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Road Traffic Accident Injury Claims.
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Road Accident Injury Claims
If you’ve been injured as a result of a road accident caused by another party, (fully or partially) you may be entitled to bring a Road Accident Injury Claim. Even if the other party was uninsured, you may still be awarded compensation for your injury as a driver, passenger and pedestrian. Road traffic accidents are unfortunately one of the most common causes of personal injury claims with Injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic and sometimes fatal. If you or a person in your care have suffered an injury in a car accident then you can claim whether you suffered a minor or a serious catastrophic injury. In most cases it’s clear who’s at fault but road collision claims can be complex. Our Legal Team will guide you through the claims process. Every road traffic accident injury case is different so we tailor our advice to each client’s specific needs. Average payout for car accident claims will vary depending on severity of your injuries and how this effects your daily life. Claim awards are broken into 2 categories, General Damages are in place to compensate you for the impact the injury has and will have on your life and Special Damages will consist of any out of pocket expenses. We deal with all types of motor accident claims for drivers and passengers in Ireland and overseas. We seek to achieve the best possible outcome, not only in terms of financials, but also to address medical and other needs resulting from the accident.
4 Steps – What to do if you were injured in a Motor Accident
In order to be eligible to pursue your claim, there are a few factors that must be considered first. You must be able to prove that you have suffered an injury due to the fault of another party because of their negligence. Often it’s obvious who is at fault but road collision claims can be also be complex if a few parties are involved or the other side won’t admit liability. We encourage defendants to deal with their claim at the earliest possible stage. If you’ve been injured in a road collision it’s best to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Here are a few guidelines on first steps to take if you’ve been involved in a crash.
Contact Details: Ensure you get the contact details of all people involved in the accident, names, phone numbers, vehicle registrations, and most importantly insurance details. If there were any witnesses present also take their contact details. It’s important to note, you can still bring a claim if the other party had no insurance or fled the scene.
Photographs: Take photographs of the scene of the accident, Snaps from your phone are sufficient. If you can’t take photos, try to draw a sketch while you are at the scene. Often victims are so in shock it can be difficult to describe what happened afterwards.
Records & Receipts: Retain any medical records, receipts for medical treatments, GP and Consultant visits and any medication prescribed due to the accident.
Loss of Earnings: Part of your injury claim will also be based upon the financial impact the accident has had one you, eg. If you’ve had to take unpaid leave due to the injury or any other expenses that you have incurred due to the accident, keep a record of all receipts.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend mainly on the severity of your injury, the impact this has had and will have on your life and any financial losses or costs you have incurred. At the early stages of your road accident claim, we will provide guidance on a calculated amount of compensation you are entitled to based on how the injury has affected your life. This calculation will include ‘General Damages’ and ‘Special Damages’. Although a Court retains discretion when it comes to making an award of general damages, it’s also mandatory for the Court to bases its assessment regarding A Judicial Council Personal Injuries Guidelines. These Guidelines value injuries based around body part and severity of the injury.
Based on the severity of your injuries, there are a number of factors to consider. The figure you will be awarded as compensation will be based around the unique circumstances of your injury, financial losses and future care and the overall impact this accident has and will have on your life. There are 2 types of compensation damages for which you will be awarded – General Damages and Special Damages.
Under the Statute of Limitations, as a general rule an injured party has 2 years from the date of the accident to make an injury claim. A person under the age of 18 has 2 years from his/her 18th birthday to commence a claim, so for example a 12 year old child has 8 years to bring a claim. Read more on Child Injury Claims
Types of Car Accident Compensation Claims
- Accidents with Cyclists >
- Car or Bus Accident Abroad >
- Uninsured Driver Claims >
- Head On Collision Claims >
- Fatal Road Accident – Family Member Claims >
- Traffic Accidents involving Children >
- Motorbike, Moped, E-Scooter Accidents
- Accidents involving Public Transport: Buses, Trains, Luas
- Driving for Work: Bikes, Trucks, Vans, Cars, Buses, Trains
- Rear-end Collision Claims
- Hit and Run Claims
- Roundabout Accident Claims
- Passenger Injury Claims
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Side Impact Collision Claims
- Minor Impact Injuries
- Catastrophic Impact Injuries
- Motorway Accident Claims
6 points – How to Make a Successful Claim
- If you are over 18 your injury must have occurred within the last 2 years or within 2 years from the ‘date of knowledge’ of your injuries sustained.
- The injury must have been caused by another party.
- In certain cases, if you are partly to blame you may still be entitled to claim for your injury.
