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Personal injury claim - how long it takes

  • 24-11-2022 11:15pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    Hi.

    A backrground story first. Last year in December I was travelling as a passenger in a car to Dublin airport. Was 4 of us in the car, including driver. Driver was speeding, nearly 150 km/h and due to very bad weather, he lost control over the car. Car spun 360° multiple times, we were close to crash into concrete wall dividing 2 lanes on motorway and to crash into other cars. Car finally hit small hill on side of the road. Driver just jump out of the car, check it quickly, started the engine and said that car looks fine, and doesnt look like we are hurt either so he continue journey to airport (2 passengers had to get onto plane).

    I was diagnosed with a whiplash 2 days later, got painkillers and some muscle relaxing pills. I was told it might take few months to resolve. I was also booked for MRI but with waiting time, I had MRI done 3 months after accident, then another 3 months waiting for results and GP appoitment (I was told as soon as GP get results, they wil contact me). So few months after accident I found out that I have a disc protrusion, it damages my nerves, causing me strong pain every day, since accident day, I didn't have even one night good sleep. I'm also loosing feeling in my left arm (disc protrusion is in neck spinal section). I was told by GP that I need an expensive treatment and surgery. Just for injections that might help with pain for a year is over 3k. Surgery I might also need to do privately as waiting time is 4 years just for consultation, and every day my arm is numb for some period of time, and I have to driver 30 mins to work.

    I have spoken to driver when I found out how serious my injuries are. I told him day after accident than I wasnt well and I have to go to GP, since then he was avoiding me. GP advised me go to solicitor and start a claim process.

    After 3 months we got his insurance details from MIBI as he ignores all letter and phone calls from my solicitor, so it's already a year since car accident.

    Now I know my fault is that I haven't started the claim straight away when GP advised me. But first I know driver for nearly 30 years, my mother and his mother are best friends for over 30 years, so when I thought it was only a whiplash and I have to take painkillers and do some physio, then I'm not going to start a claim against him. But when I found out how serious my injuries are and he ignored me saying it's not his problem and I will not get any money from him, then now I feel like I wasted good few months, but well, lesson learned for the future.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? How long can it take to resolve and what if driver will still argue that there was no car accident as that's what he told me. Just to add, one of the other passengers was his mother, she was also badly injured, broken shoulder and 2 ribs as she was a front passenger.

    Garda wasn't called as we were in shock and he decided to drive off, but I have medical reports and also messenger conversation day after between myself and driver and also his mother and they both described car accident very wel.

    Apologies for very long text, my solicitor is bit difficult to communicate, and I'm in the process of getting one of 3 injections needed, and after that will be nearly 2k I have spent as far. I'm just wondering how long it can take and if he doesn't agree to pay, will I need to go to court, which will take much longer.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,206 ✭✭✭ Sono


    So who are you suing here the driver of car you were in or the offending vehicle in the accident?

    if your solicitor is not helpful I would change, plenty work in that area who should be well able to advise as what’s best way to approach.

    In terms of how long it takes well that depends. Is the case ready to be settled now? Your solicitor needs to protect yours and their interests here and if it’s premature to settle then they won’t. If the case gets assessed by PIAB you’re looking at the guts of 12 months from now before an award is made and then both parties have to accept this award.

    if it’s not accepted by both then it will most likely litigate but the insurance company May settle with your legal representative provided it is appropriate to do so.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    Thank for quick reply!

    I'm suing the driver's insurance company, but he has a different insurer now. I don't know if this matters.

    I was thinking of changing solicitor but it's already 4 months I have wasted. So if I would need to go again and get medical reports and all documents and all the applications. And if I change solicitor now, I will need to pay my current soli itor for his crap job, which most I did (I got info of driver's insurance details from MIBI). I might wait a month and see. He is doing his job, but contact with him is very difficult. Took me 2 weeks from date when I send him driver's insurance details to date when he finally called me back that he has started the claim process.

    My solicitor has contacted driver's previous insurance company (he had an insurance from this company on the date of accident). So they are going to start their investigation. But I know that driver is ignoring letter and not answering the phone calls which might delay the process.

    My solicitor also told me about PIAB but he said that with driver's behaviour, we might end up in court.



  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ Whocare


    Crash was not down to bad weather it was bad driving. Plus it standard enough practise for driver not to talk to you after crash


    3 month waiting for MRI 😳 should have went private and billed the insurance company

    Post edited by Whocare on


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    I went privately for MRI 🙈 Waiting time is horrible now. I still hear the same excuse, that is big backlog after covid. I was waiting 5 months to see pain specialist privately and 4 months for nerve blocking injection.

    On PRSI waiting time is 3 years for consultation with pain specialist, no idea how long to get nerve blocking injection. And 4 year for consultation with neurosurgery specialist in Cork, also no idea how long after would I be waiting for surgery. So my only option is to go privately. But surgery costs a lot. Injections is only 3k a year, and it only helps with pain but won't resolve my problem.


    I know it might be standard practise for driver to not talk after, but we are nearly like a family, we know each other for nearly 30 years. My parents helped him to find a new job, offered a room in their house when he was in trouble, then helped to find an apartment to rent. We have helped him a lot, and that's what we got back. That actually makes me angry the most. He doesn't care what happened to me and what might happen if I don't get my treatment on time.

