Traffic accident claims for compensation are the most common type of personal injury compensation claim processed by the Injuries Board of Ireland. According to the latest figures released by the Road Safety Authority and Injuries Board Ireland respectively (2008), there were over ten thousand casualties from road traffic accidents and over €217 million awarded in traffic accident claims for compensation.
If you have had the misfortune to be involved in a road traffic accident for which you were not wholly to blame and were injured, you will be entitled to make a traffic accident claim for compensation.
The heading of “Traffic Accidents” covers a whole range of scenarios. Whereas you may consider that a traffic accident claim for compensation would relate to a crash between two motor vehicles, traffic accident statistics also include pedal cyclists and pedestrians, and categorises the accidents into three groups – fatalities, serious accidents and minor accidents. The definition of a “serious injury” is an injury for which the victim is admitted as an “in-patient” at a hospital, or where they suffer any of the following injuries, if they are detained in hospital or not:
- Internal Injuries
- Severe cuts and lacerations
- Severe general shock requiring medical treatment
Although the fatalities and serious traffic accident claims attract the majority of media attention, it is the vast number of “minor” claims thataffect most people and lead to traffic accident claims.
We offer a free traffic accident advice line on where you can speak to one of our experienced claim solicitors to discuss your potential case. This free advice service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If now is not a convenient time simply fill in our contact form and we will call you back.
Who Can Make a Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?
Traffic accident claims for compensation can be made by anybody who has suffered a personal injury in a road traffic accident where another road user has in some way been at fault. It does not matter whether you are a driver or a passenger in a car, lorry, bus or tram, a pedal cyclist or a pedestrian, even when you may have contributed to the accident in some way, you are entitled to make a traffic accident claim.
How do I Make a Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?
All traffic accident claims involving personal injury are handled by the Injuries Board of Ireland. Even though many traffic accident claims are resolved prior to the Injuries Board making their assessment, it does no harm to file a claim once your health has been taken care of. We strongly advise that you engage the services of a specialist personal injury claims solicitor to assist you with your claim, as they will have a far better understanding of the procedures involved and how the system works.
We offer a free traffic accident advice line on where you can speak to one of our experienced claim solicitors to discuss your potential case. This free advice service operates 7-days a week from 8am to 10pm. If now is not a convenient time simply fill in our contact form and we will call you back.
How Long do I Have to Make a Traffic Accident Compensation Claim?
Injured parties in road traffic accidents have two years from the date of the accident in which to make traffic accident claims. This is a very important point for anybody who has been in an accident and believed that they escaped from it unscathed, only to find out twelve or eighteen months later that they sustained a whiplash injury which is now affecting their health.
The Injuries Board Ireland and the courts do not look favourably on the late submission of traffic accident claims, when the injured party did not seek medical attention immediately after the accident. So. although you may initially be confident that you have sustained no injury from your road traffic accident, it is essential that you visit the accident and emergency department of your local hospital or make an appointment with your local doctor for a precautionary check-up.
What is a Traffic Accident Compensation Claim Worth?
The value of traffic accident claims varies enormously. Guidelines for the amount for “General Damages” – sums to compensate for physical trauma in a road traffic accident – are published in the “Book of Quantum”. However, “Special Damages”, covering areas such as out-of-pocket expenses, medical costs and loss of earnings are also applicable to a traffic accident claim. These should include a provision for the future if the injuries sustained require long-term health care or prevent the accident victim from achieving full earning potential or enjoying a full quality of life.
What Else Should I Know About Traffic Accident Compensation Claims?
According to the statistics issued by the Road Safety Authority, although more men die as the result of road traffic accidents, female car passengers are almost twice as likely to be injured as male car passengers. The most common injuries sustained by a female are whiplash related due to their naturally weaker neck muscles. Traffic accident claims for compensation should account for the longer healing process for the same reason.
Other statistics from the RSA report highlighted that:-
- 40% of all traffic accident fatalities were under 14 years old or 65 years plus.
- Peak times for traffic accidents are early morning rush hour and late afternoon.
- The majority of traffic accidents happen on dry, urban roads in daylight
- In 90% of all road traffic accidents, driver error was the major contributory factor
Before you make a Traffic Accident Compensation Claim
Before you make a traffic accident claim, the most important thing to do is ensure that you have a medical examination. No amount of compensation can ever make up for a physical disability that could have been prevented by timely medical intervention. Even if you feel that there is nothing wrong with you, a precautionary examination is highly recommended. Furthermore, your attendance at a hospital or doctor’s surgery will be recorded in your medical records and used to support any later traffic accident claim for compensation.
Once you have taken care of your health (and that of any passengers involved in the road traffic accident), speak with a solicitor. As mentioned above, 90% of people making traffic accident claims use a solicitor to guide them through the Injury Board procedures and advise them if an assessment is fair and adequate in respect of the physical and psychological trauma they will have experienced.
If you would like to know more about how the services of a specialised personal injury solicitor can be of benefit to you, please do not hesitate to call our traffic accident advice line on where you can speak to one of our experienced claim solicitors to discuss your potential case. This free advice service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If now is not a convenient time simply fill in our contact form and we will call you back.