Road Traffic Accidents

Road traffic personal injury claims are the most common type of injury claim and the largest proportion of compensation paid out every year is paid to those persons injured

Types of Accident

Many Claimants are involved in accidents that concern uninsured drivers.  In cases where a driver is not insured or cannot be identified, then a Claimant will have no other option but to pursue their claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.  The claim is a two tier process where your Solicitor will be required to deal with the Injuries Board and the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.  The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland was established in 1955 between the government and companies underwriting motor insurance for the purpose of compensating victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured or unidentified vehicles.  The role of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau is to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.  A Claimant that pursues a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland will receive no less compensation than a Claimant who has been involved in an accident with an insured driver.

Your Solicitor will be required to take you through specific instructions in order to complete the claim notification form to the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland.  The claim is also submitted to the Injuries Board in order to pursue a claim for personal injuries compensation for the Claimant.  In addition to compensation for personal injuries, a Claimant would also be entitled to compensation for psychological injuries if applicable.  The Claimant would also be entitled to claim for special damages for any out of pocket expenditure, loss of earnings and the Claimant would be entitled to claim their legal costs as part of the claim.

If a Claimant is involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, in order to proceed through the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland there are conditions that firstly must be satisfied.  The Claimant must make themselves available for an interview by an authorised agent of the MIBI.  The Claimant has a right to have the Claimant’s Solicitor present at the interview.  The Claimant must have a number of details to hand as follows:-

  1. The Claimant’s name, date of birth, PPS number and address
  2. Registration number, type and make of the uninsured vehicle (if possible)
  3. The details of the Garda Station where the road traffic accident was reported
  4. The reason why the Claimant considers the car to be uninsured
  5. The date and time of the accident
  6. The place of the accident
  7. A brief description of the accident

By far the largest number of injury claims with the Injuries Board arise from car accidents where the Claimant claims compensation for personal injuries as a result of the car accident.  Whether the Claimant is a driver, motor cyclist or a cyclist, if the Claimant is struck by another vehicle and suffers injuries as a result, then the Claimant is entitled to claim compensation for personal injuries.

There are certain matters which must be attended to when you have a car accident as follows:-

  1. If possible speak to those who witnessed the accident and take their details
  2. Call the Gardai to attend the scene of the accident because it may be necessary to look for a Garda Abstract Report to support the injury claim
  3. The Claimant should seek medical advice as soon as possible after the accident as the Claimant will be required to attend their doctor or consultant for the purposes of obtaining a medical report in order to submit to the Injuries Board with the personal injury claim
  4. The Claimant should instruct their Solicitor with a view to making an application to the Injuries Board in connection with the car accident compensation claim
  5. The Claimant’s Solicitor will then prepare the application for the Injuries Board, deal with the Defendant’s insurance company and take all necessary details from the Claimant in order to lodge the claim.

A Claimant can claim the following compensation as a result of a car accident:-

  1. Compensation for personal injuries
  2. Compensation for psychological injuries (if applicable)
  3. A refund of all out of pocket expenditure in connection with the car accident claim such as loss of income, fees for medical reports, medication and so on
  4. Compensation for material damage to the Claimant’s vehicle (if applicable)

Those involved in motor cycle accidents are far more vulnerable than those who are travelling in a car.  Injuries sustained as a result of motor cycle accidents tend to be far more serious than injuries sustained from car accidents.  Broken bones, multiple fractures and severe back and neck injuries are common features of motor cycle accidents.  A Claimant involved in a motor cycle accident which is not the Claimant’s fault is entitled to seek compensation for personal injuries.  In addition, the Claimant is entitled to seek compensation for psychological injuries if applicable and the Claimant is also entitled to claim any out of pocket expenses that the Claimant has incurred as a result of the accident.  For example, the Claimant may have a loss of earnings claim, a material damage to the Claimant’s vehicle claim, expenditure for medication and any other expenditure arising as a result of the accident.

In order to initiate a personal injuries compensation claim as a result of a motor cycle accident, the Claimant would be required to pursue that claim through the Injuries Board.  Sinnott Solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with Claimants involved in motor cycle accidents.  It is important that a Claimant instructs their Solicitor promptly so that the Claimant can be guided through the process and that the Claimant’s Solicitor can prepare the application for submission to the Injuries Board.

A Claimant involved in a motor cycle accident should attend to the following preliminary matters in order to proceed with a personal injuries claim:-

  1. Immediately obtain details of the other driver to the accident, their vehicle and their insurance details
  2. Contact the Gardai and ask the Gardai to attend the scene of the accident as a Garda Abstract Report may be required in order to assist with the claim
  3. If there are witnesses to the accident, the Claimant should take details of those witnesses
  4. The Claimant should immediately seek medical attention and retain all records of doctors attending
  5. The Claimant should retain all receipts in respect of medical attendances and prescriptions and medication
  6. The Claimant should instruct their Solicitor who will prepare the claim for lodging with the Injuries Board.

