Car Accidents Solicitors Rathcoole
Road traffic accidents* are the most common cause of personal injuries claims* in Rathcoole.
Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors are an Award-winning Law Firm, with over 40 years’ experience in assisting clients from Rathcoole with car accident claims*. Our expertise in road traffic accidents claims* was recognized in 2019, when we were nominated for the ‘Personal Injury and Medical Negligence Solicitors of the Year’ Award at the Irish Law Awards. We are also very proud to have been twice named Leinster Law Firm of the Year.
Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors offer advice in car accident claims* to clients from Rathcoole and right across the country. If you have been in a car crash and would like advice on bringing either a personal injury or material damage claim* please do not hesitate to contact one of our expert personal injury solicitors*. Our Naas office is only 15 minutes away from Rathcoole town centre, alternatively, we offer clients consultations by phone, Zoom and through other such platforms.
What Should I Do If I Am in A Car Accident*?
If you are in a car accident*, the first thing you should do is check whether you, your passengers or the other driver have been injured. If you are concerned that anyone has suffered a serious injury (such as a spinal cord injury or broken bone) you should immediately call an ambulance.
Due to the shock and adrenaline caused by a car accident*, it is very common for people, particularly if they suffered whiplash* or soft tissue* type injuries, to not immediately realise that they have been injured. Often whiplash* and soft tissue injuries* only manifest in the hours or days following the accident*. For these reasons, you should visit your doctor regardless of whether you believe you are badly injured.
What info do I need to file a Road Traffic Accident Claim?*
If you have been in a car accident* and wish to bring a road traffic accident claim*, you should seek the help of a personal injury lawyer* who advises clients from Rathcoole*. In order to do this, you must get the full details of all parties involved. This includes:
- A detailed description of how the accident occurred, and the date, time and location.
- Contact details of witnesses (address, telephone and email address). Your personal injury lawyer* will contact any witnesses to take up a detailed statement. A witness statement must be taken as soon as possible after the car accident*, particularly if liability is disputed. We want to ensure your witness gives this statement when the car accident is fresh in their mind.
- Details of the personal injuries* you sustained in the accident and details of any medical attention you received for these. You should also collect details of any emergency services that attended the motor traffic accident*.
- Details of any out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the car accident*.
- The details of any other parties involved in the road traffic accident*, including names, addresses, contact details, vehicle registration numbers and insurance details.
Report the Car Accident* to the Gardaí
You should immediately report the car accident* to the Gardaí. If it is a minor car accident*, the Gardaí may not attend the scene. If this is the case, we suggest reporting the car accident* to your local Garda station, being Rathcoole, as soon as possible. When reporting the accident to Rathcoole or your local Garda station, you should insist that they take details of the accident.
In more serious accidents, the Gardaí will attend the scene of the car accident* and take statements from drivers and witnesses. They will likely make a sketch map of the accident scene. A car accident lawyer* will take up this information from the Gardaí when they seek the Garda Abstract Report.
Moving Your Car
According to the Citizens Information Guidelines, you should never move your car if the accident is serious, particularly if someone has suffered catastrophic injuries. If the car accident* is minor and the car is blocking the road or a danger to other drivers, you should move your car. Before doing so, you should mark their positions on the road and take photographs of the cars’ positions.
Photographing Car Accidents*
It is best to take these photographs immediately after the accident before vehicles are moved to the side of the road. These photos should be printed, date stamped and copied, to give to your solicitor. You should photograph the following:
- Your injuries.
- The scene of the accident, including skid marks, road markings, debris or road signs. Photographs of the surrounding area are of prime importance; often motor traffic accidents* happen at crossroads or T intersections, and photographs of the road network and signage can be invaluable.
- Damage to your vehicle and all other vehicles involved, including the vehicles’ positions following the accident.
In multiple vehicle car accidents*, photographs taken at the scene are especially invaluable. If you did not take these photos personally, it is essential that whoever did take them is available to give evidence at the hearing.
Car Accident Claims* Involving Multiple Vehicles
The most common type of multiple vehicle accident* is where one car rear-ends another, which in turn rear-ends the car in front. These car crashes can often lead to multiple parties sustaining personal injuries*. The accidents can be particularly severe for those in the middle car, as they are essentially in two accidents – one where they are read-ended and one where they crash into the car in front.
Multiple vehicle accident claims* involve three or more vehicles. These accidents often occur when a car crashes into a car, which causes that car to collide with another car often coming in the opposite direction. The person or persons liable will be responsible for material damage and personal injuries* of the occupants of all other vehicles. Liability in these accidents is often a lot less straightforward. If you are involved in such an accident in Rathcoole, it is essential that you immediately call Rathcoole Garda Station and ask them to attend at the scene, to take witness statements and prepare a sketch of the car crash*.
