Whether you are the victim of an accident or whether you cause one through no fault of your own, under the law you may be entitled to compensation for injuries including loss of earnings, damage to property, as well as damages for pain and suffering. Brady Solicitors can guide you through what can be a complicated and traumatic process and have extensive experience in handling any litigation required on your behalf.
The vast majority of claims must be brought within two years of an accident and in many cases they can now be handled through the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. However if you opt to deal directly with the board or with an insurance company without consulting a solicitor there is a genuine risk that your claim will be settled for less than you are entitled to. In all cases you should seek appropriate medical help first and then make detailed notes about the accident before seeking legal advice.
You may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries in the following circumstances:
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
- Medical Negligence
- Public Liability – where you are owed a ‘duty of care’
In 2011 Helena Brady represented Mr Patrick Lynch in his claim for damages for a serious personal injury sustained while working in Cavan Co-Op Mart. The case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled on a number of important points of law on employer’s liability, and was covered by the Irish Independent and other national newspapers. To read more about this Lynch v Binnacle case please click on the grey bar below.
Lynch v Binnacle Ltd t/a Cavan Co-Op Mart
in 2003 Mr Lynch was employed as a drover at the Cavan mart being operated by Binnacle Ltd. He was one of three men employed to move cattle from the yard to the sales ring through pens and a weighbridge. The other two drovers went off on their own business in mart leaving Lynch alone and meaning that he had to enter a pen and pass behind a limousin bullock therein in order to open the gate. As he passed behind the bullock, it kicked him the groin, and he suffered serious injuries.
In the High Court the judge, while accepting that Lynch had sustained the injuries, refused to award him any damages as he was the “author of his own misfortune”. By this he meant that that there was no negligence on the part of Lynch’s employer as he had not asked for assistance even though he was well aware of the risks involved in entering the pen.
Aware of both the pain and injury suffered by Mr Lynch and the legal concepts involved, Helena Brady prepared an appeal to the Supreme Court which was heard in 2011. The appeal was accepted on two points.
Firstly that when the other two drovers left Lynch alone they were acting within the course of their employment and breaching their duty of care to him on behalf of their employer. This negligence resulted in Lynch’s injuries and thus the employer was ‘vicariously liable’ ie they were acting on the mart’s behalf so it was liable for their actions even if not directly aware of them.
Secondly, while the mart had employed sufficient staff to operate a safe system of work there was no supervision in place to ensure that the required staff were actually in the necessary locations. It was the employer’s responsibility to ensure that a safe working environment was in place at all times and this could not be delegated to individual staff. Thus the Supreme Court found that Binnacle Ltd was two thirds liable for Mr Lynch’s injuries and, while his own contributory negligence in entering the pen alone was assessed at one third, he was awarded substantial damages when the case was returned to the High Court.
Please click on this link to open the full Supreme Court judgement on Lynch v Binnacle Ltd as an Adobe pdf or read it on the Supreme Court website.
The following disclaimer is required of all solicitors in Ireland providing information in the area of personal injury law: *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.