Every day, hundreds of thousands of cars are driven along Irish roads on commutes, quick trips and long distance journeys. With so much to-ing and fro-ing, it’s no wonder there are tens of thousands of collisions every year that cause injury, material damage and in some cases, death. 

Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can have long lasting effects on everyone involved. Injuries sustained in car accidents often require extensive recovery time, leaving victims with a hefty bill or a lengthy period off work. 

At O’Brien & Company Solicitors our personal injury solicitors are here to provide you with everything you need to know to obtain fair compensation through a successful road traffic accident claim in Dublin or across the country. 

What is a car accident claim

If you have been a victim of a car crash that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you have received, the expenses you have incurred or for any income you have lost as result of the road traffic accident. The process by which you can obtain this financial compensation is a car accident claim.

Car accident claims are submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), who then make a decision about compensation based on the evidence and information provided in the claim. In 2021, the PIAB received 21,140 car accident claims, which goes to show how important it is to present a well-structured and formatted claim. 

The best way of doing this is to seek out legal advice before making a claim. Our solicitors have years of experience assisting clients with successful car accident claims, and will make sure no stone is unturned in the pursuit of fair compensation for any injuries or financial losses you may have suffered.     

Common car accident claims

Learning to drive is a lengthy process which involves meticulously studying the rules of the road and taking hours of lessons from an instructor. The reason for this is to eliminate as much as possible the occurrence of car accidents caused by driver error. Unfortunately, even the safest and most dependable drivers can end up in car accidents due to the unpredictable nature of the roads.

The following are some of the most common car accident claims:

  • Rear-end collisions claims
  • Hit and run claims
  • Roundabout accident claims
  • ​​Passenger accident claims
  • Side impact collision claims
  • Minor road traffic accident claims
  • Head-on collision claims
  • Zebra crossing accident claims
  • Car park accident claims
  • Driving lessons accident claims

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Rear-end collision claims

When driving, you should always be aware of the distance between you and the car ahead. Maintaining a safe stopping distance is essential to avoid rear-end collisions, which occur when a driver suddenly stops, causing the car behind to collide with them. 

Rear-end collisions frequently cause whiplash injuries, where a driver or passenger’s head is thrown backward and then forward. This sudden motion can injure the spine, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues in the neck and shoulder area.

Hit and run claims

Unfortunately, not all drivers involved in car accidents hang around long enough to exchange information or check on the wellbeing of the people in the vehicle they have collided with. A hit and run incident involves a driver who is directly involved in an accident but deliberately leaves the scene without providing any contact details nor information of their insurance. 

If you have been involved in a motor collision, you are legally obliged to stop your car and remain at the scene of the accident for a reasonable time. The laws around this area are set out in Section 106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.

Roundabout accidents claims

One of the areas of the road where accidents commonly occur are roundabouts. This is due to the fact that there are multiple points of entry and exit, and drivers are responsible for making decisions about when best to join a lane with oncoming traffic. 

Roundabout accidents occur when vehicles collide upon entering or while using a roundabout, and can cause knock-on accidents or further disruption because of the high volume of road users in a relatively small space.

Passenger accident claims

When you think of car accidents, you might initially imagine injuries to people who are behind the wheel of the vehicles involved. However, some of the worst injuries in car accidents can actually occur to passengers, as they are often not paying as close attention to the road as the driver, and can’t brace for impact as a result. 

Studies have shown that front seat passengers are at increased risk of injury relative to drivers in actual road traffic accidents. Injured passengers are just as entitled to seek compensation for their own damages as the driver of the vehicle. If the driver at fault happens to be a close friend or family member, you can always claim against an insurance company rather than directly against the driver themselves.

Side-impact collision claims

In order to comply with the rules of the road and not pose any danger to other drivers, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Side-impact collisions occur when cars merge into one another’s lane without taking due care, or by not yielding while entering a junction. 

Side-impact collisions can result in extensive damage to the bodywork or doors of a vehicle, as well as potentially causing crush injuries to passengers or drivers who have less protection than front or rear areas.

Minor road traffic accident claims

Not all road traffic accident claims involve extensive damage to vehicles. Minor road traffic accidents can still cause significant injury in some cases, as it doesn’t take much force to affect vulnerable parts of the body.  

Even if minimal damage has occurred to your vehicle, you may still be eligible to be compensated for other problems that may have arisen as a result of the collision. These may include emotional stress, physical injuries like whiplash or blurred vision, or time spent off work.

Zebra crossing accident claims

Roads are places where pedestrians can be especially vulnerable, which is why zebra crossings were designed to provide safe spaces where they can cross. There is no guarantee of safety when you cross the road however, regardless of whether you’re using a zebra crossing or not. 

