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 secondary victim of the accident.

It must be proved the offending driver owed the injured parties 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 Injures 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 whats 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 possibly 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 wrongdoers consent to 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 whats 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.


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.

Personal Injuries * 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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