Who is Responsible?
You should never admit liability (i.e. do not say the car accident* was your fault) at the scene of a car accident*. This has no benefit to you or the other driver. Car accidents* are very stressful and upsetting; often, those involved in a car accident* are in a state of shock immediately afterwards. Collect your thoughts, take photographs and discuss the matter with a car accident solicitor* before you decide whether to admit liability.
Which Driver is Liable in a Pile Up Car Accident?
All drivers have a duty of care to other road users. It is incumbent on all drivers to drive attentively and safely. As these car accidents* generally start when one car crashes into another, it is invariably the first driver at fault. The first driver will be liable to pay any compensation award for the car accident*. There can be incidents where this is not the case, but they are incredibly rare.
All parties’ insurance companies will want to investigate the scene of the road traffic accident* and the vehicle damage, particularly where liability is at issue. They will generally engage a motor assessor to complete their investigations. You should always ask for a copy of their report. If possible, your engineer should physically inspect any of the vehicles involved.
Road Traffic Accident Engineer
Where liability is disputed, you must engage a specialist road traffic accident engineer*. They will likely want to inspect the locus of the car accident*. At Hanahoe and Hanahoe we work with a panel of road traffic accident* engineers, who will investigate car crashes that happen in Rathcoole. If you have taken up a copy of the Motor Assessor’s report from your insurer’s inspection, we would highly recommend that this is also given to your engineer.
Bringing a Claim to MIBI
Bringing a personal injuries claim* to MIBI is different from filing a regular accident claim*. The MIBI Agreement is a very detailed document, with very particular terms and conditions. For example, you must share all your medical reports and notes, witness statements, Garda reports and other documentation with MIBI. This would not be the case in other car accident compensation claims*. It is also necessary to serve all documentation by registered post or email. Failure to comply with these and other conditions can be critical to the success of your personal injuries claim*.
Car Accidents* Involving Uninsured or Untraced Drivers
If you have been injured in a car accident* where the driver at fault is uninsured or unidentified, you are entitled to bring a personal injury claim* against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). All motor insurers in Ireland must sign up to the MIBI Agreement and pay towards the MIBI compensation fund. The MIBI Agreement sets out the terms under which the board will pay compensation for personal injury claims* concerning car accidents* caused by uninsured vehicles.
Passengers of the driver at fault are also entitled to bring an accident claim* against the MIBI. To do so, however, they must not have been aware that the driver was uninsured at the time of the accident. If you are involved in a car accident in Rathcoole* involving an uninsured driver, it is essential that you immediately report the accident to the Rathcoole Garda Station. You should get as much information as possible from the uninsured driver, such as their name, contact details and registration number. All this information will be required when submitting your personal injury claim* application to the MIBI.
You can also pursue your personal injuries claim* through the MIBI if the other party leaves the scene without giving you their details: for example, if you are injured in a car accident in Rathcoole* where the other vehicle does not stop or gives you false details. It is essential that you immediately report the accident to Rathcoole Garda Station so that everything possible can be done to identify the other driver. This also applies to a pedestrian or cyclist who suffered personal injuries* in hit and run accidents in Rathcoole.
Vehicle and Property Damage Claims with MIBI
The MIBI Agreement allows for the payment of compensation of vehicle/property claims arising from car accidents*, provided the other vehicle is identifiable via a valid registration plate. Therefore, if you are in a car accident in Rathcoole* where your car is damaged by an unidentified or untraced driver, you cannot claim for car damage. You can still make a personal injuries claim* – it is worth noting that an excess of €220 still applies.
Speak to a Solicitor who Specialises in Car Accident Claims*
If you have been injured in a car accident* and want to file a personal injury claim in Rathcoole*, we suggest speaking to a solicitor who specialises in personal injury law*. Our team of personal injuries solicitors* regularly advise Rathcoole based clients who have been involved in car accidents. We offer consultations in-person, over Zoom, and over the phone.
Why Choose Hanahoe & Hanahoe?
At Hanahoe and Hanahoe Solicitors, we have over 40 years’ experience advising clients across Rathcoole on car accident claims. We have offices in Naas and Dublin, with our personal injury solicitors* using up-to-date legal technologies to advise a nationwide clientele on all types of road traffic accidents*.
We are an award-winning law firm, having twice won ‘Leinster Law Firm of the Year’ at the Irish Law Awards. We were also nominated a Personal Injury and Medical Negligence Law Firm of the Year underlining our position as one of the best and most respected personal injury law firms* working in the Rathcoole area.
