Road Traffic Accidents
Road traffic accidents are a common occurrence in Ireland and can be categorised as non-fatal and fatal. According to the Road Safety Authority, there were 137 collisions which resulted in 148 fatalities in 2019.
This represents a 4% increase in fatalities than in 2018. In 2019, the highest number of fatalities were in Dublin (with 19), then Cork (16), Tipperary (13) and Limerick (9).
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Road Traffic Accidents in Ireland
Dublin had the highest number of Vulnerable Road Users (such as pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist) fatalities at 12 deaths, followed by Cork (6) and Kildare, Kerry, Kilkenny, Meath, and Tipperary at 3 each.
Road traffic accidents can occur for several different reasons such as bad road conditions, hazardous weather, fatigue, blind spots, vehicle malfunction, unsafe vehicles, unsafe driving from other drivers, merging traffic, texting while driving, driving under the influence and other unfortunate events. Hence, road traffic accident claims such as car crash, bicycle and motorcycle crash claims are one of the most common cases to be submitted to the Personal Injuries Board by solicitors.
In 2019, 70% of all claims submitted to the Personal Injuries Board were Motor Liability claims.
Types of Common Accident Claims
Our experienced team at Coleman Legal continuously educate themselves on all aspects of Road-Traffic Accident Claims, and no matter how unusual or rare your case is, we can give you sound advice and support to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
We are currently representing clients in relation to:-
- Car Accident Claim
- Taxi Accident Claim
- Bus Accident Claim
- Bicycle Accident Claim
- Pedestrian Accident Claim
- Public Transport
Common causes of Road Traffic Accidents?
Road traffic accidents can occur for several different reasons such as
- Bad road conditions
- Hazardous weather
- Blind spots
- Unsafe vehicles
- Unsafe driving practices – speeding, disobeying the rules of the road
- Merging traffic
- Texting while driving
- Driving under the influence
Hence, road traffic accident claims such as car crash, bicycle and motorcycle crash claims are one of the most common cases to be submitted to the Personal Injuries Board by solicitors. Negligent behaviours and actions on the road by drivers can lead to many unfortunate road traffic accidents. In 2019, 70% of all claims submitted to the Personal Injuries Board were Motor Liability claims.
What should I do after a road traffic accident?
Seek Medical Attention
After a road traffic accident, it is important to assess whether you may have sustained any injuries and if you require medical assistance. If you or anyone has sustained a serious injury, then contact an ambulance to arrive at the scene for medical assistance.
If you have sustained a minor injury, it is important to remember that the injury could have long-lasting negative effects in the future. It is therefore advisable for you to visit your GP or local A&E for medical assessment to be on the safe side.
Gather all relevant information at the scene
Gather all the information below in relation to your road traffic accident
- Get the registration number of the other vehicle
- Take the full name and address of the other driver, and the details of the owner of the vehicle if these differ to those of the person driving the car at the time of the accident. You can also give your details, if asked, to the other party/driver involved in the road traffic accident.
- Take insurance details (these are readily available on the disk at the front window of the car) including the full name and address of the insurance company and the expiry date of the policy.
- Report the accident to Gardai, as this logged information will be useful; at a later stage if court proceedings or prosecutions are to occur.
- Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene such as a paramedic or Gardaí.
- Take photos of the scene and the damage to all vehicles involved from different angles with your mobile phone camera. These pictures can help your solicitor understand how the accident had occurred.
- CCTV recordings of the accident e.g. CCTV in a nearby shop
- Record the time and date of the accident.
- Weather conditions at the time.
- Receipt for repairs of damage to your vehicle.
- Retain all medical documents and receipts as a result of the accident
- Take the contact details of any witnesses that have witnessed the road traffic accident.
Report the Accident to the Gardaí
Under Section 106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, as amended, if you experience a road traffic accident you are obliged to report that accident to the Gardaí.
It is important that you call the Gardaí to report the accident immediately, regardless of how serious the accident was. The Gardaí will log the incident and this report will be helpful at a later stage if court proceedings or prosecutions are to occur.
