A Beginner’s Guide to a Road Traffic Accident Claims Process: Navigating the Essentials

What Constitutes a Road Traffic Accident?

A road traffic accident refers to a vehicular collision occurring on a road or public place, resulting in harm or damage to individuals, animals, other vehicles, or properties. Such an accident can affect various road users, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, scooter riders, or horse riders. In the context of insurance, considerations like premiums, deductibles, and insurance law come into play, especially when processing claims for injuries or damages following a road traffic accident.

Common Road Traffic Accident Claims

Claims after Car Accidents

Car accident claims may be possible if you were involved in an accident caused by another driver or road conditions and you were not at fault. Both drivers and passengers can file claims for injuries and/or property damage.

Claims for Taxi Accidents

In situations where a passenger in a taxi is injured due to the negligence of the taxi driver or another road user, taxi accident claims can be filed.

Bus Accident Claims

Individuals injured while passengers on a bus can pursue compensation if the bus driver or another motorist is at fault for the accident.

Bicycle Accident Claims

Cyclists who have been injured due to the actions of a motor vehicle driver or other road user can pursue bicycle accident claims for compensation.

Pedestrian Accident Claims

These claims can be filed when a pedestrian is injured in a collision with a vehicle where the driver was at fault.

Motorcycle Accident Claims

Motorcyclists injured in an accident because of a negligent driver can pursue motorcycle accident claims. Unfortunately, these accidents are common and often result in significant injuries as motorcyclists have less protection than car drivers.

Public Transport Accident Claims

Passengers on public transportation (e.g., trains) may file claims when injured due to the negligence of the driver or operator.

Claims for Luas Accidents

Compensation may be sought following an accident on the Luas, provided it can be proven that negligence by the Luas operator caused the incident and ensuing injuries.


What to Do After a Road Traffic Accident?

1. Obtain Medical Assistance

Immediately after the accident, prioritise getting medical attention for any injuries sustained by yourself or others involved. Consult a healthcare professional such as a GP or A&E doctor right away. Prompt medical attention not only reduces the risk of further complications but also documents any injuries that may support a later personal injury claim.

2. Collect Information at the Scene

Gather all relevant details, including the names and addresses of the driver and the registered owner of the involved vehicles if different, as well as the vehicle registration numbers and motor insurance details. Additionally, note down witnesses’ contact details and take photographs of the accident location, damages to both vehicles, their positioning, and any debris on the roadway.

3. Inform the Gardai

When involved in a road accident, it is a legal obligation to:

  • Stay at the scene for a reasonable time.
  • Provide necessary information such as names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, motor insurance details, etc., to the Gardai if present. If no Gardai are present, report the accident to the nearest station as soon as possible.

Take note of the Garda’s name and number who takes the report and ensure a police report is filed, if needed, for insurance purposes. Also, write down a detailed account of the accident shortly after it occurs, sign, and date it.

5. Consult a Road Traffic Accident Solicitor

Seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible to protect your interests, especially if there are disagreements about liability. A solicitor can help obtain suitable compensation for vehicle damage and arrange for a motor assessor to inspect your vehicle and prepare a report. They also liaise with the Gardai and other relevant parties, if required.


Road Traffic Accident Claims Process: How Do I Make a Claim?

Gathering Information for Your Solicitor

When initially reaching out to a solicitor, they’ll require basic details about the accident, including the time and location of the incident, identities and contact information of the involved parties, addresses, car registrations, and insurance details. The solicitor will also need a copy of your photo ID and proof of address for identification purposes. Make sure to have these documents on hand before contacting your solicitor to ensure a smooth start to the claims process.

Obtaining a Medical Report from Your GP

The solicitor will request a medical report from your doctor detailing the nature and extent of your injuries. The doctor will write a medical report, releasing it to your solicitor upon payment of the report fee.

Preparing the Injuries Board Application

With your medical report in hand, the solicitor will discuss its content with you and subsequently submit an application to the Injuries Board on your behalf. This typically requires your treating doctor’s medical report. The solicitor will guide you through filling out and submitting the Injuries Board’s initial application form.

Potential Outcomes of the Case

The Injuries Board may take up to nine months or longer to assess your case, after which they will inform you of the claim value they believe your injuries and losses warrant. Both the claimant and the respondent(s) can decide whether to accept or reject the assessment figures. If both parties accept the assessment, an Order to Pay will be issued, concluding the Injuries Board’s involvement.

However, if one or both parties decide to decline the assessment, the Injuries Board will grant the claimant authorization to proceed with legal proceedings.


How Long Does a Road Traffic Accident Claim Take?

A road traffic accident claim generally takes around one to three years to settle. However, this timeframe is only an estimate as the duration can vary depending on the nature and severity of the injuries as well as other factors specific to each case.

What Are the Legal Time Limits for Filing Road Traffic Accident Claims?

Typically, an injured person has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If the claimant exceeds this time limit, they may become statute-barred and unable to pursue compensation.

There can be rare exceptions to this rule, but it is crucial to consult a solicitor who can provide advice on whether a claim is still within the allowable time frame.

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a road traffic accident, claims can be made for personal injuries and any related expenses incurred. With over 50 years of legal expertise in advising clients, our team is here to offer guidance when you need it most.

For more information or to discuss your claim, call us today on 1800 207 207 or contact us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do first when seeking compensation after a road traffic accident?

  • Report the accident to the gardai and your insurance provider.
  • Seek medical attention and keep records of your injuries and any treatment provided.
  • Gather evidence such as photographs of the accident scene, damage to vehicles, and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Consider consulting with a personal injury solicitor for legal advice.

How long does it typically take to resolve a road traffic accident claim?

The time frame for resolving a claim can vary depending on the complexity of the case and whether it is contested.

On what basis is compensation for a car accident injury determined?

Compensation is generally based on:

  • Severity and type of injury sustained
  • Medical expenses incurred
  • Loss of income or earning capacity
  • Damage to property
  • Psychological trauma and suffering
  • Future care and support needs

How does the claims process involve insurance companies for car accidents?

  • Notify your insurance company of the accident.
  • The insurer will investigate the claim and gather evidence.
  • Insurance companies may negotiate to reach a settlement or proceed to court if necessary.
  • The insurer pays compensation if the claim is successful.

Is it possible to handle my road traffic accident claim on my own, or do I need legal help?

You can submit a claim independently, but it is generally recommended to seek legal assistance, especially for complex cases or when negotiating settlements. A solicitor can help you gather evidence, navigate the claims process, and advocate on your behalf.

What documents are crucial when supporting my road traffic accident claim?

  • Garda report and any reference numbers
  • Medical records and receipts for treatment
  • Photographs and/or CCTV footage of the accident scene and damages
  • Statements from witnesses
  • Proof of lost income
  • Quotes or receipts for repairs to damaged property

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