How long do I have to claim?

How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?

As a general rule an accident compensation claim must be registered with The Injuries Board (and acknowledged) within two years of the accident date. There are exceptions. In particular, where the “date of knowledge” is some time after the accident date, then the two year limitation period only commences on the “date of knowledge”. The date of knowledge is defined as the date a person became aware that the injury occurred, that it was significant and that it was attributable to negligence or breach of duty, and knew the identity of the Defendant (Statute of Limitations (Amendment) Act 1991 Section 2). A typical example of a case where the time limit may be extended under this section is where a claimant sustains a very minor or trivial injury in an accident but subsequently becomes aware that the injury was significantly more serious. The term “significant” is not defined in the Act and so the particular facts of each case must be examined.

  1. Child Claimants:

An important exception to the two year rule is the case of child Plaintiffs (persons under the age of 18 years). When a child is involved in an accident, the two year limitation period only commences on the child’s 18th birthday so the Next Friend (usually a parent) may commence the claim at any time up until the child’s 18th birthday. If a claim has not been commenced by such date, the child himself may bring the claim at any time up until the day prior to his 20th birthday.

  1. Defective Products:

The time limit for claiming compensation for damage caused by a defective product is three years from the date the damage occurred or “date of knowledge(Defective Products Act 1991).

  1. Legal Advice:

There are various other exceptions and it is important to consult your Solicitor for expert advice in each case.

If you would like to find out more about time limitations

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Have you had an accident abroad?

Did you know that if you have been involved in an accident abroad while you are on a package holiday you can pursue a claim for compensation under the Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act 1995 if you have booked your holiday through a Tour Operator/ Organiser in Ireland.

If you have suffered an injury due to an accident whilst on a package holiday you should ensure to report the matter to management of the hotel or resort, seek medical attention from a local Doctor, obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses and take photographs of the area where the accident occurred.

If you have been involved in an accident abroad,

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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.

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