Passenger Injury Claims *
A driver and passenger may react differently in the first few seconds of a car accident *. The driver has an increased awareness of the road as they drive while the passenger may not be paying any attention to the road as the journey continues. In the event of an accident, this may mean the driver has a brief moment to brace themselves directly before impact, leaving their body less exposed to injury. The passenger is much less likely to be paying attention to the traffic, leaving their body exposed to the serious injury.
Common types of injuries
For a passenger injury claim *, it is fairly seldom that the passenger can be viewed as anything less than the innocent party. It is worth noting that if a passenger didn’t wear their seatbelt when the collision happened, it can have an effect on the settlement amount received as with the seat belt they should have been wearing the extent of their injuries could have been avoided. The most frequently seen injuries suffered by passengers include:
Making a Claim
1. Seek medical attention
The most important priority is your own health and safety. No matter how small the collision may be it is worth getting examined by a medical practitioner. The contact information of any emergency services workers who were called to the scene should be obtained. Any medical or out of pocket receipts should be kept.
2. Report the accident
All vehicle collisions should be reported to the Gardaí. They will then decide to attend the scene or not depending on the severity of the situation. It may be useful to take contact details of any Gardaí who arrived. If the driver was being reckless and had no regard for the rules of the road you are entitled to bring this forward to the authorities.
If there were any witnesses to the accident speak to them and ask for their contact details.
Following a passenger injury accident *, you should contact a solicitor as soon as possible if you’re considering of moving forward with a personal injury claim *. If proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board. A passenger injury solicitor * can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format.
4. Document the incident
It is important that you have all information available to give to your solicitor when you start the claims process. Any information that you cannot get access to, your solicitor will be able to source it for you. The information you can record is details of the accident, a photograph of the scene, photograph of your injuries, witness details, medical bills, transport to and from hospital/treatments, CCTV footage of the accident, if there were any cameras around, and any other important information about the accident.
5. Speak with a solicitor
Having a solicitor involved early in the process can help to ensure that the claims process runs as smoothly as possible for you. Your solicitor will help you in gathering document, submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment and work with you to bring your case to a close.
The settlement of a case will vary as each case will be different. Generally, the settlement procedure would work as follows (of course, this is subject to change and your solicitor will keep you informed at each stage of the process):
- Your solicitor will submit your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment
- The Injuries Board assess your case and revert with a suggested compensation amount
- You then decide whether to accept the amount suggested or to reject and move the next stage of the process
- If both parties accept the compensation suggest, then your case will be settled at this point.
- If one of both parties decline the suggested settlement amount then you move to the next stage of the settlement process
- In cases where the Injuries Board assessment is not agreed to, then legal proceedings are issued and your case moves forward to a court hearing.
- Before the court hearing, settlement talks do take place. In most cases, a case is resolved, settled and compensation agreed at the settlement talks before having to step foot into a courtroom.
- If your case is not settled at the settlement talks stage then your case moves to a court hearing where a Judge will make a decision on your case.
Settlement talks are a good opportunity for your legal team to talk to the other side’s legal team to settle any disagreements on what costs are to be awarded. Costs awarded usually consist of an amount for the injury itself and added expenses you may have incurred, these claims are called damages:
- General Damages: Non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following the incident and impact of the injury on your quality of life.
- Special Damages: Out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident * for example, loss of earnings (if you were out of work), future loss of earnings for extended time out of work, medical bills, future medical bills, and any added travel costs as a result of the injury, for example, travel to and from the hospital.
Legal time limits
Legal time limits vary from circumstance to circumstance. The general rule for all personal injury cases * is that the passenger has a period of two years to bring legal proceedings forward from the date of when the collision occurred. The exceptions to this rule are if the person lacks the capability to make a claim themselves, a family member can then bring proceedings forward. The second exception is if it’s a child that suffers a passenger injury *. The child then has two years to make a claim from their eighteenth birthday. All personal injury claims * must first be assessed by the Injuries Board to see who was liable for the accident. Some personal injury * cases may proceed to court while in some cases the party who was at fault may off a settlement.
Contact a Passenger Injury Solicitor *
If you have suffered a passenger injury *, our team of dedicated car and road accident solicitors * in Dublin are available to answer any queries you may have. For a confidential discussion, please call Tracey Solicitors on 01 6499900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your case.
With 30 years’ experience as specialist personal injury solicitors *, Tracey Solicitors, ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart and in a language that you can understand.