Compensation Claims for Car Crashes in Ireland
Our team specialise in road traffic accident claims for clients in Dublin and all over Ireland.
More than three-quarters of all personal injury claims relate to car crash compensation in Ireland according to statistics released by the Injuries Board. Since car ownership is high in Ireland, and public transport services are limited, these figures are not hard to believe. Most people will travel by car almost every day, either as a driver or a passenger.
It is worth noting, however, that the Injuries Board receives more than ten thousand assessment applications every year; meaning over twenty car crash compensation claims every day, which is almost one application for assessment every hour.
If you have sustained an injury in a car crash for which you were not at fault, seeking professional legal help is advisable so that you receive the highest value of car crash injury compensation you are entitled to, and also so as not to become just another statistic for the Injuries Board.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Outlined here are the recommended steps to take after you are involved in a car crash in Ireland. Some steps you may have completed already, but there could be one or two that you have not done because of an oversight, or if you were unable to complete the procedure at the time of your car accident because of the severity of your injury.
Step 1: Prioritise Your Health and Safety
Always remember that your health is far more important than any car crash injury compensation. After an accident, if you or anyone else has been badly injured, an ambulance must have been called, along with the Gardai.
Even if you felt that your injuries were not serious, you should have attended the Accident and Emergency department of your closest hospital or at the very least, make an appointment to see your GP. If you only received first aid at the scene of the car crash, or tended to your injuries when you returned home, you should seek professional medical attention immediately.
Should you wish to make car crash compensation claims after the accident, having a record of your presence at the hospital or your GP’s surgery on the date of the accident is of significant importance. If there appears to be an unwarranted gap between the date of your accident and the date on which your injuries were eventually recorded, car crash compensation claims may be disputed on the grounds that your injuries were not serious enough to require medical attention at the time of the crash or that you may have in fact sustained them on another, separate occasion.
Step 2: Report to the Gardai
Reporting an injury sustained from a car accident in Ireland to the Gardai at the first practical moment is crucial. The Gardai may not have attended the scene of an accident if it appeared that no one had been seriously injured, but any call made to them reporting the accident will have been noted and could later be referred to by your legal representation to support your car accident compensation claim.
The Gardai will, of course, have attended an accident scene if it was a serious one. They will have collected statements from the relevant parties and witnesses, when possible, and one of the Gardai present will have made a sketch of the car crash location. After consideration, they may decide to refer the matter to the DPP for prosecution.
If there was no Garda presence at the accident, it is recommended that you call to your local Garda station to give an account of the accident. There is a road traffic accident report book in every Garda station and you should submit the names of all parties involved, their insurance details and the registration numbers of all the vehicles. Register the date, time and location of the accident and make sure that you keep a copy of this report to give to your legal representative.
Step 3: Complete the Appropriate Formalities
Most drivers know that following an accident, it is important for all drivers involved to exchange names, addresses and insurance details – but no risks to your personal health and safety should have been taken to do so. Without this information, making compensation claims for car crashes in Ireland can be more complicated, but modern technology is a useful utility when gathering this information after the event if your injury restricts you from doing so initially.
In some cases, completing the appropriate formalities after the accident may have been impossible, if other parties involved in the car accident sustained injuries, for example, or became aggressive or confrontational. Under these circumstances it will have been beneficial to your car accident compensation claim if you were able to record registration numbers of the vehicles involved in the accident independently rather than rely on the other parties to offer the information; as mistakes can often be made due to confusion or shock caused by the experience, or perhaps due to purposeful spite.
As the majority of people in Ireland use mobile phones with a camera function, you may have been able to capture some images of the accident scene, vehicle registration numbers and perhaps the road conditions. These images could be useful in assisting the outcome of compensation claims for car crashes in Ireland if you are unable to have your application for car crash injury compensation processed by the Injuries Board.
Eligibility to Claim Car Crash Compensation in Ireland
If it can be proven that you were not to blame for the accident in which you sustained an injury, and that a negligent road user or the authority responsible for the maintenance of a road should be held accountable, you will be eligible to claim car crash compensation in Ireland.
Eligibility to make compensation claims for car crashes in Ireland is also possible if a car driver is to blame for injuring a cyclist or a pedestrian, or if a car passenger was injured due to the carelessness of the driver of the car in which the passenger was travelling. You can access articles dedicated to these scenarios elsewhere on this site.
