Car Accident Compensation Claim
If you have sustained an injury in a road traffic accident, you are entitled to claim car accident compensation if the accident was caused by another driver. A problem that may occur when it comes to making a car accident compensation claim is that insurance companies advise their clients never to admit liability. This article gives you some helpful advice about successfully claiming car accident compensation, but is no substitute for speaking directly with an experienced personal injury claims solicitor.
Procedures after a Car Accident
Immediately after you have been involved in a car accident, your first priority should be that of your health and the well-being of any passengers you have travelling with you. If the car accident is a serious one, the Gardai and an ambulance should be summoned. The Gardai will take statements from witnesses, record the scene of the accident and make a report in their “Road Traffic Accident Report Book”. Should an ambulance not be required, you should exchange insurance details with the negligent driver and then get yourself and any injured passengers to a hospital as quickly as possible.
Once your injuries have been treated, you should obtain a copy of the entry in the Gardai´s “Road Traffic Accident Report Book”, as this, together with your medical notes, will be used to support your car accident compensation claim. If the Gardai elected not to attend the scene, you should make your own notes about what occurred in the car accident and present them to your local Garda station for entry in the report book – and make sure you take a copy of the entry away with you.
Uninsured or Hit and Run Drivers
Unfortunately, not all drivers are as honest as they should be, and some will drive without vehicle insurance or cause an accident and drive away. There may also be times when the driver of another vehicle is aggressive after a car accident and does not want to exchange details with you. In these circumstances, modern roadside technology will often record the event which can be used as evidence to identify the liable party in a car accident compensation claim. Where the driver cannot be traced, or is uninsured, compensation can be sought from the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
Making a Car Accident Compensation Claim
Applications for car accident compensation are initially made to the Injuries Board Ireland. Claims for children who have been injured in the car accident cannot be made online, and have to be filed through a parent or guardian acting as their “next friend”. Any paperwork or online application for car accident compensation has to be accompanied by the relevant medical notes and Gardai report (wherever possible) and any receipts for special damages you are claiming. Claiming the right amount of special damages can often make the difference between receiving a fair and adequate settlement or potentially being under-compensated, so it is always better to seek professional legal advice on that element of a car accident compensation claim.
The Injuries Board Ireland will contact the negligent driver or their insurance company, seek consent from them to proceed with an assessment of your car accident compensation claim, and organise an independent medical examination. Based on the results of your examination, the Injuries Board Ireland will issue their assessment and, should you and the negligent party´s insurance company agree on the amount, an “Order to Pay” will be issued and your compensation settlement paid.
What Can Go Wrong With a Car Accident Compensation Claim?
In a word – “lots”. Should the negligent party (through their insurance company) fail to acknowledge that they were liable for your injuries, or claim that you contributed to them by your own lack of care, the Injuries Board Ireland will decline to assess your claim for car accident compensation and issue you with an authority to pursue your case through the courts. Even if there is an admission of responsibility, you might still find that litigation is necessary should the insurance company challenge the Injuries Board Ireland´s assessment of car accident compensation – something you may even need to do yourself if the assessment is inadequate for your financial needs.
It has also become quite common for insurance companies to approach injured victims of car accidents with an offer of early settlement for their car accident claim. These offers are usually below what the Injuries Board Ireland would assess but is made with the incentive that you can have your money now, rather than wait for it. This “third party capture”, as it is known, is always to the insurance company´s benefit. If you have engaged a personal injury claims solicitor from the very beginning of your car accident compensation claim, they will be able to negotiate on your behalf to agree a more appropriate settlement.
Free Car Accident Claim Advice
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident for which you were not wholly to blame, and would like to find out more about making a claim for car accident compensation, you are invited to call our free car accident claims advice service on 1-800 989 988. Your call will be answered directly by an experienced personal injury claims solicitor with whom you can discuss your car accident claim for compensation, ask any legal questions that you believe are relevant to your claim, and receive some helpful and practical advice.
You are under no obligation to proceed with a claim once you have called our free car accident claim advice service, and each call received is completely confidential. If you would prefer that we call you, kindly complete your contact details in one of our call-back boxes – indicating when is a suitable time to speak with us – and one of our experienced personal injury claims solicitors will get back in touch when it is more convenient.