Car Accident Claims*
If you have been in a car accident there is every reason to seek medical attention, even as a preventative measure and there is no reason that we can think of to not seek medical care, although avoidance of post-accident medical care can be quite common.
A general dislike for attending doctors surgeries and attendance at a hospital should, in our opinion, be sidelined when one body has to withstand the impact of a car accident and testing of any areas of concern should be done even as a precautionary measure.
We have learned that sometimes people after an accident make the decision to not attend a doctor until the problem becomes unsustainable.
The only way to get clear on what has happened to your body after a car accident is to be tested for each of the areas causing concern.
Here are some of the medical tests that can be conducted which can help to just provide an assessment and arm oneself with the facts.
Most Common Injuries Associated with Car Accidents
Common whiplash can result in muscle strain, ligament sprain or a disc injury. Soft tissue, joints and neck bones all work together to provide neck movement and to hold up the head basicly.
The greater the impact of a crash can result in cervical dislocation and disc injury.
A doctor can conduct a physical examination, listen to the patients symptoms, and may direct an x-ray takes place if a fracture was suspected or may require an MRI if there’s a concern about an injury to a disk or to the spine. These tests can rule out matters at the outset and identify problems at the outset if they exist.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is the connective runway distributing messages between the brain and the spinal cord and controls everything we do basicly. The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system.
The impact of a car accident to this area can inhibit the travel of messages back and forth to the brain and affect the central nervous system.
A radiographic evaluation using an x-ray, a MRI scan or a CT scan can assess any damage caused.
This injury can involve a sprain or strain and onto a more severe herniated disc which can cause considerable nerve pain.
A further back injury can be a fractured vertebrae.
If your job involves a lot of lifting and movement on your feet, nerve damage or disc damage can be unbearable without relief.
Internal Body Injury
The impact of a car accident can result in internal injuries not easily visible.
A thorough examination should ascertain any broken rib, internal bleeding, abdominal aorta aneurysm, organ injury or a collapsed lung.
Head injuries after an accident can be acutely serious as obviously the brain controls everything. Force to the head arising from an accident can cause an injury and it is imperative that this is assessed and dealt with.
An MRI or CT or any scan can help detect of any problems and rule things out.
We hope if you’re in a vehicle collision at any speed you will seek some medical attention sooner rather than later.
Frequently Asked Questions – Car Accident Claims
Frequently Asked Questions – Car Accident Claims*
Many people have the question is it worth taking a case against an uninsured driver and it’s a good question.
We hope this post will of assistance when you are considering this with the detail you now have as mentioned above.
You can send a demand letter to the offending party requesting confirmation and detail of their insurance and you must send them whats called a letter of claim calling upon them to admit liability indicating to the facts.
Then you should proceed to notify the M.I.B.I. mentioned above immediately and try to obtain the insurance details of the other party from the Gards perhaps.
Here is a link to a post with information on the next steps –uninsured driver personal injury claim*.
It is prudent to contact the Gardai as soon as possible and maintain any information such as registration, drivers name etc. you can obtain.
An initial step for any injured party who wishes to initiate a personal injury* claim is to notify the allegedly offending party of your intention to make the claim within one month of the date of the accident. Such claims are submitted to the ‘Board’. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a statutory body that carries out its own private, independent assessment of a persons personal injury claim*.
It will not assess claims regarding the provision of any medical or surgical procedure in relation to a person, or the provision of any medical advice or treatment to a person.
A purely paper-based system, it never carries out oral hearings but assesses claims with regard to medical evidence, such as the medical report furnished by the injured party to the Board.
If the person who caused the injury consents to the Injuries Board assessing the application, or if they fail to state in writing whether they consent to the assessment or not, the Injuries Board will proceed to carry out the assessment.
If the person who causes the accident states in writing that they do not consent to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the Injuries Board will issue whats termed an authorisation, which permits the applicant (injured party) to bring legal proceedings.
How long after a car accident* can you claim ?
There is a limit regarding how long an injured person has to initiate a personal injury* legal action. This limit is pursuant to the statute of limitations act and if surpassed, it can cause your claim to be whats termed as statute barred from court. One has two years from the date of the accident to initiate the legal action.
What is the car accident claim* process ?
Here is an article we prepared which may provide you with the information you are looking for, which can be found here.
