Motorcycle Accident Claims * In Ireland
The number of motorcyclists in Ireland has steadily risen over the last decade due to heavy traffic, especially in the capital. Consequently, motorbike accidents have significantly increased, as reported by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). Involvement in such accidents, either directly or through your loved ones, can be quite harrowing. It is even worse if the victim sustains irreversible injuries. But what if you are not the one responsible for the accident? The law entitles you to motorcycle accident compensation. However, compensation for personal injury sustained during road traffic accidents is not automatic. You need to make a motorbike accident claim and prove all elements of your case.
Which motorbike accident claims can I make?
The RSA statistics show that a majority (63.4 percent) of motorcycle accidents involved a car, with less than 3 percent involving pedestrians and cyclists. Private cars had more collisions with motorcyclists compared to trucks, tractors, and pickup trucks.
Most likely, your accident involved one of these, and the claim you make is determined by how the accident happened. Some of the most common compensation claims include; head-on, rear-end and side-impact collision claims, passenger injury, roundabout accident, uninsured driver, hit and run claims, among many others. You may not precisely know which compensation you deserve; therefore, you should seek the help of a specialist solicitor in such matters.
What exactly should I do if I am a victim of a motorcycle accident?
Whether you were the driver or just a passenger, below are the steps you need to take following a motorcycle accident:
Seek medical help
Before you can figure out whose fault led to the incident, you must pay attention to your health. If conscious, immediately assess if you have sustained any motorcycle accident injuries. Thereafter, you can check if there is any other victim who needs urgent medical intervention. In case of any serious injuries, reach out for an ambulance service provider to attend the scene. Noteworthy, minor injuries should not be ignored as they have the potential of progressing and even becoming life-threatening. Visiting your GP or the nearest accident and emergency facility for a check-up is advisable after all motorcycle accident cases.
Collect all the relevant accident information
At the scene of the accident, you need to capture the following information as they are integral in proving your claim’s veracity.
- Details of the other people involved- these include their names, address, and any other contact info. Vehicle details such as registration number and insurance information should also be recorded. Be willing to offer your personal information too.
- Name and contact information of any first responder at the scene. It can be a paramedic or a Garda on duty.
- Pictures of the scene. Taking photos of the scene from varying angles will give your solicitor a better understanding of how the accident occurred.
- Record the exact time, date, and weather conditions as at when the accident took place.
- If possible, obtain the CCTV and Dash Cam footage of the accident. CCTV camera recordings in a nearby building can be useful.
Report to the Gardai
Any road traffic accident must be reported to the Gardai regardless of its magnitude. This you can do by calling the national accident helpline or visiting the nearest Garda station. In minor incidents, where the matter can be amicably solved between the involved parties without taking the legal path, the Gardai may not come to the scene. If that’s the case, visit the nearby police station and ask them to take the accident details and your statement. Serious cases requiring ambulance services attract the Gardai, who will assess the accident and take both victims’ and witnesses’ statements.
Inform your insurer
If you are the driver whose vehicle is linked to the motorcycle accident, your insurance company needs to have it on record. So, contact them and supply the necessary details.
Seek the help of a motorcycle accident claims solicitor
In case you have sustained any personal injuries and would like to start your claim for injury compensation, then you need to speak to an experienced solicitor as early as possible. The initial step is claim submission to the Injuries Board for assessment. A motorcycle accident specialist will be instrumental in preparing the application to the Board and subsequently speeding up the compensation process. For the fine details on claims, look at the next section.
How do I make a motorcycle accident claim?
If the motorcycle accident was not your fault and you want to go ahead with the injury claim, below are the steps to follow. (You need the assistance of a specialist.)
1. Prepare information for the accident solicitor
When reaching out to a solicitor to further your claim, if possible you should have all the following details about the incident. These are;
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Details of the liable party, including the name, address, contact details, vehicle information (registration number and insurance details). In case of hit and run, there are still avenues of moving the claim forward.
- Pictures of the scene taken at various angles
- Details of first responders who attended the scene
- Explanations specifying what happened
- Hospitals or doctors visited and the specifics of your injuries.
2. Let the solicitor be your advisor
As a specialist, the solicitor is much more informed on motorcycle accident claims than ordinary citizens. If you let them be your trusted advisor on every legal dealing throughout the case, then you will escape some legal potholes you may be unaware of.
3. The solicitor obtains all medical report(s)
A medical report is vital in determining the extent of your injuries. The solicitor will follow up on the hospital or the doctor you visited after the accident and request a report on your injuries.
4. Your solicitor makes an application to the Injuries Board
After obtaining all the relevant accident information, the solicitor submits the claim to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. Upon assessment and approval, your solicitor will advise you of a reasonable compensation figure. If both you and the liable party accept the Injuries Board’s determination, the person at fault will compensate you with the specified amount. The case is settled at this level. However, if any party is unsatisfied with the Board’s decision and rejects it, the case moves to the next stage with your solicitor issuing legal proceedings.
What should I expect with my claim? – No Win No Fee Explained
As already alluded to above, the majority of cases will be solved outside the courtroom. If the settlement can be negotiated, meetings will be arranged with the other side in an effort to bring your case to a resolution. Regardless of the resolution method, your solicitor should always be right beside you to act as a trusted advisor and ensure you receive maximum compensation if you get injured in a motorcycle.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin