Important Advice about Your Car Crash Claim
Recent statistics show that despite the presence of the Injuries Board in Ireland the significant majority of car crash claim victims still retain a solicitor to assist them in their compensation claim from the start.
In this article we explain why this is and also go into detail about all the potential elements of making a claim after a car accident.
Why Use a Solicitor From The Start?
Most people still rightly feel that it is important to have professional legal representation in order to ensure they obtain the maximum possible compensation settlement for their car crash claim.
This is because without a solicitor the insurance companies can run rings around you. Plus it is well known that the function of the injuries board is to reduce costs for insurance companies so they will not explain what you should be claiming for. If you leave out special damages in your injuries board submission form, for example, you will lose out and even if your claim eventually goes to court you won’t be able to claim for this.
It’s Not Just About Money
However, the role of a specialist solicitor goes beyond getting as much money as possible for you or a loved one when you have been injured in a car crash. An expert car crash claim solicitor will provide support and expert assistance with claims for car crash compensation which are not straightforward or where compensation is required quickly.
Making a Car Crash Claim
Car crash claims in Ireland are made in the first instance to the Injuries Board who, after consideration of your application and possibly an independent medical examination, will assess an amount of car crash compensation to be paid to you by the person responsible for causing your injury.
Although the principal is sound, issues such as contributory negligence, the law relating to car crash claims, and claims for minors, the need for a swift car crash claim resolution and the trading practices of motor insurance companies, can combine to complicate your compensation claim. In the majority of car crash claims in Ireland it is likely that you will encounter at least one or more of these issues.
You will find more detailed information about all of these areas below.
Contributory Negligence and Car Crash Claims
The term “contributory negligence” relates to car crash claims where the claimant holds some responsibility themselves rather than just a third party. It could be that your own lack of care contributed to your injuries — for example if you failed to wear a seatbelt. If it is deemed to be so it your final compensation amount will be reduced by the percentage of responsibility you are found to carry.
If more than one party was liable for your injuries you will have multiple respondents which adds to the complexity of the case. For example, it may be the case that two or more drivers were negligent and responsible for your car crash.
The Injuries Board will decline to assess any car crash claim in which liability is disputed and issue the claimant with an “authorisation” to pursue their car crash claim for compensation through the courts — something for which you will need a the services of a car crash claim solicitor.
Making a Car Crash Claim involving Children
If you are making a car crash claim for compensation on behalf of a child who has been injured in a car crash there are several different procedures that you need to be aware off. As well as being unable to make an application for assessment of a car crash claim online, parents or guardians must represent a child acting as their “next friend” within a different time frame which would apply to adults making a car crash claim.
Furthermore, one a car crash claim settlement figure has been agreed upon, the parent or guardian will have to have the settlement approved in court — again requiring the services of a car crash claim solicitor.
Interim Payments for Car Crash Claims
In the most severe car crashes, victims suffer catastrophic injuries — injuries which require a high level of medical care which may well be ongoing for a considerable length of time. In such tragic circumstances, car crash claims for compensation can take longer to resolve due to not knowing how much care will be required and what long term consequences may result from the injuries sustained by the victim.
The delay in receiving compensation for a car crash claim can cause problems in paying for the medical attention or supporting a family, and often a car crash claim solicitor can organise interim payments of car crash compensation until such time as a final settlement is agreed.
Motor Insurance Companies and Car Crash Claims
In many car crash claims where the negligent driver has admitted liability, you may well be approached by their motor insurance company with an offer of early settlement. These approaches are designed to save the motor insurance company the time and expense of processing a car crash claim for compensation and are rarely of benefit to the potential claimant.
Unless the motor insurance company has conducted a full assessment of your injuries, the consequences they have had on your quality of life and the financial costs you have already incurred, they are unlikely to match how much car crash compensation you are entitled to.
Why You Should Consult A Solicitor
While we strive to ensure all the articles on this site are factually accurate you should never solely rely on the information supplied here. Every car accident and car crash claim is different and while reading one of our articles can provide you with general information you should always get expert advice and consult a solicitor before taking any action that may have legal consequences. For example, a solicitor can help you fill out an injuries board claim in the most effective way so that you do not loose out further down the road if the claim is cleared for legal proceedings.
For this reason we also provide a confidential 24-hour helpline where you can talk to a highly experienced and specialised personal injury solicitor who will answer any questions you may have about your potential car accident compensation claim. We urge you to avail of this service which is provided by a well known and highly respected personal injury legal firm. Compensation Ireland do not charge for this and there is no obligation on your part to take your claim further or to use any particular firm of solicitors.