Road Traffic Accident*

Head On Collision Claims*

A head-on collision* occurs when the front of one vehicle crashes into either the front of another vehicle or a stationary object. Head on crashes not only cause injury to people but can also cause property damage and have an impact on those in the area.

Tell Us About Your Case

Who is Liable?

Road accident claims* are made through the Injuries Board, for those who have suffered a head-on collision and are pursuing a claim, submitting the claim to the Injuries Board will be an important first step.

In some cases, it can be difficult to prove liability in an accident especially when you were involved in the accident as you may not remember the event leading up to it. In cases where a driver hit a stationary object then it may be easy to prove who was at fault but when two vehicles collide with each other may be difficult to prove who was actually liable for the accident. If the other driver was at fault you must be able to prove that they did not follow the rules of the road which led to the cause of the accident. There are certain things that should be taken into consideration when you are trying to prove who was at fault.

  • Were there any witnesses present at the time?
  • Was there a clear cause of the accident?
  • Did either driver make any obvious mistakes or rule breakages?
  • What comments were made by those involved immediately after the incident?

These questions can help you to begin the process of proving liability when you go about making your claim. It may also be helpful to obtain information from the Gardaí who took statements after the collision to see if anything was said to them by other people who were involved.

Common Injuries

  • Cuts and Lacerations
  • Internal Injuries
  • Broken Bones and Fractures
  • Head injuries*
  • Whiplash*
  • Back and Spinal Injuries*
  • Soft Tissue Damage
  • Nerve Injury*
  • Facial injuries and Damage
  • Injuries to Legs and Feet
  • Amputations and Dislocations
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – This is a very serious injury that is sustained when the brain is suddenly traumatised due to impact from a collision. This injury can have a big impact on a person’s cognitive ability and can cause serious long-term problems.
  • Concussion – This is a mild traumatic brain injury which is generally associated with a head injury. Concussion may not heal for a long period of time and can cause long-term problems for those injured.

Causes

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue is a common cause of car accidents, particularly for those driving longer distances or those driving at night. Fatigue can lead to poor reaction times and reflexes while driving and in extreme cases lead to a driver falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident.

Using a Mobile Phone While Driving

Since 2014 it is illegal to use your mobile phone while driving this includes reading or sending a text message – the only expectation being that a person can use their phone while driving if they are calling 999 or 112 in an emergency situation.

Further to this, it is also illegal to hold or support a mobile phone in your hand or with any other part of your body (for example between your head and shoulder) while driving.

Using hands-free while driving is not illegal but can distract the driver from the road which puts other road users at risk.

Using a mobile phone can cause people to:

  • Drive outside of their lane
  • Cause tailgating – reduce the distance between cars
  • Affect the speed they drive at
  • Become distracted from the road and their surroundings
  • Faulty traffic lights

At areas where traffic lights are out of order, drivers use their own judgement as to when it is safe to proceed. At times a person may proceed at the wrong time causing an accident at the lights. Other oncoming cars may not notice this until it is too late, causing multiple accidents.

Failing to Stop at a Red Light

According to the AA’s latest Motor Insurance Poll, 7.6% of drivers in Ireland break red lights at least occasionally. From the motorists polled, 2.2% admitted to putting their foot down when approaching an amber light to make it through before it turns red.

These are common occurrences, but it is not up to other drivers to anticipate these actions. There is a common expectation amongst road users that the rules of the road will be followed. When a person breaks a red light, other road users are put at risk of an accident.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

In most recent stats published by the Health Research Board, Ireland is among the highest alcohol consuming countries in the EU. According to RSA’s most recent report, 38% of all fatalities and other road collisions involved drivers who had consumed alcohol.

Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s driving ability and increase the risk of a collision. People who drive at the legal limit are 6 times more likely to be involved in a collision.

Poor Road Conditions

Poor or inadequate lighting, faded or non-existent road markings, debris on the road, potholes and broken guardrails can cause accidents and lead to a driver veering off their own lane into oncoming traffic causing head-on collisions.

Failing to Obey the Rules of the Road

There is an universal expectation that all road users will obey the rules of the road, however, there are times when people will ignore these rules and accidents can occur.

