The highest price that we pay in Ireland for car accidents is in the loss of human lives; however society also bears the brunt of the many costs associated with motor vehicle accidents.
Several different factors, not all of them are that obvious; determine who is liable for damages or injuries resulting from car accidents in Ireland. For example, a motorist is seriously injured when another car cuts in front of him after turning onto the street. However, the person who is injured may be held liable if he was speeding or made an illegal lane change prior to the accident. The decision of who pays for damages or injuries in car accidents rests primarily on the rules of the road, rather than the traditional, common law definition of who is at fault.
The car insurance industry has lobbied government to base car accident liability more on motor vehicle statutes than on the common law notions of simple fault. This has made it easier for insurance companies to challenge fault and liability when the other party in an accident has violated a traffic law, especially since liability insurance even if only third party liability is legally required. For example, a motorist lacking liability insurance should not be able to claim for damages even if the other motorist was at least partially negligent in a traffic accident.
Negligence unfortunately for us is the primary cause of car accidents and generally means careless or inadvertent conduct that results in harm or damage, which is quite common in car accidents. One can be negligent by failing to do something, such as for example as not yielding at a stop sign to cause an accident, as well as by actively doing something like using a mobile telephone when driving. Reckless or dangerous driving refers to a wilful disregard for the safety and welfare of others. Strict liability may be imposed by the courts, even in the absence of fault or negligence, for car accidents involving certain defective products or extra hazardous activities.
Disclaimer: *In contentious business a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.