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The idea that the seriousness of a personal injury relates to the amount of external vehicle damage in all types of crashes is something that few of us think about. However, it has become a topic of interest in some recent court cases.Tell Us About Your Case
Insurance companies have argued that the risk of personal injury is linked to the vehicle’s external damage. For example, an insurance claims handler might reject a person’s personal injury claim. This can be on the basis that there was a low-speed impact and the material damage to the car is small.
As solicitors we often receive defences from defendants pleading a “minimum impact” defence. These types of defences are becoming more and more common. However the reality is that in low speed rear-end crashes there are a number of injury-producing variables. When comparing injury and causation it is important for any doctor reviewing the injured party to remember that there is no “typical human” in a crash environment.
There are several factors why a human can be different for example:
In these types of low impact cases, it is important to get the repair estimate, photos of the vehicle damage (to both vehicles), an assessors report and a garda abstract report as soon as possible. These are important from an evidentiary standpoint in minimum impact road traffic accidents.
An engineer with a particular expertise in dealing with these types of cases can give helpful information of the effects of what is sometimes thought to be “minor” accidents.
Furthermore, as with any accident, you should report the matter to your insurer as soon as possible. To make a personal injury claim, there must be an actual injury sustained in order to claim compensation. The most important thing following an accident is to obtain medical attention. In addition, adhere to all treatments recommended by your medical practitioner.
Following a road traffic accident, whether as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist, there are a number of steps you should follow:
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.
It is important that you gather all the relevant information in connection with your accident:
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.
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 of the accident.
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.
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.
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:
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.
One of the most important documents 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.
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.
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 on 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 email@example.com to tell us about your case.
We aim to provide clear and independent legal advice and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Thank you for the outstanding work you did for me. You were superbly fast, efficient and professional.
Being that mine was a sensitive and personally hard case, I found Paul and his vastly experienced team exceptional.
I doubted the probability of my case being successful, but Elaine reassured me, regardless of me being outside Ireland.
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 are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a road traffic accident.
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 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.
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
We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.
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