Being involved in a car accident or other road related collisions can be a frightening experience for any individual. The accident can be all the more traumatic if you have suffered an injury as a result. In cases where you have been involved in a motor accident that was not your fault and you have sustained an injury, then you may have grounds for a legal claim and be eligible for financial compensation. Following a road accident/injury, whether you are a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver, there are a number of important steps you must undertake immediately following the incident and prior to making a claim.
Seek medical attention Your health and safety should be your number one priority after any type of accident. After the accident, check over your body to see that you have no obvious injuries. Once that is done, check any passengers that were travelling with you or anyone else involved in the accident that they do not require any immediate medical assistance. If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been seriously injured, phone an ambulance or visit your nearest accident and emergency department.
Gather as much evidence as you can while still at the scene It is important that you remember to collect as much relevant information as you can at the scene of a motor accident. Such information can include:
- The details of the other driver/drivers involved in the incident (full name, address, phone number, vehicle registration etc.), as well as any witnesses to the event. You must also exchange your own information with the other driver/drivers.
- Photographic evidence
- The date and time of the accident
- Any dash cam/CCTV footage that may have recorded the accident
- The name and contact details of any emergency workers that attended the scene, such as Gardaí or paramedics.
Contact the Gardaí
If they haven’t already arrived on the scene to assess the accident, notify the Gardaí as soon as possible that you were involved in a road traffic accident. If it is the case that the collision was minor and the Gardaí will not be attending the scene, visit your nearest Garda station once the pertinent information has been gathered from step 2. Upon your arrival at the Garda station, request that they take your details and statement about the accident, including the person/persons involved.
Notify your insurance company If you are the driver of a vehicle that has been involved in a road traffic accident, notify your insurance company as soon as you can. Even in the event that you may not have been to blame for the accident, it is important to record the details of the accident to your insurance company while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Speaking to a solicitor Once all of the above steps have been followed and you have had some time to decompress following the incident, you may be considering launching a motor injury claim for damages such as medical expenses, damage of property, or pain and suffering. If you are considering launching a motor injury claim, and you feel that the accident occurred through no fault of your own, it is recommended that you speak with a solicitor who specialises in such claims as soon as you feel ready. By contacting a solicitor, you will be provided with a comprehensive assessment of your case and a full evaluation of your best options when deciding to move forward with a claim.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*