LegalEagleStar

… a kind of Legal Column

Archive for December 2010

Drunk bumped my car

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Q   OVER the Christmas period while driving home from work a drunk wandered out into the path of my car.

The man bounced off the bonnet of my car and was taken to hospital, fortunately not badly hurt. What is worrying me now is must I report the incident to my Insurance Company?

A   YES, you must report the accident to your Insurance Company as provided in your Policy. If you do not do so you may find that your Insurance Company may try to avoid indemnifying you in the event of the injured party suing you. When the Insurance Company gets your notification of the accident they will furnish you with an Accident Report Form which you should complete and return to them.

At this stage they are on notice of a possible claim and may well try to knock your No Claims Bonus.

The drunk may take advice and decide to sue you. Most will not, but remember that you have a duty to look out for pedestrians while driving your car.

This duty is particularly onerous when concerned with children.

In any event tell your Insurance Company about the accident and leave the matter with them.

THE STAR , Friday January 12, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 31, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Bath foam problems

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Q   I  RECEIVED a Christmas gift of a bottle of bath foam and on St Stephen’s Day I decided to pamper myself and have a good soak in my nicely scented bath.

When I got out I was like a lobster and itchy all over.

I couldn’t go out and had to go to the Chemist to get something to relieve the discomfort.

Do I have a case against the manufacturers of this bath foam for ruining my Christmas?

A   WHILE  I sympathise with your dilemma I don’t feel that you can have legal redress against the manufacturer of the bath foam for your discomfort.

You appear to be a person with sensitive skin and as a result must be very careful while soaking in your bath, washing etc. It might well be advisable to attend a skin specialist to determine what allergies you may have. I am aware of people developing skin allergies from bath salts etc. so I think that although you have suffered, the majority of people would have had a luxurious soak. Of course if you feel strongly enough you can always have the bottle of bath foam analysed. I would think it unlikely that any reputable manufacturer would have any harmful substances present in their preparations although if they had you certainly would succeed in an action for damages.

THE STAR, Friday January 12, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 31, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Should I Sue Neighbour ?

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Q   MY 5 year-old daughter was injured in a road traffic accident while she was a passenger in a neighbour’s car.

Fortunately the injuries were not very bad, she received thirteen stitches and was retained in hospital overnight for observation. The situation is very difficult for me. I don’t like the idea of suing a neighbour but at the same time I feel that my daughter should be compensated for her injuries.

A   THANK   GOD you say that your daughter’s injuries were not very bad as an accident such as you describe can have a terrible effect on a child of such tender years.

I am worried somewhat though about her head injuries. Did she have concussion? If so and as she has received a blow to the head, I would feel that this warrants a visit to a Neurologist as she may have internal damage or injuries that could result in problems in later life such as migraine. Her 13 stitches on her forehead may need plastic surgery. You should put your daughter’s welfare before your embarrassment and pursue a personal injuries action against your neighbour without delay.

THE STAR , Friday 12, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 31, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Serving under-age drinkers

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Q   I AM very annoyed with my local off-licence and am wondering if I can do something legally about the fact that they served my fifteen year old daughter alcohol. Over the Christmas period she returned one night very drunk. I was disgusted and shocked that someone would serve alcohol to a fifteen year old.

A   YOU should advise the Gardai that the off-licence served alcohol to a minor and let them investigate the matter. Annually the off-licence must apply to the District Court for a renewal of the licence. You can attend and voice your objections. Go to the off-licence yourself and voice your disapproval of their serving your daughter.

THE STAR ,  Friday January 12, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 31, 2010 at 11:41 am

The good and bad

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Q    SOME time ago I read in your column in answer to my problem that I should go and see a good Personal Injury Solicitor.

Could you please tell me how do I know a good one from a bad one when almost any Solicitor would take my case but not necessarily get me the same compensation?

A    I   SYMPATHISE with your dilemma. Until recently the majority of Legal Firms have been general practices i.e. they dealt mainly with conveyancing and probate matters.

They also provided other services such as company formation and client court cases both criminal and civil. Over the last few years the volume of work has increased generally resulting in a number of firms specialising in areas of work as opposed to general practice. My own firm for example is a Personal Injury Firm. It is very important that you make the right choice of Solicitor. Talk to your Solicitor. If you feel that you are comfortable  with him/her the feeling will probably be mutual. Give them a chance as they are very busy people.

