Road Traffic Accidents
Road traffic accident claims and car accidents are the most common of all personal injury claims made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board ( also known as “the Injuries Board” or “PIAB”) in Ireland.
Road traffic accident injuries refer to any injuries sustained while driving, cycling or walking on a public road or pathway. Passengers of cars can also suffer Road traffic accident injuries. Road traffic accidents may sadly cause any type of injury including:
- Whiplash injury.
- Acquired brain injuries.
- Head injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Broken bones, fractured bones and other Orthopedic Injuries.
- Sprains, muscle and ligament damage.
- Psychological injuries (such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident, and suffered an injury and/or loss, you may be able to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
It is important to work with a Personal Injury Solicitor with expertise in car accident claims to ensure that you have the best chance of making a successful claim, and our experienced team at Cantillons Solicitors in Cork can help you through the process.
What You Should Do After A Road Traffic Accident
If you are involved in a road traffic accident, you are likely to be shocked and upset and it can be difficult to remember the correct protocol to follow. Here’s our quick guide to doing the right thing after a road traffic accident:
- Firstly, it is important to establish whether you, or anyone else involved in the road traffic accident, require urgent medical attention, and to ensure that an ambulance is called if it is required. Whether you think that you have been injured or not, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible after the accident.
- You should call the Gardai to report a road traffic accident, and they will usually attend and take statements from the parties involved and any witnesses to the accident. If the accident is minor, you may be advised that the Gardai will not attend, in which case, you should visit your nearest Garda station to make a report the accident. You should also notify your own insurer of the accident.
- You will need to exchange details with the other parties involved in the accident, including giving and obtaining the names and addresses of those involved, their vehicle registration and insurance information. You should also obtain contact details for any witnesses to the accident if possible, as their testimony may be very helpful in road traffic accident compensation claim proceedings. You should also review and retain any dashboard cameras footage as this may be used to establish fault in road traffic accidents where the parties involved do not agree on liability.
- It is always a good idea to take photographs of the scene of the accident. These can be very helpful in establishing liability (who is at fault for the accident) and will be an important part of any future legal proceedings. Photographs will also help to record the time and date of the accident and the weather conditions at the time the accident occurred.
- Keep a record of events following the road traffic accident, noting any injuries and the impact these have on your daily life.
What To Do If the Other Driver Has No Insurance
It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the negligent driver’s insurance company to deal with your personal injury compensation claim, and not the driver. If the driver was uninsured or the vehicle which caused the accident left the scene and is untraced it may still be possible to make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland Scheme (MIBI). The MIBI compensates victims of accidents caused by uninsured, untraced, or unidentified drivers.
The first step in this process is for your Solicitor to notify the MIBI of the accident and the intention to pursue a claim for damages. Cantillons Solicitors will help you with this. A MIBI claim notification form will be required to be submitted detailing all available information in respect of the accident such as the date, time, and location, your own personal details, vehicle registration number, injuries sustained and attendances with hospital/Doctors and details of attending Garda.
The MIBI will then investigate the matter and will nominate an Insurance Company to deal with the claim.
MIBI claims can be complicated and there are certain onerous obligations on claimants relying on the scheme. It is always advisable to speak with a Solicitor. Cantillons has many years of experience dealing with the MIBI.
How To Make Your Compensation Claim
When you make a road traffic accident claim for compensation, you will need to provide all of the details of the accident and your injuries to your Solicitor.
Cantillons Solicitors will help you to gather the necessary evidence and documentation that is required, including medical reports, and we will submit your Injuries Board application form.
Once the application has been submitted, Cantillons Solicitors will help you in dealing with the Injuries Board. If additional information is required, we will assist you with that. For example, you are required to submit details of your out of pocket expenses to the Injuries Board or you may be unable to return to work for a period of time, or at all, as result of your injuries. We will assist you with compiling your out of pocket expenses, loss of earnings and future medical costs.
The Injuries Board will notify any other parties involved with your claim, by issuing them with a copy of your application form and medical report.
To assess a road traffic accident claim, the Injuries Board will consider your medical reposts, and they may also send you to their Doctors/Experts for their views on the extent of your injuries.
How long after a road traffic accident can you make a claim?