If there are no injuries to report and neither party has suffered an injury the Gardaí could very well inform you that they will not be attending the scene. Not all road traffic accidents may require medical attention or Gardaí
In the case of minor accidents, the Gardaí may not attend the scene. In this scenario, the appropriate information such as contact details (name, address, who owns the car) of the other driver and insurance policy details should be exchanged. It is also important that you visit your nearest Garda station to request that they take details of the accident and to take your statement about the accident.
For further reading on what to do if the Gardaí tell you they are not attending the scene, please read our article – If there is no member of the Gardai is present
For more serious road traffic accidents, the Gardaí will arrive and will take statements from the parties involved and any witnesses. The Gardaí investigation may result in a referral to the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution if deemed necessary.
Contact your insurance company
If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in the road traffic accident, do inform your insurance company so they have a record of the accident.
Seek Legal Advice
It is advisable for you to speak to an experienced Road Traffic Accident Solicitor to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
If you decide that you wish to pursue the claim, you must submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. Your Solicitor can help you with that process.
Please ensure you keep all your documents and copies of any expenses that incurred as a result of your accident, such as medical reports, medical charges such as Hospital fees and/or GP fees, Pharmacy fees, and any loss of earnings you may have suffered due to the injury. You will need such documents to make a claim and to ensure a smoother process in the claim.
How do I make a claim?
Prepare information for your Solicitor
When you decide that you would like to pursue a Personal Injury claim for your work-place accident, you can gather the information below for your Solicitor:
- On what date did the accident occur?
- Where did the accident occur?
- What had happened in the road traffic accident?
- What were the details of the party at fault, such as their name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number, insurance information. If you were unable to get their details due to the other party leaving the scene – you may still pursue the case and your solicitor will help you locate this information.
- Did any emergency services attend the scene, and all their details
- Did you report the accident to anyone? If so, who did you report the accident to?
- Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
- Are there any witnesses that may have seen the accident?
- Details of your injuries
- Details of hospital or GP attended
- Did you take any pictures of the scene of the accident and/or of your injuries?
Solicitor obtains a Medical Report
Once your Solicitor meets with you in the initial consultation, he/she will ask for your hospital or doctor’s details so he/she can obtain a report on your injuries. Your medical report is one of the most important documents in your road traffic accident case.
If you are required to visit the doctor several times, your solicitor may obtain more than one medical report as your case progresses.
Solicitor submits the Injuries Board application
After gathering all the relevant documents of the road traffic accident account and medical reports, your Solicitor will then submit your road traffic accident claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment.
Once the Personal Injuries Board assess your claim, your Solicitor will let you know the financial Assessment sum awarded to you. You will then have the choice to accept or reject the Injuries Board assessment. Your Solicitor will advise you in relation to the Award amount.
If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment: then your case is completed, and the Award payment will be paid to you shortly thereafter.
If either you or the party at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment: then the Injuries Board will issue an Authorisation which will enable your Solicitor to issue formal legal Court Proceedings.
It is important to note that most cases do not make it to a Courtroom. Settlement meetings can be arranged to negotiate potential settlement of your claim. Most cases are settled at some point during the Proceedings stage thus avoiding going to Court Trial.
Your Solicitor will advise you throughout the entire process, ensuring your best interests are met, and that you get the best settlement or Court Award possible that is fair in the entirety of the circumstances.
What are the legal time limits?
The legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim are called The Statutes of Limitation. It varies depending on the situation. Generally, for most personal injury cases, the person who has sustained the injury has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident to pursue a compensation claim. You may contact a solicitor to discuss your case to help you discover how long you have left to make a claim.
Am I entitled to a claim?
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident, as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, it can be a traumatic experience with severe negative consequences, regardless of how serious the accident was. If the cause of the road traffic accident was not your fault, then you may be eligible to seek legal remedy and claim any personal injuries and psychological injuries sustained, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The claim will also take into account the potential long-term negative effects that the accident can have on the victim’s quality of life and any additional expenses incurred as a result of the accident such as fees of medical treatment and loss of earnings as a result of the accident.
How We Can Help ?
Our dedicated team has extensive experience in Road Traffic Accidents claims and we are ready to advise and assist you with a claim.
If you have experienced a road traffic accident, whether as a pedestrian, driver or passenger and you have questions surrounding the incident, please contact us.
(Workplace Injury Team)
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
Free Phone: (1800) 844 104