Car Accident Injuries Personal Injury Solicitors Based in Dublin
Whiplash is a common injury among personal injury cases in Ireland. Whiplash is an injury that occurs on the neck and causes soft tissue damage due to a sudden jolt during an accident. A victim may not feel the impact of whiplash immediately after, but the symptoms may persist hours later. If you suffer a whiplash injury, the most common symptoms you will feel are severe pain, shoulder pain, soreness on the neck, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, and inability to move your neck. Here is a guide on whiplash claims in Ireland.
Can you Prove you have Whiplash?
When trying to prove whiplash claims, you first need to give details of what happened during the accident. Here, you need to provide evidence of the speed and direction of the vehicle. You should also explain whether the airbags got deployed, the position of your head and whether you were sitting at the front or the back. You should also indicate whether the emergency services attended the scene.
Other than the car details, you need to show your medical assessment after the accident. The medical report should indicate whether you have any pre-existing condition that could have made the injury worse. Your attorney will then arrange for a medical check-up to confirm all the evidence so that they can put up a personal injury claims for you.
In most cases, your solicitor will contact the other driver who caused the accident, whether wholly or partially, in a bid to negotiate with them. If they deny liability, your lawyer will contact the other driver’s insurance company for further negotiations. If all else fails, the case is taken to court, where a judge gives a ruling. However, most cases get settled outside the courts.
Who is Eligible to make a Whiplash Claim in Ireland?
Anyone can claim whiplash injuries sustained as a result of someone else’s negligence. This means that someone had a duty of care to you as a road user, but they decided to ignore it. For instance, a driver under the influence of alcohol or one who uses a phone while driving and then causes an accident is said to be negligent in their actions. If you feel that someone else is responsible for your suffering caused by a sudden neck and soft tissue injury, then you can seek legal services from a whiplash injury claim solicitor.
What is Contributory Negligence in Whiplash Compensation?
In some situations, the accident may be a result of negligent actions from more than one party. For example, the driver that caused an accident may have missed some potholes because the council did not indicate on the road. On the flip side, a claimant can be negligent if they didn’t have their seatbelt on, aggravating the situation. A claimant can also worsen a personal injury if they fail to seek medical attention soon after the accident.
When a solicitor has a contributory negligence case, each of the parties involved will pay for their contribution on the whiplash injuries.
How Much Compensation do you get for Whiplash?
We find most of our clients asking, “What is the typical payout for a whiplash claim?” The truth is, each case we handle is different from the other, and so is the payout. Several factors come into play when determining whiplash compensation.
One of the reasons it is quite difficult to have one-figure fits all for whiplash injury is that it’s almost impossible to determine the severity of the injury. An x-ray or a medical examination cannot reveal the level of pain, which some people often exaggerate. The burden of proof usually lies with the claimant because the level of damage cannot be substantiated which often leads to fraudulent claims.
If you've suffered whiplash injuries, your general practitioner may ask you to take some days off work, leading to a loss of earnings. You also need compensation to cater for medical treatment and the pain you go through after the accident.
Judges in Ireland use the Book of Quantum to determine the general payouts for all personal injury cases. The book allows the courts to give an average payout of €14,400 for a minor whiplash neck injury where a claimant can recover within one year. The book guides claimants likely to heal fully within two years should receive €11,500 to €17,400. If the neck injury significantly affects the quality of life, its average payout is €64,500. Finally, a neck injury that causes permanent damage receives an average compensation of about €78,400.
What are the Symptoms of Whiplash injury?
Neck pain and stiffness.
Worsening of pain with neck movement.
Loss of range of motion in the neck.
Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull.
Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms.
Factors that Affect a Whiplash Claim
As noted above, the figures given by the Book of Quantum only act as a guide. So many factors determine how much compensation you receive for a minor whiplash neck injury to a serious neck injury. In our experience as whiplash claim solicitors, here are some of the factors we’ve encountered.
Loss of earnings
A neck injury can make you miss work for a few weeks which you deserve compensation for lost earnings. According to Irish law, workers who miss work due to whiplash should receive 66.67 percent of their weekly income.
Age and gender
It’s common for people to ask whether women and children receive better compensation for whiplash. The answer is yes! Biologically, men have stronger neck muscles compared to women and young children.
Another reason why women and children receive higher compensation for personal injury cases is that they tend to sustain more severe injuries than women and children. In a typical family setup going for a drive, the man drives the vehicle. In the occurrence of a car accident, the man will foresee and brace for any impact while the woman and the children are often caught unawares.
Compensation when the Negligent Driver is Uninsured
As much as all drivers in Ireland are obligated to have insurance cover, a driver may be under provisional license in some situations. In such cases, the complainant can lodge a compensation claim with the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). MIBI was formed to help drivers who sustain injuries due to the fault of an uninsured driver to get compensation still.
Popular Questions Around Whiplash Claims Legal Claims
Many factors determine how fast your road traffic accident where you suffered whiplash gets settled. For example, is your whiplash case contested or uncontested? Simply put, does the other party admit liability or not? As a common practice, once your case gets to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), it can take about seven months before settlement.
A settlement could also take longer if you feel that the award is lower than you anticipated and decide to appeal your case. The defendant may also disagree with the decision made by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board which could also significantly increase the waiting time.
According to the Statute of Limitations, you should make a compensation claim for all personal injuries under which whiplash falls within two years after the road traffic accident occurs. We advise our clients to notify the person whose fault the accident was within one month after the car accident.
Most people fear making a whiplash claim thinking that it could affect their insurance. If you make a settlement claim for whiplash caused by another driver’s negligence, your insurance isn't affected. However, if you make a claim where you also caused the car accident somehow, it is known as contributory negligence.
In such a scenario, you may claim compensation for a neck injury, but it will be less the cost of your contributory negligence. Notably, if a claim is made against you by another road user, your insurance will have to pay them for the damages, including whiplash injuries.
A child’s personal injury claim is treated differently from that of an adult. According to Irish law, a minor is anyone below the age of 18 years. A child cannot make a claim against a negligent driver or any other road user. An adult has to represent a minor when making a whiplash claim, and the said adult or guardian is commonly known as the “next friend.” A parent or a family member can act as the "next friend."
It is important to note that, even though a settlement claim involving a child is successful, you won’t receive the awarded amount on their behalf. The child will have to notify the authorities once they are 18 years old and the money is disbursed to them. The minor should claim with PIAB within two years after their eighteenth birthday.
Has your child been involved in an accident that led to severe whiplash injury due to someone else’s negligence? We can help you make a whiplash claim on your child’s behalf while you concentrate on ensuring they regain their total health.
After an accident, the first thing you do is seek medical attention from your nearest medical facility if you experience whiplash symptoms. Your health comes first and you will also need the medical report later as medical evidence. The second step is to notify the person you hold liable for your personal injuries. The Irish law recommends that you inform the negligent road user or organization within one month after the accident happens. Otherwise, you risk not recovering total pocket expenses if the case goes to court. Notifying the other party gives them enough time to investigate the accusations made against them.
You should then make a claim with the personal injuries board within two years after the accident occurs. Usually, the board will give you an application number, after which they notify the respondent about the claim. The respondent has 90 days to agree or disagree with the claim. If the negligent party doesn’t agree with the claims, the injuries board will give you the go-ahead to take your case to the courts.
Assuming the accused agrees with the claims, the injuries board will assess the case, after which they will determine an award for your damages. If you are not satisfied with the settlement, you have about 28 days to indicate so in writing. The respondent is also given 21 days to either agree or disagree with the award given to the claimant.
If either of you disagrees with the assessment made by the board regarding your injury claims, you will be given the authorization to move your case to court. If both of you agree with the evaluation, the injuries board will issue the respondent an order to pay the compensation amounts.
The answer is yes! If you have good whiplash claims solicitors, then you can recover the damages you suffered after that tragic accident as much as it’s challenging to prove whiplash. With enough evidence, your case will be successful. Again, you must seek legal advice from an attorney who understands personal injury law. A reputable lawyer will assess available evidence, and they will offer impartial advice on whether you have a solid case or not. Are you in a dilemma whether to proceed with a whiplash compensation or not? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Personal injury law is complex, and it is advisable to seek helpful advice from a personal injury solicitor registered with the Law Society of Ireland. A whiplash claims attorney can determine whether to proceed with the case or not after assessing all the evidence. If a lawyer feels that the case is not solid, they will recommend disregarding the case.
A personal injury solicitor also has the best intention to get maximum compensation for your claim. A lawyer knows the maximum award for each case, and they will negotiate on your behalf so that you get the best. You will also be assured of the best medical assessment to make your case successful with legal representation.
At our firm, we have experience handling all types of personal injury claims, including whiplash injury. Contact us today and allow us to help you get a settlement for your injuries.
Gary Matthews Solicitors
Medical negligence solicitors, Dublin