Road Traffic Accident Solicitors Dublin

If you are involved in a motor accident, whether with another motor vehicle or another user of the road, there are certain things you should do.  

1. What should I do if I am involved in a motor accident?

There are things which are advisable to do for safety reasons and to help reduce any possible financial loss to you. Firstly, establish that you, any passengers in your vehicle and any other individuals involved in the accident are not seriously injured. Where there are any significant injuries an ambulance should be called immediately. The Gardaí should be contacted (telephone 999 or 112) also, if necessary.

Always ensure that all the parties involved in the accident receive appropriate medical attention first.  

If the accident is serious the cars should not be moved.

If it is a minor accident and the cars are blocking the road or are a danger to other road users, the road should be marked and the cars moved. Take care when moving damaged cars and be alert to the danger from leaking fuel. If possible get photographs of the cars prior to moving, ensuring your safety comes first at all times.

2. Gather information

Once anyone who was injured in the accident has been tended to, You should get the name, address and telephone number of every other vehicle driver involved.  It is also very important to seek out any witnesses who saw what happened, take their name and contact details. These may be required if there is a question of liability.

Always look for the following information:

  • the registration number of their vehicle;

  • Insurance policy details including the name of the insurance company, the policy number and the renewal date.

  • the name and address of the owner of the vehicle (if that’s someone other than the driver).

You should also provide the other driver with all of your details.

If any of the parties are uncooperative or fails to provide information you should get the registration number of their vehicle at the very least. This will enable searches to be carried out later on to establish the registered owner of the vehicle.

 

3. Should I call the Guards?

Telephone the Guards to let them know that the accident has happened. If they decide that there has been no serious injury their usual policy is not to attend at the scene and to let the parties work things out between themselves. Always get the name of the Guard the accident was reported to.

As soon as possible after the accident you should attend the Garda station to give a full account of the accident to the member in charge at the station.

If anyone else involved tries to persuade you not to get the Guards involved. It’s possible they may be hiding something, possibly that they’d fail a drink or drug test or that they’re not properly insured. If you think this is the case try your best to get a Guard to attend at the scene as soon as possible. Do not feel browbeaten by anyone at the scene but use your common sense and certainly don’t risk putting yourself in any danger if someone at the scene is acting in a threatening or abusive manner.

 

4. Should I move my vehicle

Safety should always be the top priority. Where the accident is not serious vehicles should be moved off the road as quickly as it is safe to do so.  However, if the accident is a very serious one and someone is trapped in a vehicle, call the emergency services and follow their directions before doing anything that might cause any harm to anyone.

5. Once I’ve exchanged information with the other people involved, what then?

Take photographs of the accident and damage caused. If in doubt about relevance of any photographs, it is always better to record the incident and the irrelevant photographs can be discarded later.

Examples of what will be of assistance include:

  • The number plates of each of the vehicles involved.

  • The insurance disc displayed in the windscreen of each of the vehicles.

  • The positions of the vehicles relative to one another and relative to the centre of the road. (Try and get a photo of these positions before the vehicles are moved immediately after the accident, but only if it is safe to do so.)

  • Any dents or other signs of damage to any of the vehicles.

  • Any skid marks or other road markings.

  • Any broken glass or other debris lying on the road.

While photos are great, they’re often focused on very small areas and don’t give a good sense of the overall scene. In this context the ancient Chinese proverb couldn’t be truer: ‘a picture tells a thousand words.’ You’d be amazed how useful that quick sketch on the back of an envelope you did while the facts were still fresh in your mind ultimately turns out to be if the facts become contentious later on.

6. Should I get an engineer involved?

If there is any dispute or doubt at all about who was responsible for the accident it would be advisable to engage an engineer. An engineer will be able to inspect the scene with cold detachment relying on a trained eye that may well spot relevant details that a layman could easily miss. As weather conditions and passing traffic can result in evidence being lost from a scene you should ensure that an engineer attends and inspects the scene as soon as possible.

7. When can I leave the scene of the accident?

If the Gardaí intend to come to the scene wait until you get the green light from the Garda who arrives. If the Guards have made it clear that they’re not going to turn up make sure that you given every other person involved your name, address, contact details, vehicle registration number and insurance details.

8. If I feel I’m in the wrong should I admit liability?

While it may seem like the right thing to do, NEVER admit liability.

It will almost certainly be a condition of your policy of insurance that you must not make any admission of liability and that to do so would invalidate your insurance.

Remember, people will often be suffering from shock or be overcome with emotion in the immediate aftermath of an accident – not exactly ideal circumstances in which to be conducting a technical assessment of liability in negligence.

If someone volunteers that they were in the wrong be sure to make a note of the fact that they did, but leave it at that.

9. Is it necessary to seek medical attention after the accident?

If you feel you have any injuries after accident then, yes, you should definitely pay a visit to your GP. Shock can often mask the gravity of what are in fact significant physical injuries requiring medical attention. If you don’t get the appropriate treatment early enough this could exacerbate your injuries

10. Should I contact a solicitor?

Yes. Now, remember that a solicitor specialising in this area will have seen this all before and will be able to assist you in dealing with such a traumatic event from the very outset. Remember too that the other parties involved in the accident are almost certainly going to consult solicitors as soon as possible, so why should you leave yourself at a disadvantage?

Vital evidence can be lost within a very short period following an accident and we can assist you in preserving this and advising you on how to protect your interests. This can make all the difference later on. Bear in mind that a claim arising out of an accident may take months or even years to be resolved. Unless the evidence is recorded carefully by people who know what they are doing when it is fresh,

11. Notifying your insurance company

Always notify your insurance company as soon as. If you fail to inform them at an early stage you could have the threat of your insurance company refusing to provide cover hanging over you.  If you genuinely believe that you’re not at fault, tell them just that. Make sure that you point out that you’re contacting them for the sole purpose of complying with your obligation to notify them that you’ve been involved in an accident and that you’re not making any claim against your policy. This will prevent any attempts to hang you out to dry on the basis that they’ve been prejudiced because they can’t carry out whatever investigations they deem appropriate.

12. What are the time limits for me to bring my claim after the accident?

You should have instructed your solicitor to write to the other side within two months of the date of the accident notifying them that you’ve been injured and that you will probably be making a claim. If you ultimately decide to make a claim this must be lodged not more than two years from the date of the accident.

 *In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

(c) Brian Morton & Co. Solicitors. All rights Reserved.



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