How long does a car accident claim* take ?
There is no one singular answer that can be given which works for everybody.
It depends on the individual case for many reasons, but we will give a general guide here.
Personal Injury* claims must be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. On average, claims made to PIAB are assessed within 9 months from the date the Board notifies the party who the claim is taken against.
If the case is dealt with and concluded at this point to the satisfaction of the parties, the entire timeframe could be 9 months to one year. If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, the injured party may have the option of proceeding to court to seek a Judgement from the court.
Some factors that may affect how long a case takes include:
- Once an application has been made to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, it usually takes between 9 months to 1 year before it is concluded.
- If one of the parties does not agree to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the matter can proceed to court.
- If an assessment sum is not agreed to by one party, the matter can proceed to court.
- How long will the court case process take depends on various factors, such as, is the case straightforward for complex ?.
- Is there one injury or multiple injuries ?.
- What is the attitude of the defendant to the case ?.
- Has liability been admitted or is it contested ?.
- Has the injury stabilised ?.
- Has the treatment concluded ?. Has the injured parties doctors recommended further treatment ?. Detail of the further treatment is then required.
- What number of experts reports are required ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain expert reports ?.
- Is it easy or difficult to obtain medical records ?.
- Have the legal pleadings concluded? In the High Court, the defence must be provided to the injured parties solicitor within 8 weeks from the time the summons is served. This is not a long time, and in personal injury* cases one must proceed step by step in conjunction with the guidance of the doctor(s) assisting the injured party. Medical care can take time, recovery can take time, and guidance from the doctor and the patient’s thoughts on their own rehabilitation are important considerations in terms of assessing controlling the speed of a case.
What is the Garda Accident Report?
This is called the Garda Abstract Report and details the parties involved in the accident and information particulars, such as names, insurance details etc.
Disclaimer – Car Accident Claims* Article
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad outline of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
Personal Injuries * In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.
Resolving Evidential Contest in a Car Accident Claim*
It is the duty of the injured party in a car accident claim* case to prove on the balance of probabilities that the defendant driver was negligent and caused the accident.
It can be very important to visit the scene of the accident to get a full understanding of what arose. The driver of the car should be asked to describe with a drawing how the accident arose. The more work at the investigation stage is done before a case commences, the greater chance of success in a case, in our opinion.
One driver in a case may claim they were within their carriageway side of the road when the collision happened when the other driver also says they were within their own carriageway side of the road when the collision occurred.
Which car crossed the white line on the crown of the road to determine liability will then have to be decided upon by the court.
If a Garda member attends the scene and gives evidence, photographs may be admitted and evidence given as to the circumstances found at the scene. It’s possible a Sketch Map was prepared also which could be of some help.
If an Engineer gives evidence in such a case, they will likely have taken photographs and measurements and prepared a report. A computerised assessment of the positions of the vehicles at the time of the impact, post-impact, resting positions etc. can also be helpful. The engineers may be asked their opinions regarding where the collisions likely occurred.
Evidently, the evidence of the drivers involved will be of paramount importance in circumstances where both accident narratives are unlikely to co-exist.
Apportionment of Liability Civil Liability Act 1961 Section 34.
If the injured person in such a case is found to have driven with want of care, they can evidently lose the case, but an alternative occurrence can arise whereby a court concludes that damages are reduced if the injured party and the defendant are both partly to blame for the accident.
The task for the court in such a circumstance is to resolve the conflict of evidence between the drivers. If the court concludes the accident occurred on the defendant’s side of the road, the injured party may lose their case outright, with the court concluding sole responsibility for the accident rests with the injured party.
Knowledge of Insurance in Road Traffic Accident Claim*
If an individual is injured in an accident and wishes to commence a road traffic accident claim* it is necessary to establish if a policy of vehicle insurance was in place for the offending driver’s vehicle at the time of the accident.
Most road drivers have vehicle insurance in place, but some drivers do not and if an accident occurs with a person injured who possibly has vehicle damage costs etc., this person may have the option to make an application to the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland has a responsibility to compensate victims of road traffic accidents for uninsured or unidentified vehicles.
There are conditions that must be met by the person who makes the application to the Bureau, such as, the person has to give prior notification by registered post to the Bureau within the statute of limitations time frame ie within two years from the date of the accident.
