PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Car Accident Claims*

If you have been injured as a result of the actions of someone else, you will have suffered what is termed a Tort, which is a civil wrong, which means you will have a right to seek a legal remedy for this wrong.

Tort law is there to protect people from harm and injury and attach legal responsibility to anyone who causes the harm.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Evidently in road traffic accidents, if there is a head on collision, or not, physical injuries occur due to the collision.

Sometimes though another type of injury ie non-physical can occur, which causes pain and suffering to a person whose life has been disturbed by the accident.

People are different, and people react in different ways, but trauma is trauma, and head on collisions, for example, can be particularly traumatic and many times the driver has family members in the car which elevates the stress hormones when an accident occurs.

Many times people in an accident are of the view a psychological injury is less significant than a physical injury. It is not and there may be a legal remedy for a person who has a psychological but no physical injury as a consequence of a car accident.

There are, however, conditions which should be met before one embarks on a car accident claim* legal action for the driver and psychologically injured person, for example:

  • The person must sustain an injury as a consequence of the accident that is either physical in nature or a recognisable psychiatric illness diagnosed by a Psychiatrist;
  • The psychological injury* must have been caused by events of the specific accident;
  • The driver who caused the accident was negligent, and rules of the road were not adhered to, for example;
  • One driver of a motor vehicle will owe another driver a duty of care while driving;
  • It must have been reasonably foreseeable that the breach of duty ie the negligent driving would have caused the injury to the person.  

Procedure for Car Accident Claims*

The procedure for making personal injury* claims is straightforward. In Ireland, a personal injury claim* is described as having sustained an illness or an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence. The procedure for making a claim can be completed in steps, such as:

  • Speak with a solicitor and provide them with the following information; the details of your accident, the description and personal details of the negligent party, details of your previous illnesses and injuries, if any, description and proof of the injuries you sustained, a description of any expenses that you may have incurred following the accident, and any other details that may be relevant to your accident;
  • Work with your solicitor to submit your Injuries Board Form A and wait for the Personal Injuries Assessment Board to acknowledge receipt of the form;
  • Obtain a medical report Form A from your doctor and submit same with Form A to the Injuries Board;
  • The Injuries Board will then assess your claim after the administration fee is paid;
  • The Injuries Board will make whats termed an Assessment of your claim, if the respondent consents to the Board making an assessment.
  • If the matter is not dealt with by the Injuries Board, you will have the option of proceeding to court to seek a judgement. 

Car Accident Claims* Time Limits

If you need to submit a personal injury claim, you should do it as soon as possible. The Civil Liabilities and Courts Act 2004 requires that you submit your claim within two years from the time of the accident. You must notify the negligent party of your intention to claim and call upon them to admit liability within 1 month of the date of the accident.

After the Personal Injuries Assessment Board makes their assessment, the applicant can reject or accept their award within 28 days. After 28 days, they are assumed to have rejected it.

Disclaimer

Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line 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.

In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. 

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