Three Car Collision
Eoin P. Campbell
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief

I was in a three car collision last month at a junction in Dublin. The Gardai were called to the scene and I was one of the people in the accident taken to hospital. I was the middle car in a three car collision. The first car breaked very suddenly to avoid a child and I rear-ended the first car. The third car rear-ended me. I suffered very severe whiplash and spinal injuries and have already had two operations. The Gardai at the scene said that there was CCTV coverage of the junction and there would be an official report produced after the evidence was reviewed.

Will I be able to claim compensation for my injuries?

Answer:

Three car collisions are always complicated, especially because each party to the accident might have a different recollection of the events. In this case, as with most three car collisions, the Garda report will be the determining factor.

You are almost certainly fully liable for any damage or injuries sustained by the car in front of you that you rear-ended. Your insurance company will negotiate with the owner of that car or the owner’s solicitor. You might be surprised to hear that this is almost certainly out of your hands (check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy).

The fact that you stopped very suddenly – making the second collision difficult to avoid – may lead the insurance company of third car to claim contributory negligence in order to reduce any potential compensation payout. Your solicitor will deal with this issue if it arises.

Do not wait for the Garda report. You need to speak to a solicitor straight away to document your account of the accident, but also to prepare your compensation claim.

Since the accident was only a month ago, there’s no way to assess the longer term prognosis and impact on your work and lifestyle. However, if you meet your solicitor as soon as possible you will get advice about the issues involved and the type of records you need to keep to document your claim.