If a Claimant has been involved in a pedestrian accident which was not the fault of the Claimant, then the Claimant is entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim.  Pedestrian accidents commonly occur.  Some claims are a lot stronger than others.  For example, if a pedestrian is knocked down on a pavement or at a pedestrian crossing, then the Claimant is likely to have a very strong claim for personal injuries compensation.  If it transpires that the driver of a vehicle that hit the pedestrian was speeding at the time of the impact, then the driver may well be the cause of the accident even if the pedestrian has walked out in front of the vehicle.

We find that Claimants who have been involved in pedestrian accidents are generally seriously injured because of the vulnerability of the pedestrian when impacted by the vehicle.  If a Claimant has been involved in a pedestrian accident then it is important to take the following steps in order to initiate a personal injures action for compensation:-

  1. Immediately obtain the details of the driver of the vehicle and the driver’s insurance details
  2. Contact the Gardai immediately and request the Gardai to attend the scene of the accident as your Solicitor may well require a Garda Abstract Report in furtherance of your personal injuries claim
  3. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should take details of those witnesses
  4. You should immediately seek medical attention and retain all records of doctors that you attend
  5. Retain all receipts in respect of medical attendances, prescriptions and medication
  6. Instruct your Solicitor who will prepare your claim for lodging with the Injuries Board

If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for your physical and/or psychological injuries that you sustain.  In addition, you would also be entitled to claim for any out of pocket expenses such as medical expenses, prescription and so on.  In addition, you may well be entitled to claim loss of earnings if you have been out of work as a result of the accident.

Cycling accidents can happen in a number of ways.  In our experience, we find that those who have been involved in cycling accidents are generally seriously injured.  That is because of the vulnerability of the cyclist when impacted by a vehicle.  We also find that cyclists who have been involved in cycling accidents may also be traumatised psychologically by the accident and are therefore entitled to pursue a claim for their psychological injuries in addition to pursuing a claim for the physical injuries.

Every cycling accident claim must first be lodged with the Injuries Board.  Sinnott Solicitors would be in a position to assist any Claimant to make that application and to assist the Claimant to achieve the maximum compensation available.

A cyclist who has been involved in an accident should take the following preparatory measures:-

  1. Immediately obtain the details of the driver of the vehicle and the driver’s insurance details
  2. Contact the Gardai immediately and request the Gardai to attend the scene of the accident as your Solicitor may well require a Garda Abstract Report in furtherance of your personal injuries claim
  3. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should take details of those witnesses
  4. You should immediately seek medical attention and retain all records of doctors that you attend
  5. Retain all receipts in respect of medical attendances, prescriptions and medication
  6. Instruct your Solicitor who will prepare your claim for lodging with the Injuries Board

In addition to taking a claim for compensation for physical and psychological injuries, a Claimant may also take a claim for loss of earnings if the Claimant was unable to work as a result of the cycling accident.  The Claimant can also take a claim for any out of pocket expenses incurred such as expenses for medication, prescriptions and financing of medical reports.

Sinnott Solicitors have dealt with numerous Claimants who have been involved in bus accidents over the years.  Bus accidents can occur in a number of different ways from tripping or falling whilst on a bus to being involved in a collision with a bus.  We find that Claimants who have been hit by a bus are generally very seriously injured.  That is because of the vulnerability of the Claimant when impacted by the vehicle.

A Claimant involved in a bus accident is entitled to make an application for compensation for personal injuries to the Injuries Board.  Sinnott Solicitors can assist a Claimant in making that application.  Claimants that have been involved in bus accidents are entitled to claim compensation for their physical and or psychological injuries.  In addition, Claimants would also be entitled to make a claim for any loss of earnings if the Claimant has been out of work as a result of the accident.  In addition, the Claimant would be entitled to claim for all out of pocket expenditure incurred as a result of the accident such as medication, prescription medication, fees for medical reports and any other out of pocket expenses.

If a claimant has been involved in a bus accident, the Claimant should take the following preparatory measures:-

  1. The Claimant should gather as much evidence as possible including the details of any witnesses to the accident, name and addresses and contact telephone numbers
  2. The Claimant should if possible, obtain the registration number of the bus, the destination of the bus and the details of the bus driver
  3. The Claimant should take careful note of where the accident occurred because it may be necessary to seek CCTV footage if available from the local authority/town council
  4. The Claimant should also note the time of the accident so that the Claimant’s Solicitor can request the CCTV footage from the bus.  Nowadays there is generally CCTV footage available from all public transport vehicles.

If you have been involved in a bus accident, Sinnott Solicitors would be in a position to assist you to make a personal injuries compensation claim on your behalf.