- To make a successful claim, it’s necessary to provide proof that the other party caused your injury. Once you talk with your solicitor, unless your case is complicated they can tell you from the outset if you have a valid case or not.
- Providing evidence or proof of the accident includes: Photos from the accident for example Car Crash, Garda reports, Medical Reports, Witness Report. For most cases, it’s clear who is liable for the injury but in Medical Negligence cases this is not as straightforward to prove. See Claiming for Medical Negligence
- With professional guidance from our team, we will help you gather the information and evidence you need to process your Injury Case.
What to do if you are the driver of a vehicle that’s been involved in a crash?
If you are the driver of a vehicle that has been involved in a road traffic accident the first thing you should do is call the Gardai. An abstract report from the Gardai can prove to be invaluable where liability for the accident is at issue. It is also necessary to ensure that you note the contact details of all people involved in the accident, including any witnesses, and more importantly to obtain the insurance details of the other drivers involved. Once all details have been exchanged and the accident has been reported to the Gardai it is advisable to seek medical attention.
Following an accident you may be in shock and not realise the extent of the injuries you have sustained. Although in most cases involving road traffic accidents it is obvious who was at fault, there are cases where the issues are more complex. Road traffic accidents become more complicated where there are more than two parties involved, one party refuses to admit liability, the party at fault does not have a valid policy of insurance or the party at fault flees the scene of the accident.
How long do I have to Start a Claim? – Statute of Limitations
Under the Statute of Limitations an injured party has two years from the date of the accident within which to make an injury claim. Road traffic accidents, like all personal injury claims, must first be processed through PIAB. We have a dedicated and professional team of solicitors who specialise in personal injury actions, arising out of road traffic accidents. If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and require further information please give us a call and a member of our team will be more than happy to assist you.
What if the Accident was caused by a Company Car?
Whether you or the defendant owned the company car or it belongs to a company, the claims process is the remains the same. In most cases, it’s your employers responsibility to deal the insurance company in relation to the claim. And in any road accident claim, your solicitor will seek compensation from the insurers from the negligent party.
How will I know if I’m entitled to Claim for my Road Accident?
Whether you were the driver or passenger, to be eligible for an injury claim, firstly, the injury must have been caused by another party (fully or partially). If you have been injured in a car or other accident that was not your fault, Irish law entitles you to claim for compensation. You are entitled to claim if you were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist and if you were driving for work in a truck, bus, car or bike. You may also be able to bring a claim for your road accident even if the other party was uninsured.
Unless you are under 18 the accident must have happened within the last 2 years and someone else was to blame (even partly).
What is the average Settlement for a Car Accident in Ireland?
The amount to which you can claim varies in every case. The value of your case in terms of General Damages will depend on the nature and severity of the injury or injuries, the pain, suffering, and inconvenience resulting from the length of time for recovery and the prognosis for the future.
In addition to General Damages you are entitled to claim for Special Damages – all financial losses and expense sustained by you as a result of the accident, including loss of earnings, doctors’ fees, hospital fees, medication, travelling expenses etc.
Once we take your initial instructions to handle the case, we take up reports from any Medical Practitioners you’ve been to. The early reports are usually preliminary, but this enables us to decide which Court to launch your case, i.e. the District Court which has Jurisdiction to make awards up to €15,000, the Circuit Court which has jurisdiction up to €60,000 or the High Court which has unlimited Jurisdiction.
The value of your claim will be discussed with you in some detail by us at the time of Settlement Negotiations or prior to the trial of your case.
How long does for Settlement money from a Traffic Accident?
The time it takes to finalise a case usually depends more on the medical process rather than the legal process. As a general rule we advise our clients not to attempt to settle a case within 12 months from the accident date. It is good practice to see how the injury has settled at that stage. Subject to the Medical Report. It may be opportune to try to settle the case after about 12 months, although many cases may take longer, particularly the more serious ones. On conclusion of your case, you will usually be awarded your compensation payment within approximately 4 weeks.
How Does No Win No Fee* Claims Work?
No Win No Fee* removes the risk for the Claimant when making an injury claim for their injuries sustained by a 3rd party. Terms and conditions will apply but in most cases If you don’t win your claim, you won’t have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
*Solicitors Advertising Regulations
The regulations forbid the inclusion of any words or phrases which suggest that legal services relating to a compensation claim will be provided on a no win no fee basis as such prohibition is in line with the statutory ban on advertisements which encourage or induce claims for damages for personal injuries. It should be noted that there is no prohibition on solicitors in Ireland undertaking work on a no win no fee basis, and solicitors are perfectly entitled to offer their services on a no win no fee basis, and indeed many solicitors’ firms operate on a no foal, no fee basis. The restriction on solicitors is merely on the content of their advertisements.
