Road traffic accidents are the most common basis of personal injury claims presented to the Injuries Board. If you are involved in a motor accident, and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to an award of compensation.
You may receive compensation for damage to your car and for any personal injuries you sustained or other expenses that occurred (e.g. loss of earnings from inability to work.). If you have been in an accident, we recommend contacting us as soon as possible, so we can advise on the best procedures to ensure your claim is successful. Below are some points to bear in mind at the time of and after the accident.
At the time of the accident:
- Take details of the other driver: where possible, exchange names, addresses and insurance details with the other driver involved. We also recommend taking the registration details of the other vehicle so as to be able to confirm the other driver’s insurance. Understandably, you or the other driver may feel shocked or disorientated after the accident, but you should exchange details and information before leaving the scene. If there are serious injuries or if it is a hit-and-run, you may not be able to take details from the other driver; your solicitor can request information from the Gardaí on your behalf at a later time.
- Do not admit liability: not accepting responsibility and liability may be a condition of your motor insurance policy, so it is best not to discuss fault or liability after the accident, especially as you may be in shock yourself. Liability will be determined later on the facts of the case.
- Contact the Gardaí: You must report the road traffic accident to the Gardaí as soon as possible; they will usually prepare a report about the accident, which will be available later to assist in your claim. If there are significant injuries, the Gardai will attend at the scene; you should remain at the scene of the accident until they arrive. Take note of the names and details of these Gardaí. If there are minor injuries, the Gardaí may not attend the scene, but you must contact the Gardaí and report the accident to them as soon as possible.
- Take note of other people present: If there are any medical professionals or witnesses present, it is worthwhile to ask for their contact details; this may be helpful when later making a claim.
- Take photos and videos: If you have a mobile phone or camera, we recommend taking pictures and videos of the scene from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened. Take note of the damage on the vehicles, the time of day, the weather and road conditions.
After the accident:
- If injured, visit your doctor: Even if your injuries are minor, it is crucial to visit a doctor. Accident claims are assessed and decided on the severity of injuries you may have sustained. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) will require a doctor’s report, so you should visit your doctor as soon as possible, as the medical report will be used as evidence to support your claim.
- Keep receipts and a note of expenses: Keep receipts for expenses you incur, and note the cost of medication and medical treatment. You may be able to claim these additional expenses or ‘damages’ as part of your claim. Also, it is helpful to keep a record of important dates such as doctor or hospital attendances.
- Make an appointment with us: All road traffic accident claims are different, and they each come with their own set of facts. We recommend discussing your particular circumstances with us as soon as possible, so we can best advise you on whether and how to make a claim. Once we have discussed the claim with you, we can take instructions and lodge a claim with the Injuries Board on your behalf. If necessary, we will later institute Court proceedings and work to achieve the highest possible compensation for you either through negotiation, settlement, PIAB Assessment, mediation or an award from the Court. We will provide you with details of legal costs involved as soon as practicable by way of the Notice required by Section 150 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. We will keep you updated as your case progresses so that you remain fully involved. We will also obtain any necessary Expert Reports, with your agreement, so as to fully quantify and present your case. We will instruct Barristers to act on your behalf, if necessary.
Our objective at all times is to secure the best possible outcome for you in all circumstances. At Staunton Caulfield & Co., Solicitors, we have vast experience in handling all types of claims arising out of Road Traffic Accidents, so contact us at 094 96 20008 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a professional, confidential and efficient service.
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