Zebra crossing accident claims result from both driver and pedestrian errors, although it is often the negligence of a driver that has caused them to collide with a pedestrian who has assumed they were safe to cross.

Car parking accident claims

Despite being a necessary action that every driver must engage in, car parking is actually not taught by driving instructors, or evaluated as part of the RSA driving test in Ireland. Car parking accidents are extremely common, as drivers attempt to park their car within tight spaces next to other vehicles.

Car parking accident claims can result from collisions with parked cars, backing out collisions, door dings, pedestrian accidents, property damage and other scenarios. Often, these incidents occur due to limited visibility, but the fact remains that this can constitute a negligent action nonetheless. 

Driving lesson accident claims

Before taking the official driver’s test in Ireland, you must complete a minimum of 12 lessons with an approved driving instructor. During these lessons it’s common for learner drivers to make mistakes, which can sometimes lead to accidents. 

Driving instructor vehicles are configured to allow the instructor control over the vehicle even when the learner is driving. For this reason it is their responsibility to ensure accidents don’t happen, and they may be deemed negligent if they have failed in their duty to do so. 

Driving instructors who are not registered with the RSA as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) could face a fine of up to €2,000 or six months’ imprisonment, or both, if convicted of providing lessons for reward.

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Common injuries caused from road traffic accident

The most common injuries caused by road traffic accidents can range in severity, from minor bruises and sprains to more serious conditions such as whiplash, broken bones, and head trauma. Soft tissue injuries, including muscle strains and ligament tears, are also frequently reported. 

It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention following an accident, as certain injuries may not be immediately apparent. Medical reports can also be crucial documents in a compensation claim, as they provide evidence to the nature of injuries suffered in the accident.

Regardless of the type of injury you have sustained, our dedicated solicitors will guide you through the car accident injury claim process. With experience dealing with everything from minor to major injuries, we can ensure that you receive the necessary medical care and financial support to aid your recovery.

Whiplash injuries

As mentioned previously, whiplash is a common injury that occurs as a result of sudden, forceful movement of the neck and head. It typically happens during car accidents when the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop or experiences a collision. The rapid back-and-forth motion causes the neck to extend beyond its normal range, leading to strain and damage to the ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues in the neck.

Whiplash injuries are a prevalent consequence of car accidents that account for a significant proportion of injury claims arising from road traffic accidents in Ireland. The sudden impact of a collision, even at low speeds, can cause whiplash, and it is not uncommon for symptoms to manifest hours or even days after the accident. 

Neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and restricted movement are some of the common symptoms experienced by individuals affected by whiplash.

Car accident claim compensation

The effects of car accidents can be far reaching, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. Financial compensation for personal injury claims resulting from car accidents aims to provide monetary relief for the damages and losses suffered by the injured party. 

While each case is unique, compensation generally falls into three main categories:

  • Material Damages: the damage of the personal property in the incident, which typically would involve the vehicle itself or any materials inside the vehicle that happen to be damaged in the collision.
  • General Damages: non-financial damages which would have an impact on your quality of life, such as physical or emotional injuries as a result of the incident.
  • Special Damages: expenses that were paid or lost by the victim as a result of the accident, such as medical bills, additional travel costs, and loss of earnings (if they are unfit to work).

How to prove a car accident claim

When pursuing a car accident claim for financial compensation, it is crucial to establish liability and prove that the other party was at fault. To increase the chances of a successful claim, you need to gather compelling evidence and present a strong case. Here are essential steps to help you prove your car accident claim:

As soon as it is safe to do so, document the accident scene by taking photographs or videos. Capture images of vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and any other relevant details that can help recreate the accident. These visual records serve as valuable evidence to support your claim.

Collect contact information from witnesses who saw the accident occur. Eyewitness testimony can be instrumental in corroborating your version of events and establishing liability. Your solicitor can reach out to these witnesses later to obtain their statements, which can strengthen your case.

If possible, preserve any physical evidence related to the accident. This may include damaged vehicle parts, torn clothing, or any objects that played a role in the collision. Physical evidence can be crucial in reconstructing the accident and determining fault.

It’s not always necessary for the Gardai to preside over every accident scene, however if they have been called out then make sure to request a copy of their report. This report can provide an unbiased account of the accident, supporting your claim.

Promptly seek medical attention for your injuries and follow your healthcare provider’s advice. Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, prescriptions, therapy sessions, and any other related expenses. These records demonstrate the extent of your injuries and the financial impact on your life.