    Post edited by Gabulek16 on


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,154 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Henry Ford III


    If you're injured the friends or family thing no longer matters. From your description of the event it's clear that the driver was going way too fast and is liable for any injuries.

    Personal injury claims can go on for years unfortunately.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    It took 3 months to find who his car insurer was on the date of accident as he refused to give any info. He told me that there was no car accident and I won't make any money on him. So that's when family/friend thing ended. As I clearly said that all I want is him to cover my treatment, I don't want any extra money.

    I'm just afraid that might take longer as he is ignoring any letters or phone calls.

    I was hoping it will take about a year, but seems like it might take much longer.

    If he will tell his insurance company that there was no accident (I have many proofs that was), is there a chance that insurance company will try to settle down or go to court?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,320 ✭✭✭ seagull


    It might be worth your while making a statement to the gardai. If he hasn't declared it to his insurers, he could wind up in trouble.

    If you now know who he was insured with at the time of the incident, contact them directly, and tell them you wish to make a claim against their policy holder.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    I went to Gardai, they didn't want to take any statement from me. I was told if they were not not called on the date of accident, they can't believe that it happened. I'm not surprised actually. Guy in front of me just collected package from An Post, was expensive laptop, package was empty (just filled with something to have similar weight and pretend that there was something in the package). Gardai told him that because he opened it at home, not at Gardai station, they can't take any statement from him as he could take out laptop and try to scam now insurance company. Guy explained that he needs this statement for insurance company but he left with nothing.

    I don't know if it's worth to go again, or maybe try to email them just to have any proof that I gave my statement to Gardai.


    My solicitor has contacted insurance company, they have started their investigation but driver is ignoring all letters and phone calls.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,154 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Henry Ford III


    Get your solicitor to sue him and his insurers. There is no other way.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,717 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    I went to Gardai, they didn't want to take any statement from me. I was told if they were not not called on the date of accident, they can't believe that it happened. I'm not surprised actually.

    You should have been surprised because what he told you was complete BS. There is specific provision in law for a person to report an accident after the event to the Gardai. This is where someone is injured as a result of a traffic accident and (for whatever reason) the Gardai do not attend at the scene. In that case, the driver is obliged to go 'as soon as possible' to 'the nearest convenient Garda station' to report the accident......

    This was an amendment to S.106 of the the Road Traffic Act 1961, inserted by the 1968 RTA.....

    S.106 (d) if—

    (i) injury is caused to property other than that of the driver of the vehicle and for any reason he or, if he is killed or incapacitated, the person then in charge of the vehicle does not at the place of the occurrence give the appropriate information to a person entitled under this section to demand it, or

    (ii) injury is caused to a person other than the driver of the vehicle,

    the driver of the vehicle or, if he is killed or incapacitated, the person then in charge of the vehicle shall, unless he had already given the appropriate information to a member of the Garda Síochána, report the occurrence as soon as possible to such a member and, if necessary, shall go for that purpose to the nearest convenient Garda station and also give on demand the appropriate information to the member.

    https://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1968/en/act/pub/0025/sched.html#sched



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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    Gardai didn't want to take any statement from me that day. He said even if that happened day before, he wouldn't take any statement as he wasn't at the scene. I didn't know that time that was BS. Now is one year after accident so probably to late to try again. I van just hope that my solicitor will do his job.

    Will it be a problem that I don't have Gardai statement?



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,717 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    After 12 months, there was nothing the Garda could have done anyway. I don't see that you will have any problem, it was up to the driver to report it to the Gardai, you had no legal obligation to do so. You have details of who he was insured with on the day, that's the important thing. You mentioned that he has a new insurance company, they have nothing to do with this case.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,320 ✭✭✭ seagull


    Except for the fact that when they get wind of this, they might just drop him as a customer. He's been less than honest with both his previous and current insurer by not declaring an accident that has caused serious injury. I would imagine he's not going to have an easy time getting insurance in the future.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    Driver's current insurer knows already. My solicitor contacted current insurer first, to check if by any chance this company also insured his car on the date of accident. That's how we found out that driver changed insurance company. My solicitor was told by current insurance company that they are going to start their own investigation and will be seeking for explanation from driver as he caused car accident and serious injuries to 2 passengers (2nd passenger is driver's mother but she won't make any claim against him).

    Previous insurance company also started their investigation.

    The problem is, he doesn't response to any letters and doesn't answer any phone calls so I don't know how long the whole process will take.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,717 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    He must have made a false declaration to get the new policy because nobody would have taken him on with a claim pending, let alone a big one as yours is likely to be.

    I can see how family loyalty may be a factor but his mother is mad not to claim against him because he has nothing to lose, given that you will be claiming on that policy.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Gabulek16


    He got new policy maybe a month or two before I have started the claim process, but he new about my injuries as I asked him to cover my medical expenses. He just decided to ignore it. It took us 2 months to find out who his insurance company was (we have contacted MIBI). But he still should have told his current insurer about this accident.

    I'm not going to tell his mother what to do, she decided not to claim against her son, it's her choice. She paid for all her medical expenses. She was injured but not as bad as I am. She is fine now, while my injury is still on-going and it's hard to predict how long is it going to take to fully recover.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,717 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    I was making an observation about the mother. Not for one second was I suggesting that you advise her to lodge a claim. More fool her if she does not.



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