This article sets out what to do if you have a car accident.
Stop reading your phone and do the following:
1. Check and see if anyone has been injured.
2. If someone is injured, call an ambulance or other emergency services. You should also call the Gardai if there’s been an injury and you should not leave the scene of the accident unless the emergency services need you to bring someone to hospital.
3. If everyone is OK, photograph the vehicles in the location they ended up in.
4. Once the photos are taken move the vehicles aside so traffic can pass and exchange insurance and contact details (including address) and registration numbers.
5. Inform your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company of the car accident. You are now free to leave.
If the other side is responsible, you should claim for any material damage to your vehicle and contents from their insurance company. You can do this yourself and it will be much quicker than going through a solicitor. If they’re not insured, wait for my next update on uninsured drivers!
If you have been injured, then go a doctor or hospital as appropriate. After that you can go to a solicitor once you’re up to it. Solicitors are prohibited by law from charging a percentage of the proceeds of your claim and should discuss and agree their fees with you up front.
The solicitor will write a warning letter to the responsible party and their insurers notifying them of the car accident and whether you are injured. The solicitor will also send you to a medical practitioner and obtain a medical report. Keep all receipts for medical and other expenses. You should be able to recover these along with any loss of earnings suffered due to your injuries.
Once the medical report is returned, your solicitor will meet with you to complete the Injuries Board claim form. This will then be lodged and the value of your injuries will be assessed by the Injuries Board (unless the other side object to this and you will then be free to go to Court).
In the normal course, you will then receive a Notice of Assessment within 9 months. Your solicitor will advise you on this assessment and whether the amount is sufficient to compensate you adequately for your injuries.
If you or the other side are not happy with this assessment, then you will be free to go to Court to prosecute your claim. The Court procedure (if required) will be the subject of another blog shortly.
I hope this article has been helpful. Hogan Dowling McNamara Solicitors are conveniently located at Castletroy House, Dublin Road, Limerick with plenty of off street parking. If you have any queries regarding personal injuries claims please contact us by phone at 061 501100, email Thomas Dowling, personal injuries partner at firstname.lastname@example.org or get a call back by completing our contact form so we can provide you with further information or advice.