Confusion

Confusion on the road can lead to accidents, for example, if a person on holidays in Ireland is not used to the rules of the road or driving on the left side of the road, they may become disorientated and cause a collision.


What to do after a road traffic accident*?

Following a road traffic accident*, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, there are a number of steps you should follow:

  1. Seek medical attention

    Your health is your wealth and should be your first priority. Immediately after a road traffic accident*, take a second to assess yourself to determine if you have any injuries. Then check if any passengers or anybody else involved in the accident need medical attention. If you or anyone else involved has sustained a serious injury ensure that you contact an ambulance to attend the scene.

    For minor injuries, you must remember that minor injuries where you ‘feel fine’ could progress to a more serious injury in the future. In this case it is always better to be safe than sorry and advisable that you go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) or local GP to be checked out.

  2. Gather all relevant information at the scene

    It is important that you gather all the relevant information in connection with your accident:

    • Details of another driver(s)/people involved: name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number and vehicle insurance information. You can also offer your own information to the others involved in the accident.
    • Name and contact details of any emergency service workers at the scene – paramedic/Gardaí.
    • Take a picture of the scene and damage to all vehicles involved from different angles; this will help your solicitor understand how the accident happened.
    • If there are any CCTV recordings of the accident, like a camera nearby shop, for example, ask for a recording of the footage.
    • Dash Cam footage – if you have any.
    • Record the time and date of the accident.
    • Weather conditions at the time.
    • Receipt for repairs of damage to your vehicle.
    • If possible, try to collect the contact details of anybody that witnessed the accident. This may be of use if you do decide to pursue a workplace accident claim*. It is also useful to find out if there is any CCTV in the area where the accident happened.
  3. Report the incident to the Gardaí

    Regardless of how minor or serious the road traffic accident* was, it is important that you call the Gardaí to report the accident immediately.

    For minor accidents, the Gardaí may tell you that they will not be attending the scene. In this scenario, the appropriate information should be exchanged. In these cases, 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 more serious road traffic accidents*, where an ambulance has been called, the Gardaí may arrive at the scene to assess, take statements from the people involved and any witnesses.

  4. Contact your insurance company

    If you are the driver of the vehicle involved in a road traffic accident* it is important to inform your own insurance company so they have a record.

  5. Speak to a road traffic accident solicitor*

    If you are considering moving forward with a road traffic accident claim* for any personal injuries sustained it is advisable that you speak with a road traffic accident claims solicitor* as soon as possible. If you are proceeding with a claim, the first step will be submitting your claim to the Injuries Board for assessment. A road traffic accident solicitor* can help you in preparing your application to the Injuries Board and ensure that you follow the process in the correct format, meaning that you can move forward with your claim quickly without unnecessary delays.

    It is important to remember to keep copies of any expenses that you have incurred as a result of the accident. It is also imperative to retain copies of medical reports or Garda reports, where possible as you will need them when making a claim.

Tell Us About Your Case

Fill in your details below and we'll contact you to discuss your case in complete confidentiality.
Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

We use our expert knowledge and 30 years’ experience to give you the voice you need. We use non-legal language and provide practical and impartial advice through every stage of the process.

Call us today on +353 1 649 9900 or contact us online.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist road traffic accident* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your road traffic accident claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of the party at fault – including their name, address, contact information, vehicle registration number, insurance information. If the other party left the scene and you were unable to get their details – don’t worry there are still options for you to pursue a case
    • If any emergency services attended the scene, and their details
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Details of your injuries
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • If there may be CCTV in the area that may have caught the accident on tape
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the road traffic accident claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    One of the most important document in your case is a medical report. Your solicitor will ask for your doctor’s or Hospital details so he can obtain a report on your injuries. This report will then be used to allow us progress your case.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your road traffic accident claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your road traffic accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

What Our Clients Say

We aim to provide clear and independent legal advice and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

First class professional legal advice provided by Maria Lakes.
Excellent. Maria kept me informed of progress all the time. Very efficient.
Elaine was excellent throughout.
View More Testimonials

Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a road traffic accident claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a road traffic accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the road traffic accident*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

Contact Us

Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

+353 1 649 9900

Or you can fill out our contact form and we'll call you back.

Tell Us About Your Case

Fill in your details below and we'll contact you to discuss your case in complete confidentiality.