THE STAR  Friday  January 5, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 30, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Injured – but no belt

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Q  LAST  Saturday week a drunken driver ran into the rear of my car causing a lot of damage to both me and the car.

My doctor has advised me that my injuries are primarily whiplash. Does the fact that I wasn’t wearing a seat belt alter my insurance claim in any way?

A    YOU are under a legal duty to wear your seat belt while driving a motor car.

The same duty rests with the front seat passenger. It is a criminal offence to drive without your seat belt fastened and so you are liable to prosecution.

This does not mean of course that in your particular circumstances the Gardai will deem it necessary to prosecute you. The Insurance Company against whom your action will lie i.e. who will be the Insurance Company indemnifying the drunken driver, will almost without exception treat your failure to wear your seat belt as a major contribution to the severity of your injuries. My view is that regardless of whether you wear wearing your seat belt or not, you would more than likely be suffering whiplash. Be prepared to have your damages reduced by a percentage.

THE STAR  Friday  January 5, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Barred by Restaurant after fall

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Q    SOME time ago I pursued a successful Insurance claim against a well-known Restaurant when I fell down their stairs due to their negligence.

Last week I returned to the same Restaurant with some guests and was told that I was not welcome. In fact I was told that they were unwilling to serve me. Does the Restaurant have a right to do this? This incident caused me a great deal of embarrassment.

A   UNFORTUNATELY the Restaurateur is quite within his rights in refusing to serve you.

He has the right to refuse admission and obviously in this case he decided that as you had sued him, he was unwilling to have you back again. This attitude of course is childish and not the view taken by the better establishments.

THE STAR   Friday  January 5, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm

A very poor service

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Q  Last January following a road traffic accident I attended a Solicitor here where I live and quite frankly the service I am getting from him has me worn out.

He seems to have done nothing for me except send me bills for reports and work to date.

Do you think at this stage I should go and see someone else or should I just refuse to pay him these interim payments until I see a settlement?


A  First of all go to your Solicitor and talk the matter out.

Maybe you have not been advised of the costs involved in running your case or else you may have a breakdown in communications.

Can you afford to pay for your medical reports?

If not, why not tell your Solicitor so. Most will be sympathetic to your circumstances.

If,  after discussing your gripes with him/her you are not happy, you should contact another Solicitor as I believe your relationship would probably only deteriorate further.

THE  STAR  Friday  January 5, 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 29, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Northern motor is suspect

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Q   Some months ago I purchased a new car in the North of Ireland at a greatly reduced price I might add

I have been told by some friends that it is only a matter of time before I am caught and that I will be in grave trouble then.

What do you think I should do?

A  Immediately report to the Customs and Excise people as you are at present walking a tightrope, that is if you are a citizen and resident in the Republic of Ireland.

The Customs and Excise will determine the rate of import duty payable by you.  The newer the vehicle the higher the rate of tax payable.  Bring with you all necessary documentation i.e. proof of ownership, purchase docket etc.       Good luck.

THE  STAR,  Friday  January 5,  1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 29, 2010 at 4:17 pm

A Painful Day at the Circus

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Q  I BROUGHT my young daughter to the circus last month when it came to our town. During the performance they invited some of the children into the arena to participate in the act. My daughter being a lively eight year old jumped at the chance. I was a bit reluctant but I didn’t want to be a spoil sport and to cut a long story short, my daughter’s back was injured.

She is now in a lot of pain and now I must take her for physiotherapy twice a week. I have been told by the Doctor that she will probably always have a weak back as a result.

Can I take an action against the Circus or am I to blame for letting her up there in the first place ?

A VOLUNTARY assumption of the risk will most probably be the defence used by the Circus.

While the parent may be held contributory negligent, I believe it is the duty of  the Circus to provide a safe system or way of caring for any child who may attend their performances. A child is very vulnerable and relies on adults to look after him/her therefore it is imperative that activities involving children are safe enough as to provide no element of real danger.

If her injury resulted from the negligence of the Circus people and through no fault of her own I would feel we would have a sustainable action in law. In this case I would feel that the Circus were treading on shaky ground.

THE STAR   Friday  January 5 , 1990

Written by LegalEagleStar

December 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm

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