A High Court judge has awarded the victim of a car crash €35,000 despite saying there was no medical evidence to support her claim for long-term psychological damage.
Justice Michael Peart said that Louise Fogerty had sustained significant shock during her collision with defendant Stephen Hannon’s car, but said her claim to long-term mental deficiencies from the result of the crash was unsupported.
“Having heard her evidence, it is no exaggeration to say that the plaintiff believes that this relatively minor accident has destroyed her life,” he said. “But the only physical injury reported and found is soft tissue only.”
Fogerty was involved in the crash on 6 February, 2008, when the driver’s side of her car was struck by Hannon’s vehicle which emerged from an adjacent street coming out of a housing estate.
Fogerty didn’t sustain any major injuries at the scene of the collision, but started to develop neck and back pain in the week after the incident which caused her difficulty in sitting and moving around.
Medical records supplied by the plaintiff’s legal team show that her back pains persisted for over a year after the accident, accompanied by panic attacks and increased anxiety while driving.
However, Justice Peart said that this evidence shows no relation between her symptoms and the incident in question, saying that “the medical reports, even those from her own doctors, do not attribute her ongoing difficulties to any clinically evidenced factors.”
He concluded his judgement by awarding Fogerty €25,000 in damages in relation to her neck and back injuries, as well as €5000 for her psychological problems and another €5000 for disturbance to work and social life.