Car crash injury claims account for more than half of all personal injury* compensation claims made each year in Ireland. A recent insurance company survey showed that 80% of drivers consider the roads in Ireland are safe and that the standard of driving is improving, but Road Safety Authority statistics show a completely different picture.
In 2008, the latest year for which figures are available, an increased number of road traffic accidents were reported to An Garda Síochána.
Since 2004, car crash injury claims for compensation have had to be processed by the Injuries Board of Ireland (formally the PIAB). The introduction of this government body has led to a reduction in the average length of time that car crash injury claims take to be settled – from over three and a half years to less than seven months.
But the procedures for making car crash injury claims are not straightforward and it is in your best interests that your car crash injury claim should be pursued with the assistance of a specialist personal injury claims solicitor.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits a specialist injury claims solicitor can provide when you are considering a compensation claim, you are invited to call our free advice telephone service. Our service enables you to speak with a solicitor to discuss the car crash with total confidentiality and no obligation. Our lines are open seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. If you would rather that we called you, please complete your details in the call-back box below this article.
Car Crash Injury Claims Procedures
After you have received appropriate medical attention for your injuries, your best course of action is to contact a specialist personal injury claims solicitor to discuss any potential car crash injury claims for compensation. Once you have discussed the circumstances surrounding your injury with a solicitor, they will be able to determine whether you have a case which is worth your while to pursue, and advise you of all the documentation that you need to collect before making an application to the Injuries Board Ireland.
As a rule, car crash injury claims should be accompanied by your medical notes, a copy of the relevant entry in the Gardai´s “Road Traffic Accident Report Book” and any receipts for out of pocket expenses that you have incurred whilst obtaining medical treatment. However, additional “special” damages can be awarded if you have been unable to work because of your injuries, and a solicitor will be able to advise you of any further documentation you need to claim compensation for loss of income.
Completing Car Crash Injury Claims
One of the often ignored benefits of using a specialist personal injury claims solicitor for making car crash injury claims for compensation is that they deal with injured parties of car crashes on a regular basis and have an understanding nature and consideration for their clients injuries. They are very familiar with the completion of the Injuries Board Ireland application form and will be able to advise you on where each element of your claim should be entered, or take over responsibility for submitting your car crash injury claim on your behalf.
Once received by the Injuries Board Ireland, car crash injury claims are sent to the negligent party´s insurance company to ensure that their client admits liability. If confirmation is received that they do, the Injuries Board assess car crash injury claims according to the levels of compensation published in the “Book of Quantum”.
Should the negligent party deny responsibility for your injuries, or the Injuries Board Ireland makes an assessment which is unacceptable to either party, you will be issued with an authorisation to seek resolution for your car crash injury claims through the court system.
Car Crash Injury Claims and Litigation
When car crash injury claims for compensation get to this stage, pressure is put on the legal representatives of both parties to resolve the matter amicably and as swiftly as possible. When liability is not in doubt, and it is only a question of appropriate compensation that has to be determined, this is usually settled quickly by negotiation between your solicitor and the legal representative of the insurance company – who will not wish to incur increased costs by prolonging litigation.
Should liability be in dispute, judgement will be made based on witness statements and the information contained in the Gardai´s “Road Traffic Accident Report Book”.
Whereas minor car crash injury claims for compensation will be dealt with by the District Courts, if an award of compensation is expected to be more than €15,000, your case will be heard by a Circuit Court. Car crash injury claims which are more serious, and where compensation amounts are expected to exceed €60,000, will be presented to the High Court – although the negligent driver´s insurance company will be keen to settle before a High Court judgement is necessary.
At the same time, it may well be in your benefit to accept an offer of early settlement from the insurance company if the amount being proposed is an adequate sum and not an example of third party capture.
Car Crash Injury Claims and Third Party Capture
Third party capture is a relatively new development in insurance companys’attempts to reduce compensation payments for car crash injury claims. It is an unregulated area of insurance company business where they contact an injured party – sometimes within hours of them returning home from hospital – with an offer of a reduced amount of compensation in return for a speedy settlement.
Insurance companies may play on an individual´s reluctance to consult solicitors about car crash injury claims, and individuals may welcome an offer of a couple of thousand euros at a very early stage.
Experience has shown that even with minor impacts and modest injuries at the outset, some unfortunate people do go on to have long term health issues and may have left themselves woefully under compensated by accepting the insurance company´s offer.
By having a solicitor guide you through what represents an appropriate amount for your car crash injury claim, you can ensure that you receive a fair and adequate amount of compensation for your injuries.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits a specialist personal injury claims solicitor can provide when you are considering car crash injury claims for compensation, you are invited to call our free advice telephone service. Our service puts you in touch with a solicitor to discuss car crash injury claims and your entitlement to make them – with total confidentiality and no obligation.
Our lines are open seven days a week and twenty-four hours a day, and if you would rather that we called you, just complete your details in the call-back box on the left (above), indicating when would be a convenient time at which to call, and one of our helpful and friendly team will be back in touch.