The injured person should notify the Gardai of the accident also and give them the relevant detail.
If a case arises out of such a circumstance, it is likely the individual driver of the car will be named in any civil proceedings and then the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland will likely also be a named party.
Injured applicants of such applications should know that if they voluntarily enter the vehicle that caused the injury, knowing there was no approved policy of insurance in place at the time of the accident, this will likely be a defence in a case, as it will be contended the injured person consented to enter the vehicle while the vehicle owner was in the vehicle and hence the injured person should not recover against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
If this occurs, even if the person succeeds against the individual driver in the case, they might not succeed against the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland, and then find it very hard to enforce the order against the individual named party to obtain any court awarded sum.
Driver Duties on Occurrence of Accident
Road Traffic Laws
A number of legal duties arise for a vehicle driver in the event of an accident where a person is injured or property is damaged.
If a road accident takes place and an injury is caused, the driver of the car must stop the vehicle and offer assistance. The driver must keep the car near the accident place and should give the Garda Siochana member on-demand information, such as, where the vehicle is being kept.
The law is set out in S.106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 and a person liable for this offence can attract a fine and/or imprisonment. The penalties for this offence can be seen here.
If the driver absconds from the accident scene knowing the injured party needs medical care, a person may be liable on indictment to a fine of up to €10,000 and/or imprisonment for seven years.
If the driver absconds from the accident scene knowing the injured party is dead, a person may be liable on indictment to a fine of up to €20,000 and/or imprisonment for ten years.
A member of the Garda Siochana has the power to arrest the driver without a warrant.
Driving Disqualification & Penalty Points
A person found liable for this offence can attract a driving disqualification if certain conditions are met and 5 penalty points on conviction.
Nervous Shock & Road Traffic Accident Claim*
Duty of Care
Firstly, when assessing a case, it is necessary to assess if a legal duty of care was owed between the parties. In a nervous shock road traffic accident claim*, a loved one of the injured party may have been a witness to the accident and suffered a recognisable psychological injury as a result, and therefore a duty of care may extend to the second victim of the accident.
It must be proved the offending driver owed the injured party loved one a duty of care from which the injury to the person was reasonably foreseeable as a result of the accident.
Nervous Shock & Negligence
Negligence may arise, for example, in circumstances whereby the offending driver crossed over the white road marking striking the vehicle coming from the opposite direction, not adhering to the rules of the road, such as, Section 52, of the Road Traffic Act 1961, amended by S.4 of the Road Traffic Act 2011 which states: A person shall not drive a vehicle in a public place without due care and attention. Drivers must take reasonable care when driving and in control of their motor vehicle and the rules of the road have to be observed.
Section 53, of the Road Traffic Act 1961, as amended by S.4 of the Road Traffic Act 2011 states: A person shall not drive a vehicle in a public place in a manner (including speed) which having regard to all the circumstances of the case (including the condition of the vehicle, the nature, condition and use of the place and the amount of traffic which then actually is or might reasonably be expected then to be in it) is or is likely to be dangerous to the public.
Frequently Asked Questions?
What is the road traffic accident claim form?
This is the application form to the Injuries Board. It is titled Form A which is a four-page application form. It is not a complicated form to complete, but it must be completed correctly. The correct factual details must be specified on the form with the correct legal title of the party responsible for the accident. Searches should be conducted to ensure one has the correct legal title of the respondent.
The application to the Injuries Board can be submitted by post or online with the applications administration fees being €90 or €45 depending on whether it has been submitted by post or online.
Making a claim after a Road Traffic Accident Guide?
A person pursuing an action should serve notice in writing to the other person within 1 month of the date of the accident of their intention to pursue this course of action as required under the Civil Liability Act 2004.
If it’s possible in the circumstances do obtain the details of the other driver in relation to a car accident or a cycling accident and take note of the registration of the car. It’s more difficult for the Gardai to investigate this if there is no registration detail or no witnesses, for example.
After Form A as mentioned above has been completed, a medical report must be submitted with your application and this can be completed by your doctor on what’s called Form B. Your doctor will likely know about Form B and have prepared a report previously using this document format. The medical report will include information regarding accident details, injuries sustained, medical history, complaints, clinical findings and possible prognosis. When you receive the medical report you should go through its content and make sure it is correct and reflective of your injuries.