The general right of solicitors to advertise is severely curtailed when it comes to advertising for personal injuries claims. The Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002 (S.I. No. 518 of 2002) introduced a ban on advertisements which refer to claims or possible claims for damages for personal injuries, the outcome of such claims or the provision of services by solicitors in conjunction with such claims. The regulations prohibit advertisements which “solicit, encourage or offer any inducement” to make such claims. The regulations specify that the advertisement may include, amongst other things, “factual information on the legal services and areas of law to which the services relate”. The regulations specify that the words “personal injuries” may be included in such factual information in a “list of services”.
How can MIBI Help Me? – No Valid Policy or Insurance?
The injured party, although entitled to sue in the courts for the injuries sustained, may be wasting their time if the defendant motorist has little means or assets. If the court makes an award and the Defendant is not in a position to pay the award the injured party may not succeed in their case. This problem was resolved in 1955 with the introduction of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The MIBI was established to compensate victims of uninsured motorists. A claim against the MIBI will be treated in the same way as a claim against a person holding a valid insurance policy.
Can I claim if I was the Passenger in a Crash?
If you are a passenger in a vehicle which is involved in a road traffic accident you will be entitled to claim, regardless of who was at fault. Unlike drivers, passengers are almost never liable for road accidents. However, a passenger who knowingly travels in an uninsured car or who knowingly travels in a vehicle being driven by an intoxicated driver may be denied compensation in the event of a collision. Whether you were in a vehicle hit by a negligent driver, or a passenger in the car that caused the accident, you will most probably be entitled to compensation.
Do I still have a Claim if I was Partly to Blame?
If you were partly to blame for the Road Collision, you may still be entitled to a Compensation Award – but the final amount may be reduced. It is not always obvious who is liable for the traffic accident if multiple vehicles were involved and it’s commonplace to lay fault on both sides. Your Solicitor will be able to advice you of best case outcome from the early stages of your case. When multiple parties are to blame for an accident, then the liability is split, This is called a ‘Split Liability Agreement’.
For example, if has been proven that both parties involved were equally to blame – 50% / 50%, you may receive 50% less compensation.
What if the other Driver involved in the Accident is Uninsured?
The injured party, although entitled to sue in the courts for the injuries sustained, may be wasting their time if the defendant motorist has little means or assets. If the court makes an award and the Defendant is not in a position to pay the award the injured party may not succeed in their case. This problem was resolved in 1955 with the introduction of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The MIBI was established to compensate victims of uninsured motorists.
A claim may be brought against the MIBI by any person, ‘entitled in law, to bring a claim for personal injury or wrongful death which arises out of the negligent use, by an uninsured person, of a mechanically propelled vehicle’. A claim against the MIBI will be taken in the same way as a claim against a person holding a valid insurance policy.
If you’ve been involved in a road collision where the driver who caused the accident doesn’t have insurance, or the 3rd party left the scene, your accident solicitor can still get you compensation. MIBI – The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland was established to underwrite motor insurance in Ireland so victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles can be fully compensated. Circumstance include:
- Uninsured Drivers >
- Unidentified Vehicles
- Non National Registered Vehicles
What happens if I was involved in a Hit and Run Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a road accident and the other party fled the scene, you can still be compensated. The MIBI Agreement enables an award to compensate victims involved in a Road Traffic Accident who have sustained personal injury caused by Unidentified vehicles / Drivers. Talk to your Solicitor and they will best advice how to start a claim of this nature.
Do I have a Claim if I was in an Accident with a Foreign Car?
MIBI, (as Green Card Bureau), deals with claims from parties involved in accidents, in Ireland, caused by non-national vehicles – once the country of origin is a member of the Green Card System. It’s vital to obtain relevant information from the car and driver if possible: the registration number, make and model of the vehicle, country of origin, the name of the driver and insurance details. Click here for list of Green Card Countries
Got a question about Starting a Claim for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence?
Contact us 7 days a week by phone, email or fill out the callback form and a solicitor will contact you without delay. We are Here to Help.
01 453 7890
How is PIAB involved in my Claim and Why?
