Limerick Circuit Court
A MOTORIST whose van was struck by a car which turned right as he was performing an overtaking manoeuvre has been awarded €15,000 in damages.
Patrick Moloney, 30, of Moyvane North, County Kerry sued the driver of a red Volkswagen Golf following a collision which happened at Direen, Athea at around midday on April 4, 2015.
The driver of the car – Emmett Flavin, Athea, who was aged 22 at the time – told Limerick Circuit Court he had looked in his mirrors but did not see the plaintiff’s van before he turned right towards his home.
He insisted his indicator was on and claimed Mr Moloney had been travelling at excessive speed as he approached the junction where the collision happened.
In his evidence, the plaintiff said he was travelling on a clear straight stretch of road when he decided to overtake the Volkswagen Golf.
“I moved out to overtake him, he veered right and turned into me,” he told barrister Michael Purtill adding he did not see any brake lights or indicator lights before he pulled out.
The plaintiff said he was not familiar with the road and that he did not realise he was approaching a junction when he attempted to overtake the Golf.
Judge Raymond Groarke, was told there was a dispute in relation to the road signage that was in place at the time and that significant improvement works have been carried out in the area since the collision.
The two vehicles ended up in a ditch on the wrong side of the road and both were extensively damaged and had to be written off.
The plaintiff estimated he was travelling between 40km/h and 50km/h while Mr Flavin told the court that he was travelling at around 20km/h when the impact occurred.
Mr Moloney said his knees were injured in the impact and that he suffered from neck and back pain for a number of months afterwards.
Judge Groarke, who was given a number of photographs of the vehicles, noted the evidence of two motor assessors who disagreed as where the initial impact occurred and the angle at which the car struck the van.
He said both drivers had to bear some responsibility for what happened but that the primary cause of the accident were the actions of the defendant.
He said the appropriate level of damages was €22,500 but he reduced this to €15,000 to reflect Mr Moloney’s role in the collision.
The judge granted an application by Sandra Barnwell BL for a stay on the order.