident, stating he accepted the plaintiff´s belief that the discomfort she suffers is related to the March 2012 accident.