Hanahoe and Hanahoe have a proven successful track record in the filing of personal injury claims* on behalf of Rathcoole based clients. We deal with our clients’ cases with efficiency and proactivity. Rather than using unnecessary legal jargon, we keep you up to date with the progression of your case, so you know you are in safe hands.
What is contributory negligence?
Contributory negligence is a legal principle where the injured party may have contributed to their injuries in an accident by acting negligently. The amount by which compensation is deducted will depend on the medical evidence produced at the personal injury court case*. While every personal injury case* will be decided on its own merits, the judge will be guided by case law.
Can I file a personal injuries claim if I was not wearing a seatbelt?
The simple answer is yes. If you are injured in a car accident* that was not your fault, you can file a car accident compensation claim* even if you were not wearing a seatbelt. You are legally obliged to wear a seatbelt and had you been wearing one, it is likely that your personal injuries* would have been greatly reduced. It is extremely likely that a judge will determine you were negligent in failing to wear a seatbelt, therefore contributing to your injuries. As such the compensation you receive for your injuries will be reduced. This is an example of contributory negligence.
How much compensation will be deducted if I was not wearing a seatbelt?
If you would have sustained no injuries at all in the car accident*, had you been wearing a seatbelt, then there should a 25% reduction in compensation. If the injuries would not have been as severe if you had been wearing a seatbelt, 10% should be deducted. If wearing a seatbelt would have made no difference to the injuries sustained, there should be no deduction. This is how the case law currently stands, but as we have seen from the recent Court of Appeal decision, personal injuries law* is continually evolving.
Vehicle Damage Claims*
In Ireland and indeed Rathcoole, there are a huge number of car crashes each year, where the vehicles are damaged, but no one sustains personal injuries*. Just because you have not sustained personal injuries* in the car accident*, does not mean that you do not want to have your vehicle repaired. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to bring a vehicle damage claim* and/or are not aware of want expenses are recoverable from the third party’s insurance company. If you been in a car accident* in Rathcoole and have suffered financial loss arising from the accident and you want assistance in bringing a material damage claim* one of our solicitors will be happy to help you.
Bringing a Vehicle Damage Claim*
Hanahoe and Hanahoe are a specialist personal injury* and litigation firm, with particular expertise in motor accident claims*. We understand that being in a car accident is incredibly stressful enough, without dealing with the additional stress of trying to get your car repaired and organising a replacement. Our car accident claims solicitors* will deal directly with the third party’s insurers, ensuring that you receive full compensation for your vehicle damage and any associated financial loss.
As part of our service one of our car accident claims solicitors* will:
- Negotiate with the third parties insures on your behalf.
- Arrange for the recovery and storage of your damaged car.
- Arrange for a temporary replacement car, if necessary.
- Arrange for your vehicle to be assessed.
Vehicle Expenses Claims*
If you are in a car accident* where your vehicle has been damaged, you may be able to claim for the following:
- Cost of repairs: Once liability has been accepted we will be in a position to recover the cost of the repairs cause to your vehicle in the car accident.
- Car hire: if you have had to rent a car while your vehicle has been fixed, we will look to recover the cost of reasonable car hire or a sum for loss of use.
- Depreciation: If your vehicle is less than five years old it may be possible to recover a sum for depreciation.
- Pre-accident value: after the car accident, if your vehicle is considered beyond economic repair or a ‘write off’ for insurance purposes, we will ensure that your material damage claim is settle for the appropriate pre-accident value of the vehicle, less any salvage you receive.
- Towing and storage: if your car was towed from the scene of the accident or stored for a period of time, we will seek to recover these costs.
How much will my insurance increase after a car crash* in Ireland?
This depends on who is at fault for the car crash*. If you are not responsible for the car crash*, your insurer will try to recoup the cost of the repairs to your vehicle from the insurers of the person who was at fault*. If they are successful in recouping all of the costs, your car accident* will be recorded as a non-fault claim on your insurance record and your insurance premium should not increase.
Whiplash Injury Claims*
Often people who have been involved in a car crash suffer soft tissue injuries, which can often be referred to as a whiplash injury*. The Mayo Clinic defines a whiplash injury* as ‘an neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash may be called a neck injury sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries’. According to the Personal Injuries Assessments Boards Book of Quantum, a whiplash injury* is an over-extension or sprain of the neck, often suffered in a motor vehicle accident or high impact slip/trip/fall type of accident. Whiplash claims* are commonly associated with people who have been injured in car accidents. However, whiplash injuries* can also be caused as a result of sport, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a trip or fall.
