Apprentice driver, who admitted knowing she was breaking the law by driving alone when involved in an accident, was denied a personal injury claim of € 60,000 and ordered to pay court costs from an insurance company.
Gita Aldermane (47) told defense lawyer John Martin that she was driving illegally on an “L” plate without the supervision of a qualified licensee when her car crashed into the Santry Bridge on the M1 in Dublin in November 2017.
“I know what I was doing was illegal,” Ms Aldermane, of College View, Ballymun Road, Dublin, told Mr Martin, who appeared with Hayes McGrath Solicitors for RSA Insurance and his insured driver, Aoife Farmer, of Iona Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Ms Aldermane, a housewife and mother of three, denied in circuit court that she was driving carelessly when her car collided with Ms Farmer’s vehicle. She told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin that she suffered upper and lower back injuries in the crash, but during cross-examination of Mr Martin she said she suffered from back pain before the 2017 accident.
Judge Ó Donnabháin said none of the medical reports submitted to the court by the parties suggested Ms Aldermane suffered a serious spinal injury in the crash. She was off work for a month.
She told Mr. Martin that she was in shock after the collision and had not seen her doctor for several days, at which time she “stiffened”. She agreed that an MRI revealed that she had degenerative changes in her spine and that she was born with a hip complaint that still caused her pain.
Ms. Aldermane agreed with Mr. Martin that, while working as a salesperson before the car accident, she “fell at high speed” at her workplace.
Ms Farmer told the court her car was stationary on the bridge when Ms Aldermane’s vehicle turned in her direction. Her first reaction to her front passenger was to say, “Oh my God, she’s going to hit us.”
Judge Ó Donnabháin, dismissing Ms Aldermane’s claim and awarding costs against her, said the court had found the cause of the accident to be Ms Aldermane’s conduct.