Can I recover the cost of my car damage prior to settlement of my claim?

This question frequently arises in road traffic accident cases. Can I recover the cost of my car damage prior to settlement of my injury claim?

The answer is that just one claim can be brought by a claimant in respect of the accident. Therefore it is not possible to bring a separate claim for car damage, both claims must be brought together. However Gary Matthews Solicitors will always encourage Insurance companies to settle the “material damage” (car damage) claim separately in the early stages and frequently insurers are willing to do so.

Refusal to do so may result in further costs having to be paid by the Insurers for the additional inconvenience caused to the claimant as well as car-hire expenses and possible bank interest if a loan is taken out to cover the cost of repairs or a replacement car. It is also worth noting that insurers must also pay a figure for “depreciation” to a car which has been involved in a collision.

At Gary Matthews Solicitors, as personal injury law specialists, we have been helping our clients claim for road accidents, If you have been in a road traffic accident where you suffered personal injury you may be entitled to claim. We’ll sit down with you and explain all your options as well as the likely outcome.

If you have been involved in a car accident,

Click on this link http://www.touchcall.co/0035319036250/ to call the office to arrange a consultation OR

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Take the first steps towards making a claim for your injuries

Your first step in the process is obtaining Legal Advice from our expert legal team.

Begin our 3 step Check:

What to do if you have had a car accident.

If you are in involved in accident, be it that a third party driver runs into and hits you or if you have the unfortunate mishap of crashing into another vehicle, then here are the necessary steps which should be taken immediately after the accident:

Stay at the Scene

The cardinal rule for all car accidents is that you should never leave the scene until it is appropriate to do so. If you leave the scene of an accident, particularly where someone has sustained injuries or was killed, you can face serious criminal penalties for being a “hit-and-run” driver.

Check on All Drivers and Passengers

Before assessing the damage, check to make sure that everyone else involved in the accident is okay. Get medical attention for anyone who may need it. If a person is unconscious or complains of neck or back pain, it is best not to move them until qualified medical personnel arrive. In some situations and through your own evaluation of the situation you may feel that you have no choice but to move them. If you are in that type of situation, try to move them as steadily and slowly as possible while supporting their back and neck.

Call the Gardai

Especially if the accident involves significant property damage, physical injury, or death, you must call the Gardai. If and when the Gardai arrive, ensure to obtain the Guards name and badge number together with details of their respective Station. The Gardai may contact you after the accident for the purposes of providing a statement and it is imperative that you furnish them with full details and always ensure to tell the truth.

Exchange Information

Talk to the drivers of all other vehicles involved in the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, addresses, drivers’ license numbers, license plate numbers, and basic insurance information. If there are passengers in any of the vehicles, obtain their names, telephone numbers, and addresses as well.

Talk to Witnesses

Ask every witness what he or she saw. Get their names, telephone numbers or addresses, if possible.

Inform Your Insurance Company

As soon as possible, tell your insurance company that you have been involved in an accident. Ensure to tell the truth about what happened and confirm details of your injuries.

Take Pictures

Take photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident, if at all possible. If you do not have a camera with you then ensure to take photographs of any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident. It may also be useful to draw a sketch of the positioning of the vehicle on the road at the time of the accident.

Keep Track of Your Medical Treatment

Note any doctors, specialists, physiotherapists or any other medical professionals that you receive treatment from and ensure to note the dates you attended them on. If you or a loved one are involved in a personal injury case, following are some “do’s and don’ts” to help you protect your right to a legal remedy for harm suffered.

The Do’s

  • DO seek medical attention before doing anything else.
  • DO summon the Gardai.
  • DO cooperate with all law enforcement and emergency personnel who respond to the scene.
  • DO get the license plate numbers of all other vehicles involved in car accidents and the drivers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance information.
  • DO write down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all potential witnesses to an accident.
  • DO ensure to contact your insurance company.
  • DO take photographs of all of the following, as applicable, as soon as possible after the accident: The scene of the accident, from all angles. The surrounding area. The product or animal that caused your injuries. Your injuries. Any property damage.
  • DO contact your Solicitors.

The Dont’s

  • DON’T move your vehicle after the car crash unless necessary for safety.
  • DON’T subject yourself to further injury by standing or waiting in an area of traffic or other safety hazards.
  • DON’T leave the scene of a road traffic accident until the police tell you it is okay to do so.
  • DON’T agree to settlement terms without contacting your attorney.

For further information or specialist legal advice get in touch.

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Have you sustained injuries by being an innocent passenger?

Have you sustained injuries by being an innocent passenger?

You may be entitled to claim.

If you have been injured as a passenger in a private vehicle, on a motorbike, commercial or other vehicle or on public transport, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the negligent driver’s insurance company to deal with your personal injury compensation claim, and not the driver.  If the driver was uninsured or the vehicle which caused the accident left the scene and is untraced it may still be possible to make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland Scheme (MIBI).  The MIBI compensates victims of accidents caused by uninsured, untraced, or unidentified drivers. 

The first step in this process is to notify the MIBI of the accident and the intention to pursue a claim for damages. A MIBI claim notification form will be required to be submitted detailing all available information in respect of the accident such as the date, time, and location, your own personal details, vehicle registration number, injuries sustained and attendances with hospital/Doctors and details of attending Garda.

The MIBI will then investigate the matter and will nominate an Insurance Company to deal with the claim.

MIBI claims can be complicated and there are certain onerous obligations on claimants relying on the scheme.  It is always advisable to speak with a Solicitor.

In the majority of cases a passenger is an innocent party and the main issue for consideration is the extent of the personal injuries, loss and damage sustained by the injured passenger and the level of damages considered adequate compensation.

There are circumstances where a passenger claim will face a difficulty, particularly, if it is found that the passenger negligently contributed to his or her own injuries.  A finding of what is referred to as contributory negligence may defeat the claim or reduce the level of compensation awarded.

The following are factors to be considered with regard to contributory negligence:-

  • Failing to wear a seat belt.
  • Travelling in a vehicle knowing the driver to be intoxicated.
  • Travelling in a vehicle knowing that it is not covered by insurance.
  • Travelling in a stolen vehicle.

Expert legal advice should always be sought when injured as a passenger.

If you were a passenger in a vehicle involved in a road traffic accident within the last two years and you have suffered personal injuries, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation depending on the circumstances.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured by being an innocent passenger, we strongly recommend you get immediate impartial, independent legal advice from an experienced claims solicitor by calling Gary Matthews Solicitors directly on 01 903 6250, or by logging onto our website www.gary.ie and completing the online enquiry form.