Take photographs of your injuries throughout the recovery process. Visible evidence of your injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or scars, can strengthen your claim and show the physical toll the accident has taken on you.

Keep records of all financial losses resulting from the accident. This includes medical bills, receipts for medications, rehabilitation costs, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, track any lost wages or income due to time off work as a result of your injuries.

Engage the services of a skilled personal injury solicitor who specializes in car accident claims. They will guide you through the process and help collect and organize the evidence necessary to prove your claim. Their expertise in handling such cases can significantly enhance your chances of success.

Depending on the complexity of your case, your solicitor may seek expert opinions to strengthen your claim. These experts could include accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or other relevant specialists who can provide an objective analysis and support your version of events.

Your solicitor will work to establish a clear link between the accident and your injuries. They will gather all available evidence to demonstrate that the other party’s negligence directly caused your injuries and subsequent damages. This may involve reviewing medical records, consulting experts, and building a persuasive argument.

Car accidents with uninsured drivers

Colliding with an uninsured driver can be a distressing situation. Discovering that the other party involved does not have insurance coverage raises concerns about who will be responsible for covering the damages and medical expenses. 

In the event that you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, there are a number of things you need to be aware of in order to protect your interests and seek compensation for any damages or injuries incurred.

First, it is important you do not try to make an agreement with the driver. It is recommended instead that you contact the Gardai to inform them that you have been struck by an uninsured driver.

The next thing to do would be to take down as much information as you can, such as: 

  • The make, model and registration number of the other car
  • The driver’s name and address
  • The contact details of any witnesses present.
  • Take photos of the damage caused.
  • The date, time and address of where the accident occurred.

In such a situation where the driver is uninsured, you may be able to claim the costs of the damage from your own insurance policy without losing your No Claims Discount. Your insurer is obliged to review each individual case and provide advice in relation to alternative steps if necessary. 

In other cases, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI), the body which compensates victims of uninsured and untraced drivers, may be able to offer support. If an injury has occurred as a result of an untraced or insured driver, it is recommended you contact one of our solicitors for assistance. Here, you will be guided to report your claim to the MIBI within strict guidelines where personal injuries are assessed by the PIAB.

How to make a personal injury claim

With the help of one of our expert personal injury solicitors, you can be sure that your claim is in safe hands. There are a number of steps that go into making a successful claim, and if you choose to move forward with a lawyer, here is the route they will take:

Once contact has been made with a solicitor, you will be asked to provide details from the accident that can help build your case, such as any injuries or physical damage and descriptions of who was at fault.The more evidence you can gather, the stronger your claim becomes.

Your solicitor will evaluate the circumstances of the accident to determine who was at fault and establish liability. They will gather evidence, review documentation, interview witnesses, and consult experts if necessary. This assessment is crucial for building a strong case.

With all information gathered, and a full damages calculation carried out, the solicitor will prepare to submit your claim to the PIAB. Almost all personal injury claims will first be submitted in this fashion.

After an application has been put through, the PIAB will notify the other party in the road traffic accident in an attempt to resolve the matter without going to court. 

Court proceedings will usually only happen if the person against whom the claim is taken out refused to settle after notification from the PIAB. This can also happen if the PIAB themselves decide not to assess the claim.

Despite legal proceedings appearing intimidating, with our help you have the full security of knowing your best interest is being represented at all times.

Make a car accident claim for compensation today

When it comes to car accidents, the physical, emotional, and financial consequences can be severe. Medical bills, vehicle repairs, and lost wages can quickly accumulate, leaving you feeling burdened and unsure about the next steps. This is where the team of dedicated personal injury lawyers at O’Brien & Company Solicitors can help. 

With years of experience in handling car accident claims, we have the expertise and knowledge to fight for your rights and help you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. Whether your injuries are psychological or physical, our solicitors can examine the legal underpinnings of the traffic accident you’ve experienced and make sure your needs are met.

At O’Brien & Company Solicitors, we firmly believe that every individual deserves justice and fair compensation after a car accident that wasn’t their fault. We are passionate about advocating for our clients and have a proven track record of successful claims. Your well-being is our top priority, and we will go above and beyond to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards claiming the compensation you’re entitled to, get in touch with us today. Our friendly Dublin based team is here to answer your questions, alleviate your concerns, and provide you with the support you need throughout the process. Don’t wait any longer; let us handle your car accident claim so that you can focus on rebuilding your life.

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O’Brien & Company Solicitors has a wealth of experience and a history of success in personal injury and medical negligence cases.

We pride ourselves on achieving the best results for our clients whilst at the same time making everything as straightforward and clear for you as possible.