On a bright spring morning, Nicole was driving her eight year old daughter to school. Afterwards, she was driving on a busy, narrow road in Skerries in her 2003 Toyota Yaris. There was a red Mini ahead of her. Suddenly, the red Mini stopped. Nicole also stopped. The red Mini then reversed at speed and hit her car. Nicole got out of the car and talked with the driver of the Mini, who was a young, blonde lady. The blonde woman accepted that it was her fault. She said that she didn’t see Nicole behind her and reversed without thinking. She was going to drive into her parents’ front garden but it was occupied so she had decided to reverse into a nearby empty car parking space on the roadway. She did not see Nicole or her Toyota Yaris. Nicole drove away thinking that she and her car were fine.
Within half an hour she realised that the car was damaged. She was in pain. She had forgotten to get insurance details from the other driver and returned to the blonde lady’s house in order to obtain same. When she returned to her house, the situation had changed. The blonde woman came out with her father. They started examining the front of Nicole’s car. They said that Nicole had driven into the back of the Mini.
Nicole reported the matter to the Gardaí staight away and then came to this office for advice. I asked Nicole if there were any witnesses to the accident. She said no. However, she mentioned that there was a dash cam in her car, but for some reason it had not been switched on. I asked her for the footage on the dash cam. It turned out the dash cam had not worked at the time of the accident but had somehow switched on shortly afterwards. The dash cam recorded both parties looking at Nicole’s car and talking. There was no voice on the dash cam.
Two years later, the matter was heard in Dublin Circuit Court. The parties had solicitors, barristers and engineers. Nicole was called to give evidence. It was put to her that she had driven into the back of the Mini. It was further said that there was no impact and no damage. Nicole was able to show that there was damage to her car. She also had photographs of damage to the red Mini. Finally, the dash cam footage was shown. It was clearly visible that all of the conversation that had taken place was in relation the damage to Nicole’s car. The conversation and inspection would not have taken place if Nicole had driven into the rear of the red Mini. The judge rose half way through the case and indicated strongly that he did not believe the driver of the red Mini.
The case was settled for €35,000 and costs for injuries to Nicole’s neck and shoulders. If Nicole had not been in possession of the dash cam footage and the photographs, she would not have won in this case.
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