Should I attempt to claim compensation for a tourist in a car accident in Ireland, or is it better to try to make a claim once I return to my own country?
You should be able to claim compensation for a tourist in a car accident in Ireland or in your home country; although there are some procedures which must be completed before you leave Ireland which will ensure that the right to claim personal injury compensation is not lost.
Your number one priority after being injured in a road traffic accident on holiday in Ireland is to seek medical attention for your injuries. If you have not yet visited a doctor or hospital for an examination you must do so as soon as possible. You will not be entitled to claim compensation for a car accident while on holiday in Ireland if your injuries have not been treated by a doctor, as there will be no medical notes to support your claim. If your injuries deteriorate once you have returned to your own country, you should visit your own doctor and your medical records can be submitted along with the medical notes from Ireland.
A road traffic accident on holiday in Ireland must be reported to the Gardai (Irish police force) as you will need to obtain an accident report number to submit with your claim. If the accident was serious, the Gardai would have attended the scene of the accident and taken statements from all parties involved. You will be able to obtain the accident report number by visiting the local Gardai station. If the Gardai did not attend the scene of the accident, you will need to visit the Gardai as soon as possible to make an accident report.
You must also record the full contact details of any person or persons believed to have contributed to the cause of the accident, and if other vehicles were involved in the accident you should record any vehicle registration numbers and their drivers´ insurance policy details.
The process of making a claim compensation for a car accident while on holiday in Ireland starts by making an application to the Injuries Board to have your claim assessed. Two forms need to be downloaded from the Injuries Board website and completed (or you can make an application directly online).
Claim Form A must be completed by you, and claim Form B will need to be completed by the doctor who attended to you after the accident. You do not have to initiate a claim for compensation for an injury to a tourist in a car accident in Ireland immediately, as you are entitled to start the claims process once you have returned home. We recommend seeking legal advice in Ireland before leaving the country, as you will receive assistance with completing the claim forms.
It is not mandatory to use the services of a personal injury solicitor to claim compensation for a tourist in a car accident in Ireland, although it is likely to be difficult for you to make the claim once you have returned to your home country without using the services of a solicitor in Ireland.
A personal injury solicitor in Ireland will prepare your claim and will monitor the progress of the case. If any problems arise, or if the Injuries Board assessment is rejected, an Irish solicitor will handle the claim on your behalf. You will then only be required to return to Ireland if litigation is required or to have a meeting with the insurance company of the negligent third party to negotiate a settlement of compensation for an injury to a tourist in a car accident in Ireland.