How to make a claim for Road Traffic Car Accident Compensation
This is a guide to what you should do if you are injured in a car crash or similar ‘RTA’ whether as a driver, passenger or pedestrian. These steps you take may assist with any subsequent injury claim your solicitor may make on your behalf.
This guide to traffic accident injury compensation is written by Roddy Tyrrell, publisher of Lawyer.ie
To arrange a consultation by phone or in person, use the enquiry form or call (01)6671476.
Get medical attention, first and foremost, where required
Needless to say the most important consideration when you are involved in car crash is to ensure that any physical injuries caused to yourself or any other parties involved in a car accident are attended to.
Your health and well-being are more important than any financial compensation and indeed, very often the adrenalin induced-shock of a car crash can result in you feeling relatively uninjured when the opposite may be the case. Therefore, do not hesitate in such circumstances to seek emergency medical help and/or see your GP as soon thereafter where there is any doubt.
Early medical records of your injuries may also be important when making a claim in due course.
Contact the Gardaí [Irish police force] as a report may be needed from them in future
Even a seemingly relatively minor car accident may cause serious repercussions if one or other parties bring a claim (legitimately or otherwise) for compensation for whiplash injury or similar.
The Gardaí have a unit which undertakes traffic accident reports and you are legitimately entitled to call them as what might appear to be even trivial may not transpire to be so.
If the Gardaí do not attend the scene, make sure you report it the nearest station in order for the circumstances to be recorded (do not rely solely on the other party to do so).
Also, in cases where the car that you believe may have caused the accident is either uninsured or untraceable, it is necessary to have the accident reported as soon as possible to the Gardaí if you are to bring a personal injury claim, as your claim will need to be taken against the Motor Insurer Bureau of Ireland.
Do not admit liability
Even if you feel you may be at fault, it is important that you do not admit liability at the traffic accident scene. Determining who is responsible for a crash, is not often straightforward and indeed it is a condition of most motor insurance policies that you refrain from doing so.
It is recommended to consult a lawyer first before making any such admission.
Many subsequent claims awards are often made on say a 60:40 or 70:30 basis where it is deemed that both parties share an element of responsibility but notwithstanding you are still entitled to some compensation.
Exchange contact information and insurance numbers
This may seem straightforward and obvious, but the other party may not always be co-operative (or honest)so ensure that you make a note of the registration number of the vehicle as well.
Nowadays, using your phone handset to photograph or video record the scene can also provide vital contributory evidence in your favour.
Talk to a solicitor
A Law Society registered solicitor will provide you with the necessary advice and representation to ensure your case progresses smoothly and you have peace of mind. An initial consultation to determine your position regarding a possible injury claim will usually be assessed free of charge.