Once the Injuries Board have received the application, they will furnish the s.50 confirmation letter, which is very important, as it acknowledges registration of the claim with the Injuries Board and you will receive a claim number.
This acknowledgement letter will be dated and so is important for comfort that the claim was registered within the required timeframe.
The Injuries Board will then send notice of the application to the alleged wrongdoer and he/she has 90 days to consent/reject ie advise of their position. The Injuries Board will send a copy of the injured person’s application with this notice and or any other accompanying documents. If the respondent party does not respond to the Injuries Board within the required timeframe, they will proceed to deal with the application.
The Injuries Board will after this period begin their assessment if the alleged wrongdoer does not reject this outright. In that case, court proceedings can begin.
The Injuries Board must make their assessment within 9 months of receiving the alleged wrongdoer’s consent to the assessment. Once the assessment decision is made the alleged wrongdoer is given 21 days to accept the award or there’s deemed acceptance. The applicant is given 28 days and if no response is received, is deemed to accept the award.
If all the parties agree to the Injuries Board making an assessment of the application, then the Injuries Board will proceed to make an assessment of the claim. This is a monetary sum. The Injuries Board make their decision based on what’s called the Book of Quantum, the medical reports on file, and the special damages ie out of pocket expenses of the applicant.
Once the Injuries Board make their assessment ie their decision, they write to the applicant and the party responsible for the accident and await a response from both parties if they agree to the Boards assessment sum or not. If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, then court proceedings may be an appropriate option for the resolution of the matter.
What can one do if they were hit by an uninsured driver?
And – What happens when you get hit by an uninsured driver?
Since 1961 there has been an obligation on vehicle drivers to have motor insurance in place while using a vehicle in a public place.
If then one is injured due to the negligence of another, the injured party can rest easier that at least there is insurance in place to cover the loss.
What happens though when one is injured in a road traffic accident and the other driver does not have insurance ?.
Parties involved a road accident have obligations to adhere to under S.106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.
Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland
This Bureau is an organisation that has within its role a duty to compensate victims of road traffic accidents that were caused by drivers who either had no insurance or that could not be identified.
If you have been involved in an accident and the offending driver has no insurance or is not identifiable, then you must submit a Claim Notification Form to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland to initiate the claim.
This application form requests information regarding the injured persons identification details, vehicle damage, personal injury, losses, vehicle details, accident details, garda details and offending vehicle details.
It is very important after an accident to contact the Gardai or request someone contact the Gardai to carry out an investigation if this is possible keeping in mind the injuries of the person at the time.
The injured party should as soon as is possible furnish the Claim Notification Form to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. They are entitled to prior notification of the claim.
The Bureau are entitled to material information about the claim, such as, medical reports. They must be able to investigate the accident for themselves and any information the injured party has about the accident and offending driver should be given to the Bureau, so they can investigate it properly.
The Bureau may engage an investigator for the accident and the injured party should ensure they co-operate with the investigator. Sometimes it can happen the offending driver absconds from the scene, and then theres a situation of an untraced motorist, which can be a difficult task for the investigator to get to the bottom of.
It is necessary for the injured party to establish if the offending driver had a policy of insurance in place. It is best practice to contact the Gardai as soon as is possible after an accident in addition to your attempt to get insurance details from the offending driver.
If you obtain the name and details of the offending driver at the scene, you or your solicitor should write to the other driver with a demand of notification of any insurance policy in place for their vehicle.
One must give the following information to the Bureau when notifying them of the claim:
- name, date of birth, PPS number and address of claimant.
- registration of vehicle alleged to be uninsured and where available the type and make of such vehicle.
- Name of Garda Station to which the accident has been reported.
- Reason why the claimant considers the vehicle to be uninsured.
- The steps that have been taken to establish insurance position.
- Name and address of owner and/or driver of the uninsured vehicle.
- Date and time of accident.
- Place of accident.
- Brief description of accident.
- If any other vehicle(s) involved, its registration number, and where available the type and make of such vehicle.
- Name and address of owner and/or driver, and insurance details.
Areas of Personal Injury Law
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We help people injured due to negligence* attain restitution to their pre-accident position, as much as is possible, for the pain, suffering & financial loss, by seeking damages from the negligent party on their behalf.