All Personal Injury Cases by Irish Law, bar Medical Negligence must first be processed through PIAB (Personal Injury Assessment Board). Once you have instructed us to commence proceedings for your case, we handle all dealings with PIAB on your behalf. Our legal team will also ensure that PIAB adheres to any time limits that the case may have and deal with all queries in relation to your PIAB Application.
In order for our firm to put your claim through PIAB we must first get Your Medical Report. We obtain this medical report from your treating doctor outlining all injuries sustained by you as a result of your accident. This report is very important as PIAB will base their assessment of your claim solely on the contents of your medical report along with a 2nd Report from an Independent Medical Practitioner. We will then send a copy of this report to you along with an application form (Form A) which must be signed by you in order for us to process your claim with the Injuries Board.
How Long Does it take for My Case to go Through PIAB?
If PIAB is going ahead with an assessment, it has 9 months from the date of application to make an assessment. During this time period PIAB arranges for the claimant to be assessed by an independent doctor / medical expert in order to take up a medical legal report. Once the Board is in receipt of your case documentation (which we organise on your behalf) the completed Schedule of Special Damages, Certificate of Loss of Earnings (if appropriate) and the Medical Report, they will proceed to make an assessment.
- We (the Solicitor) will be notified in writing of the award being made by the Board.
- You (the claimant) are given 28 days to decide whether or not you wish to accept the award.
- The respondent is given 21 days within which to make the same decision.
- If both parties accept the assessment then an ‘Order to Pay’ will issue and your cheque is usually requisitioned within 6 weeks.
Can I Make my Own PIAB Application?
If you have already made an application to the Board yourself without using the services of a solicitor – we will be happy to arrange a consultation to look at the paperwork and advise as to whether or not we believe that the Board has made a fair assessment of your claim.
What Happens if I Reject the PIAB Offer?
If one or both parties reject the Assessment, PIAB will issue an Authorisation, allowing you (the claimant) to issue Court Proceedings. Even if court proceedings are issued, this does not necessarily mean that the claimant/plaintiff will end up in court. If we do end up issuing proceedings on your behalf, in the majority of cases the claim settles before going to trial.
What happens if I Accept the PIAB Offer?
If you are willing to accept The PIAB Assessment and the offer of compensation, provided the other side are willing to pay it, then this is the end of the matter. However, if either you or the other side does not accept the Assessment, then the claim will proceed under the former system of Court Litigation.
It should be noted that PIAB does not award any costs, so your Legal Fees must come out of the figure assessed by PIAB. The foregoing is a very brief synopsis of the workings of PIAB and, there are all sorts of diverse situations which can and do arise. Your solicitor will fully advise you in relation to your particular circumstances.
Will my Case Go to Court?
We deal with every case on the basis that it may end up in Court – in reality cases don’t always go to court and usually settle beforehand. If the defendants Insurance Company has not offered enough or has made no offer on your case, then your case may go to court. However, if any offer has been made, you (the claimant) decide whether or not to accept it. Your Solicitor will give you advice in relation to accepting or rejecting the offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this indicates that the other side is reasonably confident of defending the case.
Why would my Case go to Court?
Cases go to court for two reasons, either the Defendant has not offered enough Compensation or the Defendant has made No offer. If an offer is made, then it is you who decides whether or not to accept the offer. Your Solicitor will provide advice in relation to any offer, but the ultimate decision is yours. If no offer is made, then this would indicate that the other side is reasonably confident of successfully defending the case. In such event your options will be clearly outlined to you.
What Happens if my Case does go to Court?
If your case does go to court, there is no reason for concern about appearing in court as your your solicitor will lead you through your evidence. You simply answer all questions to the best of your ability. And your legal team will be there to support you throughout the whole case. You are firstly examined by your own Barrister, following which, the Defendant’s Barrister will cross-examine and attempt to illicit details from you. These questions may be favourable to the Defendant’s case. The Judge may also have questions.
3 Tips For Going to Court
- When arriving for your case, it is important that you dress in a manner which shows proper respect to the Court.
- If being questioned in court, Try to avoid giving hasty or confused replies.
- If you are not sure of the answer to any question, you should say so, Your legal team are there to support you.
Do I need to bring a Witness to Court?
After completion of your evidence, the evidence of any other witnesses is heard. This may include a Medical Practitioner. Their evidence is usually admitted as a Medical Report handed into the Judge. Other witnesses may include an engineer and any person who witnessed the event.
How does the Judge reach their Decision on Liability?
When all the witnesses have been heard, and Counsel has made any relevant points to the Court, the Judge makes his/her decision, more often than not on the day, but on occasion, they may postpone the judgement to another day. The judge delivers their decision on liability, and if in favour of the Plaintiff will make an Award of Damages as Compensation.
