McDermott Byrne Solicitors



+353 91 861860

Over 7,250 people were injured in road traffic accidents in Ireland in 2014. In the period Jan-December 2013 there were 181 fatal collisions resulting in 190 fatalities on Irish roads.  Where an injured person is not at fault the injured person is entitled to claim compensation for the pain and suffering, medical costs and other financial losses incurred.

If you have suffered an injury as a result of another person’s action or failure to act further information on what to do is set out below:-

  1. Liability

Do not admit liability for the accident to anybody or discuss liability with anybody until you have taken legal advice on the matter.

An admission of liability at the scene by a driver does not necessarily mean that liability cannot be disputed by that driver later on. If you have any doubts about the driver at fault ensure the Gardaí come to the scene to investigate.

Road traffic accidents can be relatively straight forward or can be the fault of more than one party depending on the circumstances. The rules of the road, the speed involved, the weather conditions, the types of vehicles involved, the road layout, where the accident occurred all play an important part in determining who is responsible. It can be complicated and easily misunderstood..


  1. Report the accident to the appropriate authorities

Ensure that the accident is reported immediately to the Gardaí and your insurance company. Ensure that you set outin full details of any injuries you have sustained as a result of the accident.

Even if the Gardaí have not come to the scene it is important to report the incident to the local Garda Station.


  1. Seek treatment and advice from your medical doctor, GP or local hospital

You should attend your own doctor as soon as possible after the accident so that there is a written record of your injuries and symptoms as it may be necessary to obtain a medical report from your own doctor at a later stage.

Your GP will be a record keeper of symptoms and will recommend treatment. Follow up review by your GP is necessary to ensure he has full information as to how you are progressing.

  1. Make your own account of how the accident occured

You should ensure that as soon as possible after the accident you make a written note for yourself of what happened using as much detail as possible as it is likely that your memory as to the exact detail of what occurred will fade as time progresses.

Some things to consider are:

  1. Where you were.
  2. What time it was.
  3. Weather conditions.
  4. If there was a lot of other traffic on the road.
  5. The road layout.
  6. Position of the vehicle when the accident happened.
  7. What lights/indicators were used.
  8. Speed the vehicles were travelling.
  9. What the drivers and witnesses said.
  10. Were there skid marks on the roadway
  11. Where was the debris from the accident located on the road.

It is important to go back to the scene of the accident to ensure that your memory is completely accurate.

Take photographs of the accident location and road layout. They will be needed if liability is disputed and sometimes road layouts change afterwards which can confuse matters somewhat.


  1. Uninsured or untraced drivers

Injuries caused by an uninsured driver (i.e. the third party driver who was not covered by a valid policy of insurance) or untraced or unknown vehicles are covered by a compensation scheme operated by the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Compensation is paid subject to compliance with strict legal conditions and time limits. It similarly deals with injuries and losses caused by unknown or untraced drivers.

The scheme covers injuries to passengers/drivers in vehicles, injuries to pedestrians and compensation to others who may have been affected by the death of a person in the accident.

The scheme is complicated and intricate. It provides compensation on the basis that the injured person complies with the terms of the scheme. Advice from an experienced solicitor is recommended at the outset.


What Should I Do Following a Road Traffic Accident?

You should always make your health and the health of your passengers your top priority. If you have not already reported the road traffic accident to the Gardai, you should do so as soon as possible. If you have any doubts about the circumstances of the accident or can not remember all the details, you probably should speak to a solicitor immediately to get professional help reporting the incident to the Gardai and then dealing with any injury compensation claims.

Road Traffic Accident Formalities

As most people are no doubt aware it is very important to exchange names, addresses and insurance details with the other driver following an accident. This is, however, not always possible as one or both parties may be very seriously injured or perhaps aggressive and confrontational following the collision. What you should do, however, in all circumstances is note the registration number of the vehicles involved. You should do this even when the other party has appeared to be co-operative, as perhaps the details given may be erroneous either due to confusion and shock following what is sometimes a frightening experience or perhaps due to deliberate malice – do not assume that the other party is as honest as you!. The the identity and insurance details of the other parties involved in an accident can usually be later verified from the vehicle registration number.


  • McDermott Byrne Solicitors, Lock House, 12 Upper Dominick Street Galway, Ireland
  • +353 91 861860
  • +353 91 860855