Wheelchair-using man lost medical card

A former bus driver who has been left in a wheelchair following a car crash had his medical card removed from him earlier this year, the High Court heard yesterday.

Mark Buchan, of Lisanaria, Co Roscommon, suffered “terrible injuries” in a crash that occurred on Feb 15, 2009, close to Rathconrath, outside Mullingar, Co Westmeath, while driving to work.

Mr Buchan claims the accident was caused after he was blinded by “a bank of lights” on the front of a lorry which came over onto his side on the road. This resulted in the car he was driving leaving the road and striking a tree.

He has brought a damages claim against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.

The MIBI opposed the action, and does not accept the accident was caused by another unknown vehicle.

Yesterday, Mr Buchan outlined to the court the serious injuries he sustained to his legs and lower body as a result of the accident.

Earlier this year, he said, his medical card was removed. Following an appeal and the intervention of his GP and a local TD, he said the card was restored.

While he has a certain degree of independence the father of two said he gets help from his wife and has a personal assistant provided by the HSE for 15 hours a week.

Under cross examination by Joseph McGettigan, counsel for the MIBI, Mr Buchan denied that the accident occurred after he was distracted while driving to work that morning. He rejected suggestions from Mr McGettigan the accident occurred while he was having a smoke or a cup of tea while driving on the morning of the accident.

The case continues.


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