Whiplash injuries are frequently sustained in road traffic accidents, and it has been estimated that whiplash injuries feature in over three quarters of road traffic accident claims. Whiplash compensation in Ireland is one of the most common reasons for claiming personal injury compensation.
One of the main problems when claiming whiplash compensation in Ireland is that whiplash injuries can be difficult to accurately diagnose, even with the wide range of diagnostic tests available to doctors. Many whiplash injuries do not appear on MRI scans or X-rays, and proving such injuries can often be problematic without the help of an experienced whiplash compensation solicitor.
If you are considering making a claim for whiplash compensation in Ireland, it is vital that you seek the advice of a specialist whiplash compensation solicitor to ensure that your claim has the maximum chance of succeeding.
What Are Whiplash Injuries?
Damage to the soft tissues at the base of the head and in the neck and shoulders are grouped together as whiplash injuries. The delicate ligaments and tendons in the neck and shoulders can easily be damaged by the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head and neck in a road traffic accident, and whiplash injuries are usually sustained to some degree in any rear end vehicle collision. Whiplash injuries are often referred to medically as acceleration-deceleration injuries.
Whiplash is believed to be caused when the head is thrust forward and backwards forcefully, causing an ‘S’ type deformation of the neck. Ligaments and tendons can be stretched and torn by the forces generated in a vehicle collision, even at low speeds. Although whiplash injuries are most common with road traffic accident victims, whiplash injuries can be sustained by any fall or blow to the head. Even a fall from a chair can cause whiplash.
One further problem with whiplash injuries is that the symptoms may take many days to appear, which is why it is of vital importance to seek medical attention after any vehicle collision or accident; even if you do not think that you have sustained any serious injuries. Failing to seek prompt medical attention can result in further damage being sustained due to your ignorance of the injury. This delay may also reduce how much whiplash compensation in Ireland you are entitled to claim.
Am I Eligible to Claim Whiplash Compensation in Ireland
In order to claim whiplash compensation in Ireland, your injuries must have been sustained in an accident which was not entirely your fault, and that accident must have been caused by third party negligence. Negligence is a legal term which means that there has been a failure in a duty of care. In the case of road traffic accidents, this means a failure in a duty of care to you as a road user. Negligence can be failing to look before pulling out from a junction, speeding, using a mobile phone while driving or driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you are unsure whether you can claim whiplash compensation in Ireland, you should seek advice from a specialist whiplash injury compensation solicitor. After hearing your account of the accident which caused your injuries, you will be advised whether you are eligible to claim compensation for whiplash injuries in Ireland and will be told what you must do next in order to protect your rights to make a legal claim for whiplash injury compensation in Ireland.
Obtaining Proof of Injury in Claims for Whiplash Compensation in Ireland
Since medical diagnostic tests cannot easily determine the presence of whiplash injuries, or their severity, proving this when claiming whiplash compensation Ireland can be difficult. A whiplash compensation solicitor will use your medical records as proof of injury, but medical record by themselves are rarely sufficient to ensure that a whiplash compensation claim will be successful.
An experienced whiplash compensation solicitor will usually arrange for you to be examined by whiplash injury medical specialists, who will provide evidence of your injuries to help substantiate your claim. The defence may also request an independent medical examination to confirm the seriousness of your injuries, or may even attempt to use this assessment to discredit your claim.
A whiplash compensation solicitor will be aware of the best specialists to use, and will advise you about conduct in a defence’s medical examination. With the help provided by a whiplash compensation solicitor, obtaining proof of whiplash injuries is easier, which will let you concentrate on recovering from your injuries.
Claiming Whiplash Compensation in Ireland Against an Uninsured Driver
All vehicle drivers are required by Irish law to purchase motor insurance and to have a driver’s licence for the vehicle they are in charge of. When drivers are in charge of a vehicle which is not covered under their licence, or when a provisional license holder is driving unaccompanied and causes an accident, their insurance policies will not pay out. If no insurance has been purchased, or an accident involves a hit and run driver, there will be no insurance policy to pay out any whiplash injury compensation. Claiming whiplash compensation in Ireland is still possible under these scenarios, but rather than the claim being made against a negligent driver, it is lodged with the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
The MIBI is a body which was created to allow accident victims to claim compensation for injuries when no driver can be located or when there is no insurance policy to make a claim against. The MIBI was created in 1955 to ensure that vehicle accidents involving untraceable, uninsured or unidentified drivers would not result in accident victims being unable to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Claiming whiplash compensation in Ireland with the MIBI is a straightforward process, but a specialist whiplash injury compensation solicitor should still be used. Claims for whiplash compensation in Ireland involving the MIBI have potential to be complicated, and – as the MIBI is funded by insurance companies – can be under-settled without the experience of a whiplash injury compensation solicitor.
Contributory Negligence and Whiplash Compensation in Ireland
Vehicle accidents often involve more than one negligent driver, or may even involve negligence of the local authority for failure to maintain a safe road surface. Whenever there is more than one third party at fault for an accident, a separate claim for compensation must be made against each negligent third party. In such cases, the contributory negligence of each third party will see each be liable for a proportion of any claim for whiplash compensation in Ireland.
Contributory negligence in a claim for whiplash compensation in Ireland can also apply to the claimant. If the claimant is deemed to have been partially responsible for an accident, it will still be possible to claim whiplash compensation in Ireland, although any compensation payment would be reduced to take the contributory negligence of the claimant into account.
Contributory negligence of claimants also applies if they have contributed to the severity of their injuries. Failing to wear a seatbelt could increase the severity of a car crash injury and failing to seek immediate medical treatment could see injuries deteriorate into a worse condition than was caused by the accident. The defence would seek to reduce any compensation payment to take such personal negligence into account.
Offers of Early Settlement for a Claim for Whiplash Compensation in Ireland
Whiplash compensation in Ireland may be offered to an accident victim by a negligent driver’s insurance company, even before a claim for whiplash compensation has been initiated. Offers of early settlement are not unusual with road traffic accidents, as insurance companies are often informed of a potential claim quickly.
Since whiplash compensation in Ireland can involve considerable compensation amounts, insurers often decide to offer an early settlement in an attempt to reduce their liabilities. Any compensation settlement which is accepted before legal action is taken will save the insurance company significant costs. To entice accident victims to take an early settlement, insurance companies may apply pressure to the victim or may offer a quick payment in exchange for accepting a lower offer of whiplash compensation.
Such early offers of whiplash compensation in Ireland are rarely adequate, and can often be grossly insufficient as they will not factor in the true extent of whiplash injuries. It is important to seek legal advice for an independent assessment of the full entitlement to whiplash compensation in Ireland before any offer of compensation is accepted from a third party insurance company.
Free Assessment of Claims for Whiplash Compensation in Ireland
If you have been involved in an accident and believe you could be entitled to claim whiplash compensation in Ireland, we invite you to call our free whiplash compensation helpline for free legal advice. Our helpline is manned by experienced whiplash compensation solicitors, who will provide you with a free assessment of your eligibility to make a claim for whiplash compensation, as well as give you advice on whether they think it is worth your while to make a claim. If you are unlikely to benefit from taking legal action, we will tell you so.
All enquires to our whiplash compensation helpline are dealt with in the strictest confidence, and you are under no obligation to use the services of our solicitors nor will you be pressured into making a claim for whiplash compensation in Ireland.
Our helpline offers an excellent opportunity to have all of your legal questions answered, and will allow you to find out what you must do next in order to protect your right to claim whiplash compensation in Ireland.
Call our Freephone helpline today, or compete our call back form below and one of our experienced Irish whiplash compensation solicitors will be in touch with you when it is convenient for you to speak.