Steps to take when you are involved in a road traffic accident to
When you are involved in an accident there are many thoughts and emotions a person goes through, we have put together a step by step guide to help if you find yourself in this situation.
Call the police – If you are involved in an RTA, be sure to contact An Garda Síochána if possible so that they can attend the scene. It is helpful that An Garda Síochána are given the opportunity to take details and make an assessment of the scene on the day.
Do not drive yourself immediately after the accident – Often after an RTA people find themselves in a state of shock. Try to have somebody else collect you from the scene if at all possible. In some circumstances, medical assistance will arrive at the scene.
Seek medical assistance – It is common for some injuries that result from RTA’s not to be immediately apparent. Injuries sometimes come to light after the first 24 hours following the accident. Don’t assume you are fine and do seek medical attention early on if you have been in an accident. See your GP if necessary go to Accident & Emergency.
Notify your employer – Tell your employer that you have been in an accident. This will allow them to monitor your wellbeing and if necessary to allow you to take time off work or even adapt your role while you recover.
Keep receipts – Following an accident, you will need to see professionals such as doctors, physios, acupuncturists, etc and will have various expenses such as medicines, travel and other out of pocket expenses. These receipts will form part of your claim for compensation. Out of pocket expenses are termed “Special Damages” in the context of a personal injuries claim.
Consult your solicitor – Discuss the accident with your solicitor. We at Joyce & Co Solicitors are experts in the area of personal injury claims. If you are injured from a Road Traffic Accident which was not your fault we can advise you throughout and manage your claim for you. The initial consultation will allow you to have an idea of what will be needed from your side as well as what steps lie ahead as part of a claim.
Have a medical assessment with your doctor – Normally, a claimant’s first medical report will be written by their GP. Your GP will need to assess you at their clinic to be in a position to write that report.
Your solicitor obtains a report from your doctor – Your solicitor will take up a report from your GP and will check over this report with you. That report can then be used by your solicitor to commence the PIAB (Personal Injuries Applicant Board) process.
PIAB Application – Form A must be completed. This is done in conjunction with your solicitor. Form A is lodged with PIAB.
The respondent to your claim is given 90 days to consent or not to consent to having the matter assessed by PIAB. If 90 days elapses with no response from the respondent, it is taken that the respondent consents to having the matter assessed by PIAB.
You will see a doctor nominated by PIAB during the PIAB process. This doctor is an intermediary engaged by PIAB to assist them in assessing the value of your claim.
Additional medical reports – Depending on the nature of your injuries, your GP may refer you to specialists in other areas of medicine. Should that be the case, your solicitor may obtain a medical report from that practitioner.
Loss of earnings – PIAB will send your solicitor a certificate of loss of earnings. If you are a PAYE worker, this must be completed by your employer in the event that you have suffered lost wages following an absence from work as a result of your injuries. If you are self-employed, any loss of earnings must be calculated and signed by your accountant.
Special damages – All out of pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident are set out in a schedule of special damages. This schedule is completed and given to PIAB together with all receipts.
PIAB Assessment – PIAB will make an assessment of the value of the claim. This assessment will be sent to both your solicitor and the respondent (or their insurers in most cases). Both parties must decide whether they wish to accept or reject the assessment made. The respondent has 21 days to communicate their decision. You, the claimant, have 28 days to communicate your decision. This is a time where your solicitor can advise you on your options and whether in their opinion the assessment made by PIAB is a favourable one. You will be advised but the final decision rests with you.
If you accept the PIAB assessment, and the respondent also accepts the assessment, a “Notice To Pay” will be issued by PIAB instructing the respondent to pay you the amount of the assessment.
If either you or the respondent reject the PIAB assessment, an authorisation will be issued by PIAB allowing the matter to proceed through the courts system.
A barrister will be engaged to assist in the court process. A personal injury summons will drafted and checked with you. Once in order, this can be issued in the courts and served on the respondent.
The matter may proceed towards court hearing or may settle at an earlier stage. At each part of the process, you will be advised by Joyce & Co Solicitors as to what we feel is in your best interests. The aim is to maximise your award while providing an efficient and transparent service to our clients.
At Joyce & Co. we are experts in the field of Personal Injury Claims due to road traffic accidents, reach out to our team where we can talk through the processes with you.