We come across many Claimants who have been involved in an accident whilst travelling in a taxi.  It is a very common occurrence particularly around the city.  If you have been involved in an accident with a taxi or whilst travelling in a taxi and sustained personal injuries as a result, then you will be entitled to make a claim for compensation for the injuries that you sustain.  You may be entitled to claim compensation for your physical and/or psychological injuries.  In addition, a Claimant can also make a claim for loss of earnings if the Claimant was out of work as a result of the accident.  In addition, the Claimant would be entitled to pursue a claim for any out of pocket expenditure such as medication or other expenditure incurred as a result of the accident.  The Claimant would also be entitled to claim for any medical reports or expert reports paid for by the Claimant during the court of the accident claim.

If you have been involved in a taxi accident, then you should take the following preparatory measures:-

  1. Details of the taxi driver, the registration of the vehicle and the membership number of the taxi driver
  2. Details of any other drivers responsible for the accident
  3. Insurance details of the taxi driver for the vehicle
  4. The names and addresses, vehicle details and insurance details for other vehicles which were party to the accident
  5. If there are any witnesses to the accident, you should obtain the name, address and contact details of any witnesses
  6. You should seek medical advice as soon as possible after the accident in order that a detailed assessment of your injuries can be recorded
  7. You should speak to your Solicitor with a view to instructing your solicitor to lodge a claim to the Injuries Board on your behalf
  8. You should retain all receipts in respect of medical and out of pocket expenditure in connection with the accident

Train and tram accidents are now commonplace in Ireland.  We have found that Claimants who have been injured as a result of train or tram accidents generally sustain significant injuries.  We have also found that train accidents can happen in a number of different ways and those accidents do not necessarily occur because of a collision with the train itself but rather from circumstances such as objects on trains which cause a hazard, wet floors, incidents involving other passengers or staff and a variety of other circumstances.

For example, we have come across a view claims where our clients were exiting a train when they fell down between the train and the platform causing significant injury and psychological upset.  This has happened on a number of occasions.

If a Claimant has been involved in an accident on a train or involving a train through no fault of the Claimant, then the Claimant may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation for the claimant’s personal injuries.  This may well include a claim for psychological injuries depending upon the nature of the injuries and the circumstances of the train accident.

If you have aver been involved in a train accident, then you should take the following preparatory measures:-

  1. Seek medical attention as soon as possible in order that your injuries can be fully recorded for the purposes of your claim
  2. Take as detailed a note as possible of the accident to include the location of the accident on the train and the manner in which the accident happened
  3. Report the matter to the appropriate authority.  For example, if you are travelling with Irish Rail, the matter should be reported to Irish Rail.  If you are travelling on a Luas, then the matter should be reported to the Luas Authorities Transdev
  4. If there are witnesses to the accident, then you should take details of those witnesses and their telephone and contact details
  5. You should speak to your Solicitor as soon as possible in order to instruct your Solicitor to lodge a claim to the Injuries Board in respect of your Injuries
  6. Your Solicitor may request CCTV footage from the train or request the appropriate authority to preserve the CCTV footage of the accident in order to assist the claim

Unfortunately, road fatalities have become commonplace in Ireland and such fatalities are on the rise.  Compensation could never compensate a person for the loss of a loved one.  However, it can go a small part of the way to ease the financial burdens associated with fatal injuries particularly in circumstances where the deceased person had dependent family members resulting in a loss of income for the dependents.

The most common fatal injuries claims arise as a result of road traffic accidents.  The second most common fatal injuries claims are those involving fatal injuries that occur within the workplace.

Types of damages recoverable in fatal injuries claim

The types of damages recoverable in fatal injuries compensation claims are determined on the following basis:-

  1. Special damages arising from the death to cover funeral expenses and out of pocket expenses
  2. Loss of dependency
  3. Emotional distress

A loss of dependency claim is generally brought by a husband or wife or civil partner of the immediate family member.  It is often brought by a child of the deceased by his or her next friend/parent.  A number of factors will be taken into account in determining a loss of dependency claim such as the income of the deceased at the time of his or her death and their outgoings.

When dealing with loss of dependency in fatal accident claims, we always employ an expert Actuary in order to present evidence before the Court to support a claim for loss of earnings.  The Court also considers the children of the deceased and in particular any minor children who were completely dependent upon the deceased.

Compensation for emotional distress

There is a statutory limit of €35,000 for compensation for emotional distress in the case of fatal injuries claims.  Under the Civil Liability Act, that sum is divided between all of the statutory dependents of the deceased.  Regardless of the number of dependent relatives, there is only one statutory sum of €35,000 available.

Fatal injury claims in the workplace and fatal injury road traffic claims

Whether the fatal injury arises as a result of an accident in the workplace or as a result of a road traffic accident, it makes no difference to the entitlement of the amount of compensation claimed.  Unfortunately, Sinnott Solicitors have dealt with fatal accident claims in both scenarios and regardless of how the accident occurred, the preparation of the claim remains the same.  It is essential to prove that the accident was not the deceased’s fault.

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