Traffic accident injuries can happen to all road users including bus passengers, cyclists and pedestrians, and can occur anytime, perhaps during the rush hour in a busy urban area or on a Sunday afternoon along a picturesque country lane.
In 2008, there were 28,464 traffic accidents reported to An Garda Síochána, of which more than 10,000 resulted in traffic accident injuries.
Where traffic accident injuries are due to the negligence or lack of care by another party, the injured victims are entitled to sue for compensation. Traffic accident injuries are the most common reason for personal injury compensation claims according to statistics released by the Injuries Board Ireland. In 2009, they assessed a total award value in excess of two hundred million euros, with 72% of all claims handled being in respect of traffic accident injuries.
If You Are Involved in a Traffic Accident
If you are involved in a road traffic accident your first priority should be for your health and for that of any other injured parties.
It is a well-chronicled fact that female car passengers are twice as likely to sustain serious traffic accident injuries as male drivers after a road traffic accident due to their weaker musculoskeletal physique. If you are travelling with a female passenger, it is important that you give important consideration to their condition.
Traffic accident injuries such as whiplash can have serious long term health consequences and it is vital that anybody suffering such an injury receives urgent medical attention.
In many road traffic accidents, an ambulance and the Gardai will be summoned and medical treatment for traffic accident injuries can be administered on site – with subsequent transportation to hospital when necessary. If it is felt that an ambulance is not required, you should still visit the accident and emergency department of the local hospital or make an urgent appointment to see your family doctor for a precautionary examination as many head and spinal injuries can take several days to manifest.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident and would like to know more about claiming compensation you can call our free advice line on 1-800 989 999. There is no obligation when you use this service. Our helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and we also operate a call-back service if you wish to leave your contact details in the form below.
Procedures after a Road Traffic Accident
The procedures to follow after a road traffic accident will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of the traffic accident injuries. If the Gardai have attended the scene, they will have compiled a report for their “Road Traffic Accident Report Book” and taken statements from witnesses as well as photographing the scene of the accident for further investigation.
If they have decided your accident not serious enough to attend, it is best that you take pictures of the accident scene with a mobile phone, and collect your own witness statements as well as the insurance details of the negligent driver.
If you are involved in a hit and run, the Gardai will have to be informed in order that they can trace the guilty driver using modern camera technology. Indeed, it is in your best interests to report any road traffic accident to the Gardai – advising them of the circumstances of the accident and all traffic accident injuries that were sustained.
Thereafter, and only once you are assured that there is no risk to your long term health, you should contact a specialised personal injury claims solicitor regarding claiming traffic accident injuries compensation.
Claiming Compensation for Traffic Accident Injuries
The process for claiming compensation for traffic accident injuries can be fairly complex. Although the Injuries Board Ireland application form consists of just four pages, it is important that it is completed fully with details of the accident in which you were involved and the traffic accident injuries that you sustained.
The application has to be supported by your medical records and a copy of the relevant entry in the “Road Traffic Accident Report Book” and accompanied by receipts for any out of pocket expenses you have incurred in receiving medical treatment, plus a statement from your employer supporting any claim for loss of earnings.
Before your compensation claim for traffic accident injuries can be processed, the paperwork is sent to the negligent driver´s insurance company for their consent for your claim to be assessed, and once this is received you will be required to attend an independent medical examination.
Depending on the result of this examination, the Injuries Board Ireland will assess your traffic accident injuries based on the “Book of Quantum” – a publication which lists injuries and allocates a range of compensation awards depending on the severity of the traffic accident injuries and the length of time that you may take to make a full recovery.
Compensation Awards for Traffic Accident Injuries
The amount of compensation you will be awarded for your traffic accident injuries is advised to you and the negligent driver´s insurance company for you both to accept. If both parties agree on the assessment, then an order to pay is issued by the Injuries Board Ireland and compensation is paid to you. However, before the assessment has been made, an approach may be made to you by the insurance company with an offer of early settlement. This is often below what they believe the Injuries Board Ireland will assess for your traffic accident injuries, but has the advantage that you do not have to wait for it.
We understand that a short term injection of finance may be welcome at a time when you are unable to work, but it is always better to call on the services of a specialised personal injury claims solicitor to help determine whether this offer is a fair and adequate amount. Too often in the past, victims of traffic accident injuries have found themselves undercompensated through this act of “third party capture”, and a solicitor will have up to date information about the current levels of compensation awards.
Solicitors and Compensation for Traffic Accident Injuries
Over 90% of people who submit a claim for traffic accident injuries compensation to the Injuries Board Ireland do so with the assistance of a specialised personal injury claims solicitor. A solicitor not only assists with the completion of the application form, but can provide helpful advice if the negligent driver denies liability for your traffic accident injuries, if his insurance company claims that you contributed to your injuries through your own negligence, or if they feel that the assessment by the Injuries Board Ireland is too high.
A solicitor will also intervene in negotiations with the insurance company to ensure you do not fall prey to third party capture.
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident which was not your fault, and would like to know more about claiming compensation for traffic accident injuries, you are invited to call our free advice line on 1-800 989 999.
Our solicitors will be able to advise whether you are entitled to claim compensation for traffic accident injuries, how long the process will take, and the approximate value of the award you should expect to receive. Our helpline is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and we have a call-back service if you wish to leave your contact details in the form on the left (above).