Kate Flynn who sustained very serious personal injury in a road traffic accident on the 26th of October, 2009 when she was travelling in a car with her fiancé and another couple has been awarded damages in excess of €685,000 by the High Court.
Ms. Flynn suffered a severe head injury, which caused a loss of consciousness at the time of the accident. She also sustained a fracture of the left occipital condyle at the base of the skull at the junction of the skull and the C1 vertebra.
Ms. Flynn required immobilisation of the fracture for five months. She had to wear a hard colour and then a soft neck colour during this period. She had ongoing neck pain which affected her ability to look after her two year old daughter and do her housework.
Ms. Flynn unfortunately also suffered serious psychological sequelae in the form of depression and post-traumatic stress. At the time of the accident, Ms. Flynn’s fiancé was killed and was lying on top of her. The other male occupant in the car was also killed. Ms. Flynn was extremely shocked and traumatised by the circumstances of the accident. She broke the car window and managed to climb through it, however, the driver of the vehicle her friend Laura could not get out of the vehicle. Ms. Flynn then climbed back into the car. After some time a passing motorist stopped and gave assistance.
In the month following the accident Ms. Flynn was very distressed and traumatised by the circumstances of the accident particularly relating to the death of her fiancé. Ms. Flynn came under the care of a consultant psychiatrist who prepared a number of reports for the Court’s assistance.
Ms. Flynn also developed epilepsy as a result of the road traffic accident which has restricted her opportunity for employment. She cannot drive a car, operate dangerous or unguarded machinery. She cannot work from heights and she would not be fit for employment involving looking after children.
In making a substantial award of general damages and special damages to Ms. Flynn Mr. Justice Barr in his Judgment which was delivered on the 15th of May, 2015 stated that the Plaintiff had suffered significant physical, psychological and neurological injuries as a result of the accident. She continues to have pain and limitation of movement of her neck, continues to suffer from depression and PTSD. The Plaintiff will require counselling in the form of CBT in respect of her psychological symptoms in the future. She has developed