Material damage claims: Can I make a compensation claim if I wasn’t injured in a car crash?

Material damage claims: Can I make a compensation claim if I wasn’t injured in a car crash?

Road traffic accidents are common in Ireland and, when it comes to personal injury claims, they are the most frequently occurring cases. If you were involved in an accident with a car, bus, motorbike, or bicycle that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and expenses. If you were lucky enough not to receive any injuries, you can still make a claim for damages to your vehicle or personal property. These types of cases are called material damage claims.

Material damage claims explained

In the case of road traffic accidents, material damage claims usually seek to cover the cost of damages to your vehicle and other knock-on expenses, such as towing.

Here are some of the expenses often included in material damages claims:

  • Vehicle repairs (or replacement, if it is beyond repair)
  • Car hire
  • Value depreciation
  • Towing charges
  • Storage fees
  • Assessor’s fees
  • Reparation or replacement of personal property damaged in the accident

Who can I make a claim against?

Where the accident is caused by someone else, then that person’s insurance company is responsible for covering these material damages. In situations where an uninsured driver flees the scene, you can contact the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland. This is the organisation which covers accidents involving uninsured or unidentifiable drivers.

If the road traffic accident was your fault, you will need to look to your insurance company to cover expenses. Third party car insurance won’t cover damage to your own car if you were solely at fault, but comprehensive car insurance should.

What to do after a road traffic accident

After an accident, check if anyone involved was injured. If so, call an ambulance. If not, you can report the incident to the Gardaí and start gathering evidence for any material damages claims that may follow.

You should:

  • Take photos of the vehicles – the damages incurred and their positions after the crash
  • Take the contact details of witnesses
  • Take the details of the drivers involved
  • Note the details of any Garda who attended the scene
  • Take down the vehicle registration
  • Exchange insurance details with the other driver
  • Note the location of any CCTV cameras

Before leaving the scene, you should also inform the insurance companies of the incident. Later on, you need to have your car assessed for damages at a garage which will give you an estimate for the cost of repairs.

Dealing with the insurance company is often straightforward, but if a dispute over liability or expenses arises, you may want to move forward with court proceedings for your material damages claim. Usually your insurance company will do this on your behalf.

If you have been injured in a road traffic accident or need some advice on making material damage claims, Contact the team at Ferrys Solicitors Personal Injury and Accident Solicitors.

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Jarlath Moloney
jarlath@giantelk.ie


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