Car Accidents and Other Road Injuries*
A car accident or crashes, also called RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents) can be devastating. According to the World Health Organization, road accidents cause the deaths of 1.2 million people worldwide every year, and injure about forty times that number. If you are ever injured in a road accident, it is important to find out whether you can claim compensation for your injuries. This information can save you critical time and money following an accident.
Car Accident Compensation
The following information may be helpful to you in determining whether you are eligible for compensation:
- All drivers in Ireland are legally obligated to carry third party insurance. This means that if a driver causes injury to another party—even the driver’s own passengers—the driver’s insurance may be responsible for paying for those injuries.
- Even if you are injured by a driver who does not carry third party insurance (or who cannot be located after the accident), you may be able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
- Some injuries that result from road accidents do not appear immediately, but only after several hours or days. Therefore, it is always crucial to telephone the Gardai and file a report immediately following an accident, whether or not you think you have been injured.
- Accident victims only have a certain amount of time to file a compensation claim, so it is important to file as quickly as possible, and where necessary, to consult a solicitor.
After a Car Accident
If you have a case for a claim after an accident, these tips can help you obtain the best possible outcome. Even if you have done something differently, it is still often worth finding out if you can make a claim.
Following a car accident, DO:
- Collect the other driver’s information, such as name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information, which can be found on the disc on a vehicle’s windshield.
- Offer your information to the other driver.
- Telephone the Gardai immediately. If they will not attend the scene of the accident, report to the nearest Garda Station and request that they take the details of the accident.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think you have been injured.
Insurance information is crucial in filing your claim. A Garda report may also be important if the other party turns out to be uninsured or denies the accident occurred. And finally, records from medical care, whenever you seek it, can help to establish injuries if necessary during the claim process.
Following a car accident, DO NOT:
- Admit liability. This includes making statements like “I didn’t see the light/sign/etc.” or “This is all my fault.” Accident victims often make such statements by reflex or out of shock, but this can harm their chances of collecting compensation they are actually entitled to.
- Leave the scene of the accident until you have exchanged information with the other driver and/or the Gardai have told you that you may leave.
- Assume that you cannot claim compensation because the other driver does not carry insurance, or because you do not think you have been injured.
Accident victims are too often denied compensation because they did not take adequate steps following the accident. Find out if you can make a personal injury claim following a car accident or car crash.