I was injured in a car accident caused by an oil spill on the road, but since there is no insurance policy to pay out compensation does this mean I cannot make a claim for whiplash?
In order to claim compensation for whiplash there must be a third party against which the claim can be made, although in the case of whiplash from a car accident caused by an oil spill, it is possible to recover personal injury compensation even if the third party responsible for spilling the oil cannot be located.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau Ireland (MIBI) was formed in 1955 to protect innocent victims of car accidents. When a driver is untraceable or unidentifiable, the MIBI effectively becomes the respondent against which the claim is made. A small proportion of premiums from every motor insurance policy that is sold in Ireland is paid to the MIBI fund, and compensation is paid out of this fund when there is no insurance policy against which a claim for a car accident can be made.
As with a claim for a road traffic accident in Ireland against a negligent driver, a number of procedures must be completed after the accident to ensure the right to claim compensation is not lost. You should report your accident to the Gardai and you must explain how you lost control of a car due to oil on the road and provide details of the exact location of the accident.
The Gardai may not attend the scene of the accident if no other drivers were involved, but you will be given an accident report number when you report your accident. Your accident report number will need to be submitted with your claim for a car accident caused by oil on the road. It is also essential that any injuries sustained in the accident are treated by a doctor. Medical records must also be supplied with a claim for a car accident caused by oil on the road as proof of injury.
Although the MIBI should pay compensation to accident victims that lost control of a car due to oil on the road, the case will be defended as with any other claim for a road traffic accident. Simply completing a claim notification form and sending it to the MIBI with the appropriate documentation is no guarantee that compensation will be awarded.
If the MIBI decides that you are entitled to compensation, the Claims Management Services Provider responsible for dealing with your case will attempt to pay as little compensation as possible. Any compensation for a car accident caused by an oil spill that is awarded may not cover all aspects of your injury, so it is usually recommended that you also submit an application to the Injuries Board to have your case assessed (once you have received an acknowledgement from the MIBI confirming receipt of your claim notification form).
Because claims are likely to be defended and compensation amounts kept as low as possible, it is strongly recommended that you enlist the services of a personal injury solicitor to assist with your claim for a car accident caused by a spillage of oil on the road. Although you can involve a solicitor at any point, it is advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A solicitor will assist with the completion of the claims forms and will take the appropriate actions to ensure your case stands the best possible probability of being successful.