Can a Child Start a Claim?
If you are the parent or guardian of an injured child, or if you were injured when you were under 18 and your injuries were caused by someone else, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
In the eyes of Irish law, a person under the age of 18 is considered to be a “Minor” and therefore cannot engage the services of a solicitor. However, the Parent or Guardian of the child can bring a personal injury action on their behalf. A claim can be made on behalf of a child by a “Next Friend” at any point up to the child’s 18th birthday. The injured person then has a further 2 years, until the date of their 20th birthday, to start their own compensation claim. The Next Friend (typically a parent or guardian) acts as an agent for the child and the nominated solicitor will deal directly with them.
What are the Legal Costs when claiming for a Child?
What Happens to the Minor’s Compensation when they reach the age of 18?
Once the minor has reached the age of 18 they can apply to have the Award released from Court. In the majority of cases the figure lodged will have increased as it accrues interest over time.
How is the Child’s Compensation Award Managed?
Once a case for a minor has been settled it is necessary to make an application to the appropriate court to have the settlement figure “Ruled”. This is a safeguard that has been put in place for minors to ensure that they are receiving the true value of their claim.
The appropriate paperwork will be drafted and sent to the relevant Court and your solicitor will be provided with a date to attend Court to put the settlement figure to the Judge and go through the legal proceedings and medical evidence. If the Judge is satisfied with the settlement, the matter will be “Ruled” and the settlement money will be lodged into a court account.
What are General Damages?
General Damages in Personal Injury Cases for example; a Traffic Accident, are in place to compensate you for the impact the injury has and will have on your life. This includes pain and suffering mild or severe sustained from the injury. This pain can be physical but also physiological. Read more on Post Traumatic Stress Claims. The amount awarded will also be based on the impact of your injuries on your daily life such as short term or a permanent disability or disfigurement. A further consideration for the compensation end figure includes what areas of the body were temporarily or permanently affected.
What are Special Damages?
How to know if I have an Injury Claim
Before accepting your instructions, we will have discussed your case with you and will have advised you of the strengths and weaknesses (if any) of your case. In many cases, it is very clear from the outset that an injured party will succeed in being fully compensated, for example, where the injury results from a motor accident when the client is a passenger, to give but one example. In some cases, the courts apportion liability, i.e. they rule in favour of the Plaintiff but make a deduction from the full value of the case on the basis of the Plaintiff’s “contributory negligence.”
What if I was partly to Blame for the Accident?
It is important to note that many valid claims are never brought because an injured party feels the accident was his own fault, whereas the primary cause of the accident may well rest with some other party, and the injured party’s own carelessness may only have been a contributing factor. In such cases the courts may apportion Liability. It is therefore always advisable to consult a solicitor concerning any injury resulting from an accident.
How long does it take to get paid after the Settlement?
Following a settlement or a Court Award, it typically takes about 4 weeks for payment to issue from the major Insurance companies. Local Authorities can take longer, usually about 4 – 8 weeks.
Who pays out the Compensation Award?
A compensation figure is firstly offered by the defendants Insurance Company. Insurance Companies will often make a low value offer to your solicitor. It’s always the objective of the Insurance company to pay out less money. In Most cases your solicitor will reject this offer when the defendant appears to be liable.
Defendants and their insurance companies will want to avoid the expense of Going to Court.
Once the insurance company realises the defendants liability position, an appropriate settlement offer will be made. If the case is complicated, this can cause delays.
Once an insurance company has admitted liability on behalf of the defendant and agreed to process the claim, this moves quickly. Typically, the claimant will receive their compensation payment (from initial offer to agreed offer) within a few weeks.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury is defined as either a physical injury, disease or illness, or a psychological injury / condition that has been caused by someone else.
If you were injured in an accident due to no fault or your own, Irish law entitles you to claim General Damages compensation for your injuries sustained, Loss of Income, Future Care and possibly other Special Damages. Our personal injury solicitors deal with a wide range of minor to catastrophic and life changing injuries. So, If you have suffered a personal injury and want to make a claim for an accident, contact our team today.
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Got a query about your case?
Whether your injury case is straight forward or complex, our solicitors will provide professional legal advice, guidance and support throughout your case. Simply, tell us a little bit about what happened, we will guide you through the process and tell you whether or not you can claim for injury. Contact us by phone or email 7 Days a week. Expert Legal advice as you need it.
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