How do I take a Whiplash Compensation Claim?*
The same rules apply to bringing a whiplash compensation claim* as they do to almost all personal injury claims.* If you have sustained a whiplash type injury* in an accident, you should seek medical attention from your general practitioner. You should then seek the advice of an expert personal injury solicitor*, like ourselves, who has extensive experience in advising clients on whiplash claims*.
When one of our personal injury solicitors* is instructed by a client to bring a whiplash compensation claim*, they will immediately write to the third party responsible for the accident, notifying them of the claim. We will then seek a medical report from your general practitioner. This report should set out the nature of the injuries you sustained, the cause of your injuries, the treatment afforded and the doctor’s prognosis for the future. Once we have taken up your medical report, we will submit your whiplash compensation claim* to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
It is important to remember that the Statue of Limitations for bringing a whiplash compensation claim is two years minus one day from the date of the accident. The Statute of Limitations for a child to bring a whiplash claim* is two years from their eighteenth birthday. That said we would always advise clients not to delay unduly if they want to bring a personal injuries claim*.
Whiplash Compensation Calculator*
The amount the Personal Injuries Assessment Board and the Courts award for whiplash claims can vary. It will depend on a variety of factors, such as, the severity of the injuries sustained, whether there is a loss earnings claim and what other costs the injured party has incurred. It is also important to note, that as result of the establishment of the Personal Injury Guidelines Committee, and some notable Court of Appeal Decisions, the level of damages been awarded for whiplash claims* are reducing.
The Personal Injury Assessment Board’s Book of Quantum, is useful as a guide to whiplash definitions and compensation amounts. However, it is important to remember the Book of Quantum is only a guideline and as noted in the decision in McFadden v Weir  the limitation of the book is that it cannot take account of how a particular personal injury* affects a particular person.
That said you may find the guideline from the Book of Quantum with respect to Whiplash injuries* helpful.
Minor Injuries – substantially recovered or a full recovery expected
Claims of up to up to €19,400.
These injuries are minor soft tissue, whiplash injuries. Whilst the duration of symptoms will be of importance, there are also other factors that need to be considered when calculating the assessment. Such factors would include the nature of the neck injury, the intensity of the pain and extent of the symptoms, the presence of additional symptoms in the back or shoulder areas, the impact of the injuries on the person’s ability to work and/or the extent of the treatment.
Claims of €20,400 to €30,200.
These injuries would be moderate soft tissue injuries where the period of recovery has been protracted and where there remains an increased vulnerability to further trauma. Also within this bracket would be injuries which may have accelerated or exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a period of time, usually no more than five years.
Moderately Severe Injuries
Claims of €34,400 to €52,200.
These injuries involve the soft tissue or wrenching type injury of the more severe type resulting in serious limitation of movement, recurring pain, stiffness and discomfort and the possible need for surgery or increased vulnerability to further trauma. This would also include injuries which may have accelerated and/or exacerbated a pre-existing condition over a prolonged period of time, usually more than five years resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness.
Severe and Permanent Injuries
Claims of €44,600 to €77,900.
The most severe category. These injuries will have also affected the structure of the neck and the discs, resulting in serious limitation of movement and the requirement for surgery. Little or no movement regained on a permanent basis resulting in ongoing pain and stiffness with the necessity to wear a collar for long periods in the day.
As to what the average payouts for whiplash injuries are? According to an a recent report in the Irish Times, https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/whiplash-victims-awarded-average-of-20-000-for-injuries-1.3686262 they are around the €20,000.
Solicitors are not doctors and therefore your general practitioner would be best place to advice you as to the symptoms of whiplash. We do know that the symptoms of whiplash may not appear for hours after the accident and that the symptoms can worsen over the days following the accident. This can often be as a result of the adrenaline and shock one experiences, when they have been in accident. As soon as you experience symptoms you should immediately seek the advice of your doctor.
The most common symptoms associated with whiplash include:
- Reduced mobility of the neck
- Chronic pain
- Tenderness of the neck muscles
- Blurred vision
- Muscle spasms
- Shoulder pain
How long does it take to settle a Whiplash Injury Claim?*
This is an impossible question to answer, as all whiplash injury claims* are different. A number of issues may vary the length of time it takes to settle a whiplash compensation claim*, such as the severity of your injury, liability and the attitude of the third party. Importantly we would never advise someone to settle a whiplash claim until there injuries have fully resolved or they have a prognosis from their medical practitioner that their injuries will not get any worse.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.