* If you have had the misfortune of being injured as a result of a road traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation. This applies not just to drivers but also to pedestrians, motorcyclists and passengers.
Each driver on the road is obliged to have, at a minimum, third party cover and so when are you making a claim for compensation, it is usually the driver’s insurance company that deals with the claim. Sometimes, the other party involved may not have insurance. You can still lodge a claim but it will involve notifying and suing the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.
Being involved in an accident and suffering an injury is not enough to bring a claim for compensation. The first step in successfully bringing a claim is to show that the accident happened because of the fault (negligence) of someone else. Sometimes, the issue of fault may appear straight forward- such as a drunk driver suddenly veering onto your side of the road. However, there may be other issues involved and other times where it is not so clear. It is important that you get legal advice sooner rather than later.
To prove that somebody else caused the accident, your own description of the accident, any witness statements, photographs of the area and car damage and Garda reports are all important. It is also important that you keep a note of what was said at the scene of the accident because often the other person will accept fault. That does not automatically mean you will win your case but it is helpful. An engineer may also be needed and as your solicitors, we would instruct the engineer to visit the scene and carry out inspection.
If you contributed to the accident, it does not automatically mean that you cannot bring a claim. You may be found to be partially responsible and an example is if you were going too fast or if you were not wearing your seatbelt. You can still make a claim for compensation but if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, then your compensation is reduced.
The next step is to show that you suffered an injury as a result of the accident. If you suffer an injury, you should go to the Accident and Emergency Department of the nearest hospital or attend your GP. As your solicitors, we will write to the hospital for your records and to your GP for a medical report. These should show that the injuries you now have are a direct result of the accident.
If you can prove the other party is responsible for your injuries from the accident, then you can bring a claim for compensation.
Contact us at Cantillons Solicitors at +353 (0)21 -4275673 or [email protected] if you would like more information.
* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage of any award or settlement.