Child awarded €7,000 for temporary psychological injuries due to car accident

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Tom Tuite

A 10-year-old boy has been awarded almost €7,000 after a road traffic accident left him with him with temporary psychological injuries including a fear of travelling by car.

Dublin District Court was told the boy, then aged five, was anxious and scared for six months after the accident in May 2015.

Another vehicle hit his father’s car on the side where the boy was sitting. Injuries were psychological not physical, the court was told in the settlement hearing after the minor sued the other motorist’s insurer.


That night the child vomited, counsel said. The accident had an effect on the boy’s sleep and he would wake up crying. The child feared the driver of the other car “would come and harm him”. He got scared any time he heard his mother talk about the accident. He would got sick in school or before going on journeys.

The boy’s mother told the court the child stopped playing sports for a while and she got phone calls from school about him crying.


He went to his GP three weeks after the accident.

He later attended a child psychologist eight times for 10 months and still had the symptoms, but they have since abated.

Therapy was helpful for her son; he was playing football and happy again, the mother told the court. Medical reports were furnished the judge.

No guidance

Judge Marie Quirke said the injuries were predominantly psychological and there was no guidance from the book of guidance – the general guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in personal injury claims.

Noting the reports, opinion of counsel and the mother, she agreed to approve the settlement offer of €6,690 in general damages.

Judge Quirke directed that the money be paid into court funds on behalf of the boy until he reaches full age.

She ordered immediate payout of a further €1,665 in special damages and she awarded costs.

The child sued through his mother.

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