How to Claim Accident Compensation
If you have suffered a personal injury which was not entirely your fault, you could be entitled to claim accident compensation to cover any expenses incurred as a result of your injury and receive recompense for your pain and suffering.
If you want to know how to claim accident compensation in Ireland, and how you can maximise your chances of a successful claim, please read our guide on how to claim accident compensation below. Should you have any questions relating to the procedures mentioned or how to claim accident compensation in Ireland, please take advantage of our free telephone service to discuss your accident compensation claim directly with a solicitor.
Are You Eligible to Claim Accident Compensation?
In order to make a claim for accident compensation in Ireland, there are certain criteria which must first be met. First and foremost, you can only claim personal injury accident compensation if you have been involved in an accident and you have suffered a personal injury as a result. Accident compensation will not be awarded for near misses. Secondly, any personal injury that has been sustained must have been primarily caused by a third party. Thirdly, there must have been a failure in a duty of care to you. If all of these three criteria are satisfied, and you are able to prove that this was the case, you should be able to claim accident compensation for the injuries you have sustained; together with any expenses which have resulted from the accident and your injuries.
Procedures to Follow After You Have Been Injured in an Accident
It can be hard to remember to follow the correct procedures immediately after an accident; however failure to follow procedures correctly may affect the accident compensation that you are entitled to receive. When you are in pain, it can be difficult to remember to record details of the accident correctly and to make a note of witness contact details.
In the case of road traffic accidents you should make a note of the negligent driver(s) insurance details, vehicle registration number and contact details, as well as personally recording the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident. Eye witness accounts can be invaluable when trying to prove that a third party has been negligent. However your first priority must be that of your health. Obtaining these details should not place your health in jeopardy.
Get Your Injuries Checked at Hospital or by a Doctor
You must ensure that your injuries are treated promptly, either at the local accident and emergency department of a hospital or by your GP. Your health must be your main priority after an accident and you must ensure that a doctor is consulted, even if you think that you have only sustained minor injuries. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, especially with the rush of adrenaline which follows an accident. Also, injuries such as whiplash may take some time before symptoms appear and any delay in seeking medical attention could cause your injuries to deteriorate. When you visit a hospital or a doctor, your injuries will be documented in your medical record and these will be used by an accident compensation solicitor to substantiate your accident compensation claim.
Notify the Correct Authorities About an Accident
Road traffic accidents are the most common reason for claiming accident compensation; however before you even start the legal process there are steps that you must take following any road traffic accident. You should notify the Gardai of a road traffic accident and should call an ambulance if anyone involved in the accident has sustained a serious injury. Although the Gardai will attend serious road traffic accidents, they often expect the matter to be resolved between the parties concerned in the event of minor injuries. Should the latter be the case, you must make a report to the Gardai after your injuries have been attended to, and should give your side of the story and have your injuries documented. This report will be used by an accident compensation solicitor as proof that the accident took place.
Record the Details of Your Accident in the Relevant Accident Book
If you have been injured in a public building, at work, or in a supermarket or shop, you will need to make a note of the accident and how it occurred in the relevant ‘Accident Book’. You should also detail any injuries which you have suffered. Although this can be completed at a later date if your injuries prevent you from doing so immediately, it should always be done at the first possible opportunity. If you are injured at work, and you have to take more than 4 days off work, your employer should also notify the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) . You should check that your employer has done this, and if not, you should notify the HSA personally.
After your injuries have been treated and the authorities have been notified, you should also consult an accident compensation solicitor for advice on how to proceed with a claim for accident compensation.
Accident Compensation Claims and the Injuries Board Ireland
The majority of accident compensation claims in Ireland will go through the Injuries Board Ireland. The main function of the Injuries Board Ireland is to assess the value of accident compensation claims. Although the Injuries Board Ireland will assess a claim for compensation, they may not take every factor into consideration when assessing the value of an accident compensation claim. Without the help of an experienced solicitor to tell you how to claim accident compensation, you may find that you will not receive your full entitlement to accident compensation.
One of the roles of the Injuries Board Ireland is to speed up the claims process and to allow accident victims to make a claim for compensation without the help of a solicitor. In practice, 90 per cent of accident victims still choose to use a solicitor to prepare their claim. The reason for this is that in order to get the maximum entitlement to compensation, it is necessary to prepare the strongest possible case. An experienced accident compensation solicitor is in the best position to do this.
How to Claim Accident Compensation and Maximise the Chances of Success
Even if you are aware of all aspects of the accident compensation claims process, it is still wise to seek professional legal advice before making a decision about whether to make a claim for accident compensation. You should always contact a personal injury solicitor who specialises in the area of compensation claims law which applies to the accident and the injuries you have sustained.
The experience of a personal injury accident compensation solicitor will ensure that you not only find out if you are eligible to make a claim for accident compensation, but claim your full entitlement to accident compensation. Although no claims for accident compensation in Ireland are 100 per cent guaranteed successful, accident compensation claims have a greater chance of success when professional legal representation is used.
How to Claim Accident Compensation and Minimise Legal Costs
Making a claim for accident compensation is unfortunately not free of charge, and will usually involve incurring legal expenses. Many accident victims are put off making a claim for accident compensation for this reason, as they are either unwilling to pay out money to try to get compensation or are financially unable to do so. Fortunately it is possible to take steps to minimise any financial cost when making a claim for personal injury accident compensation.
How to Claim Accident Compensation and Avoid Third Party Legal Costs
Irish compensation claims law stipulates that the losing party in an accident compensation claim will be liable for the legal costs of the winner. Third party defence costs can be considerable; however you do not necessarily have to pay them personally. It is always strongly advisable to take out an ‘After the Event’ insurance policy to cover third party defence costs to ensure that you will not face a large legal bill should your accident compensation claim not succeed. Depending on the comprehensiveness of your vehicle or home contents insurance policy, your exposure to third party defence costs may already be covered. This is best checked by your chosen accident compensation solicitor before you proceed with a claim for accident compensation in Ireland.
Get Free Impartial Legal Advice About How to Claim Accident Compensation in Ireland
We believe that an accident victim should be able to get the best possible advice on how to claim accident compensation in Ireland totally free of charge. For this reason we set up a free telephone advice service to help accident victims find out how to claim accident compensation in Ireland.
Calls to our accident compensation helpline are free of charge, and the advice we provide is free, impartial, accurate and up to date. You will not be put under pressure to make a claim, nor will you be under any obligation to use our solicitors should you decide to proceed with legal action.
Our aim is to answer all of your questions, tell you what you must do next, and ensure you are fully aware of how to claim accident compensation in Ireland.
To speak to an experienced personal accident compensation solicitor, call our Freephone Accident Compensation Helpline today or complete our call back request form and one of our team of solicitors will call you back at the requested time.
If you have any legal questions arising from an injury then please call us now on our 24-Hour helpline on 1800-989 900
This is a free-to-call line to book a call with a Coleman Legal solicitor. There are no charges or obligations for using this service and you will NOT be pressured into making a claim or using our services. We always respect your privacy and comply with GDPR regulations.
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