The Statute of Limitations provides that the time limit for bringing a road traffic accident claim is two years. Once the claim period has passed, you will no longer be entitled to any compensation. However, on occasion, the time limit may be shorter or longer. For example, if the injured party is a minor (under the age of 18), the two year time limit does not start to run until their 18th birthday.
If you are injured in a road traffic accident, you should begin the claim process as soon as possible so as to avoid any evidence being misplaced or forgotten. It is also advisable to immediately record in writing, the circumstances of the accident. Your Personal Injuries Solicitor will assist you with this.
How long does a road traffic accident claim take?
Every road traffic accident claim is different. Some take months and others take years. Preparing a claim takes time. This time allows your Personal Injuries Solicitor to ensure they have collected the necessary evidence and documentation.
A road traffic accident claim is lodged, in the first instance, with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB). PIAB states that the average road traffic accident claim case takes nine months. However, nine months does not take into account things like preparty work which is carried out in advance of the PIAB process, such as corresponding with Medical Experts to get Medical Reports etc. Generally speaking, from the first meeting with a Personal Injuries Solicitor to PIAB issuing their decision is about 1 year.
Who pays for road traffic accident claims?
It is a legal requirement in Ireland for all drivers to have car insurance.
General speaking, if the Defendant driver is insured, the compensation for a road traffic accident is paid for by the Defendant’s car insurance provider. This means that if a claim is successfully made against you, then your insurance company will pay the compensation and costs.
However, when an accident occurs because of an uninsured driver there is a framework in place for compensation. This framework is managed by the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
If you are driving a rental or borrowed vehicle, the required insurance should be included in the rental price. This insurance will then cover any road traffic accident claim against you. Always check with your car insurer and the rental service that you have the correct cover type of insurance.
How Compensation For Road Traffic Accident Claims Is Calculated
When the Injuries Board are assessing your road traffic accident claim, they will generally award personal injury compensation under the following headings:
– This refers to compensation for the physical, emotional and psychological injuries you have sustained in the road traffic accident. If the personal injuries you have suffered have affected your quality of life or hobbies, this will also be considered. General Damages can be awarded for the injuries suffered to date and into the future. When assessing the amount of compensation for General Damages, the Injuries Board will have regard to the Book of Quantum to find similar cases for reference, and will base your suggested compensation on this as well as on the specific details of your case.
– This refers to the out of pocket expenses that you have incurred as a direct result of the accident, such as:
- Medical Bills
- Travel costs (including to and from the hospital)
- Loss of earnings (if you have been unable to work).
- Material damage (including repair costs) which may have been done to your property, including your car.
- Car hire.
- Depreciation losses.
Special Damages can be awarded for the expenses incurred to date and into the future.
What Happens When The Claim Is Assessed
When your claim has been assessed, if successful, you will receive a compensation offer, which (if you accept the award), will be paid to you by the party found to be at fault in your case. You will have 28 days to decide whether or not you wish to accept this offer, and failure to respond in this time will result in an automatic rejection of the offer. The party at fault has 21 days to accept or reject the offer. We will discuss this offer with you and advise you on whether or it is an appropriate amount of compensation for the injuries you suffered. When advising you on this, we will consider the Book of Quantum and also, from our experience, what a Court is likely to award you for your injuries.
At this stage, having consider the assessment, it is open to you to accept or to reject the Injuries Board assessment.
If both parties accept the assessment, then you should receive your settlement payment, and your case will be considered to be concluded.
If either party rejects the assessment, the next step, should you wish to do so, is to bring court proceedings, where a Judge will decide the outcome of your case. If the matter is to proceed down the Court road, we will draft court proceedings and represent you in Court. We will obtain the highest compensation award possible in your case, either through settlement, negotiation, mediation or Court award.
Let Cantillons Handle Your Claim
It is important to work with an experienced Solicitor to make a claim to the Injuries Board, because it is a complex process, and you are more likely to obtain the maximum amount of compensation that you are entitled to if you do so.
Cantillons Solicitors are Personal Injury Solicitors.
We take the time to get to know our clients, so that we can ensure the very best outcomes in every case.
Please contact our friendly team on +353 (0)21 4275673 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* 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. This terms 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.