An anonymous young girl, who was permanently scarred after the handlebars of a motorcycle collided with her face, has been awarded a five-figure settlement of compensation for her injuries.
The seven year-old girl, who has remained anonymous throughout proceedings, was injured whilst she was playing outside with her friends in her village in Co. Armagh. Aged just four at the time, the child was injured when a passing motorcycle scraped her cheek with its handlebars.
The friction cut a hole in the child’s cheek and caused significant dental damage. Additionally, there was psychological trauma as the seven year-old now has a fear of motorcycle sounds and still suffers nightmares.
Acting on her daughter’s behalf, her mother – who has also remained anonymous – claimed for personal injuries compensation against the negligent motorcyclist through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. Liability was conceded by the bureau and the case went to the courts in Belfast for assessment.
Mr Justice Stephens oversaw the damages hearing, was told of the psychological damage the incident has had on the young girl. He was told that she was timid and clingy at the sound of a motorcycle. For weeks after the accident, she would scream when a motorbike approached.
Judge Stephens also assessed the scar that was left by the accident. He commented that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”
He proceeded to describe the girl as “relatively shy”, and noted that the scar would probably impact her self-esteem as she grew older. The nature and placement of the scar means that plastic surgery is unlikely to repair any damage.
The court awarded the little girl £90,000 in damages for her injury, compensating for both the physical and psychological effects.Read More