Car Accident Injury Claim
Car Accident Claims arise when a person suffers an injury and a car, van, bus or truck is involved.
The severity of the injury does not impact your ability to bring a Car Accident Claim. A Personal Injury Claim arising out of a car crash may result injuries such as a whiplash injury, cuts and bruises and even significant head trauma and spinal injuries.
Road traffic accidents can occur for any number of reasons, including road conditions and negligence by the other party. Car Accident Claims are not limited to car owners or drivers. If you are a pedestrian, cyclist or public transport user, you may make a Car Accident Claim if you have suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence. Passengers of any vehicles involved in a car crash may also make a Car Accident Claim if they suffered injury, loss or damage. For anyone under 18, Car Accident Claims must be made on their behalf by a parent or legal guardian.
Most Common Type Of Road Traffic Accident Claim
According to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, motor-related claims are the most common Personal Injury Claim in Ireland every year, with an average of 8,000 road traffic accident claims made annually.
Of these claims, some types of car accidents feature more than others. Amongst the most common types of accidents which result in Car Accident Claims are:
- Car crashes, including accidents that involve a car rear-ending another car.
- Hit and run car accidents.
- Claims by passengers.
- Claims for minor impact accidents.
- Car accidents involving head-on collisions.
What Should You Do After A Car Accident
- Safety First
In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, your safety and the safety of all parties, is paramount.
Your first action should be to get to a safe place and call for help. If anyone requires medical attention, call an ambulance or ask a passerby to call on your behalf.
Anyone who has been injured in a car crash and requires medical attention should be made as comfortable as possible. In the event that a head, neck or back injury is suspected, the person should not move or be moved. Keep them warm and still until the ambulance or paramedics arrive.
- Contact the Gardai
You should Call the Gardai and report the road traffic accident. Do not move the vehicle until you have spoken to the Gardai. It is best that Gardai call to the scene of the accident so everything can be documented and investigated correctly. If, having spoken to the Gardai, they say that they are not is a position to attend the scene of the accident, it is important that you formally report the road traffic accident, and you could call to the Garda Station after to do so.
However, if you have been involved in a road traffic accident, but you did not report it, do not worry as it does not stop you from bringing a Car Accident Claim.
- Exchange Driver Details
You should exchange details with the other party/parties. You will need to take down:
- Their full name.
- Their address.
- Their Car/vehicle registration number and insurance details – you can photograph this.
- The Car/vehicle owner’s full name and contact details if the car is not owned by the driver.
- If the other driver admits liability for the accident, you should note this also.
When you return home after the car accident, you should make a note of the details of the accident (how it happened, what was said etc.) so that you do not forget any details.
- Take Photographs
Photograph as much of the scene as possible.
Before the vehicles are moved, you should take pictures of both cars and the overall scene.
At the time, or in the days following the accident, you should photograph any injuries and bruising. These photographs will be helpful for your Car Accident Claim.
- Inform Your Insurance Provider
Once you are home and safe, contact your insurance provider to let them know about the accident. Your insurance company will guide you as to the next steps.
- Car Accident Claims By Pedestrians
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured by a vehicle or road user, you may be entitled to claim for the injuries, loss and damage you suffered. The steps outlined above equally apply to car accidents involving pedestrians.
What Are Common Car Accident Injuries
A common injury arising from a car accident is a whiplash injury.
Whiplash is an injury to the neck/back which is caused by a jolt causing the head/body to move suddenly. In car accidents, whiplash is most commonly experienced when another vehicle strikes a vehicle from the side or back.
With a whiplash injury, it might be several days until you notice the symptoms. Additionally, in the immediate aftermath of a car crash, adrenaline may be pumping and injuries (such as a whiplash injury) may not present immediately.
Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, back pain, headaches, feeling dizzy, pins and needles and arm pain.
Other injury types experienced in car accidents include back injuries, broken bones, psychological injuries and PTSD.
You should contact a Car Accident Claim Solicitor if you have questions about making a claim.
How Car Accident Claims Work
The process of making a Car Accident Claim should be started as soon as possible. Even if you are unsure about making a claim, it is advisable to speak to a Car Accident Solicitor or Personal Injury Solicitor.
An experienced Personal Injury Solicitor will be able to advise you on the viability of your claim. They will also talk you through the process and next steps. The decision to proceed with the claim is entirely yours.
When proceeding with a Car Accident Claim, your Car Accident Solicitor will first gather all relevant information. The information they will need includes:
- A statement from you regarding the details of the accident and injuries suffered.
