A young girl who was permanently scarred when hit in the face by a motorbike´s handlebars has been awarded £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bike injury.
The unnamed seven-year old girl from County Armagh suffered the injury when she was just four years of age in May 2013. As she was playing with friends outside her grandparent´s house, a passing motorcyclist caught the little girl´s cheek with the handlebars of his scrambler bike.
The impact of the handlebars caused a hole to be cut in the girl´s cheek and she suffered significant dental damage. The girl also developed a fear of noises from motorbike engines and suffered nightmares as a result of her accident.
Through her mother, the girl claimed compensation for a scrambler bike injury against the owner of the vehicle and the Motor Insurers Bureau. Liability for the girl´s injuries was admitted, and the case went to the Belfast for the assessment of damages.
At the assessment hearing, Mr Justice Stephens was told that the girl had become fearful and clingy at the sound of nearby scrambler bikes, and would scream if motorbikes passed near her house in the first few weeks after her accident.
After assessing the scar that still remains from the accident, Judge Stephens said that “when the plaintiff smiles, expressing happiness and enjoyment, the impact of the smile is spoilt by the scar becoming markedly indented.”
Describing the girl as “relatively shy”, the judge commented that she had been left with an obvious scar in a prominent position that she would become very conscious of as she grew older. He suggested that plastic surgery would not reduce the effect of the scar because of its location.
Mr Justice Stephens awarded the girl £90,000 compensation for a scrambler bile injury, adding that his assessment of the award was based on both the physical and psychological injuries she had suffered in the past and was likely to suffer in the future.