Many people assume that if you’ve been involved in a car accident in Northern Ireland, you’re immediately able to make a compensation claim. This simply isn’t the case.
The success and value of a personal injury claim is closely tied to fault. In fact, one of the most important parts of the personal injury claims process is determining whether you’re at fault, partially at fault, or not at fault for the accident. In order to shed some much-needed light on this area, our blog answers some key questions that many of our client have asked about the claims process.
Can I make a car accident claim in Northern Ireland if I was entirely at fault?
If you were totally at fault for your accident, you will not be able to claim for your injuries. This is because in order to claim compensation for an injury, you have to show that someone was to blame for your accident. If the accident was caused by your own error, and there is no other person or organization to blame, you can’t bring a claim for your injuries. For example, if you lost control of the vehicle on an empty road and drove into a fence, the accident is 100% your fault, and you won’t be able to make an injury claim.
Can I make a car accident claim in Northern Ireland if I was partially at fault?
Accidents can be complicated and sometimes it’s not clear who’s at fault. Sometimes the defendant will argue that you are partially to blame for the car accident. If the accident was indeed partially your fault, it’s still possible to make a claim with a split liability agreement. Under these circumstances, parties will agree that there is blame to go around and liability is split between two or more parties involved in the accident. Typically, solicitors or a judge will determine how liability should be split.
It is important to note that the percentage of liability you are responsible for will directly impact the amount of compensation you receive. For example, if you agree to 50/50 split liability and your case is worth £100,000, then you will only receive £50,000. If, for example, it is agreed that you’re 75% responsible for the accident, then it will be a 75/25 split in favour of the other side. This means that if the case is worth £100,000, you will only receive £25,000.
Can I make a car accident claim in Northern Ireland if I was not at fault?
If you played no part in causing the accident, you’re in a strong position to make a personal injury claim. Often refereed to as “non-fault accidents,” under these circumstances the person that caused the harm is at-fault for your injuries. Typically, the at-fault party’s insurer will cover the costs of your claim and pay for any losses suffered.
It is important to remember that you don’t have an automatic right to compensation. You will need to bring a claim within 3 years to be successful. Determining fault isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. If you have questions about your claim, we’re here to give you the answers you deserve. Reach out to our injury solicitors by completing our online form or call us on 0800 020 9311.