- Copies of any photographs from the scene of the car accident and of your injuries.
- The details of the other driver or drivers involved.
- Any medical receipts relating to your injuries. You should keep copies of all receipts related to the car accident and your injuries as they will be necessary for the claim.
When all the information is collected, your Personal Injury Solicitor will write to the person who was at fault (and their insurance company) putting them on notice of your claim.
The next stage is to get a Medical Report from your Doctor.
Once you are in receipt of a Medical Report, your Personal Injury Solicitor will draft a Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) (formally the Injuries Board) Application and submit the claim to PIAB.
On receipt of your Application, PIAB will then notify the other driver(s) against whom you are making a claim. At this stage, they can either agree to allow PIAB assess the claim or reject the PIAB process. In a Car Accident Claim where the other driver rejects the PIAB process, PIAB will release the claim and the claim proceeds to Court. However, if they agree to the PIAB process, the next stage is for the PIAB to evaluate the level of compensation due. PIAB usually request that you undergo an independent medical examination to assist them with assessing your claim.
In Ireland, the amount paid out for Car Accident Claims is guided by the Personal Injury Guidelines. The Guidelines were introduced in April 2021 and list the compensation payable for each injury type. The Guidelines have replaced the Book of Quantum.
How To Claim Compensation After A Car Accident
Following your car accident, and when you are well enough, making a claim starts with finding the correct Solicitor. Not all Personal Injury Solicitors take on Car Accident Claims so ask about their experience to be sure.
When engaging with a Car Accident Solicitor for the first time, you should ask:
- Have they had similar cases?
- Who in the Firm will handle your claim?
- How do their fees work?
What Are The Time Limits To Make A Car Accident Claim
As with all Personal Injury Claims, the Statute of Limitations limits when you can make a claim. Generally speaking the time limit is two years but on occasions, the time limits may be shorter or longer. With car accidents, it is advisable that you make your claim, or at least start the process, as soon as possible.
If you have experienced a severe injury and require a period of recovery, ask someone to research Car Accident Solicitors on your behalf.
Car Accident Claims FAQ
Can I make a car accident claim as a passenger of an uninsured vehicle?
Yes – If you have been injured whilst travelling as a passenger in an uninsured car, it is possible to make a Personal Injuries Claim.
The person who caused the accident is not insured; can I make a claim?
Yes – In cases like this, the claim is made against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and the driver, and the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIBI) are the responsible party for paying out compensation in such instances where the driver does not have any money to pay for the damage or injury caused.
What to do if the other driver left the scene of the accident?
First of all, ensure that you are safe and then call the Gardai. Tell them that the driver has left the scene of the accident and they will, most likely, come out to the scene of the accident. It should be noted that it is possible to make a Car Accident Claim if you are injured and the other driver is not identified.
If the car accident was partly my fault, is it possible to make a claim?
Yes – If you are partially responsible for a car accident in which you are injured, this is called contributory negligence. It is still possible to make a Car Accident Claim. However, the amount you receive in compensation will be reduced to take account of the contributory negligence. If the parties cannot agree the amount of contributory negligence then the Judge decides on the amount of the deduction.
Can I claim if I got injured, but I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt?
Yes – if you were not wearing your seatbelt, this is considered contributory negligence and you are still entitled to bring a claim. While it is a legal requirement that all car drivers and passengers wear seatbelts, you can still bring a Car Accident Claim. However, the amount you receive in compensation will be reduced to take account of the contributory negligence. If the parties cannot agree the amount of contributory negligence then the Judge decides on the amount of the deduction.
Speak To Cantillons Solicitors, Car Accident Claims Solicitors
At Cantillons Solicitors, our Cork based car crash solitors team have acted on behalf of many car accident claimants who have suffered whiplash injuries, and other injuries, as a result of car accidents. The compensation payouts we have achieved in such cases have ranged from thousands of euros to multi-million euro compensation awards.
We pride ourselves on our extensive experience. We have an approachable team of Personal Injuries Solicitors. We understand the stress that comes with suffering an injury in an accident, and we aim to take that stress from you, so you can focus on recovery.
If you are looking to speak to a Car Accident Solicitor in Cork about making a Car Accident Claim, please contact Cantillon Solicitors using the contact form below, call us on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at email@example.com for more information.
Cantillons Solicitors represent clients from all over Ireland. While our office is based in Cork, given the amount of work we do all over the Country, we also have meeting facilities in Dublin and Limerick. We also offer consultations via telephone or Zoom so as to avoid the stress of travelling where necessary.
* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.