Car Crash Compensation Claims against an Unknown Driver
Compensation claims for car crash injuries can be made against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) when you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of a hit and run driver, or one whose personal details you were unable to collect at the time. MIBI is an organisation founded by motor insurance companies to award compensation for persons injured in an accident when the negligent driver is either unknown or uninsured.
It is important to report the accident to the Gardai so that they can attempt to find the negligent driver by using roadside cameras and CCTV before you can make a car accident claim against an unknown driver, as the MIBI are unlikely to accept liability in compensation claims for car crash injuries unless it can be proven that all efforts have been made to track down the driver of the vehicle which caused the accident.
Claiming Compensation for a Car Crash Injury
Most solicitors advise applying for an assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland even though car accident compensation claims are not always resolved by them. Many compensation claims for car crash in Ireland are settled between the plaintiff’s solicitor and the negligent driver’s insurance company.
The quickest and least complicated way of resolving a car accident compensation claim for the maximum entitlement of compensation is a negotiated settlement, and most solicitors will recommend this course of action. The Injuries Board should issue an “Authorisation” after you apply to them for assessment, to pursue your claim through court action should the negligent driver’s insurers deny liability or if an acceptable settlement of compensation for the car crash cannot be reached.
Value of Compensation Claims for Car Crash Injuries
Numerous factors contribute to how much compensation for car accident injuries you are eligible to receive; including the severity of your injuries in relation to your age, general state of health previous to the accident and, in occasional circumstances, your sex. You may qualify for car crash compensation in Ireland for any calculable emotional trauma you have endured due to the circumstances of the car accident and the impact your injuries – physical or emotional – have on your quality of life.
You will also be compensated for any loss of income or financial costs which relate directly to the car crash, along with the “general” damages mentioned above. The cost of medical care, alternate travel arrangements if you can no longer drive, the cost of re-modelling your home to accommodate wheelchair access and a lifetime of lost earning potential could also be included as “special” damages in a claim for car crash injury compensation.
However, if you yourself contributed to the cause of the accident or the severity of your injuries by your own carelessness, the value of your settlement may be significantly reduced. You would be accredited with a percentage responsibility that would reflect your contributory negligence if, for example, you were not wearing your seat belt when the accident occurred or if you declined to seek medical attention the earliest opportunity – resulting in an avoidable deterioration of your injury.
Car Crash Injury Compensation and Insurance Companies
It is often the case that the negligent party’s insurance approaches the potential plaintiff with an early offer of settlement. If you accept this kind of offer without first consulting an experienced solicitor you may not receive your full entitlement of compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Remember that insurance companies deliberately approach a victim when the victim is at their most vulnerable and are acting in their own best interests, not yours.
If you do accept an unsolicited offer of car crash injury compensation from the negligent driver’s insurers, and it proves to be an insufficient amount to cover any medical bills or support your family, you cannot return to the insurance company and ask for more. You can, therefore, avoid this kind of situation if you contact an expert legal professional who can advise you on all aspects of your potential car accident claim.
Advice about Car Crash Compensation in Ireland
It is never too late to seek advice about compensation claims for car crashes in Ireland if you have suffered an injury in a car accident for which you were not to blame – despite the frequent recommendation that you speak with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity possible. The majority of solicitors offer a free evaluation of your accident when you speak initially and, in a high number of cases, you will be reimbursed for any legal costs related to making car crash compensation claims as part of your eventual car crash settlement.
Compensation for Car Crashes in Ireland: A Summary
- Due to the high level of car ownership and limited public transport, car accident claims are the most common personal injury claims in Ireland.
- You must have evidence that you have suffered an injury in a car accident for which another party was to blame, be it another road user or the authority responsible for the road’s maintenance in order for compensation claims for car crash injuries to be successful.
- Always prioritise your health and only pursue compensation for your car crash after you have received the necessary medical attention.
- When possible, you should gather the names, addresses and insurance details of the negligent party(ies). If you are unable to collect them at the time of your accident, technology can help establish liability in car crash compensation claims.
- Numerous factors determine how car crash compensation in Ireland is calculated and you would be well advised to discuss the value of the compensation you could receive with a solicitor on our free legal advice phone service.
Remember that no two cases are identical. If you have suffered an injury in an accident in which you were recently involved, and think you may have a potential compensation personal injury claim, it would be in your best interest to discuss with a solicitor the points raised in this article at the first possible opportunity.
Our team are on standby to assist if you require assistance with a road traffic accident case.