According to figures from the Road Safety Authority during 2008 there were 28,000 road traffic accidents reported to An Garda Síochána, in which 279 people were killed and a further 9,people injured – almost three out of of these being classified as car accident injuries.
Despite cars having become much safer vehicles in which to travel, and improvements having been made to road junctions to reduce the risk of accident, these figures represent the highest incidences of car accident injuries since 2001.
Gardai investigators determined that 90% of all car accident injuries were attributable to driver error, with the majority of accidents occurring during daylight hours in good driving conditions and with 10% of all serious car accident injuries and fatalities being due to failure by the victim to wear a seatbelt.
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic event. Not only is there the physical damage that may occur to your vehicle, yourself and the other people that are involved in the car accident, but there is also the psychological trauma of being suddenly thrust into an unexpected and dangerous situation.
No matter what the circumstances, whenever you have sustained car accident injuries you should seek help from any bystander or witness. After a car accident, you may be disorientated or in shock, and it is far safer for you to accept an offer of assistance from people who will naturally come to your aid, rather than try to deal with the situation by yourself and potentially aggravate your car accident injuries.
We have established a free advice telephone service for people who have sustained car accident injuries. You can access this service by calling 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, or by completing your details in our call-back box on the left of this page.
Procedures after Car Accident Injuries
Whenever you are involved in a car accident in which yourself or one of your passengers has been injured, your primary concern should be to get medical attention. In the most serious of cases, an ambulance and the Gardai should be summoned, and even when less serious car accident injuries have been sustained, getting any injured person to a hospital should be your priority. It does not matter if you believe that you have not sustained any injuries worth attending to – certain severe car accident injuries may take several days to manifest, and these can be prevented from deteriorating further by having a precautionary medical examination.
One of the most significant statistics contained in the RSA report is that female passengers are twice as likely to suffer car accident injuries as male drivers, because of their weaker musculoskeletal physique. If you have a female companion in your car, you should insist that they see a doctor as soon as possible.
Following a car accident, you may or may not have been able to exchange contact details with the other driver(s) involved – possibly they,too, have sustained car accident injuries and have been taken to hospital. However, in these days of modern technology, somebody will have recorded the circumstances surrounding the accident on a mobile phone with a camera facility, and these witnesses will have given their details to the Gardai if you have been unable to obtain them yourself. In less serious instances, where the Gardai decline to attend the scene, you could take photographs of the scene and, once your injuries have received medical attention, make a report at the local Garda station for inclusion in their “Road Traffic Accident Report Book”.
Claiming Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
Where the collision in which you sustained your car accident injuries was due to the negligence of another driver, you are entitled to claim compensation from their insurance company. In most cases – and despite advice from insurance companies – drivers who are responsible for a collision in which you have sustained car accident injuries through their lack of care are honest enough to admit their mistake and give you their contact details.
Those drivers who drive away from the scene of the accident – and have more consideration for their insurance premiums than your health – can be traced through roadside camera technology. There is also provision made by the Motor Insurance Advisory Board of Ireland for people who sustain car accident injuries when the negligent driver is not insured.
All compensation claims for car accident injuries are dealt with initially through the Injuries Board Ireland and it is in your best interests to speak with a specialist personal injury* claims solicitor before attempting to complete their application form. Due to the nature in which it is devised, many people would find the application form difficult to complete even when they are fully aware of its requirements.
At a time when you may still be suffering from the after-effects of your car accident injuries, it is recommended to have somebody who is completely familiar with its requirements submit the application form on your behalf, to ensure that you receive a fair and adequate assessment for your car accident injuries compensation.
A specialist personal injuries* solicitor will not only be able to guide you through the early stages of car accident injuries compensation procedures, but will advise you on what you should do in the event of the other driver refusing to admit liability, his insurance company declining to accept the Injuries Board Ireland assessment of your claim, or claiming that you contributed to your car accident injuries through your own negligence – for example, those 10% of cases where the victim failed to wear a seatbelt.
Insurance companies may also approach you directly with an offer of early compensation settlement. This is known as “third party capture” and usually requires you to accept a lower than anticipated amount of compensation in return for an immediate payment. A solicitor will be able to negotiate on your behalf to ensure that the settlement you receive is both immediate and appropriate.
Compensation Awards for Car Accident Injuries
The majority of compensation awards for car accident injuries are settled outside of the Injuries Board Ireland system. Some – commonly the largest car accident injuries compensation awards – are litigated through the courts, up to a third are settled between your solicitor and the negligent party´s insurance company long before the Injuries Board has made their assessment.
If you would like to find out more about the level of compensation award you may be entitled to for your car accident injuries – even if it is just to establish whether an offer of early settlement from an insurance company is an acceptable amount – contact our free advice telephone service.
Our free advice telephone service for people who have sustained car accident injuries in collisions for which they were not entirely to blame is available from 9am to 9pm, everyday. You can leave us your details in our call-back box on the left of this page (above).
You will be able to discuss your accident with an experienced solicitor, and receive helpful and accurate advice -without obligation – about your entitlement to claim compensation and the amount you could expect to receive.
Please note that although all calls to our service are treated with the utmost confidentiality, it is unethical for us to offer second opinions if you have already engaged a solicitor.