Crash victim is ‘prone to exaggeration’, says judge before awarding her €10,000.

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A mother of four has been awarded damages of €10,000 for injuries she suffered in a car accident, despite a judge’s claim that she had been “prone to exaggeration, misdescription and apparent falsehood”. The claimant told Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke that she had been travelling in the back of her husband’s Audi when they collided with another car. The claimant sued her husband as well as the driver and owner of the other car. She told the court they had been moving off from a green light at a junction, when they had been hit. The claimant said she had suffered neck and back injuries. The claimant also said she had been taken to hospital by ambulance and kept in for 24 hours. She said she felt depressed and had pain in her neck and back. She said she was not the same person since the accident and felt stressed every day. She felt pain daily and often had to ask her children to do tasks for her. She told the barrister for the defendants, that she did not blame her husband for the crash and thought the fault lay with the driver of the other car. Her solicitor must have added her husband as a defendant, she said. When the barrister asked the claimant why she had not mentioned to doctors that she had previously suffered from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder prior to the accident, she said it must have been because of a problem with her English. The barrister said these illnesses had been the result of a separate road traffic accident, which the claimant had witnessed. Judge Groarke said his assessment of the case had been based on evidence of the damage to the two vehicles. He said that from the examination of photographs, the damage to both cars appeared to be to the front, which did not support the contention of either driver that the other had been crossing the road when the impact occurred. He said that for this reason, the evidence did not permit him to resolve the case, and he assessed liability as 50-50 against each driver. Judge Groarke said the claimant was “prone to misdescription, exaggeration, misrepresentation, apparent falsehood and a lack of accuracy about injuries, previous medical history and her attendances with doctors”. He believed her complaint of injury to her neck and lower back was “probably correct”, and that he would award her general damages of €10,000, jointly and severally against the three defendants.